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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article24 April 2020European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion3 min read

Five things you need to start working from home

Many of us have been asked to work from home due to COVID-19. If you’ve never worked from home before, or you’re not sure you have everything you need to do so, we’ve put together a list of five things you’ll need to get started. 

Five things you need to start working from home

IT equipment

You’ll probably need a computer or laptop with access to your organisation’s internal network to work from home. Without access to your organisation’s network, you may not be able to view everything that you need to. This may be provided by your employer, or you may be able to access the network from your own device.

Tip: Depending on your role, you may need a second screen so that you can easily view several documents or pages at the same time. If you don’t have a second computer monitor at home, ask your employer if they can provide one. If not, you could even try connecting to a television screen using a HDMI cable.

A phone

Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with your colleagues. Having a way of communicating is essential for working on tasks with your co-workers and can be much faster than waiting for an email. 

Tip: Use your work phone if you have one, or ask your employer to temporarily transfer your work number to your personal one. Ask your organisation if it already has a tool for communication, so you can make sure to use the right one. If not, you could suggest a tool that you and your peers are familiar with (e.g. Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom).

A good space with a hard surface

The ideal surface is a large desk, big enough for you to fit your device and any papers you need. However, if you don’t have an office-style desk at home, a kitchen or dining room table will do the job. Try to avoid low surfaces so that you don’t have to lean forwards too much.

Tip: If you usually work at a standing desk, then you might need to get creative. Can you clear a space on your kitchen bench? How about using an ironing board as a makeshift desk? Do what works for you.

… and a good-quality chair

It sounds obvious, but without a good chair, your desk or table is no use. Ideally, you’ll need an office chair or a dining chair with a supportive back. Working from home should not mean you have to be less comfortable.

Tip: Try to avoid working in bed or on the sofa – while it might seem comfortable at first, it’s not likely to good for your back or productivity.

Somewhere to relax

You don’t want to feel like you’re at work 24/7. You still need to be able to relax when the working day is over. This might mean keeping your working space separate to the places you like to relax.

Tip: Try to dedicate an area in your home strictly for work – whether it’s a whole room or a specific desk/table and chair. This will help you to ‘switch off’ from work when you leave that space.

Once you’ve got these fundamentals in place to get you started, check out our article on how to be productive when you’re working from home.


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How to be productive when you’re working from home


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