Guidelines for setting up a home working space

Tips and considerations for better remote working environment

This perspective contains:

Introduction:

There are different aspects to consider when collaborating in a remote way and a remote-ready work infrastructure is not evident for many. So we should assume participants do not have a home office setup already and may lack the space or dedicated room.

Based on this, we decided to gather on this page some tips and recommendations to improve the lives of people who work remotely, considering health, environmental, and technical requirements.

Below you can find a list of recommended hardware, tips for improving your environment, good principles for online collaboration and the minimum technical requirements for having a good remote working experience. Check it out

What is it?

This is a list of helpful tips that can help you and your team set up a remote workspace.

Why use it?

With a little planning and preparation ahead, there can be a lot of difference between the efficiency and the working environment.

Further Information

Preparations:

Team shopping list for home work accessories

  • Agree collaboratively what is needed from equipment, environment, health, security and so on.

Conduct workstation and safety assessment:

  • It is advisable to conduct a safety assessment check and attend any relevant training provided by your employer. Best to reach out HR and your manager. This process helps identify any special requirement for any team member. For e.g: users with disability or risks.
  • You can use the DES workstation checklist to help make an assessment.

Environment setup:

Desk

  • There are a few options for types of desks that you can buy, and it really just comes down to your preference or your line of work. We recommend at least a 60x135cm desk size for a good starting point. For a healthier option, consider an adjustable laptop desk or stand desks.

Ergonomic Office Chair

  • Even though sitting doesn’t require as much physical effort as standing, it still puts undue stress on your lower back. Combine the effects of a sedentary lifestyle with sitting all day and it can lead to various health problems.

Adequate Lighting

  • With desk or floor lamps, dimmable if possible

Storage

  • In order to keep the place tidy, you will need somewhere to store your supplies, such as pens, paper, sticky notes, ink, and business cards.
  • Suitable home workspace that supports productivity. The space should be quiet, free from distraction, with deskware that is comfortable for the required working hours. Screen reader support enabled.

Plants

  • Indoor plants in working space increase happiness and productivity

Other tips:

  • Keep it clean.
  • Less is more
  • Have a quiet space, free from distractions
  • Separate the professional from the personal
  • Have a writing surface
  • Hide cords
  • Buy a XXL mouse pad
  • Headphone hanger
  • Enough power plugs
  • Have breaks every hour

Environment setup:

  • Laptop
  • Laptop stand
  • Monitor
  • Good audio and video setup with proper camera and microphone (required)
  • Good network router with Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply
  • Dedicated external display (optimal)
  • Headsets with microphone (optimal)
  • Wireless keyboard (optimal)
  • Wireless mouse (optimal)
  • USB hub 3.0 with 4 ports (convenient)
  • Office kit with A4 paper, sticky notes, pen, pencil, and markers
  • USB-C adapters (convenient)
  • Wireless charger Qi

Collaborative tools:

  • Whiteboarding tools: Mural, Miro
  • Project management: JIRA
  • Conference and video: Bluejeans, Zoom, Google chats
  • Kanban board: Trello
  • Git repository hosting service: Github
  • Communication: Whatsapp, Google hangouts
  • Secure File sharing options for customer data and risk policy: Intralinks

Health Considerations:

Correct sitting position

  • It is best to get a suitable height desk, chair, monitor, laptop that fits your requirement.
  • If you have a specific need on a chair, desk due to certain health issues e.g: back pain and require ergonomics chairs, standing desk then reach out to your manager or HR team members.
  • Check guidelines on how to set up the correct display screen workstation

Try desk exercise

  • Working from home can be demanding at times with sitting on a desk for 8 hours a day for five days is not healthy.
  • Consider some desk exercise, osteopath stretches, yoga on a regular basis.

Stress and Mental Health

  • Home working can be stressful and affect people’s mental health
  • Being siloed can make it difficult to get the support from your team and managers.
  • Consider schedule 1-2-1 with your manager and team members.

Tips: Try practices like daily standup, retrospectives and put some social considerations for e.g: team virtual movie night, quiz night and put it as a priority in your social contract.

Others:

Security

  • Ensure your home internet router password is long and strong
  • 2 factor authentication device (eg. yubikey)
  • When accessing customers applications or systems, it is important that the communication between devices is secure, either using protocols that encrypt the data such as HTTPS or using a corporate VPN.
  • Always use the supported corporate VPN access software client if available

Access

In order to prepare properly for a remote delivery, we should ensure to have:

  • Reliable access to Internet and sufficient bandwidth
  • Credentials to VP, if applicable
  • zTest connection to video conference tool both on and off VPN
  • Test connection to the tools you are planning to use in the remote sessions.

Developers additionally should:

  • Test connectivity to code repositories
  • Test connectivity to applicable products (OpenShift, etc)
  • Test connectivity for IDE to run remote pairing.

Privilege & permissions

  • Enforce the Principle of Least Privilege by granting only the minimum permissions required by an end user, application, service, task or system to perform the jobs they have been assigned if you are not using customer tools and procedures
  • Depending on the tools required for the engagement you will need to get the right access to the tools selected on the project. For all access requests you should contact your local Project Manager / Coordinator or Service Delivery Manager that will give you the required authorizations

Time Management

  • Better to have a time management tools in place
  • Allocate home and work priorities in the backlog e.g: kids school pick up, shopping and meetings E.g: post-its, white board, google calendar might help

Running cost and expenses

  • Check with your employer on the additional household expenses for e.g: gas, electricity Internet if you require to work from home

- Considerations for a Productive Home Office or Remote Workspace

- Remote-work resources

- Working remotely with children at home

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