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.