When you are working remotely, you are responsible for your working environment—your organization doesn't set it up for you. Learn what you absolutely need to have a great working environment, and some nice to have things as well.
- Working remotely can be great, but you're going to have to make sure your environment works. Nobody can do that for you. Now some this may be obvious, but I'm going to walk you through the stuff you need. And then, we'll talk about some of the nice-to-haves. Let's start with your working environment. First, and I know it sounds simple, but you have to have good light. Filtered natural light is best, but if you don't have natural light, warm incandescent or LED bulbs are easy on the eyes. You're going to be at your desk all day, so you need to take care of your eyeballs. Next, there's your home office furniture. First, get a decent desk. It's great if you can get a standing desk, but at a minimum, have your own desk. My advice is get the best office chair you can. There are office chairs that are adjustable for height, arm placement, lower back comfort and so forth. Even if it costs more money, it's worth it in the long run. For the rest of your office, make sure you're files, office supplies and bookcases are good enough to meet your needs. If you use video conferencing, you need a professional background. Try and keep your space neat and uncluttered. If you have any pictures or art, make sure they're tasteful. If you work out of your bedroom, buy a divider screen to maintain the privacy of your personal space. Now let's talk tech. If you're not an independent contractor, your organization probably provides you with a computer, cell phone, a secure network and some kind of collaboration tool platform, but you have to make sure you have reliable high speed internet. You also need to make sure you have clear audio and video. The camera and audio in your computer's okay, but if you have a lot of virtual meetings, invest in a decent headset, so your voice is clear and doesn't sound tinny or scratchy. That's it on the basics. Now I've been working remotely for over 20 years, and I do a lot of virtual meetings and training. Let me share with you some of the ways that I level up my office. I do most of my work on a big iMac, but I have another big monitor I use as a sidecar. So if I'm writing or teaching online, I have plenty of space to have multiple windows and files open. If you can afford some extras, a sidecar monitor makes a big difference. I've been in situations where I've been teaching and my network failed and shut the whole class down. So now, I have a laptop as a fallback, two networks, a hotspot and I can use my phone as a hotspot if I need to as well. Now, not many people have the same requirements I do, but when you work from home, you're responsible for your environment, and you have to make sure it's comfortable, professional and reliable.