Transitioning from an office to a remote work environment? Help your employees create a home workspace that boosts productivity and cultivates a healthy work/life balance.
Remote work is here, and it's one of the biggest HR trends that are here to stay.
While remote work has benefits, HR professionals must have suitable measures to ensure a smooth transition and remote onboarding process.
That starts with compiling a remote work policy that includes a thorough working from home equipment checklist.
Before diving into your working from home equipment checklist, you need a workspace that encourages productivity.
Whether your team has a remote, flexible, or hybrid work policy, it's important to invest time in creating a space that supports your physical and mental health over the long term.
Working from your bed, while tempting, will quickly create an unhealthy work/life balance.
You'll feel like you're always at the office without a space reserved for work only.
Instead, find a room or area you can use as a dedicated workspace in your house. If you can, pick a room without distractions and a door to create a clear separation between "work" and "home."
There is no one-size-fill-all equipment list for remote work. Each role requires a unique set of tools and resources to get the job done.
However, there are staples that remote teams need to stay productive while working from home.
Here's a basic guideline for what to include in your remote work policy.
The first step and most important ingredient for a remote office environment? Curating the essentials that make working from home possible and productive.
Does your company subsidize remote employees' monthly internet usage, or is the cost theirs to cover?
Regardless, you'll want to ensure the WiFi is fast enough to handle large files (especially videos and high-res images) and quickly access cloud-based information.
To avoid productivity disruptions, it's a good idea for employees to have a backup plan like a portable WiFi dongle in case of service or electricity outages.
Depending on your remote work policy, employees will need to use their equipment, or your company will supply a computer.
If it's the latter, specialty positions like developers or video editors will need computers with higher specs to handle their software requirements.
A multi-monitor setup is not necessary for everyone. It depends on an employee's role and if having multiple screens will create an efficient workflow.
In a world where we can electronically sign documents, take photos and comment on files, there is little need to print or scan materials.
However, if an employee needs to print or scan hard documents, ensure one or both devices are on their working from home equipment checklist.
Depending on the role, employees may need an external hard drive to backup important documents or large files.
Alternatively, Google's cloud storage plan is perfect for remote teams. It keeps all company and client files accessible, organized, and securely backed up without taking up space on physical hard drives.
A surge protector is an often overlooked item for home offices. A voltage fluctuation can damage your laptop and any other electrical equipment.
A quality surge protector will divert the extra electricity and save your devices from incurring damage over time.
Even if you're aiming for a paperless remote office, hard copy documents are sometimes necessary.
Invest in a file cabinet and other home office storage items for items like pens, papers, business cards, etc.
With the core essentials out of the way, your next step is creating a workspace that supports and increases productivity.
These items will help your team create an environment that looks after their mental and physical well-being.
Can't take the office chair home with you? Encourage your employees to invest in an ergonomic chair.
A dining room chair with no support will make sitting in front of the computer uncomfortable and reduce productivity. An ergonomic chair provides posture support, relieves hip pressure, and reduces back and neck pain.
An adjustable-height standing desk deserves a spot on your working from home equipment checklist.
A standard desk doesn't allow you to raise or lower it to match your height for an optimal ergonomic setup.
An adjustable standing desk has a range of health benefits. And, if you switch to standing, you'll burn more calories than sitting all day.
Why use a laptop stand? While the device is great for remote working, it does come with additional risks.
Without a stand, you're looking down, creating strain on your neck and spine.
A laptop stand elevates the device to eye level, prevents overheating, and increases comfort and productivity.
When choosing a keyboard and mouse, consider options to help avoid health risks like arthritis, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
A wireless mouse and keyboard are best for ergonomics. It allows you to move the devices into a comfortable position and not strain your muscles.
With no more watercooler chats and meeting rooms only a few steps away, your remote work setup needs quality equipment that makes communication with team members and clients simple and easy.
One of the pitfalls of remote work is that partners, kids, and friends might use the same space as you, creating background noise and distractions.
Noise-canceling headphones help you focus during virtual meetings, even when the neighborhood dog starts barking.
