The constant rise of uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic remains a worldwide concern. Work from home arrangements for those who can are made possible by internet-technology and innovative communication tools. Setting up a home office to keep up with productivity targets, as easy as it may sound, requires a bunch of essentials: a comfortable chair, a quiet room, a decent internet connection, adequate lighting, and a working computer.
Choosing the Right Hardware
- Laptop – Even small businesses rely on a computer to complete their work. A laptop is the best fit for creating a mobile office. It is a compact and versatile tool that can run demanding applications and heavy paperwork. Quick research on laptop features and key specs suited for your business needs is recommended to guide you towards making the right decision. It is important to balance the needs of lawyers when investing money on the right hardware. Purchasing a laptop to support a law firm’s technology to address its intended purpose is a sound investment, but top picks include business-grade laptops. Technical specs are worth paying attention to, as new lines of laptops provide viable options suited to a law firm. Legal professionals won’t need the same computer features that graphic designers would.
- External Mouse and Keyboard – Wireless or not, this combination makes typing and scrolling comfortable throughout your working hours. Some keyboards have advanced back-lit typing that has laser-etched keys with an auto-adjust back lighting system. An external mouse that works perfectly on glossy surfaces allowing you to work with precision is also a good choice. There are keyboards specifically designed with shortcuts that include legal-specific keys. This feature helps shortcut the work while working on a brief of legal document.
- Additional Monitor – Adding a second monitor to your computer or laptop for increased productivity is an excellent option. Working with dual monitors in a law firm allows running multiple programs at the same time. It addresses the desire for increased productivity and reduction of errors certainly is an added advantage. Law firms and small businesses might opt to choose cost-effective displays without the need for vibrant, ultra wide, and screens best suited for gaming and graphic design.
- Virtual Phone System – Remote collaboration requires constant and immediate communication as it boosts teamwork productivity. A mobile phone is an added option with evident benefits of constant customer service and after-hours answering service.
Gone were the days were a dial-up connection was key to being able to work. Now, the growing number of remote workers opt to choose high-speed internet service providers. Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, work from home setting paired with a reliable internet speed is highly needed as it helps get the job done quicker. According to some tech blogs, an internet speed of at least 100 Mbps is recommended for multiple internet users at home to accommodate frequent download and upload of large files. Determining the best internet speed for a work from home setting is dependent on what kind of work you do.
Connecting directly to the Modem vs. Connecting to Wi-Fi
Being connected at all times is the era of technology that we are in today. We maintain connection either through a network cable, known as Ethernet or via Wi-Fi, the wireless option. As much as we want to tidy up by avoiding the need for network cables directly connected to our devices, data transmission remains stable with modems. However, the need for mobility is an important consideration as we might constantly transfer from one desk to another and cable connectivity is impractical.
On the other hand, the Wi-Fi connection is popular as its wireless nature allows users to access network resources anywhere even outside the typical office environment. However, wireless connectivity has limited range, thus, repeaters and additional access points might be relevant. Wi-Fi speed is also slower than wired networks and users might experience loss of signal due to building structures, walls, and building materials.
Regulating Traffic on Home Environment
As this is about working from home, optimizing the bandwidth for your computer remains the highest priority. Most routers can log internet usage for both incoming and outgoing traffic. Among effective ways are blocking certain websites, limiting access hours, and monitoring the performance of an internet connection. Using proxy cache also allows the contents of the websites you visit regularly not to be continually downloaded on each visit as they are stored in a cache.
Setting up an efficient home office or simply working from home, especially currently, you need to have the following:
- Proper Work space – Establishing a working environment suited for your job or business includes a dedicated office space enough for you to stay focus. This new work space serves as your designated “home-worker” area. This is where you get things done. A spare bedroom or a quiet corner is a good option as long as you can focus and manage tasks at hand.
- Ideal Setup for Proper Posture – You won’t need an overly expensive chair for this setup. Getting comfortable office furniture with an office chair would suffice the need. If you see yourself sitting at your office for extended hours, ergonomics and comfort count. Before you purchase a chair, make sure you take time to select it and test it out.
- Staying Hydrated – The best ways to stay hydrated while at work include keeping a water bottle close to you. You might want to track your water intake and avoid dehydrating drinks, those high in sugar. Infusing your water with some citrus fruits and vegetables is also a viable option. Snacking on celery sticks, melon, or berries is an easy way to stay hydrated. Should you wish to stay up late or work on a night shift at your home office, you can treat yourself with either coffee or tea.
- Moving Around and Taking Breaks – Aside from keeping yourself hydrated, regular stretching increases your interest levels while keeping yourself productive. It also helps maintain good posture. A quick exercise in the morning before you start your shift pays off by setting the tone for the rest of the day.
Blog Research Assistant:
Maria Elisa Mendoza