Checklist – Working Remotely/Setting Up Home Office

I wrote this post originally about 10 years back when I started working remotely.

As a result of Coronavirus pandemic, lot of people are having to work from home. So here goes an updated version.

Here are some tools that work for me. I am not recommending anything here, just mentioning what work for me.  Also, some of these things are specific to India (are we the only ones who use a UPS?). So here’s what worked for me. Your mileage may be different.


  • Good old Skype works best. It also works well for team con-calls. You can even share your screen.
  • For larger meetings or presentations, I’ve been using Zoom a lot. Supports video conferencing too. WebEx and GoToMeetings also work.
  • Other options:  Google Hangouts, BlueJeans, RingCentral… 


  • Slack is quite useful for sharing regular updates, general collaboration and even for sharing office gossip.
  • Asana and Trello for more formal task and project management
  • Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box and Dropbox for file sharing
  • Google Docs and Office365 for those spreadsheets or documents that require co-working

Other useful tools/services

  • Expensify for expense reporting, submitting claims/approvals etc
  • Quickbooks for accounting
  • Perfios for expense management
  • I use excel for timesheets as well as TO DO lists. That works better than most others timesheet apps.


  • A fast Internet connection. Or probably a couple of them. I use two of them and use a TP-Link load balancing router to connect both connections. This arrangement provides a reasonably priced fail-over capability, should one of those networks go down during a presentation or meeting
  • VPN: I mostly use the built-in Opera VPN. But i don’t need it a lot
  • Strong network. Range extenders etc don’t work. Go wired or use a mesh network. I’m now using TP-Link Mesh system

Hardware and Accessories

  • Primary work device: Laptop, desktop, iPad,
  • A printer: Or a multi-function device (MFD). The inktank printers are very cost effective but super slow. Color lasers are expensive but fast. A good trade-off is to buy a B&W laser and use phone for scanning etc.
  • Phone: Mobile connectivity is bad here. But AirTel’s WiFi calling has greatly improved mobile calling. Otherwise get a landline and invest in a good speaker phone. And good headset. Not all headsets work on landline devices, so you’ll need to look for specific ones depending on your landline. For long calls, a landline phone with headset capability is very useful.
  • A good noise canceling headset for web conferencing
  • Office furniture. If you’re going to spend a reasonable amount of time working, this is probably the most important aspect for your office. Get a decent chair which is comfortable enough to discourage you from working on your bean bag.
  • Stationery (printer paper, staplers, pen, file boxes, ……)
  • An uninterrupted power supply (UPS). Although, my apartment complex has a generator backup but when power goes off, it always takes about 30 seconds for the generator to take over.  You need a UPS so that at least the modem and routers don’t restart in the event of power shutdown.
  • An external drive to keep your backups. Or signup for storage (Google, iCloud, Dropbox) for regular backups. I use Google drive plus Apple time machine/time capsules for in-house backups
  • A warranty and service plan for all the stuff above – laptop, desktop, printer etc. Don’t underestimate the importance of this and try to get something that covers onsite visits as well.
  • A coffee/tea maker
  • An external monitor, mouse and keyboard. If you use external monitor, it might be a good idea to get a laptop docking station as well.
  • Couple of extension boards. Get one of those with built-in USB ports so you don’t need chargers for your devices

Okay so this should be a good start. I will add to it as and when I remember more. If you think i’ve missed out something, please leave a comment and i’ll add that to the list.

Stay safe and avoid any travel or f2f meetings as much as possible.

Cover image: Ruthson Zimmerman ruthson_zimmerman / CC0

Enter your email address to subscribe to occasional updates from AltView. We promise no spam ever.

Enter your email address to subscribe to occasional updates from AltView. We promise no spam ever.

%d bloggers like this: