Remote work structures are becoming more and more popular as the digital age proves how dependent we are on our many web-connected devices. For those pioneering away from the traditional 9-5 hustle in favor of a more malleable work-from-home format, striking the fine balance between work and play can feel rather difficult, especially within the comfort of your own home.
Working from home is an attractive concept to most people, but it can have its own unique challenges if the correct boundaries and self-regulated conditions are not strictly implemented. The good news is that there are a number of helpful tools that allow you to make the most of your work-from-home job.
Whether it’s bank products for tax preparers or word-processors for freelance writers, every type of work requires a different set of onboard programs. Let’s go over the basic tools and necessities for every type of work-from-home job out there. Check out these tools that will make working from home productive and pleasant.
The 4 must-haves
There are a few things every work-from-home employee simply needs in order to get the job started let alone finished.
- A durable computer: Sure, this one may be pretty obvious, but it’s important to make good on durability above all else. The modern age is all about digital availability, so it’s only right to make sure your work computer is equipped with the top technology to bolster your workflow. The last thing you want to do is settle on a cheap computer that will need replacing or upgrading in a matter of months or years.
Tip #1: Keep it lightweight— you’ll want your laptop to be easy to carry around
Tip #2: Purchase an external monitor that allows you to extend or project your laptop screen.
Tip #3: Check out the specs. You need a computer with enough storage and ram to handle all of your necessary programs and applications.
- A cell phone: Not only do you need a cell phone to stay connected to your inner circle, but you need it to serve as the bridge that connects you to your employers and clients. Staying on top of progress, last-minute changes, and project status oftentimes comes to you via text, phone calls, or video-call if you’re away from your computer. Make sure you have a good phone service provider and an ample plan that allows you to stay online any time you’re on the clock.
- A printer: Despite the world’s growing dependence on digital devices, you’ll frequently find yourself in need of a good old-fashioned printed document. The value of a printed project, a hard copy of a contract or a physical reminder is a value not at all lost on the modern workplace. Consider investing in a small, portable printer that delivers high-quality prints without affecting your wallet.
- A strong internet connection: There are few things more distracting and frustrating to the work-from-home employee than a spotty internet connection. If you’re working from your home office, be sure to treat yourself to the finest internet package available in your area. If you’re working from coffee shops, choose one with a reliable connection.
Communication is the key to finding success in a remote work environment. Even though you may work off-site, you likely still work with a team of employees who make sure your work is being managed, or vice-versa.
In order to ensure nothing gets lost in translation, consider incorporating one or more of the following communication programs into your workflow:
- Google Hangouts
Staying productive while cozied up in the comfort of your own home is no simple task. It’s incredibly easy to get distracted with the laundry that needs to be done, the dishes that need to be put away, and the noisy neighbors mowing their lawn. Maintaining laser-focus during your workday is of the utmost importance when you’re working from home, so employing a task management program may be the answer to your productivity woes.
Some of our favorite project management tools include:
While revisiting and fine-tuning your productivity process, it’s equally important to address other distractions that can derail your workflow. Consider investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones or a white noise machine that can drown out the excess and let you tune into your lengthy list of to-dos.
Working from home can be a huge perk for the modern worker, but it comes with its own set of challenges. With these gadgets and tips, you’ll be able to find the success you’ve been searching for from the comfort of your own home.