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6 Items Employers Should Provide Remote Workers

28 April 2023

While plenty of workplaces have reverted back to the traditional in-office setting, we still see quite a number of organizations keep the option for remote work on the table. Not only because remote work was already growing in popularity, but also because much of the newer generation of working adults want the option to work remotely - or at least, in hybrid workspaces.

Regardless of the whys behind it, there are some considerations organizations should make for remote workers. Research shows that a fair number of remote workers are actually working in a makeshift workspace, rather than a dedicated one.

There could be any number of reasons for this - from space issues to affordability, or even the assumption that the setup is a temporary one. But not having a dedicated workspace can have some major disadvantages, which is why it's necessary for employers to make accommodations - starting with workspace items.

Essential Remote Work Equipment

When it comes to home offices, both employers and employees should make an effort to prioritize ergonomics. From equipment to layout, everything you do for your home office should keep ergonomics in mind. Since you'll be spending so much time working at your desk, if your workspace is not ergonomically friendly, you'll find yourself in a lot of trouble later on.

Keeping that in mind, here are some items employers should provide remote workers to keep them safe and productive.



Ergonomic Furniture

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of any kind of workspace is the desk you'd be working on, and a chair to go with it. However, despite how core the desk and chair are to any workspace, this is the part that most people get wrong.

Many folks - employees and employers alike - opt for furniture that either fits a certain kind of aesthetic or fall under a budget. While both of these are important parts of choosing your furniture, they shouldn't be your primary concern.

Again, you'd be spending a lot of time at your desk, and if you're not careful about ergonomics, you can end up with all sorts of health problems - from repetitive stress injuries to back pain, or even chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

That's why the furniture you pick out has to be the type that keeps ergonomics in mind. While ergonomic chairs are relatively easy to find, they don't always serve everyone. Most chairs are made for the average person - an average height, average build, etc. - but don't suit everyone the same way.

A good ergonomic office chair should have proper lumbar support, be adjustable in height and depth, and provide support to your arms and head as well. FlexiSpot's Soutien Chair is a great chair that could provide each of these. The chair's design also works for all kinds of workspaces.

When it comes to desks, it gets a bit trickier. Desks are almost always standard, with some differences in height and depth. However, desks like these come with some limitations. For one thing, they may not necessarily work for everyone because again, they are made to serve the average person.

If you're taller or shorter than average, you may find yourself in trouble. Having a desk too tall or too short can affect your posture and cause problems later on. That's why a height-adjustable desk is your best option. Even if your chair is adjustable, you need your desk to be at just the right height for your posture to be correct.

That is why a height-adjustable desk like Flexispot's Kana Pro Desk is better, since you can adjust it to your requirements without trouble.

Another benefit is that with these desks, you can alternate between sitting and standing, which helps with offsetting some of the downsides of sitting for long periods of time.

A good desk and chair are necessary for any workspace, which is why employers should focus on providing their employees with the best possible ones. While these might be a bit costlier than traditional desks and chairs, the long-term benefit outdoes the costs - especially costs of healthcare and compensation due to all the injuries that regular desks and chairs can cause.



Computer Essentials

Another obvious requirement for any workspace is that of computers. Most workspaces will provide their employees with laptops due to the convenience and flexibility they offer, and this is useful. However, laptops do cause some problems when it comes to ergonomics.

Looking down at a laptop screen can cause problems in the neck and shoulders, and sometimes even lead to compressed nerves in the arm. This causes pain and can develop into major issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.

While laptops are still useful, employers should also provide peripherals to go along with them. These include keyboards and mouses that can be attached to the laptop and keep employees safe.

Some employees may also need monitors at their desks. Experts believe that the best-sized screen for work is between 24 and 30 inches, which a laptop can't provide. A monitor can also help with making sure that employees don't have to look down at the screen and thus prevent issues with neck and shoulder pain.

Other computer essentials could include headsets, especially if workers will be interacting with each other or customers through telephone communications. While these are not necessary, they do help and make it quite easier to communicate.



Internet Access

When working from home, access to the internet is essential. Employees must have a reliable and high-speed connection so that they can always be readily available, and don't have hindrances in their work. Many remote workers end up using their own personal internet for their work, and while this could work in some cases, employers should provide internet themselves.

This is because a large part of the day - and thus, the day's internet usage - is spent on work, and employees don't necessarily opt for high-speed connections due to the costs associated with it.

Most importantly, there could be security issues that arise from working at home, and employers should make sure that the internet connection they provide also comes with all security concerns addressed.

Employers should also make sure that remote workers have the necessary networking equipment as well, such as modems and routers.



Office Items

Remote employees should also have an assigned budget for any office items they need. While employers can't always be involved every time an employee needs to buy a file or stationery, they can allocate a budget for these things so that whenever these items are needed, employees don't have to use their own personal expenses.

Some people will also need extra items like printers or scanners, While most workspaces are now becoming paperless, sometimes, printouts are necessary - especially when it comes to contracts and such - and thus, employees may also need printers. However, the workaround to this could be that a budget is assigned for printing, and instead of providing printers to each employee, they could opt for getting their print work done elsewhere.

On the other hand, scanners may be necessary for the digitization of important documents. This will once again, depend on the kind of work the employee does. Not everyone needs a scanner, and there are plenty of scanning options available for cell phones now as well.



Snacks

A rather unconventional but necessary part of employer-supplied equipment is snacks. In the office, cookies, tea, and coffee are often kept for anyone to have, but at home, workers have to spend their own money on their snacks.

While it's not necessary, employers should make the effort to provide snacks, if only to keep employees productive and encourage them to take breaks every once in a while.



Company Merch

When working in-office, having the company logo on all the items you use can promote culture and boost workers' morale. At home, when everything you use is the same as something you can buy at the store, it's easy for workers to get discouraged, bored, and sometimes even stop feeling like they're part of the organization.

With company merch, they can be reminded of the fact that they are part of an organization and that the organization also considers them a part of itself. From stationery to T-shirts and even toys, having company merch can be very useful and boost productivity.

When the pandemic hit, quite a lot of businesses were unprepared when it came to switching to remote work. However, this no longer has to be the case. Many organizations have had enough experience with remote work to understand what went wrong and what can be done right - and home offices are the right place to start with this.

Understanding an employee's needs helps you understand what you need to provide to them. By checking off the items on this list, you can at least make sure you provide them with the very basics. Everything else will depend on the employee and the kind of work they do, so as an employer, you'd have to be open to hearing them out and making accommodations accordingly.