These are different times we’re living in.I’ve never been an advocate of working from home. I appreciate the work/home separation and I’ve never really wanted to bring my work into my home. But these are different days, and working from home has become the norm for much of the country.
Among the most important considerations when you’re working from home has got to be the physical workspace. To take a laptop and sit at a kitchen table isn’t going to allow you the same experience that you have at work sitting at an ergonomically correct desk and two or more displays. Comfort and ergonomics is important.
Equally important is your network or internet connection. As we rely more on VPNs, soft phones, and video conferencing our network connections have become really important. In short, faster is always better. It’s difficult to say what the “minimum” acceptable speed is, because that varies from job to job. In some situations where you truly can get by with a laptop in an easy chair you may not need the bandwidth. If you’re contacting to your company network through a VPN and then (as is the case for many of the users that I support) connecting to one or more computers inside the network via RDP while you’re having a Zoom meeting and answering customer calls, you need a much faster internet connection. Something to consider is how many people in the home are going to be using the connection. My wife and I share our cable internet connection with no problem, but I spoke with a customer recently who lived in the country and was trying to work full time from home with his wife, but they also had their three college age children at home and they were all trying to share a DSL connection which didn’t work well.
When you’ve got the place and the connection, you need to consider the equipment. In my case, I was able to bring home from work 4 24″ displays when I setup my work from home office. In my wife’s case, the equipment she had was not sufficient for the task and we wound up purchasing a different display for her (as well as an office chair). Some home computers are not up for the task of corporate computing. Consider software versions (Windows 10 home vs. Windows 10 Pro, versions of Office and other productivity software) and available system resources like processor speed and amount of memory available. These are foundational considerations in the experience you’ll have working from home and admittedly not the only ones, but they should be some of the primary ones. If you’re not familiar with things like internet speeds and system resources, reach out to someone who is knowledgeable in those things. Your work from home experience and your employers continued productivity can depend on it!