Top 7 Work From Home Essentials and 4 Best Practices for Peak Productivity
In this article, I have provided a list of the bare minimum work from home essentials as well as best practices to follow, so that you can setup a professional working environment at your home and stay productive!
The Need To Work From Home
Today, in 2021, more than average number of people have started working from home. All the credit goes to Covid-19! Whether it’s the education sector, 9-5 jobs, self-employment, or any business, the majority of the industries are now shifting towards online remote working, also known as “work from home.”
Now, it is not new; many people, all over the world, were already working from home online via a computer and internet, even before the pandemic. But, due to the pandemic of 2020, everything has changed, especially the term “WFH” got famous due to the Covid outbreak.
Subconscious Mind and Work From Home
Think about one thing, what makes you keep productive while working in the office and non-productive if you do the same task at home?
It’s your office environment that makes your mind effective and active all day long. But, lazy if you do the same job at home. The reason lies behind your subconscious mind. It’s because the word “home” is associated with the place where you chill, relax and get yourself comfortable.
On the other hand, the office is associated with working, staying productive, and working hard. Of course, if you mix both of them, the result may not be what you think. Because your subconscious mind will never give you the same energy and productivity as you get when you’re in your working place.
The Challenges With Working From Home
Now, doing all your education and business activities from your home online through your PC might sound relaxed and comfortable. But in reality, now that’s always the case. For many people, working from home isn’t satisfying just as they do their business from their office.
Especially for students, studying from home and taking all their lectures online through their PC, does not provide the best environment for studying.
Actually, according to Forbes, 70% of people don’t like to work at home because they can’t manage their time. Unfortunately, working from home will stay until we don’t eliminate the Covid-19 pandemic from this world. So, all we can do is make our work from home life better and productive. But how?
That’s why in this article, I’ve written an ultimate guide on the “Work From Home Essentials and Best Practices.”
So let’s get into it!
Top 4 Best Practices for Work From Home:
1. Set up Your Home Office
Before starting your WFH job, you need to set up where you’ll do your office work, or you can say it as your home office. As I have mentioned above, your mind will never give you the required efficiency as you get from your working place. Of course, you can never achieve the desired performance if you work from your bed because, in your subconscious part, it’s the place where you sleep.
For that purpose, you need to trick your mind as you’re working from your office, even if you’re not. That’s why I suggest making your temporary office inside your home where you will do all your office work. In this way, your subconscious mind will associate that temporary office with a workplace and give you the same productivity and efficiency as you get from your actual office room.
2. Keep Your Office Timings
I’m pretty sure if you work at your office, you might have proper office timings. Most of them have international standard office timings, 9 AM – 5 PM, but it may depend on your work and shift.
In short, it’s no wonder if you’re an office worker, you might have proper office timings. Now, due to pandemics, when you’ve started working from your home, your working timings might be affected. Because, when you’re at home, there’re many other personal things involved that may affect your working timings. But, if you want to get proper performance out of your mind and don’t want to mess anything up, you need to follow similar office hours as working in a real office.
Because, first of all, your mind is now trained to only stay productive and efficient in your office timings. That’s why, whether it’s your study or office work, I suggest working at the exact timings as you do in the actual office or the classroom.
3. Choose a Silent Zone
Of course, you don’t want to attend meetings, calls, and work in a noisy area. That’s why it’s essential to make your WFH office a silent zone where you can efficiently work and attend all your online meetings without any mess. However, I know for some people, finding a tranquil place for their WFH is quite tricky.
But, I suggest making your temporary office in a place where there is enough silence that you can do your work peacefully. Why are we forced to work in silence? Because it’s scientifically proven that unnecessary noise can decrease the mind’s efficiency, which affects the productivity and efficiency of the mind while working.
Especially if you’re a student, it’s essential to study with enough silence that doesn’t disturb your mind while studying. Moreover, I’m sure you don’t want to attend your office meeting with too much unnecessary noise. That’s why choosing a silent place for your WFH is highly important.
