According to INSEE, in “2021, on average each week, 22% of employees worked from home. Of course, the events of the last two years have changed this dramatically, throwing many companies and employees headlong into remote work for the first time.
I’ve been working remotely for over 2 years now and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the design of your workspace, your organization, and your equipment make a substantial difference in productivity and well-being.
I’ll explain why the equipment I use is essential to me and how I’ve boosted my efficiency with it.
You can also read the following comparisons:
Wired and bluetooth headsets for remote work
Best office chairs for remote work
Must-have accessories for remote work
Why you need high-performance equipment for remote work?
Remote work is a great way to save time (especially commuting time), but it is also important to be productive and comfortable.
It’s important to have good office equipment because it helps you work efficiently and comfortably. Good equipment will help you gain creativity and stay motivated and therefore focused on your tasks. For example, noise-cancelling headphones will not only help you focus but also reduce stress if you are sensitive to noise in a particularly loud environment.
Another fundamental reason why you should have good equipment is related to the ergonomics of your workstation: adequate equipment adapted to your body shape, posture and physiognomy will surely save you from back or joint pain.
Equipment for Remote work: the starting kit
To remote work successfully, it’s not enough to have a reliable Internet connection and a laptop. You will also need the best tools for the job. Here’s a list of some of the most important equipment you’ll need for doing remote work:
- Ergonomic office chair
- suitable computer screen
- Ergonomic keyboard and mouse
- Ergonomic wrist rest
- Ergonomic footrest
- Headset with integrated microphone
Ergonomic office chair
Sitting in an office chair for long hours can lead to back problems and other joint stresses in your body. The ergonomic office chair is a comfortable and supportive chair that reduces these health risks. It is important to invest in a quality chair that will help you stay healthy while you work. However, it is almost impossible to define one type of ergonomic chair for everyone. It is important to choose the right type of chair for you. For example, you can find classic ergonomic chairs or kneeling chairs. For some people, an exercise ball will be more useful to work on their posture.
An suitable computer screen
Even if you’re used to laptops, it’s always better to get a computer monitor (or more). The best size for monitors is between 24 and 30 inches, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a refresh rate of at least 60 Hz. However, if your primary work is graphics or video related, higher refresh rate displays will be more suitable.
You may also want to consider working on two monitors. A study on monitor usage by Jon Peddie found that using multiple monitors increased overall productivity by 42%.
Ergonomic keyboard and mouse
Investing a little money in a good keyboard (wired or wireless) will increase your typing comfort, which is not a luxury! You can choose a wireless keyboard with a long battery life so that you don’t have to keep plugging it in. Some keyboards are compact and others have the numeric keypad built in, make the right choice depending on how you use numbers in your daily life. There are also stand-alone keypads. Finally, pay attention to sound levels. Some keyboards can be louder than others, which can be a problem when you work with coworkers.
Concerning mouse, there are also many models to choose from. You can get a decent wireless mouse for a few bucks or invest more to add practical or ergonomic features.
Ergonomic wrist rest
Wrist rests are an easy way to make your office setup more ergonomic. They can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by repetitive bending of your wrist, and they can also help prevent tendonitis, which is a painful inflammation of the tendon that connects muscles to bones. Wrist rests can be made from a variety of materials, including foam, silicone and fabric.
It’s important to choose a wrist rest and one that doesn’t slip, or you’ll lose all the comfort it’s supposed to provide! Take a close look at the non-slip capabilities of the products you are comparing before making your choice.
When we sit for long periods of time, our feet tend to be sore. When you work from home, you can use an ergonomic footrest daily to help keep your feet in a comfortable, neutral position. This will help you maintain good blood circulation and prevent blood clots. This way, you will feel less heaviness in your legs at the end of the day.
You are likely to interact with customers or employees via telephone or video conferencing, so you need to have enough equipment to do so. Choose a headset configured to use VoIP or Internet telephony services at home. Depending on your use, choose a headset with microphones with noise-cancelling capabilities as this will further enhance your ability to concentrate.
How to organize yourself to have a great remote work experience?
Getting organized for work at home is not just about sitting back in your chair and turning on your laptop. It’s a real organization to have in order to reconcile personal / professional life, because the two physical spaces are completely mixed. The more organized you are on this aspect, the more productive you will be for work, and you will be able to fully enjoy your personal time. Without a doubt, you will benefit from setting ground rules and boundaries with your team and your manager (Link to article “Organizing to be more productive while telecommuting”). If you are aware of the meeting times, or the moments of exchange with your collaborators, you will then be more serene to organize yourself according to and on the tasks which are specific to you.
In addition to the importance of setting up a functional, comfortable and welcoming home office, it will be essential to organize yourself with the rest of the family so that everyone respects each other’s limits.