Checklist for the first-time remote worker
According to Flexjobs, in 2018, 3.9 million U.S. employees worked from home at least 50 percent of the time. Moreover, an estimated 38 percent of the full-time workforce will be working remotely by 2028. And it’s interesting to note that among the organizations that offer remote positions, there are some well-known companies, such as SAP, Salesforce, CVS Health, Amazon, and Kelly.
If you’re fortunate enough to land a job that’s partially or entirely remote, you need to be prepared for this style of working. The following checklist can help:
- A quiet workspace: If you have children, your living room might not be the quietest place in the home. However, to be productive, you’ll need a space where you can work undisturbed for as many hours as necessary. Think about repurposing a guest bedroom, basement, or even your garage as a home office.
- Ergonomic office furniture: A lot of people envision themselves working on their laptops while lying on the couch. Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for neck and shoulder pain. Ideally, you should have a proper desk and desk chair — preferably ergonomic ones.
- A dependable computer: Whether it’s a desktop computer with two monitors or a laptop computer you can easily take with you to the local coffee shop, you need a computer you can rely on.
- High-speed internet: Almost all office internet connections are business grade — which means they’re fast. However, not all home connections are. Take some time to find out how fast your connection is and if necessary, upgrade to a faster speed. Also, save the phone number for your internet provider’s tech support in case you have connection issues.
- A secure Wi-Fi hotspot: In her article “First Day At Your Remote Job? Here’s Everything You Need To Know” for FastCompany, Emily Irish advises that it’s a good idea to have a mobile hotspot Wi-Fi to fall back on in case your regular internet connection becomes unreliable.
- Access to the necessary programs and files: As Kate Ashford points out in her article titled “Working Remotely? How to Defeat Tech Breakdowns, Office FOMO, and Other Common Challenges” for The Muse, it’s important to be able to access your company’s VPN, system, online collaboration spaces, and files. Make sure you know how to contact your organization’s IT support to help troubleshoot any issues that could impact your ability to do your job.
- Access to tech support: As a remote worker, you might also encounter problems with your own hardware or software. Know how to contact software providers’ tech support by email, chat, or phone. Similarly, it’s helpful to have the number of a store that provides hardware support and repairs.
Working from home can be a great option that offers a better work-life balance and even helps you be more productive. So start this challenge well-prepared, and you stand a good chance of making the transition from office to home office a seamless one!