Here at Don’t Panic Management, we talk a lot about virtual assistants, remote offices, and working from home. Fitting—because that’s the world many of us live in here! However, something discussed less frequently is the physical environment of a remote worker, and the various elements that environment can include.
So we thought we’d highlight some of the essentials we think every remote worker should afford him or herself (and also give you a sneak peak into a few of our own spaces)!
Basic Remote Working Essentials
Of course, there are the obvious items every remote worker should have: You need a computer: a laptop is preferable for most, since sometimes you’ll be working on-the-go. You need your kit of online tools: platforms used by your coworkers or clients and a cloud-based storage system. You need your scratch pad and pen, your bottle of water, and your bowl of peanut M&Ms (or, you know, your healthy snack of choice).
But there are other items you might not have considered which can greatly improve your productivity and health in your home-work environment. Here are a few examples of good items to have:
Items for Your Posture
One super-important item for every remote worker is a comfortable, ergonomic chair. If you work from home and notice back/neck/shoulder pain, take a hard look at that rigid dining room chair you dragged into your office space. It is important first and foremost to take care of your body—an easy thing to forget amidst the convenience of working in your own home space. I happen to use this chair, the benefits of which I’ve reaped greatly since purchasing it in the last year. My neck and back feel just fine after hours of sitting. Plus it’s a snazzy, hip addition to my space!
Speaking of your neck and back, is your laptop located at an appropriate height relative to your eye level? There are guidelines for happy, healthy posture at computer workstations, and remote workers should take heed! If you find yourself often slouching over your keyboard/computer screen, perhaps you could invest in a laptop stand or something to keep your machine at a level that reduces strain on your eyes, neck, wrists, back, and so on. For especially enthused remote workers, a standing desk might be a plus, but definitely not a necessity, so long as you keep other factors in check.
A Personal Touch
No matter your assortment of specific tools, your home work environment should be a place in which you feel comfortable, energized, and productive. Take Rebekah’s work station, for example. She knows she needs a lot of space to spread out her computer, notepads, tools, and pen mugs, so she invested in a corner desk with lots of surface area. Add in a comfy chair, great lighting, and a spunky bulletin board with photos and motivational quotes, and she’s ready to rock-n-roll with the best of them.
Life On the Go
Remote workers also often enjoy the ability to work from locations besides home, such as the car, the mountains, or lakes in Italy. (Okay, we might spoil ourselves from time to time. But why not embrace the ability to take time to travel and still be productive?) Check out some of these snapshots of the various permanent (or just drive-by) habitats of the folks here at DPM. As we’ve learned, in a real pinch, all you need to get by are the basics: a computer and a good internet connection.
Above all, your home workspace should be a place where you can be your best professional self. Invest in your mind and body, take the time to make your workspace a healthy one, and you are sure to reap the benefits in productivity and happiness.