The Home Office Checklist

People are working from home now more than ever. If you happen to be one of these home office dwellers, this article is for you. Think carefully about which tasks are to be done in your home office and what is required for them. Don't worry: we will help ensure that you don’t forget anything.

Can and should I even work from home office?

In times of Covid-19, an open-plan office is probably not the best place to stay healthy - especially if you sit close together with your colleagues. But even in such a challenging situation, you cannot and should not take the step into the home office alone and without support. If your employer does not take action themselves, first speak to them about how you can and may do your work from home. Not all activities are easy to do from home, even in classic office jobs. Especially when working with highly sensitive data, such as in healthcare, there are major data protection concerns. Every company also has insurance law issuesthat the employer must keep an eye on.

There is also no general right to a home office - if your employer is skeptical, it is important to convince him with arguments. Mutual trust and understanding is the best advice for both sides: Your boss must not subject you to constant supervision in the home office - in return, however, you should record working and break times and of course be easy to contact. In special situations, such as when you take turns with your partner in childcare, colleagues and employers need to know exactly when you are available for meetings and important work. Only then the work from the home office is able to go off without a hitch.

The right prerequisites: programs, hardware and access

You and your employer agree: From tomorrow you will be working from home. Now the exciting questions begin, for example: From which device do you work from? The necessary equipment is often provided in larger companies. You receive a laptop, a headset and a mouse from the IT, are briefly instructed on the terms of use, and get started. At best, this gives you remote access to your office computer and work progresses as usual. If this is not the case, you should first make sure that your private laptop or desktop computer is suitable for home office work for your company. You could take a laptop with you to work and discuss its suitability with IT before your first day at home.

The possible requirements for the hardware and the antivirus software on your computer are varied, so a conversation with the system administrator or your IT specialist on site is essential. If you work without remote software, but simply with online access to your emails, remember to get all relevant access to communication and process management tools before you start. Otherwise, efficient work becomes difficult. Nothing disturbs the workflow in the home office more than when you spend the first two days calling the person responsible in-house in order to get started. You can find out exactly which tools you need in ourchecklist below.

My new workplace: This is how ergonomics work at home

Your new workplace in the home office should be at least as ergonomic as your workplace in the office. We not only support you with our ergonomic office chairs, but also very practically with our home office ergonomics guide, which gives you the best tips to help you set up your workplace ergonomically.

Already done? Then there is only one last check-up missing before you can start - and we have prepared this practical list for you:

The Home Office Checklist:

Have you discussed all the details with your employer? Not only your boss, but also your colleagues should know when you can be reached and available for meetings.

Telephone / smartphone ready? Depending on whether you use a classic landline or cellphone to communicate with colleagues, you should either have your phone ready or aside.

Working computer ready? Is your laptop or desktop computer fully set up and functional?

Internet connection established? There is no home office without the Internet - it is best to check whether your company laptop can establish a connection in your home internet before the first working day.

Screen ready? If the laptop screen is too small, less than 14 inches, we strongly recommend using an additional screen of at least 22 inches in order to protect the eyes.

Mouse & keyboard: Mouse and keyboard are better for your fingers and hands in the long term even when using a laptop - in the best case, use ergonomic models.

Headphones / speakers and microphone and webcam ready? With most modern laptops, you don't have to worry about it; all of these things should be integrated in your computer. If you do not want to disturb roommates or the family, an additional headset is still recommended.

Communication programs installed? Regardless of whether you already use Skype, Slack or another communication tool for fast communication with your colleagues, you should take the time to set it up at home and be prepared to log in.

E-mail access activated? Nothing works without emails. Usually no problem on the work laptop, for work on the home computer you usually need access via Outlook Web Access or your respective email provider.

Project management access activated? Regardless of whether you work with Monday, Asana, Trello or Sharepoint: Even in the home office you should always keep up to date with the project organization.

Server access established or important data packed? If you don't have direct server access, make sure you have all the files you need to work. Assuming you don't work in the cloud from Google, Dropbox or OneDrive anyway.

Ergonomic office chair ready? Is your ergonomic office chair ready and perfectly adjusted to your body? If you are still sitting on the kitchen chair, now is the best time to switch to an active seating alternative.

Sufficiently sized desk? Is your desk set up correctly, if possible, and above all: big enough for all your work materials?

Ergonomic workplace? Is your entire workplace comfortable, ergonomic and friendly? Congratulations, you're ready for your home office. Maybe not?

Coffee and tea ready? Admittedly, this one cup of liquid creativity was still missing. But now let's get started together!

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