Working from home, or at least away from the office, is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, half of the UK workforce are predicted to work remotely by 2020. This growing trend is also evidenced by a recent survey which revealed that 77 per cent of UK employees and 84 per cent of millennials demand more flexible working options and believe that companies need to provide more remote working options to attract talent.
As a result, having a comfortable and productive working environment, wherever you are working, is more important than ever. But in order to empower their remote workforce to be productive on-the-go, businesses need to equip them with the right technology tools. Here are four key tips to help any individual to maximise the potential of flexible working.
Are you sitting comfortably? Having a comfortable home office set-up may seem obvious, but a 2018 report from Forrester found that 53 per cent of computer users are actually experiencing pain and discomfort while using a computer. This can be caused by a number of reasons, including chairs and desks being set at the wrong height, or the consistent use of keyboards and mice putting a strain on the wrist and arm. In order to avoid pain and injury, investing in ergonomic office peripherals which are specifically designed to prioritise user health, and ensure maximum productivity, is worthwhile for a home office.
This could be in the form of a keyboard with padding design to support the wrist, or an ergonomic mouse designed specifically to reduce wrist pressure by mimicking the natural handshake position. An added benefit from using ergonomic keyboards and mice is that they maintain high productivity in jobs that rely heavily on computing technology by reducing wrist injuries and wrist
Have the right tools for the job
When working at home, or on the go, it’s important that you are empowered to be as productive as you are in the office. In fact, 81 per cent of workers believe that working flexibly will help them to improve their productivity levels. However, this can only be the case if their set up matches their specific needs.
This is why it’s important that businesses equip their employees with the right desktop peripherals for their job. For example, someone who spends most their time typing may require a keyboard with large, well-spaced, backlit keys. Alternatively, an accountant navigating spreadsheets could benefit from a mouse with customisable buttons, making scrolling and switching tabs more streamlined. Graphic designers and other digital creatives can be more productive by using ergonomic keyboards with functionalities that provide instant access to specific functions, such as editing images, adjusting brightness or creating graphs.
By tailoring desktop peripherals to the needs of their workforce, SMEs will be able to not only increase productivity but also to boost employee satisfaction and drive better collaboration across the business.
Flexible working doesn’t just mean having a home office; it can include working on the go, at a café or in shared workspaces, which are growing in popularity in cities across the country. Designed for those who travel frequently, freelance or are self-employed, these situations require a portable set-up which offers the same accessibility and ease of use as a desk and computer. For example, a tablet can become a portable laptop when paired with a detachable keyboard ensuring a light and compact workstation which enhances productivity no matter where you work. Similarly, using noise cancelling headsets can drive increased focus, productivity and more engaged calls and meetings even in crowded and noisy environments.
Encourage a video-first culture
In order for flexible working to be effective, maintaining a collaborative culture is important. One way to do this is by investing in portable webcams which offer high quality, easy-to-use video conferencing and can be simply plugged into a laptop for an instant video call. Another important factor is providing video-enabled spaces on-premise, where staff can effectively collaborate with remote workers from the office. Having easy to use ‘plug and play’ video collaboration equipment that is tailored to different meeting environments such as co-working spaces or huddle rooms is a key requirement for enabling all workers, regardless of where they are based, to collaborate effectively.
Working away from the traditional office space has become common practice in many industries, and is an important step for employees looking to improve their of work-life balance, whether that is by reducing their commute, giving them the time to care for children or loved ones, or pursuing a personal passion. But in order for this model to work, businesses need to ensure their remote workforce is equipped with the best tools to be productive outside the office. By investing in ergonomic, portable and customisable desktop peripherals and video collaboration tools, businesses will be able to make it possible to work effectively from virtually any location.