Hint: Your perfect working from home setup needs the right environment, tools and tech, plugged in.
These past 12 months have taught us that working from home is here to stay. As 2020 saw us go indoors, and 2021 has seen us stay there, the importance of a great home office set up has skyrocketed. While we hope this is not the case forever and with many office spaces now making changes to keep employees safe out of the home, the prevalence of working from home as a trend is here to stay. And with the cost of central city office space and commuting eye-watering many employers and employees alike are seeing a productive home office as the go-to option and a new way of work-life.
With recent news indicating that homes with a fantastic and reliable broadband connection increase in value by up to £3,500 the combination of utilities to create a successful home working environment have never been more valuable. So, while some of us shove the Lego to the side and grab our laptop others turn on their mini wood burner and lean back in their ergonomic office chair to begin the day. We’ve taken a look at what makes for the best home ‘office’ set up so you can have the best workspace available.
A BIG bonus – Better home broadband sees home values jump by £3,500
With Zzoomm Full Fibre now available to homes and businesses in Henley-on-Thames, the full impact of this network is beginning to be felt.
The latest report into the governments £2.6 billion scheme to roll out superfast broadband has seen that this essential utility increases the average home price across the UK, with brilliant broadband viewed as an essential must-have utility for any home.
So now not only does Zzoomm Full Fibre broadband support your incredible working from home, but the addition of a future-proofed utility could potentially increase your property value by as much as £3,500. Nice to have when it comes to moving to the countryside into that barn renovation you’ve seen.
The past 12 months have shone a spotlight on the features that contribute to home prices across the UK and the fact that the UK still only has 19 % Full Fibre broadband has become a critical issue for homebuyers searching for their next move.
Fast internet is one of the top priorities for prospective home buyers. Would-be buyers would only consider purchasing a property with slow broadband if its asking price was reduced by 19% according to the latest survey. In Henley, that’s an average of over £160,000.
As an industry that has been fortunate enough to continue, Bonds Estate Agents have seen and heard first-hand the changes in people’s search criteria across both buying and letting. Undoubtedly, the most commonly discussed requirement is the need for a study or home office space.
And if you own an apartment and are renting it out, remember the generation looking to move from London to a satellite commuting town only know one thing, super-fast broadband and if you don’t have it, they don’t want your Thames view flat. It’s a deal-breaker.
The redevelopment of rental properties has also come under careful review. Landlords who are particularly strategic might include a home office garden studio, killing two birds with one stone: a garden and an office. Over the past year, all things work, family and leisure have come under one roof which has certainly come with its challenges. A fully kitted external office with fast and reliable Wi-Fi will be a real asset in the years to come.
Research conducted by Nerd Wallet claims that 71 percent of people consider flexible working – in terms of both the hours and location they work – as important to their job satisfaction’ (Source: More than a third of UK workers actively looking for job with flexible working). You can imagine the challenges this has posed given the current lockdown restrictions.
Aside from the actual ability to create a home office space, successful remote working depends on several factors. Reliable, high-speed broadband is an absolute must. No-one enjoys closing a deal on a line that repeatedly breaks and drops.
And of course, you’re playing a part in the UK’s governments ambitions for connected greatness. According to an independent report the governments drive to have superfast broadband for all has been under the spotlight this last year given how we’ve all come to realise the necessity and importance of staying connected. Henley-on-Thames now has a Zzoomm’s broadband service which exceeds the UK governments speed target (by about 66 times).
As a nation we are almost entirely dependent upon online communication now, socialising included. If there is ever a time to invest in quality broadband, it’s now.
Wi-Fi in your home for your home office set up
Wi-Fi allows an ever-growing number of wireless-capable devices like smartphones, laptops, games consoles, and even doorbells to access the internet while connected to your broadband network. For the most reliable connection, however, we always recommend connecting your work laptop or computer to your brilliant broadband via a cat 6 ethernet cable.
Not all Wi-Fi set-ups are the same and while our Full Fibre broadband signal is the fastest in the UK, Wi-Fi reception can be impacted by your home, your devices & even your Goldfish Bowl. For the perfect home office set up, it’s best to have one of your two Zzoomm Hubs in the same room you’re working from. The fewer walls between your devices and the Hubs the stronger and more reliable the connection will be.
Sometimes your home’s structure can have an impact on your home office set up. Modern homes have insulation that reflects Wi-Fi signal and older homes often have thicker walls that interfere with connections or block Wi-Fi signal altogether.
Then there are the devices you have that are all competing for their own share of your broadband bandwidth. Printers, check ✓ Alexa, check ✓ Laptop, check ✓ Mobile, check ✓ Hive heater or Ring doorbell? Count the number of devices you have. How many did you get to? Remember the most successful work from homer is an organised one.
You physically remove the clutter your kids leave on your desk, so why not the number of things you have connected? By reducing the devices connected to your broadband you are focusing the bandwidth on the devices you need the most and giving them the broadband support they need to work for you and succeed.
So whatever your choice of home office, whether that’s your garden shed, spare room, utility room, hot tub, bedroom, dining room or under stairs cupboard make sure it works for you. Remember, the trick to maintaining a work-life balance is making sure it is still your home, not you living in the office.
A no brainer – Brilliant Full Fibre Broadband connected directly to your home
The best working from home set up requires broadband that simply works to connect and support your every need through all hours of the day.
The 6 pm drop-off (if you can remember life 11 months ago), was a nightmare for families up and down the country but usually impacted leisure rather than work time. Having returned home from work many would sit down to stream a new boxset, a movie or play some online games but would find slow loading times, buffering videos and the ultimate lag experience.