Okay, most of you may think “Whats that?!” It’s called The Pomodoro Technique. A very effective productivity hack that boosts productivity and efficiency.
So, what is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique that involves using a timer to divide work into ‘focused work’ and ‘rest’ intervals. These intervals are nicknamed “Pomodoros”. Pomodoros are differentiated by short breaks for the distractions, thinking, breathing, meditation, munching, and anything else that comes to mind. Here’s how it works:
- Perform ‘Focused Work’ on a Task for 25 mins (Keep a timer)
- Once the timer rings, take a 5 minute break
- Repeat step 1 and step 2 four times, then take a long break (15-30 minutes)
This technique will increase productivity and efficiency by maximising focus and minimising distractions while you’re working.
Also, you can visit The Pomodoro Technique website to know more details about it.
Top 7 Work From Home Essentials for Home Office Setup:
Now, the next thing you need is a proper setup from where you can do all your office work, attend meetings and study if you’re a student. However, note that your setup might differ from what we expect in this article, depending on your budget.
Nevertheless, I will try only to cover budget-friendly and only worth buying products and tips. To make your life easier, below I have written a brief guide on what essential things you’ll need for a comfortable as well as productive work from home experience:
1. A Computer (Laptop or a Desktop)
Make sure that you have a good computer that has the minimum configuration needed for the kind of work you need to perform. By configuration, I mean the processing power (of CPU), RAM (random access memory), enough hard disk space (to store your programs and data), graphics processor, screen size, and anything and everything else that’s required in a computer.
Important things to look for in a computer:
1.1 CPU (Central Processing Unit) Capacity
It is the electronic circuitry that carries out instructions according to a computer program. It’s the brain of a computer. It is advisable that you have a CPU with good processing power. The CPU / main processor lies on a motherboard on which there also are other components like main memory, circuitry, graphics card, etc.
The monitor is an essential part of your setup. Without it, how can you see what’s going on in your PC? Now, when it comes to monitoring your setup, you can purchase it according to your budget. Because, in the monitor section, all you need is a monitoring display from where you can control your PC and do your work easily. But, I’m writing an article on essentials. That’s why, below are some of the suggestions on what kind of monitor will be best for you:
Purchase 16:9 Aspect Ratio Display:
First of all, today, most of the videos and applications are optimised for a 16:9 aspect ratio display. So purchasing a dedicated 16:9 ratio monitor will give you the best experience!
Monitor Plays an Essential Role in the Office Look:
It’s no wonder you can never make your setup premium without an expensive and beautiful monitor. So note that if you’re more close to looks and want a premium quality setup, you must go ahead with expensive and good quality monitors.
Never Purchase a Dotted Monitor:
Believe us, if you want a comfortable and smooth experience, never purchase a dotted monitor. Because you can find a dotted monitor offline or on eBay, 10x lower than its original cost. Their 10x low price is just because of that small pin-size dot on the screen. We know such kinds of monitors are very cheap, but will never give you a comfortable experience. I’m 99% sure, after purchasing it, it’ll annoy you every time you use the monitor. That’s why, if you want to get a comfortable and relaxed experience, never purchase a monitor with any kind of dot or line on it’s display!
1.3 Keyboard and Mouse
Your mouse and keyboard are the controls of your PC from where you can control and give commands to your PC, right? It means the mouse and keyboard will be the most used computer parts in your setup.
Now, unlike other blogs and articles, I will not recommend you buying any expensive or high-budget keyboard. Your primary need is to write from the keyboard. Therefore, even a 4-5$ keyboard can do this job efficiently.
But, in the case of a mouse, I recommend going with a high-quality mouse. First of all, a cheap 4-7$ mouse doesn’t provide good scrolling and contains many glitters. Secondly, they have the worst ergonomics, which will likely give you carpal tunnel syndrome. From our personal experience, having carpal tunnel syndrome is the worst kind of pain you could ever have!
That’s why it’ll be better to go with a cheap keyboard but purchase a good quality mouse!
2. Stable Internet Connection
Of course, the internet connection is the most essential thing in WFH. Without it, you can never do any work online. However, for an online WFH, you don’t need a very high-speed internet connection. But, you need a very stable internet connection for WFH purposes.
I’m pretty sure, you don’t want your internet connection to break while attending online meetings of online classes, right? That’s why a stable connection is recommended. I suggest you go with a wired broadband connection, because they are much more stable than wireless connections, cheap and provide high-speed internet at low cost.
On the flip side, having an internet connection of 4-8 Mpbs is more than enough for WFH purposes, until you’re not a video editor, photoshop editor or a web-developer who are working from their home.
3. Ergonomic Desk
Without a desk, where would you set up all your things? That’s why a desk is important to manage and organise all your WFH setup in one place. Now, on the desk side, it’s closer to looks and styles. But, still you should purchase a desk that can provide you enough ergonomics to organise all your equipment nicely in a clean manner. However, if you want some pretty and beautiful looks, then you can go ahead with expensive desks that provide a bit of high ergonomics as well as awesome looks. To be short, you don’t need to spend much on your desk side until you are obsessed with looks and want a good looking setup.
4. Ergonomic Chair
Believe us, and the chair will decide how long it wants you to work from your home. Without a good chair, your setup is useless. Because the chair is the only component where most parts of the body, including the back, neck, legs, arms, thighs, and legs, will be engaged, that’s why investing in a good chair is highly recommended.
From a good chair, I meant to invest in a chair that provides you with good ergonomics. Believe us; no matters how good your setup is or how expensive products you are purchasing, a non-ergonomic chair will never allow you to work comfortably. I will highly recommend you never to buy a simple PVC or dine-in style chair.
Because they’re not created for sitting for an extended period, I recommend going ahead with a computer or office chair as they provide good ergonomics and are perfect for posing for an extended period.
5. Water Bottle
Now, a water bottle might seem a small and non-essential thing, but it is really important for the below reasons:
- You need to keep yourself hydrated for your brain to function at its optimum capacity.
- You do not want to leave your desk and repeatedly go to the kitchen every now and then!
6. Notepad (and pen)
It is really very essential that you always have a notepad and pen on your desk because you will always have the need to write something down, may it be an idea, an instruction, an action plan, an address or a phone number, and any other important information that you need to jot down to refer to it again.
You cannot remember everything. I’m sure you’d agree to that unless you’re someone who has trained their brain for a superhuman memory. At times, or many a times actually, your memory will not support you and you might miss out on something very important just to realise it later (that too, only if you remember it later on, else it’s gone forever)
7. File Cabinet
Having a file cabinet is an essential part of a home office setup, because even if you’re working online, at some point you’ll have the need to store documents, files, etc. and it’s important that you keep them organised in a file cabinet rather than piling a stock on your desk, which neither seems professional nor tidy.
It also has a psychological effect which has a direct impact on your productivity. Having a pile of documents and files on your working desk will make you feel burdensome (i.e having much workload) and that will affect your mindset and thus affect your energy levels and productivity.
If you do not have enough space for your home office setup, it’s a good idea to have a desk that has a file cabinet (drawers) attached just below the desk.
If you’ve read this article, I’m pretty sure either your company or yourself is just starting out to work from home. However, for most of the people, working from home might not seem a right alternative, especially for students and office workers.
But, unfortunately, WFH will stay until the current outbreak stops. Till then, all you can do is to focus on the aforementioned Work From Home Essentials and Best practices that can improve your experience of working from home and increase productivity at the same time.
I hope this article helped you 🙂 Please share it with your friends to help them too, and at the same time help me grow this website so I can continue writing more high quality and helpful content.