The Ultimate Guide to Supporting WFH Employees

Everything your company needs to support your remote employees and keep them feeling -- and working -- at their best.


September 11, 2020

Fully WFH - Book Nook

This post is sponsored by Fully.

Folks, it’s August September (time flies when you’ve been working from your bed for the past 6 months). Remote work is no longer a fresh novelty — it’s the core of our day-to-day lives. 

Yet, many companies out there are still struggling to make the transition. 

What gives?

Maybe it’s a lack of awareness. Or resources. Or because Comcast just won’t. Fix. The damn. Router. 

Whatever it is, we know one thing: If your company wants to not just survive, but thrive, you need to put as much effort into supporting your employees as you do your bottom line. That’s why we’ve worked with Fully to create this guide to building an amazing WFH experience. Go ahead, dig in.

Physical Needs

A great home office experience starts with a great home office (after all, no one ever did their best work with their laptop propped up on three shoeboxes). 

Here are some key pieces every employee will need create their perfect productivity palace:

Workspace

  • What To Look For: Walls or screens that offer added privacy, while also establishing a “barrier” allowing employees to have separation between work and non-work areas.
  • Our Pick: Natural 4-Panel Room Divider from Home Depot
  • Common Mistake: Logging in from a bedroom or couch (this makes it hard for our brains to distinguish between work times and off times).

Desks

  • What To Look For: Adjustable standing desks that allow employees to mix up how they work, ideally with some added functionality like storage, outlets, etc. 
  • Our Pick: Jarvis EcoTop Standing Desk from Fully (it’s what we use at The Hustle).
  • Common Mistake: Sitting- or standing-only desks that keep people in one position all day, which can put stress on their joints and body… and are just straight-up booooring. 

Chairs

  • What To Look For: Chairs that open the hips, drop the knees, engage the core, and are adjustable — ya know, to match that standing desk. 
  • Our Pick: Capisco Puls from Fully (also what we use at The Hustle).
  • Common Mistake: Everything you’ve been told about ergonomics. This article breaks down what’s wrong with the entire movement, and why we prefer active sitting chairs from Fully.

Decorations

  • What To Look For: Ambiance and visual appeal! A good home office blends in with the rest of the house, rather than being an eyesore that’s stuck in the corner. 
  • Our Pick: Golden Pothos from Deskplants.com (many companies are actually now offering monthly plant subscriptions as a WFH perk) 
  • Common Mistake: Zero decorations. Why? Simple — if the work area is dull and uninviting, the owner will dread sitting down every morning. 

Lighting

  • What To Look For: One word: Mood. Ideally, a home office will be near a window so employees can get some Grade A authentico sunlight that changes with the day. Barring that, a quality floor lamp that has different mood and brightness settings can help imitate that natural light spectrum. 
  • Our Pick: Beam LED Floor Lamp from Fully (yep… another pick at The Hustle)
  • Common Mistake: Placement and direction. Putting a light behind the computer can cause glare and headaches. 

Everything Else

  • What To Look For: Items that will help focus or reduce distractions — think ambient noise, scents, or functional pieces such as storage cabinets. 
  • Our Pick: Dohm Classic Natural Sound Machine
  • Common Mistake: Not being prepared for the construction going on outside when they have a big Zoom kickoff meeting… No one wants to be that one guy or gal who’s muted the whole time.  

Mental Support

Lack of job security, reduced socialization, and — in many cases — screaming kids stuck at home. Employee mental health issues are reaching a fever pitch, which means it’s more important than ever for companies to address it instead of sweeping it under the rug. 

Here are ways you can help your employees directly and help them help themselves to stay happy and healthy at home.

Company Rules

  • What To Look For: Policies you can put in place to help your employees achieve a great work-life balance and avoid the dreaded “burnout”.
  • Our Pick: One Mental Health PTO Friday per month
  • Common Mistake: Scheduling more Zoom meetings, not less. Zoom happy hours are fine and all but if we just had 6 meetings that day, another one isn’t gonna help.

Therapy

  • What To Look For: A virtual offering that allows your employees to live chat or schedule virtual sessions as needed with actual therapists — bonus points for offering specialization in particularly-relevant areas like “cause fatigue.”
  • Our Pick: Betterhelp subscription
  • Common Mistake: Thinking therapy is for the weak. That’s so 1990… Grow up. 

