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Tips to Improve Your Virtual Home Office Set-Up

October 13th, 2020 by admin

Home Office Set Up

More people than ever are working from home, some by choice and others by necessity. However, without the right set-up, you may encounter issues not found in a traditional work environment. These issues can range from having a proper home office to being able to access your important work information without risking network security.

But there are tons of ways to improve your virtual home office set-up, whether you are an employee focused on your own tasks or someone working from home and managing others doing the same. The ideal work from home setup is one that offers some privacy, encourages productivity and efficiency without compromising data and network security.

Consider these top tips to improve your work from home setup.

Create an Official “Office” in Your Home Workspace

You could use an extra bedroom for this purpose or, if one is not available, a corner of your living room separated by a room divider. It is paramount to have a space that serves as your “office.”

Trying to work from your kitchen table or couch is a recipe for disaster; you just won’t achieve the same level of productivity due to the myriad of distractions. The best home office setup is the one that offers the most privacy.

Moreover, you need room to spread out in terms of materials and technology necessary to do your job effectively.

The space you allot to your home office should be solely used for that purpose. Include in it a desk, office chair, computer and appropriate supplies. Designate this space off-limits to your family and set up a work schedule that mimics that of office hours in a traditional work environment for your industry.

Cultivate an Organizational System

Chances are, you don’t have access to the same organizational resources that you might in a traditional environment. However, organization is still the key to productivity, so you might need to get a little creative.

Hang a whiteboard to help organize tasks for the week and track deadlines. Use a desk calendar to help you keep track of Zoom meetings and other important dates. Hanging dividers in your desk drawer can help with any papers you have to keep up with, while sticky notes can serve as reminders on your desk calendar.

Lang offers a cloud-based approach to organization that can improve efficiency in a work at home office. Read about our document management software offerings here.

A document management system allows you to access, share and archive various documents virtually in a more sustainable method of organization. These systems not only allow for increased security measures, but also offer version control and audit trails.

Install a Reliable and Speedy Internet Connection

You likely already have high-speed Internet in your home, but quality may not have been a concern in the past if you mostly used it for streaming purposes. However, the best home office setup requires an Internet connection that can keep up with your increased reliance on technology to stay plugged in to work-related tasks and meetings.

Therefore, if you haven't already, conduct an assessment of your home's Internet connection.

Make sure it can handle the increased load of virtual meeting programs, cloud-based task and document management programs and more. If you notice a slow-down, you may need to upgrade your service to make your home office more efficient.

Access to Your Important Work Information

You can move your physical office home, but more than likely, if you work for a company you will need access to information that resides on company servers or other central storage areas. Gaining access to this information requires some security measures be put in place. You should only work from a secured private home network. Avoid public Wi-Fi in places like coffee shops. Cyber criminals can intercept your important data. Use a VPN or secure RDP to remote into office, (for more on network security see our blog HERE)

A document management system allows you to access, share, process, route and archive documents without relying on paper-based files. Workflow automation keeps information moving regardless of where you work. These systems not only allow for increased security measures, but also offer version control and audit trails.

Get a VOIP Business Phone

A modern VOIP phone system brings all the features of your enterprise phone system to the home office. Soft-phone ability allows you to use your cell phone or computer as if it were the same as your office desk phone OR you can take your office phone home and plug it into your network outlet and it will work the same as if it were on your office desk. The VOIP system will keep your personal cell information separate from your business phone information even though you are using the same device.

A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business line technology uses the Internet to make and receive calls instead of a traditional phone line. Business VoIP lines are affordable, easy to set up, require little maintenance and are a reliable form of communication to enhance your home office space.

Sign Up For Remote Office Monitoring

Since you no longer have the benefit of an on-site IT staffer to call if your system crashes, remote office monitoring is the ideal to make sure your remote office systems are secure and running at optimum performance levels. Remote office monitoring is a proactive approach to prevent technology and security problems from occurring and includes access to Help Desk support to perform remote maintenance to troubleshoot problems.

Services include server maintenance, 'round the clock helpdesk support, network device management and more.

This is especially important if you work as part of a team. A team structure means an increased reliance on the interconnectedness of your servers and systems to remain cohesive in your approach to getting the job done.

Manage Technology Wisely

Working from a home office adds both expense and complexity compared to having everyone in one office space. It is easy to drive-up expenses associated with this setup especially when you have to move quickly. Planning a strategy of what you can use from your existing technology and what you need to add to the new environment is not always easy.

A virtual CIO can handle that for you to ensure that you are not only making wise technology decisions, but also giving you the tools you need to be productive in your new home office.

Virtual CIO services assess what you have from a technology perspective to determine and plan for future needs.

Don't Overlook Comfort

Even if you made the switch to working from home abruptly, you may use the space even after returning to a traditional office. Invest in physical comfort since you will be spending a lot of time in this space. An ergonomically-correct chair and desk is essential.

Proper lighting will help avoid eye strain and a second computer monitor is ideal if you multi-task or plan to participate in numerous Zoom meetings throughout your workday.

Setting up your home office for remote work may take some time and effort, but considering how much time you likely spend in this space, it is energy well expended. Work from home office productivity is important, so creating a space where you can be effective will help you to thrive professionally.

Posted in: business process optimization