Telecommuting is awesome. You get to skip your commute, you can knock out household chores in between work assignments and you can change up your scenery to kickstart your creativity and productivity. However, engaging in remote work isn’t simply a matter of bringing your stuff home; there are several technological and environmental considerations you should make when setting out to work from home.
Let’s check out some must-have WFH accessories:
We’ve written quite a bit about telecommuting, and a lot of the usual “must-haves” are fairly (if not painfully) obvious. WFH is by default a technology-enabled exercise, so your mobility and cloud-app game needs to be on point if you’re going to be an effective mobile worker.
Of course you need functional Internet to effectively WFH. A smartphone is essential to staying connected (and you know you’d be on it most of the day anyways). Off-site access to company email is a must, and making sure you’ve set this up properly with IT’s guidance should definitely be taken care of before trying to telecommute.
Even going beyond the immediately obvious, there are additional tools to consider. An online meeting tool to join web or audio conferences during the workday is the best way to stay connected and collaborative with the rest of your team. A cloud-based, synced location to access your files and projects, such as a file sync and share service or shared team workspace, allows you to easily access, share and collaborate on your documents from wherever you are.
Beyond the incredibly obvious, there are some additional technology tools that really help me make the most out of working from home. For example, one of my absolute favorite things about WFH is getting to listen to music. While I obviously can rock the earbuds at work, there’s something soothing about having it play throughout my apartment. Personally, I use my Chromecast streaming Google Play Music for workday tunes.
Additionally, while email and team workspaces keep me connected to my team, I still have to keep both my personal and professional to-dos organized. By leveraging a to-do list app like Todoist, I’m able to be more effective while WFH and I don’t have to worry about where I wrote something down or try and remember what email thread that last action item was in.
But now, for my personal favorite…
While technological accessories are all well and good (and essential to effective telecommuting), let’s shift gears for a minute and talk about the psychological and emotional needs of telecommuters as well. One of the primary concerns and struggles of regularly WFH is the feeling of isolation that can accompany being unable to easily and casually interact with coworkers (or anyone, for that matter).
So, if you’ll take a moment to indulge me, I’d like to introduce you to my personal favorite WFH accessory:
This is Morty. He’s about four years old and is a big fan of two things: playing and sleeping. Morty is my constant companion whenever I’m working remotely, and whether he realizes it or not, he’s an important sounding board for my ideas. He’s not overly conversational, but it helps having someone to chat with when I’m telecommuting.
Oh, and he loves it when I WFH.
Like, really loves it.
I wanted to share Morty with you for two reasons. One, he’s super cute. But two, ever since adopting him, I’ve noticed a shift in my demeanor whenever I’m telecommuting. I’ll be honest: I’m not always the best telecommuter and frequently prefer coming into the office. However, getting to spend time with my favorite little four-legged friend has made the experience much more enjoyable and ultimately productive.
While I’m not necessarily suggesting that you go out and adopt a pet solely for your telecommuting mental health (they’re a big responsibility not to be taken lightly!), they do make for quite the comfy WFH companions and just might mitigate any feelings of isolation.
Looking for more telecommuting insights? Download our free eBook “The 7 Telecommuting Personalities” to learn more about the professional and psychological traits you need to be an effective telecommuter. I can’t promise more adorable puppy pictures though.