Most laptops and desktops have built-in microphones with decent sound quality. However, if a role requires recording voiceovers for presentations, it's worthwhile investing in a USB microphone.
If a position requires virtual calls with clients, debriefing off-site executives, and checking in with remote employees, a reliable webcam with clear sound and high-quality video is a requirement of the job.
When working from home, you want your desk near a natural light source. Sunlight produces warm lighting, boosting concentration, productivity, and overall mood.
A ring light isn't a working from home equipment essential unless you want to improve the lighting on your video calls.
A ring light will instantly enhance production quality for employees with a heavy client call schedule, marketers creating video content, or employees who simply want to look better on Zoom.
You can find ring lights that clip onto your phone, laptop, or tablet that easily fit into your bag. Alternatively, a simple desk lamp that gives off enough light can do the job.
Each remote team has unique communication requirements. You need tools to communicate internally, keep up-to-date with clients, manage projects and stay on top of administrative tasks.
When your team isn't in the same office, you need collaboration tools to streamline sharing ideas, files, and messages. The most popular team collaboration tools are Slack, Trello, and Asana.
When working remotely or in an office, you need project management to keep track of a project's status. With project management software like Monday, Notion, or Asana, you can keep on top of deadlines, assign tasks, visualize schedules, and time-track employees.
Using software like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides is essential for remote workers. Teams can easily share documents, make comments, and recommend revisions.
When a quick Slack message won't do the trick, or you need to dial in a client, your remote team needs video conferencing software. Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams come with freemium versions that allow your team to set up and host online meetings.
Whether you're hosting a workshop or a meeting with a client, recording your conference calls is no longer optional.
Employees who call in sick can easily catch up and if you need to refer back to something said on a call, you don't need to rely on meeting notes or memory.
One of the best tools for recording calls is Avoma. The software automatically records and transcribes meetings while providing AI-generated insights on topic detection.
Whether onboarding remote employees or handling leave applications, you need a tool to capture these requests.
Google Forms, JotForm, and TypeForm create simple forms you can use to handle submissions for PTO, office supplies, IT assistance, or ordering equipment and other resources.
One of the biggest remote work pain points is data privacy and security.
When your team is working remotely (at home, in coffee shops, or co-working spaces), you can't control the environment, and it's a major security risk.
To protect your company, implement compulsory VPN usage, sign up for secure cloud storage, regularly update passwords, enable 2-factor authentication and consider making it a requirement that employees use separate devices and accounts for work.
Speaking of passwords, you don't want employees storing logins on pieces of paper or inside the Notes app.
Make a password manager a non-negotiable in your remote policy.
LastPass and 1Password offer desktop extensions and smartphone apps to keep your passwords secure. If team members share access to sites, you can use shared password management to streamline collaboration and ensure employees lose access if they leave the company.
Whether you're commuting to the office or working from home, you need mandatory anti-virus software. The best options on the market offer protection against viruses, malware, phishing, and fraud attacks.
The rise of remote work means people are no longer physically signing documents.
To round off your home office checklist, here are some non-essentials that'll improve your workspace, mood, and productivity.
A portable speaker makes a great addition to any home office. Not only is the sound quality better, but you can stay in the loop with meetings or webinars while being away for some time.
No home office is complete without a decent coffee machine. You don't need to buy a top-of-the-range cappuccino maker, but a simple coffee press goes a long way in helping you get through a long day at the office.
One of the biggest benefits of working from home is you can design a space to boost your mood and productivity. Adding a few indoor plants is an excellent way to remove toxins from the air and improve your health, productivity, and creativity.
Did you know these devices come with hidden benefits? Add one to your working from home equipment checklist, and it'll open up your sinuses, provide instant stress relief, and is a better alternative to scented candles because it cleanses and purifies the air.
Now that you know what to include in your working from home equipment checklist, add it to your WFH policy.
Don't have one?
It's an essential document for HR professionals in remote teams. The policy clearly defines and clarifies what's expected of employees working from home, such as technical support and the work schedule.
Once you create your remote work policy, upload it to flair. The Employee Hub lets your team seamlessly access HR documents from anywhere through Salesforce.