Mental Acuity

  • What To Look For: Ways to keep employees stimulated at home, especially if they’re stuck inside or without social contact for long stretches. 
  • Our Pick: brain.fm subscription
  • Common Mistake: Thinking that 8 hours of Netflix as background noise will help employees productivity more than, ya know, a playlist specifically designed to help their brain function at its best. 

Physical Fitness 

  • What To Look For: Methods to help employees stay active and fit while gyms and sports leagues are closed (especially since exercise has been shown to boost both mood, energy, and the immune system).
  • Our Pick: Strava subscription
  • Common Mistake: Neglecting employees physical health, especially knowing the countless benefits it has in so many other aspects of their lives. 

Family Support

  • What To Look For: Ways to support parents who are trying to balance a new remote role with the fact that they’re sharing their office with their families. 
  • Our Pick: Child Care Stipends
  • Common Mistake: Expecting someone to do their job while also entertaining a 5-year-old, or worse — homeschooling against their will. We rest our case. 

Tech Solutions

Okay, your employees have the perfect home office and are feeling supported and ready to kick their KPI’s asses? Nice. But what happens when they sit down and realize their software was built for an office, not an apartment? Exactly. 

It may seem minor, but don’t skimp on tech solutions — there’s plenty out there, and they can be the difference between being crazy efficient and just plain going crazy. Here’s what we suggest: 

Meeting Software

  • What To Look For: Fast meeting setup, easy access, and not a ton of moving parts when it comes to getting your whole company onboarded.
  • Our Pick: Zoom (Cliche? Sure. Effective? You bet.)
  • Common Mistake: Sticking with old or free video conferencing software because it’s easier than switching… only to drop from yet another important call and fall behind schedule. 

Communication Software

  • What To Look For: Clean, fast, and capable instant messaging. Most companies will have this in place already, but for those just making the remote switch, this is a must-have. 
  • Our Pick: Slack
  • Common Mistake: We can survive with just email” — the famous last words of a company where half the deadlines were missed due to one cluttered inbox. 

Productivity Software

  • What To Look For: Simple to start, simple to master, and a clear avenue as to how it will help your team (after all, the whole point is to get more done, not less). 
  • Our Pick: Simpleology
  • Common Mistake: Settling for a platform that is less focused on enabling and supporting employees and more focused on monitoring them. Have a little faith — we can all still succeed without Big Brother watching over us.  

Monitors

  • What To Look For: Our perfect screen blends high resolution plus compact size (hey, not everyone has a big desk at home) 
  • Our Pick: Ultrasharp 24 Monitor from Dell
  • Common Mistake: Not thinking a second screen is needed. If your employees are working with small laptops, the lack of a larger monitor can make it incredibly difficult to successfully multitask or even use visual programs like Photoshop. 

Keyboards & Mouses

  • What To Look For: A more natural resting position for your hands that will reduce soreness over time, but still comfortably fit on a home desk. 
  • Our Pick: Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse from Microsoft
  • Common Mistake: Trying to do anything remotely accurate with a laptop trackpad… you never know you need a nice mouse until you’re without one. 

Headphones

  • What To Look For: Over-ear headphones that can block out noise for periods of intense focus (or when the roommates just won’t shut up). 
  • Our Pick: Any Noise-Cancelling Headphones from Bose
  • Common Mistake: Standard, garden-variety headphones will work in a pinch, but investing in a quality pair for your employees won’t just help them focus — it’s also a nice gesture that says “hey, we appreciate you working your butt off through Maybe The Worst Year This Century.

Everything Else

  • What To Look For: Other necessary services that your employees need to work, but may be paying out of pocket.
  • Our Pick: Internet bill
  • Common Mistake: None. But good luck having a successful remote team without this. 

The wrap up: Give your employees the best support possible, and you’ll get exponentially more back. Short-change them on furniture, software, and support, on the other hand, and you’re gonna have a bad time. 

We worked hard with Fully to give your company everything you need to nail remote work. Now all that’s left for you is to build your WFH Perks Plan.

Get started right here by setting up a WFH Furniture Program through Fully →

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