So you’ve had an office space for years, and now your leaders are adopting a remote work initiative given the latest events in the world.
What to do now? Don’t panic!
Since its founding in 2012, we at Bunny Studio have been operating as a remote-based company which has allowed us to gather many learnings on how to work in a fully remote and global setup.
For the next couple of weeks, we will post a series of articles that are aimed to offer you the key issues and best practices to take into account when joining the world of remote work, step-by-step.
For today, we will be focussing on the absolute basics: setting-up your workspace. Having a good workspace with the necessary equipment is absolutely essential to enable you to work comfortably and productively.
But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
A dedicated workspace in your home
First things first: a dedicated workspace. A misconception about remote work is that you just wake up, sit on your bed, pull the laptop over, and get the day started. This is neither productive nor healthy for you: remote life starts when you create the necessary space at home for you to work and organize your day and ideas and be your best productive self. Look for the most distraction-free space in your house. You should look for a place separated from general house activity and is well-lit. This, combined with a standing desk where you are comfortable working standing up, and/or an ergonomic chair that is comfortable when sitting down is the starting point for an effective remote work routine.
Reliable internet connection
We’re gonna state the obvious: a reliable internet connection is a must. Going forward, you’ll need a fast and dependable Internet of at least 50 Mbps that will easily hold uninterrupted video calls, enable quick file transfers, work in the cloud, and keep you connected with what’s happening with your business and the world. There is nothing more annoying than attending a remote meeting where either you or a peer constantly cuts-off, debilitating you from having a great meeting with good outcomes. A Wi-Fi connection can be great, but if you want extreme reliability, cable your computer/laptop to an Ethernet cable, if possible.
Cancel that noise out!
When you’re working remotely, noise becomes a distractor. Any outside sound can be distracting and make you lose focus, both in a videoconference and when you’re working alone. You’re currently likely to have a full house with roommates, children, and significant others moving around. If you are not able to create a separate workspace in your home we advise you (or your HR division) to invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. These eliminate outside distractions and send a clear sign to others in your house that you are busy and not to be distracted.
Additionally, whilst in a video call, background noise from your microphone is incredibly annoying and distracting to your peers or clients on the other side of the screen. A noise-canceling microphone will ensure that your voice is heard clearly, even with background noises around you. Nonetheless, please ensure you are always muted when not talking during a meeting (more about this later).
2nd screen for enhanced productivity
Since all of your work-related activities are done in front of a computer screen, consider expanding on that real estate! A second, large screen (apart from the one on your computer) will let you see more information, enhancing your productivity. At Bunny Studio we’ve learned that this has increased our team member’s productivity by 20% to 30%!
If your HR department cannot provide you with a second screen and/or you cannot afford it yourself at the moment, stack-up your laptop screen on the eye-sight level. This will save you in the long-term having to pay appointments for a chiropractor and/or a physiotherapist due to a chronically developed neck and shoulder pain.
Separate keyboard and mouse
Lastly, another recommendation to save your postural health and increase your productivity further is to invest in a separate keyboard and mouse or trackpad. Having these will allow you to prop-up your laptop on a couple of books, enhance your work experience from home ánd save your shoulders from being permanently shrugged-up against your ears.
Above are the essentials we advise you to get so you can work from home productively. Having set up your workspace and investing in some of the mentioned equipment will be worth every penny in the long-run, as these upgrades will improve your effectiveness, concentration and overall quality of life. We hope this will help you in making some adjustments to your working station, for it is likely that you’ll be working from home for a while.
So far we’ve gone over the most basic of hardware needed, but there’s more. Throughout the next articles of this series, we will go deeper into our recommendations on what are the essential software tools to get your remote life started and more. Collaborative communication processes, the intricacies and etiquette behind video conferences, and being able to properly concentrate are but a few of the topics we’ll be covering. These guidelines will not only benefit your productivity but that of your colleagues as well! These might be uncertain times, but the BunnyStudio team is happy to provide the tools to make your life as a remote employee and employer better.
Now go and stretch your legs, disinfect your equipment and wash your hands. 🙂
Special thanks to Andres Muñoz for helping write-up our recommendations 🤗