One of the best things about working remotely is flexibility — it allows you to work almost anywhere. And while many remote workers will spend most of their time working from home (WFH), many of us now see the need to balance WFH with other workspace solutions such as a flexible office or coworking space. Therefore, it’s also important that you can pick-up your home office and take it with you wherever you need to go. If you can only work from home, then in some ways that’s just as restrictive as working in an office environment every day.
Your office setup needs to be as flexible as your working situation, and this article covers some tips for creating a remote home office that you can take with you.
High spec laptop
The first thing you need to consider when creating a remote home office you can take with you is your computer. You might be used to having a desktop computer to work with, but a laptop is obviously a lot more portable. It seems like any laptop could do, but we recommend that you carefully consider the type of work you’ll be doing when considering which laptop is best. For instance, if you are a power user and will be running robust business applications, you should consider a laptop with enough firepower, memory, and capabilities to ensure productivity while you work remote. Do you need a laptop with special security features or a robust battery life? If you invest in a high specification laptop that offers the functionality you need to complete your specific work tasks, you’ll have everything you need get work done remotely as well as working from home.
Pro tip: for your home office set up — or somewhere that you’re going to be working for a while, such as a dedicated desk in a coworking space — you can add a second display so that you can view work on a bigger screen.
One of the big problems with remote home offices is that they’re often not set up with your posture and comfort in mind. When you first start working remotely at home and using a laptop, you need to invest in a stand to save yourself from hunching over to look at the screen. If you don’t consider how you’re sitting at the computer for long hours you can damage your neck or back, causing long-term problems.
A laptop stand can also help to prevent your laptop from overheating, which is important if you’re going to be using it all day.
There are plenty of light laptop stands that fold down into a flat shape, which means they’re easy to transport. Choose one that also offers different height options so you can adjust it according to the table or surface you’re working on.
Keyboard and mouse
With your laptop on a stand, you may consider investing in a keyboard and mouse so that you can work comfortably. Using a full-sized keyboard can help speed- up your typing as well.
It’s a good idea to try a wireless keyboard and mouse so you don’t have to mess around with wires – you just plug in the receiver to the laptop and you’re good to go, wherever you are. Smaller, travel-sized keyboards and mice are easier if you’re going to be moving around a lot, but if you’re going to be using them all day, then it’s usually best to choose full-sized ones.
Whether you’re at home with noisy neighbors, sitting in a busy coffee shop, or working in a flexible office space, there are going to be times when you need to shut out the sounds going on around you and concentrate.
Noise-canceling headphones are essential for any remote home office. The most effective ones are usually over the head, which makes them a bit bulkier than earbuds. But the amount of noise they can block is well worth the extra space they might take up in your bag.
Do some research and read reviews to find headphones that actually will cancel out the noise, and be prepared to spend a bit of money. Think of it as a long-term investment that’s going to help you focus and boost your productivity.
Connectors and adaptors
When you’re sorting out a home office that you can take anywhere, there are lots of bits and pieces that need to be put together each time you set up. But one of the things that people often forget when transitioning to a work from home environment is all the connectors, audio cables, adaptors, and other wires you need.
It’s a good idea to find multipurpose docking stations or adapters that offer a range of different connectivity options. You want to minimize the number of wires you need to remember and plugin each time.
Depending on where you’re going to be remote working from, you might want to get a wifi booster. If you’re mainly working from home, then you could just upgrade your wifi to ensure you always have a good connection.
However, if you know you’re going to be on the move, frequently using wifi in cafes or hotels, then a wifi booster will allow you to improve even the weakest signals. It might not seem that important, but if you’re trying to fit in a quick hour of work before a meeting, but the wifi isn’t fast enough, you’ll waste precious time.
Another option is to book a guest office, meeting room, or coworking day pass through a flexible workspace provider. Any reputible flex office space will offer fast wifi (they can’t afford not to), and many allow you to book space by the day or even by the hour. Do a quick search for meeting room (name of city), or coworking day pass (name of city), and see which providers offer blazing wifi and the flexibility to book online.
Cloud storage is essential for remote working. Not only does it guarantee that you can access your work from anywhere at any time, but it’s also a lot more secure. You don’t want everything that you’re working on all on one laptop. And even if you back-up your important files using an external hard drive, there’s still the possibility it can get lost or broken.
Using cloud storage is the most efficient and safe way to keep all your files and documents so they’re available whenever you need them. It also makes it easier to collaborate with others when you’re not based in the same place.
By investing in the right tools and equipment for your remote home office, you can have a comfortable set up that allows you to focus and get work done. But it’s equally important that your home office can be easily packed up and ready to go with you whenever you need.
Looking to change-up your work-from-home routine? Try working near home at a Pacific Workplaces location near you.