The essential tools you need to work remotely anywhere in the world

Working remotely is a real art – something we strive to perfect every single day. We implemented a remote working policy back in 2016. What comes to mind when you think about working from home? Maybe you imagine someone cozy on their couch, with their computer on their lap, watching TV. But, in some ways, it is much harder than working from an office. It requires discipline, motivation and contentment with your own (or your pet’s) company.

Since a majority of us have swapped many of our work days in our Downtown Crossing office for days in our home offices, we consider ourselves remote work pros. To help any new or future remote workers, we gathered some suggestions about the must-haves for working successfully and happily from home.

We asked our team, “What’s your remote working must-have?”

  1. My must-haves: Laptop, charger, water, my dog, my notebook (literally, my bible) and caffeine.
  2. Cathy Atkins, founding partner: Depending on my mood, I either need music or total silence, so I never work remotely without my headphones. I get awkward if I forget them or don't have them. 

  3. Nicole Ngoon, assistant account executive: I always think it is easier to work at a desk with a monitor. The two screens are helpful when you have multiple windows/tabs open. Must-have items are my notebook, computer glasses and headphones. 

  4. Kelly Haddock, account executive: My Pomodoro timer. A manager suggested it to me for time management a couple of years ago, and it's a life saver. I have to get up and move around some during the work day or I will go crazy, but a lot of times I am tempted to get up too much. If I start getting antsy but need to sit down and finish something, I set that timer and it forces me to stay seated until it goes off. It's also helpful when tracking time. I love it.

  5. Melissa Cohen, managing partner: I definitely need a desk with a monitor and keyboard hook up to my laptop to help with eye, back and neck issues. In addition, a space heater in the winter and light music in the background keeps me crankin' and happy.

  6. Caroline Curran, senior account executive: A great calendar (and a back-up!). I've worked in both Outlook-based and Google-based email and calendar systems. In both cases, I like to make sure I have a back-up. I start my week making sure my back-up calendar and my digital calendar are aligned. A project management tool is also a must-have. At Metis, we use Basecamp. The communication and project management capabilities are absolutely critical in staying connected while working remotely. 

  7. Rachel Sullivan, director of marketing: I've become super minimalistic since I started traveling: laptop, charger, headphones, water and access to coffee. 

  8. Mel Rubbelke, senior account executive: 1 - Access to coffee/caffeine. 2 - Music in the background to concentrate, relax and keep me upbeat.

  9. Kirsten Stratton, assistant account executive: This one seems like a no-brainer, but I need a quiet space, separated from the rest of the house.

  10. Justine Boucher, account manager: I am a no-lap laptop person. I need a desk or table where I can spread out a computer, notepad, mousepad and a coffee. I guess my must-have is a wireless mouse – I am so much quicker at editing, writing and emailing with a mouse.

  11. Rebecca Joyner, vice president of content strategy: A space heater. That basement home office was an awesome idea, but we should not have skimped on heating it. Brrr. I sit three inches from my space heater. She is my new best friend.

Is there something missing from our list? Tweet us with your must-have.

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