Remote working problems: part II

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It looks easy, doesn’t it? “I’ll just wake up, grab the kitchen chair, balance this small old monitor I have since 6 years ago under a set of thick cooking books no-one’s ever bothered to read and I’m ready to go! Look at me -No commute!” — “Oh wait — what about headphones?”

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That will do.

Let’s take a step back for a little

I’m a firm believer of investing into things I tend to use the most or have a direct or indirect impact on my well-being. A good mattress for example, or a comfortable couch. Same goes for office/desk chairs. Office-work and sitting is the “new smoking” as studies show.

Your office setup back in the on-site days was taken care of someone else. Some of you wouldn’t go further than asking for a chair, others would be more demanding and ask for standing desks when back problems would kick in. IT would always provide the monitors and the accessories.

Then the quarantines and the lockdowns kicked in, and we all rushed to remote work. Most of us and our companies, initially unprepared, slowly started offering us to ship equipment at home, even chairs, monitors, but many of us didn’t take advantage of that opportunity because “it’s just temporary”.

It’s not temporary — make the best out of it

There’s definitely a minority (according to polls) in the workforce that would prefer to work onsite. Why though? Well, some of the reasons are completely justified. Some jobs are such that face to face communication can’t be replaced by Zoom and MS Teams calls.

But then there’s the wrong reasons: Not investing in the place you spend 8 hours per day. (I assume those who seek co working spaces are a little more careful). They treat the situation as temporary, a necessary evil, a brief condition which is about to end and everything will be back to normal. In fact, many companies actively try to convince us that soon everything has to go back to “normal”.

But I can’t hear anything and the video’s bad and there’s no coffee

Relax. There’s a long list of best practices for video calls that 90% of the people having video calls are ignorant about. And that’s fine, it takes time. Some of these best practices require discipline and others good hardware.

So should I go spend thousands of dollars in equipment I will probably rarely use?

  • In several countries, work-related expenses are tax deductible and will eventually reduce your taxable income.
  • Thousands is an exaggeration given that you can get a killer headset like this one for 150 bucks
  • Even if you’re not the work from home type, enjoy the luxury of having a nice setup in case you need to stay at home for handymen-package deliveries-doctor visits-or other circumstances where you’d get a lot more done at home instead of going to the office. It will pay dividends!
  • There’s this winner of most entry level espresso machines which will also make coffee for you in these winter weekends when it’s too cold to go outside

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