I have been in Web Development for quite some time, but I have just recently started to invest in myself and I thought to write this article as it could really help you save some time and help you decide on how to invest in yourself.
It is not a waste of money
First and foremost, let’s start by understanding why we should even spend money on ourselves and define why this is not a waste of money. As I have just mentioned in the introduction, I have taken a long time to start and really invest in myself (maybe because I was not working remotely at the start), but now that I have done so, I am very happy about my decision.
Even if the monetary investment of buying equipment could be overwhelming at first, the return on investment is usually greater than you think. Unfortunately, when I say the return on investment, I do not mean that your money will magically return on your account, but the benefits are going to be measured in the form of work happiness, performance and organization and even health.
Let’s cover a couple of examples to see how we can benefit from different equipment.
Some equipment like a standing desk and walking mat can really help your health by helping you be more active. Investing in your body should always be your priority, because as far as I know we do not get any younger! 🙂
Faster computers, docking stations and bigger monitors are just a couple of items that can really help you get faster at what you do,
Organization can usually be greatly improved in two different ways. The first can be with the use of equipment like Assistive technology like Google Home and Amazon Echo, and the second is with the use of paid software (most of this offer a free membership) such as Notion and Gitkraken.
The 6 most important pieces of equipment for remote workers
It is time to see which ones are the most important items you should invest in to really help your career.
If you ever want to be able to be successful at working remotely, you should surely invest in a nice pair of headphones. It does not really matter if they are wired or wireless, but they need to have a good noise-cancelling feature.
Either if you work from home, from the office or from a cafe’ it is important for you to have this piece of equipment as it is really going to help you focus.
If you own a laptop and have other pieces of equipment attached to it, like a keyboard, monitor and mouse, you should surely invest in a good Docking station. There are some very expensive ones, but I have been using a mix-level one that cost less than 100$ for over a year now and I am super happy about it.
The main reason why I think a docking station is important is the fact that it allows me to be more flexible (be able to disconnect and connect my laptop quickly). Being able to move around really helps my mental health as working from home and being by myself all the time is not always the best.
I have never seen anybody being able to sit down for a long time and always be in an ergonomically correct position! My standing desk was the most expensive, but best equipment I have ever bought.
Being able to “stand and sit” at intervals has really helped my bad back and also helps me feel more energetic at the end of the day. I have a simple rule, if it is a meeting, I need to do it standing up! Doing this will make sure you really use the standing feature, and what is best, you can tell your colleagues too, so that they can remind you if you are not standing.
I do not really mind which standing desk you use, I bought one from FlexiSpot, but it is important that it is automatic, as I have seen many people buying manual ones and never use them as they take so too long and too much energy to use.
Clock with Assistant
This is quite a simple and inexpensive piece of equipment that can really benefit your performance. I personally use google assistant all day. I manage music, calendar events and even reminder with it, and it is really a good helping hand.
I know that not everyone likes to have equipment like this, but if you do use an assistant, I do suggest you invest in simple hardware like this to help you day-to-day.
Most of my suggestions are hardware, but I could not miss the possibility to also Notion. I use this every day, for work and for my normal day-to-day, and it is absolutely amazing. It has a very good free tier and hundreds of templates to choose from to get you started.
I have been lucky enough to receive a chair from my previous company, but after using it for quite some time, I can see the benefits of investing in one. As with the standing desk, we need to always try to look after our body as we work for most of our weeks and it is important we do this in conform.
I have debated a little with myself before including monitors as part of the best hardware to work well remotely, but then decided that this should make the cut! I think investing in a new monitor or two would really help you in different ways:
- Small Laptop monitors can really affect your eyes due to their size and due their close proximity to our faces (as their distance is set).
- Laptop monitors will force you to adopt a bad position (facing downward), while an external monitor can be placed on a good stand and help your positioning.
I have suggested all of the above items and I found them to be extremely helpful for my career and really help me be performant while working remotely. As with most of this kind of article, they are sorely suggestions and your list and your preferences can be extremely different from mine.
Feel free to comment below if you know of any other equipment that should make this list and remember to look after yourself!