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Get the Basics Right: Finetuning WFH Environment and Technology Setup

Get the Basics Right: Finetuning WFH Environment and Technology Setup

There’s a stark difference in productivity and quality of experience for those who are new to working from home and WFH veterans. Unfortunately, most employees fall in the former category, which hurts business outcomes. It is vital that companies actively improve WFH setups – without leaving it entirely to the individual – if they are to maximise remote talent.  

This involves finetuning two aspects of the home office: the work environment and the technology infrastructure.  

Build a productive work environment at home  

Despite the rise of remote work in the last half-decade, it was limited to occasional usage. Employees opted to WFH on days when the commute proved challenging, or there was an emergency at home. But today, 100% WFH is the norm for companies worldwide – regardless of their digital maturity. Small businesses, creative agencies, accounting firms, and a host of other desked sectors have turned to WFH at scale to keep up profitability.  

However, not every home is designed for work. Particularly in large cities and congested urban centres, a dedicated study is missing. This leads to employee’s working from the living room, the bedroom, or other spaces where achieving work-life balance is difficult. Companies can address this by:  

  • Investing in physical WFH infrastructure – Depending on a company’s size and resources, they can opt for a shared infrastructure model where the employer co-pays for chairs, desks, whiteboards, laptops, network connectivity, and other infrastructure elements. For example, Google announced $1000 for employees who are working from home during this time.  
  • Outlining positive work environment policies for WFH – One’s environment isn’t just about physical objects. Just as a company’s work culture determines the office environment, you need clear policies that will maintain a positive environment even at home. This spans communication guidelines, login hours, virtual events, and support channels.  

Strengthen the technology backbone for WFH  

This should be among the top priorities for employers right now. Several studies confirm that remote employees regularly face technology bottlenecks, which brings down their productivity. 53% have experienced glitches or dropped audio, and more than half have had to upgrade their digital set up to continue working efficiently.  

The right WFH enabler can save you significantly in lost productivity. That’s why companies should:  

  • Make communication as seamless as possible – Employees are no longer able to step into a colleague’s cubicle or catch up over lunch. Digital communication must recreate the convenience of an in-person conversation (if not its exact level of engagement) to be effective. One suite solutions, an easily accessible FAQ page, and expensable telephone accounts can solve a lot of the everyday glitches employees face when communicating.  
  • Subscribe to productivity SaaS apps – In a WFH environment, employees have more autonomy and will be compelled to work more independently than before. Productivity tools like an online task management app, an AI-based call transcription tool, and other innovations can make their job easier. While a colleague isn’t there to help, a sophisticated app could (somewhat) step in.  

We often make the mistake of placing the onus of WFH outcomes on the employee. But it is still *work*, and proactive employers who do their part will gain a competitive edge for the foreseeable future.  


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