This is not a scenario that can be tolerated when it’s your workday and professionalism is at stake. The 6 pm drop-off is nothing compared to the all-day drop-offs many experience on their service with the large, national broadband providers. Now we’re all working the 9 – 5 from home; you, your family, your neighbours, your neighbour’s neighbours, the whole street even. The ‘new normal’ means glitchy conference calls, slow load times, cut-offs, patchy connections, and work-embarrassment. The 6 pm drop-off has now become an all-day metaphorical loading bay for those unfortunately on the likes of 10-65Mbps connections. There are entire streets attempting the morning video conference each household with hourly notifications from Alexa telling them their 14th parcel of the week is en-route for delivery.
How are you expected to continue working from home with slow, unreliable services? That’s not the perfect home office set up if you ask us. What happens when you have a service breakdown? How quickly would your broadband provider reconnect you? We have had reports of two weeks till services resumed on these large providers. That’s a workplace disaster and can be fundamentally damaging to your productiveness and position in the virtual office.
So how can you avoid this cliff edge nightmare? Simple, you switch to a better service, designed for the accommodation of both working from home, family life and whatever else you throw at it. With Zzoomm Broadband, Henley is now one of the fastest places to live in the UK with strong, reliable Full Fibre broadband, and the best part is your home can connect to this brand new network today so you are already ahead of the workplace solution curve.
Rather than accept the struggle of glitchy video calls or planning diaries with your partner to decide who can have a conference call you can have a better service at a better value. Broadband that supports multiple video calls, TV streaming and your smart home devices all at once and is cheaper than the slower options.
Zzoomm Full Fibre broadband requires a short installation that connects your home to the wider area broadband network. The entire process can take less than two hours and is completed by a team of highly trained engineers in full PPE. You can just sit back and relax (and maybe make the team a cup of tea).
You can choose the connection speed that is right for you; 100Mbps for calling friends, virtual quizzes, that Amazon habit; the bestselling 400Mbps that really kicks your work calls into smooth operator style; or unbelievably fast 900 or 2,000Mbps connection for you to proclaim ‘I am the boss of this work domain’. What’s more (and you won’t get this from any other operator in town- we’ve checked) I the ordering process you can match your upload speed which carries those video words of wisdom at a Morgan Freeman smooth vocal speed to put you at the head of the business table. Suddenly your package goes from 440Mbps to 800Mbbps at £49, at 6p per Mbps. Compare that to your newly increased BT, EE, Talk Talk or Sky package. No lost sales here.
So, it’s down to what you and your company need and how you best connect to that objective to smash that KPI.
Fantastic VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Provider – Ditch the landline and call over the internet
The most important aspect of working from home is reliable communication as we have outlined above (and having that at a great value is a bonus). But that doesn’t mean the old Hornblower or spinning wheel telephone unless you are a hipster retro-styled property. You don’t need a landline anymore to call and say ‘Hello, is it me you’re looking for?’
VoIP known as Voice over Internet provider easily replaces that patchy phone line with a digitised option that even connects to your mobile, (an app downloaded to your mobile device) making for a reliable and amazing value home telephone service without the need for expensive line rental. What’s more the mobile connection means you’ll never miss a call, even if you wanted to. Instead of relying on out-of-date phone lines, your home phone calls will flow over your Full Fibre broadband or mobile connection all whilst keeping your existing telephone number. Alternatively, as a new business working from home, you may require a local number, this can be set up in a day.
That simple change in how your home telephone works drags your ‘landline’ into the 21st century with voicemail to email, active call redirect, international caller bundle, unlimited UK mobile calls and not to mention the many optional bolt-on’s to choose from.
Once you’ve ordered, your Kit essentials will arrive in the post soon after, the guide will tell you how to set it up simply and easily and you’ll be one step closer to your perfect home office set up. With a simple Kit Hub and a 3-step installation process which you can do yourself in just 3 minutes or less.
Bonus: Using Kit could save you over £300 a year!
There is no monthly line rental so compared to the most popular (and highest cost) providers the Kit service at only £9.99 a month per licence and can save you over £300 a year. Additional bolt-on’s are your choice. For example, an international call bolt-on, or mobile option is an addition at only £3 per month. Otherwise, all national and local calls are free. You can find out more about Kit here.
What else? Wonderful working space vs the lounging living areas
If you don’t have a dedicated home office or desk, put your laptop and work notebooks in a bag and out of sight at the end of each day, and especially on the weekends. You’ll be less tempted to have a quick check of your emails or finish that report if your laptop is out of sight. It’s easy to justify logging in again when your set-up is ready to go, but not so much if you’ve got to get everything ready again. This is especially helpful if you’re working in the same room that you normally relax in.
It’s also important to get changed at the end of the day into comfortable “at home” couture, whether that’s loungewear, top and tails or even your PJ’s, it helps go from work mode to chill mode and separate your personal world from the professional vision that you present on your 8 am conference call.
Just like it’s best to have a dedicated working area for your home office it’s also best to have a space reserved for relaxing in. Remember that feeling of walking through the door after the commute and leaving all work worries on the doorstep? You need to try and recreate this. So, although your physical commute might be a thing of that ‘pre-covid’ world, keep up the mental transition. From reading that magazine or listening to that podcast for 20 minutes after work, anything to get you into ‘home time’ mode will help you relax. When you’re relaxed on your time off, you’ll be more productive when you’re working.
How do I get the best home office set up ASAP?
Your home is ready to be connected to the Henley-on-Thames Zzoomm network and make use of Kit VoIP, giving you the perfect home office set up and saving you money. Simply order Zzoomm at Zzoomm.com or call 03333 119909 to speak to the team. When you’re ready to order Kit give them a call on 03330 151521 and place your order.
Your best home office set up needs a bit of thought, a good plan, and a fantastic connection from Zzoomm, with those in place it’s then just plugging in to plug away.