What Home Office Tech Should Remote Companies Provide?
Now that your team is working virtually, their success depends on having the right home office tech and tools. To help employers know what’s essential for each remote worker to receive from the company, Remote.co asked an informal panel of remote work experts for their views.
Some of the most important types of office equipment to maximize the experience of working from home, as well as the outcome, are listed below.
Stipend for Internet/Office Equipment
Bonnie Whitfield, Human Resources Director of Family Destinations Guide, which shifted to a remote work setup after the pandemic started, recommends that employers prioritize providing their employees with the best possible technology to make them comfortable and productive.
To that end, the HR director explains that the first thing she would do is increase remote workers’ internet allowance—she suggests bumping it up, for example, from 200 GB to 300 GB per month. “This will allow employees to use more of the apps they need for work, including Slack and Dropbox,” Whitfield said. “It’s also important to let people know that they can purchase additional bandwidth if needed.
Another must-have is a stipend for key office equipment, according to Grayson. “It helps to ensure that employees have the resources they need to do their job well,” he said. While the amount will vary based on each organization’s budget, don’t skimp here—the remote tools that you provide to your virtual team can make the difference between a remote worker’s success or failure.
Managers that prioritize employee productivity should invest in double computer monitors and an adapter to connect them for each of their remote workers.
“Double monitors are a must for many remote workers, as they allow for greater productivity and efficiency by allowing workers to have multiple programs open at the same time,” says Chris Grayson, founder of InfluencerMade.com, a 20-person, remote tech startup.
Whitfield also recommend providing double monitors for all employees who want them. “These allow you to easily keep track of multiple windows at once, which is especially important if you’re working on different projects or tasks at once,” Whitfield explained. “The extra screen space will also help reduce eye strain later in the day.”
While anywhere you work can have interruptions and noise to contend with, working from home can come with its share of distractions, particularly if you live with others, whether kids who need attention or other family members or roommates who are also working remotely.
With these realities in mind, Whitfield recommended that companies supply their remote employees with noise-cancelling headphones as part of their home office technology. “These will help keep distractions at bay while they are working from home,” Whitfield said.
Kimberley Tyler-Smith, an executive at the career tech platform Resume Worded, emphasized the importance of data protection for remote workers. “Whatever you do, ensure that your company has a security program in place so that all your information is safe from hackers,” Tyler-Smith said.
Grayson agreed that security programs are a “must-have” for any remote company. “They help to protect sensitive data and prevent cyberattacks,” he said.
Other Essential Tech Tools
Ashley Marie Fernandez, CEO of Ashley Marie Coaching, a career development and personal growth company, who also works full-time in the HR function of a professional services firm, suggested that additional “baseline” equipment for remote workers includes:
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
- Standing desk adapter
- Printer/scanner (if applicable for the position)
- Microphone/video camera (if crisp quality is needed outside of the standard in the computer)
Fernandez added that a stipend for “other” office supplies for the remote team would also be impactful. “When you worked in an office, it was easy to go to a supply closet and grab a pen and Post-It notes,” she said. “This would also enable those who have a less-than-ideal home office setup the potential to use a stipend for a coworking space.”
Be Sure to Customize
While the list above is a great place to start and will fulfill many of the basic needs of many remote workers, some on the panel advised that the best way to give remote workers the necessary tech is to ask them what they want.
“Generally, from a home office tech standpoint, there should be various options employees can choose from based on individual needs and what would be applicable for their role,” said Fernandez.
“Every employee will have different needs, and you’ll want to ensure that you provide the right technology for each individual,” Tyler-Smith concluded. “Some employees may wish for a stipend for office equipment or internet, while others might be fine with using their own devices.”
Help Your Remote Team Succeed
For more tips, Remote.co has a wealth of articles on remote management best practices!
By Robin Madell | Categories: Build a Remote Team