Last month, IT expert Alex Rayter of Phoenix 2.0 reviewed options and recommendations for remote sales teams and other employees, mostly from the IT & Security point of view. In this story I will address some of the more practical considerations for both you and your users.

Remote Sales Built for Comfort and Work

Since I have been home office based for more than 20 years, I have had the opportunity to experience what many folks are now only getting to enjoy with the COVID-19 pandemic. There are challenges and rewards in a remote office environment, so let’s start with the basics. I will also share my personal favorites that I am currently using today for the most productive and comfortable days in front of the computer.

Aside from the hardware Alex talked about, your desk and chair are of course the most used items. It is important for both you and your team to have a quality office chair for hours and hours of Zoom calls and conferences. It was a couple of years ago when I realized I needed a new office chair (your back will tell you when) and hit my local office supplies store to not only browse but sit in some of the chairs.

I was surprised to see that office chairs are now ranked by hours per day you expect to be in the chair – a great benchmark. The top ranked office chair without regard for price is the Steelcase Gesture for about $1,000, and at the low end a great deal from Amazon is the Amazon Basics Leather padded chair for a little over $100.

I bought the Vanabon Leather Memory foam Chair (not available now), for just under $200 and have been really happy with it. There are a number of great options in the $200-$500 range, depending on your budget, or if your employer is providing. The important thing is buying one that suits you and has the swivel, tilt, lumbar controls etc. you like for your style and body type.

Don’t Forget Function

I never thought I’d want to rave about an office chair mat, but after years of using what most of us have grown up with – plastic mats that tend to crack and develop bowls where we most often sit that make it hard to get out of the ditch I had created – I succumbed to hours of talk radio and went for the Vitrazza glass chair mat. What a game changer! For $250-$500 (depending on shape and size) you get a lifetime quality surface to effortlessly glide around on, a totally different experience. It now ranks as one of my favorite lifetime office products. Amazing, and so is the quality of their packing and shipping of a large piece of glass…

I also highly recommend a standing desk like the Varidesk Pro I bought ($500). It’s nice to be able to stand and work, stretch, and liven yourself up in the late afternoon when the caffeine has worn off. This one is good for dual displays and is still getting 5 stars on Amazon.

Everyone is more productive if they are not having body aches and undue fatigue from the hours of screen time that we will all continue to enjoy for a while, so invest in your comfort and productivity sooner than later.

Next month we’ll explore some of the legal issues for employers and employees in a remote workplace.