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Month: May 2021

What Should Your Post-Pandemic Work Kit Include?

If you’ve been working from home since the start of the pandemic, you’re not on your own. Most businesses have embraced socially distant remote arrangements. It’s unlikely to change any time soon, even as vaccine rollouts encourage life to get back to normal. Virtual offices support productivity, creativity, and a healthy work/life balance, allowing both employees and employers to make work fit around their personal schedules. 

However, most professionals in the U.S. relocated at home over a year ago. It’s fair to say that it’s time to consider your work kit. Home office? Check! Some of the most frequently search terms on Google throughout 2020 focused on home office setup and improvement: 

L-shaped home office

Best standing desks for home office

Best desk chair for home office

Home office decor ideas

Ergonomic home office chair

So, it’s fair to say that most people already have designed the perfect workstation inside their homes. Whether you’ve converted the unused nook underneath the stairs or repurposed the spare bedroom, chances are you’ve arranged your ideal work-from-home space. As remote working positions are becoming a permanent feature in most companies, it’s time for businesses to introduce a work kit budget for their team. The work kit budget could enable teams to equip their home office with all the necessary tech and add-ons that are still missing. 

#1. A reliable laptop or computer

Admittedly, most employees already had a work laptop. However, if the business has recruited new team members since the start of the pandemic, it would be fair to provide them either with a work device or with a budget and a list of good laptops and computers, such as the Dell Vostro or some Lenovo models. For positions that are likely to remain permanently remote, office PCs can also be a fantastic alternative, especially for roles that require heavy designing or programming skills. Ideally, equipping your staff with a work laptop or PC will also reduce security risks and compatibility issues, as employees do not need to use their personal devices. 

#2. A secondary screen

Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of using more than one screen. However, the home office setting can benefit from the addition of a second monitor. Ideally, individuals who tend to focus on multiple things at the same time are likely to enjoy this setup. You will use two screens for checking data while you complete other tasks, comparing multiple documents or sets of data, compiling information, or centralizing your schedule and inbox on one screen while you carry on tasks on the other. It’s an option that is worth suggesting to your team. Everyone works differently; therefore, not every employee will find it helpful. But those who do should be able to upgrade their workstation accordingly. 

#3. A cup warmer coaster

The consumption of tea and coffee at home has reached new records during the pandemic. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to enjoy a warm drink while you’re working. More often than not, you can get distracted by a task. As a result, most people forget about their drink until it’s too late. By the time you’re ready to grab the cup and drink, the brew is already cold. 

While this might not sound like a major problem, in reality, it can have a significant impact on an individual’s productivity. Making a fresh cup of coffee or tea takes between 10 and 20 minutes, as most employees seize the opportunity to take a break at the same time. Unfortunately, when they don’t get around to drinking it, they are more likely to interrupt their day more frequently to refresh the drink. This can lead to frustration. Besides, caffeine helps keep your mind alert. Therefore, provide every worker a USB-pluggable cup warmer coaster can enhance comfort, reduce time loss, and boost productivity. 

#4. A piece of tranquillity

Working from home exposes individuals to high levels of noise pollution. Indeed, most workers live in an urban environment, which means they are likely to hear city sounds, such as traffic, construction sites, and even loud neighbors. Noise pollution can lead to high stress levels as it affects concentration and productivity. Therefore, it can be helpful to reach out to remote employees with noise-canceling solutions such as headphones. Some models can be plugged into the laptop and act as microphones and earphones during video calls too. 

#5. An air filter

How clean is your employees’ indoor air? The answer is: It’s impossible to know without a specialist tool. However, indoor air pollution is a reality that can affect everyone. Everyday items create toxic VOC emissions, whether cleaning products, paint on the wall, or synthetic material. Indoor pollution is responsible for premature death every year. As employees work remotely, providing a solution that can keep their workstation healthy and safe can be a game-changer. An air filter can help preserve their health and assist mental concentration. 

#6. A potted plant

Most office spaces tend to have potted plants. However, the same isn’t true in home offices. Office plants are not only an aesthetically pleasing addition to the decor. They can also significantly improve their work environment. The presence of greenery can reduce the risk of sick building syndrome. Potted plants are also proven to increase productivity by up to 15% and stimulate creative senses. It would make sense for employers to offer an office plant budget to their remote team. Alternatively, a plant is also a fantastic gift to send to newly hired talent to welcome them to the team.

#7. A selfie lamp

The selfie lamp is a ring of light that tends to be used by social media influencers to illuminate their faces for photo purposes. However, employees can also use the lamp during video calls. Indeed, not every home office environment is bright. When the room lacks a direct source of light, video calls can feel awkward as you don’t get to see the other person. Placing a selfie lamp next to the screen, out of the camera’s angle, can significantly improve call quality. 

In a remote environment, employers need to introduce a specialist budget to support home office setup. It is fair to say that design and tech choices that would be part of the typical office layout can be missed remotely. Therefore, an employer who goes above and beyond to promote a productive home office layout can help move the team forward. 

Playing the Pieces: 3 Approaches To Create Happier Employees

When you spend a lot of time thinking about what your business needs, your mind may very well go to the aesthetic components. For example, the marketing or improving the infrastructure. But when we ensure the business is well maintained from an outside perspective, we need to see what goes on behind closed doors. When we look at our employees, we must remember they are the progenitors of our success. They keep the engines running. So keeping our employees happy is not just about perks, but it’s about making sure that they are firing on all cylinders. How do we do this?

Look at When Employees Struggle

If employees struggle to work, it might be because of how the organization feels. It could be to a variety of shake-ups that make them feel that the ground is moving beneath their feet. We have to remember that, as employers, it’s crucial to keep the machine going. And while we employ a variety of techniques to help keep the business complying with the regulations, this can be at odds with the company culture. With every firing, there comes a lot of admin from the inside. And while in this respect, tools like an unemployment tracker work to maintain the inner workings, if employees struggle because you’ve constantly been letting people go left, right, and center, they may not feel they’re able to speak up. And when there are these deeply ingrained problems within a company, we got to work harder to keep them happy. While we can provide specific tools and tactics, ultimately, it’s the cultural component underneath it all that will help.

Keep Yourself Organized 

It is simple, but this is what will keep your employees believing in what you have to offer. When we run a company on a skeleton system, we need to incorporate organizational components to make everything ticking over. When we incorporate the right systems, like payroll software, or the aforementioned unemployment tracker, everything becomes crucial to help your employees recognize that they are at the forefront of your mind. Doing this, in combination with effective communication, shows them you have faith in their abilities, and they have faith in yours.

Focus on Holistic Approaches 

To work, everybody needs specific tools to function effectively. Some people are able to work under pressure, but others need an abundance of techniques and tactics. If we provide a variety of tools to help our employees work with an extra edge, they will benefit the business, but they will also benefit themselves. To do this, we need to provide a diverse range of techniques, so they can pick and choose the methods that suit them. For example, they may not be able to focus in an open-plan office environment. In which case, noise-canceling headphones could be the right tool.

If you want to keep your employees happy and the business productive, you need to consider a variety of tactics. If people are not comfortable working in this environment, we’ve got to address this as a priority. If we tackle these cracks, we could turn everything around.