With so many companies shifting to fully remote work models, the status of employee home offices has never been more important. If you’re amongst the legion of staffers working from the home front, you may want to improve your setup for the long haul. Here are some recommendations to help you work from home (WFH) comfortably, securely, and efficiently.
Assess to Address
Before you start tinkering with your smart home network or buying expensive new gadgets, start with a thorough assessment.
Consider what you’re using your smart network for aside from work. Do you have a strong enough Wi-Fi signal and bandwidth to cover the needs of your home’s smart devices? If not, you may need to get a better router or even a mesh system to extend your network.
Even within your work devices, it’s wise to take a look around first. Do you primarily use email and Slack to communicate? Or do you need to use a battery of different software options to communicate, collaborate, manage projects, attend video conferences, and so on? Once you understand what needs you must meet, it can help you choose the devices and settings to do so efficiently.
Start with Security
After a thorough assessment of your needs, always start with security. The last thing you want to do is set up an amazing smart home office just to have it hacked. When addressing security, you want to consider two areas: cybersecurity and physical security.
You can address cybersecurity by protecting both your home network and each individual device. Ways to do this include:
- Using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication;
- Installing all software and OS updates in a timely manner;
- Paying for quality antivirus software;
- Using encryption settings on your router and devices when available.
When it comes to home security, it’s also a good idea to utilize solutions like:
- Security cameras;
- Motion sensors;
- Fire and smoke alarms;
- Carbon monoxide detectors;
- Flood alarms;
- Glass break sensors for your windows.
This may seem superfluous when talking about setting up a home office. However, you want a secure foundation to work from. Otherwise, you leave yourself open to a variety of different threats. This can hurt your work if they manifest — and even if they don’t, the knowledge of operating in an insecure environment can hamper your productivity and create stress.
Refine Your Environment
Your work environment is a key part of your individual production needs. You can refine your smart home office workspace by:
- Installing a smart thermostat to govern your heating and cooling;
- Getting smart lightbulbs to illuminate your space efficiently;
- Purchasing an adjustable desk that can allow you to either stand or sit while you work.
It’s important to consider the environment that you’re working in — not just the smart gadgets that you’re using within that environment.
Capitalize on Convenience
There are many bells and whistles that you can also add to your smart home office. These can go far in helping you tailor the workspace to your unique needs. For instance, you can minimize distractions from your exterior living space by:
- Setting up a baby monitor to watch over kids in the other room without needing to engage with family too often during work hours;
- Using a doorbell camera to reduce unnecessary trips to answer the door;
- Installing a pet cam to keep tabs on your four-legged friends without leaving your workspaces.
Smart hacks like these can help you stay focused throughout the day without neglecting your personal responsibilities.
Stay on Top of Things
Once your smart office is set up and optimized, you want to plan on how to keep it that way. A few examples include:
- Pruning your notifications from time to time to avoid getting saturated by them.
- Scheduling in time to review your smart home network and installing updates where required.
- Planning in time to properly declutter your space and clean your electronics consistently.
Maintaining a smart home office is as important as setting one up— if not more so.
Tailoring Your Smart Office to Your Needs
Smart home offices can be great. However, if you don’t tailor them to your needs, you miss out on their full potential. From baby monitors to smart lights, standing desks to cybersecurity updates, make sure to create an office space that truly meets your unique needs. Productivity and satisfaction may well follow.