How to Work from Home: Setup your Space for Remote Working [Checklist]

Written by
Luke Marthinusen

Working from home makes sense under all sorts of circumstances and not just COVID-19 lockdown. The world is going remote as travel times to work grow with population growth, and work teams are increasingly sourced from all over the world.

In this quick checklist, we cover the key elements you need to think about when starting to work from home.

Whether you're managing a team, or part of a team, this checklist is for you. If you are part of a team, share it with your manager.

Cloud storage and communication set-up

The first step is to move communications and shared files storage into the cloud. The best tools for this are:

  • Zoom or Google Hangouts for video meetings (download the app to your phone too)
  • Slack or Microsoft Teams for message communication (download the app to your phone too)
  • WhatsApp for instant calls/messaging on your phone.
  • Google Drive or Dropbox for files.
  • LastPass for securing passwords.

Team communication guidelines

Next, you need to stay in touch with each other, but you also need to set rules and boundaries for communications. Being available 24/7, or even all day on chat is not good for productivity (or your sanity!).

  • Agree hours team will all be on Slack.
  • Check-in morning Zoom team meeting - use cameras on for all meetings.
  • Set a new calendar of weekly meetings and who needs to attend.
  • Agree what days will the whole team be in the office.
  • Set expectations for when will everyone start work and finish work.
  • What core hours will people be online to be available to communicate with each other?
  • Do you have time zones to consider?
  • Re-arranged one-to-one meetings to happen on Zoom.

Home space set-up

Then focus on your home workspace. The idea around remote working is to increase productivity, so make sure your home workspace is better than your workspace at the office.

  • Dedicated desk or table at the correct height.
  • A good supportive comfortable chair.
  • Elevate your screen to eye level.
  • ​Natural light.
  • Desk lamp.
  • Laptop with Camera.
  • Mouse and keyboard (Second screen if possible).
  • Notebook & pen.
  • Plant and photos - some personal effects.
  • Glass Bottle or Jug of filtered water and glass.
  • Plan your day’s activities the night before and on a Sunday for the week.

Morning routine

A morning routine will kick your headspace into a work-zone. You no longer have that morning commute and the need to get dressed up for the office, so add a routine that mentally does the same thing.

  • Prepare breakfast or shake the night before and store in the fridge.
  • Create a work from home uniform and lay out your clothes for the next day the night before.
  • Decide what to do with your commute time - read a book, go for a walk or exercise.
  • Practise mindfulness or do a meditation to prepare yourself for the day.
  • Write out what you are planning to do for the day and block time in your diary
  • Switch off your phone (if you can) for an hour at a time.

Work from home booking process

Lastly, so that everyone in your team is on the same page while you all work from your own spaces make sure your company has some solid processes to manage who works from home and when.
  • Create a process for who each person needs to request when they are working from home. 
  • Google Form to request/book when people will be working from home. 
  • Visible Calendar (on a screen in the office) so everyone can see who is working from home. 
  • Does everyone know the working from home process and guidelines?

Get these processes down and you will start to become more effective when working from home, and your company/team will start hitting all this targets in a much less stressful and manageable way. 

You might also be interested in: Guide to Successful Remote Working for your Business in South Africa

Thanks to Clodagh at the Growit Group who seeded this list. 

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