If you were fortunate enough to be moving into a work from home situation, you might be considering what that would mean for your office space. The setup you have in the office is not going to look exactly the same at home, especially if you are space poor. Working from home often means fewer distractions, but it also means a less of a commute, much less noise, and far more personal space to be able to actually work.
The best part? You might even be more productive. If you want to wear your pajamas all day, you can, and despite the pajamas there are so many strategies out there so that you can stay more productive when you work from home. The first thing that you need to do is try to set up a home office that makes sense for your job. Whether that means you need a double screen, or a monitor arm because you need to save space, you should be liaising with your workplace and they should be setting up your workstation for you. You’re going to spend long hours at your desk and your computer, and the right equipment really can make all the difference. So, let’s take a look at all of the things that you need for a comfortable home office.
- Invest in a good chair. The sofa might look very comfortable but there’s nothing worse than that back ache you get when you’re hunched over trying to work because your couch is not actually very supportive. The couch is supposed to be supportive for you to slump down on when you’re watching Netflix, but not for when you are sitting up and getting through your work. You’ll spend almost half your day on the chair that you use, so investing in a good one is going to make a massive difference to working life. To find the right fit you should go into a store to try some chairs. You need to make sure that it supports your back, thighs and your arms.
- Always have a second monitor. We mentioned a double monitor earlier on, but it’s the closest you can be too productive. The additional screen makes it so much easier to have something open on one screen and on another one. It’s also a way to stop yourself from having to juggle windows all the time, because a second monitor can just mean that you move screens to a place. Buying the same model as your current setup will really help because you’ll know how the screen works and you have the same experience. Is especially a good idea if you are doing coding, designing or writing and researching because you can research on one screen and right on the other.
- Don’t forget about other hardware. From a mouse and a keyboard to the flashier equipment and smart equipment you’ll need to feel equipped at your desk, you need to think about what you are buying. Mechanical, clicky keyboards might be noisy but they do offer much better comfort. A humble mouse may not be something you often use even if you’ve got a laptop, but you want to stop the repetitive strain injury so having a mouse in your hand is much easier to use. Gaming mice are particularly comfortable here, but as there on the pricier side you may want to get your employer to give you a budget.
- Think about a standing desk. You may not have thought about this before, but do you have to sit down all day? An adaptable desk that allows you to stand with a cushion for your feet underneath is really going to help you to keep the blood flowing and feel comfortable. Not everybody feels good standing or sitting all day long, so an adaptable desk that you can rise and lower is going to be the best option. Sitting for extended periods of time is actually very bad for your health, so embracing a standing desk can make a big difference. As they are height adjustable, you could sit for part of the day and then stand and vice versa. The best part is that the size of the desk stays the same; it’s just where it sits.
- Consider economics. As we said, it’s not a good idea to sit for long periods of time, but the best thing you can do is follow ergonomic rules. Setting up your home work space in a way that your back and neck will be straight and comfortable with your arms parallel to the floor is going to help you to avoid slouching and avoid keeping your arms at odd angles. There are plenty of workspace planners out there that can help you to plan this out so that you can ensure that you are comfortable where you sit. It will also be able to tell you exactly where you should have your monitors, chair, desk and keyboard.
- Add some greenery. Green plants can offer a dash of colour to your office space, but they could also increase your happiness levels while reducing your stress. Decorating your home office space with flowers, standing plants and succulents can be something that makes you smile every time you go to your workspace. You’ll improve your air quality which will make you feel good while you work, and easy to maintain plants tend to be better for everybody.
- Manage your cables. Once you get set up at home, you’re going to find you have an abundance of cables that you’re the person in charge of tidying. Nobody wants to go into an office as covered in cables and cords jumbled up and left out to trip over. Wire management can really go a long way and it will improve your office aesthetic while keeping you safe while you work. It doesn’t take a lot, just a few clamps or zip ties and you’ll be able to manage your messy wires and stash them behind the back of the desk.
- Check your Internet speed. Your current Internet speed may be great for scrolling on Facebook but is it going to help you when it comes to maintaining your current working environment? Whatever you do, you need to think about what your current Internet speed is so get that checked first and then once you’ve done that you can ensure that you have an extra router setup if necessary. Make sure that your router is high off of the ground and in the middle of your house and make sure that you don’t have anything cluttering it. You don’t want anything in the way that could cause signal disruption because otherwise your working day will be interrupted and that just gets frustrating.
- Plan your space based on your needs. If you prefer to be cooler while you work, then make sure that you are in a room that has either an air conditioning unit or a couple of fans. If you prefer to work in a warmer place, make sure that you have some sunshine streaming in through the window. You need to make sure that you are comfortable with appropriate temperature control as well as fresh air, so no locked windows, please. A well-ventilated space is going to help you to concentrate especially if the room does get stuffy, and if you prefer to be colder make sure that you have a blanket on the back of your office chair so that you can warm up when you need to.
- Make sure you have plenty of natural light too. No matter how many standing lamps or desk lamps you have, you need natural light streaming into your workspace. Natural light is going to help your body and its circadian rhythm, so as your working day winds down, you will feel that in your body as the natural light disappears.
- Get a VPN. Working from home puts your desktop computer at risk of being hacked, so make sure that you have a private connection so that nothing you have in your office space is going to be at risk from hackers. Looking after your work this way is going to help you to go a long way, and it’s going to ensure that you don’t have anybody hacking into your stuff when you’re trying to work.
- Add a touch of personality. The last thing that you need to do with your home office is to make sure that it’s personally decorated to match you. Using some art, cozy rugs, and motivational quotes on the walls, no matter what you do it’s going to look great. You need it to reflect you and your working attitude, so have the right decor now and you won’t have to worry about it later.
Working from home is supposed to be a pleasure so make sure that you are planning your office space effectively. Now that you know how to make your office space stand out, you’ll feel so much better about working from home.