From perching at the end of the bed hunched over a laptop to trying to hold a meeting with the dog barking at the door, there are times when working from home can feel challenging, if not downright miserable. The right work from home setup can improve the situation. A setup that enables remote workers to not just do their job but do it effectively and while feeling included. We spoke with Steve Harris, co-founder of Podia about the importance of a home workstation that enables collaboration and inclusivity.
“I remember being in audio conference calls in the past. The meeting is going on in the meeting room and anyone not physically there, might only get a word in every fifteen minutes,” recalls Steve. This situation is one he wants to relegate to the pre-pandemic offices of old.
“It’s a massive opportunity for the world to make a change,” he says of the work from home revolution. Their vision with Podia is to do this in a holistic fashion, bringing together technology, furniture, ergonomics, and wellbeing, to give remote workers a much more productive and inclusive experience.
Moving out of survival mode
When the pandemic started and we were all told to work from home where possible, Steve knew they could improve on the situations they saw happening. “People were grabbing what they could from the office, shipping flat pack desks, and buying cheap office chairs… Certainly, it might have been accepted during the pandemic but I think people are much more aware that it’s the right thing to allow people to work from home. It doesn’t mean they’re not productive and it means they need to be looked after in the same way that you would look after an employee in the office. I think some people have lost sight of that.”
In survival mode, these were immediate measures that helped people get through. Steve believes the long term solution needs to be more carefully curated.
His solution with Podia is to help organisations and individuals take the home office set up to the next level. By equipping people with the right furniture and technology, it will not just allow but really enable people to do their jobs comfortably and efficiently.
Remote not removed
The big question around remote working was could people do the same work at home as at the office? Could people work to the same standard and at the same pace?
Steve notes that to do it properly to the same productivity levels, the work from home setup needs to be fit for purpose.
“They are going to need technology and a proper set up and they are going to need to collaborate with people in the office. If they’re at home and the office has no infrastructure to allow proper connections to remote staff then they’ve lost that battle.”
Podia decided to offer workstation bundles to enable people to work from home effectively, and importantly, to feel included.
They facilitate this with their products and technology solutions. From interactive boards and different plugins on Zoom designed for collaborative tasks to simpler pieces of tech such as noise cancelling headphones.
“If you’re in a busy home environment sat on mute the whole time, it takes you away from the meeting taking place,” says Amy Newton, Chief Marketing Officer at Podia. “Something as simple as a headset with noice cancelling technology can completely change that experience and make you more involved.”
Helping employers equip remote workers with a productive work from home setup
To help organisations, they have created bundles of products. They range from basic work from home essentials to much more hi-tech packages, available to lease on a monthly basis. Each one is a ready-made, ready-to-go, productive work from home setup.
They have also built software to help employers deploy and track equipment that goes out to remote staff.
“You could send a remote worker a fully integrated solution: desk, chair, webcam, headset, keyboard, mouse, monitors. All the serial numbers are tracked so the employer knows where they are. They can move them around if they want to and redeploy assets as people leave or join the business,” says Steve.
“With the price of hardware and solutions going down, we’ve tried to make it a lot easier for people to upgrade their meeting rooms,” he adds.
Tables and chairs with a TV bolted the wall, an HDMI cable hanging out ready for power point presentations are relics of a pre-pandemic age. Podia offer slick integrated solutions that will enable seamless collaborations between remote teams. They organise everything from purchase through to installation and set up.
A productive work from home setup for all all levels and situations
Steve believes at a senior level, leaders have to be able to work from home in the same way as they were in the office. Podia’s top-level package includes their 49” screen unit for conferencing and collaboration sessions. It also comes with professional video camera equipment, posture mat, and sit-stand desk.
Their cheapest package is just £29.99 a month, giving you a desk, chair, keyboard, mouse, headset, and webcam – the basic essentials to do the job at home.
The 800 mm desk is designed for a common living area. Its compact size means it doesn’t require a dedicated office space. “With the echo cancelling headset as well, you can still enable people who might ordinarily have a tough time working from home to work from home and achieve good levels of productivity,” says Steve.
All their solutions are now available for individual homeworkers to buy as well. Their store includes a range of products you can buy separately. As hybrid working and working from home become mainstream, Podia’s mission is help people thrive at work and at home, particularly when they are the same place.
Podia is listed in our SHOP section. Check out their different packages and products for businesses and individuals.