Phillip Pini, Director Residential Sales UK at Crestron, provides some tips for a successful home office working experience.
Over the past year and a half, we have all had to adjust to new ways of living, working, and learning. Whilst it felt confusing and difficult at first, we can’t deny that some aspects are becoming normal.
As human beings, we try to innovate and evolve in order to make our lives easier. Technology has always played a big role here. And while COVID-19 didn’t change the requirements of the workplace, it did accelerate the process. Activity-based work, where you decide where you work based on the nature of what you’re doing, is the perfect example. It’s a term that has been around for years, but, the adoption rate is increasing dramatically.
Working from home will remain an option in many organisations. In fact, some of the world’s largest companies plan to keep remote work as a long-term business strategy, causing homeowners to have to evaluate the best setup for their home office space. Architects and developers are designing homes with dedicated home office spaces and more flexible designs to accommodate working and learning from home.
This is true for both new builds, as well as retrofits where a home office space had not been necessary before. Depending on whether the project is driven by the homeowner or their employer, the requirements for these spaces can be different. If a homeowner is looking for a setup that will ease the way they work in the home office, they will usually request a desktop solution that combines home control and audio conferencing, using a separate video camera when needed.
This solution undeniably has its perks, as it allows the homeowner to turn off the music or raise the shades from the same device that they are taking a business call from. If the home office is driven by the company, the requirements are different. While the company wants to help its employers battling meeting fatigue by providing a dedicated device, this also means they suddenly have an exponential amount of technology and spaces to manage, without an increase of IT staff to manage them.
Choosing the right team
Companies want to make sure they can remotely provision, monitor, and manage devices across their entire enterprise; home offices included. And more often than not, they want a device where you can natively join the preferred collaboration tool that the company uses, for example, Microsoft Teams. As a result, companies are looking for a dedicated device that is always enabled and ready, allowing the employee to see their Teams calendar and join meetings with one touch, while working from home. For employees who are working from home, it’s important to equip them with the tools that keep them connected and engaged with their colleagues. With the right technology platform, employees can enjoy a consistent experience throughout their workday.
Whether working in office or from their home office, organisations must empower their employees to work effectively with a reliable technology standard from wherever they choose to work. But of course, the ideal home office is more than just picking the right technology. Good natural light will improve the mood and help boost performance. Background distractions should be eliminated to keep the attention of the employee focused during their video calls. Additionally, enough table-surface should be available, so workers can comfortably spread-out devices, papers, and other content necessary for their dayto- day responsibilities.
The office chair should keep the body forward, shoulders back, and support the lower back. The correct alignment to the keyboard will impact typing accuracy, which in turn impacts cognitive performance. Given the increase in home office requests we are currently seeing, it’s worth exploring the benefits and expectations of homeowners in these spaces if you are a residential installer. After all, the hybrid workforce is here to stay, so it would be a shame to miss out on this opportunity.