Working from home is nothing new. However, most people have been pushed to it by their company’s stay-at-home policy aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Nevertheless, many people have realized the benefits that come with remote working. On the other hand, employers have discovered that employees are most productive in working this way. Even as movement restrictions start getting relaxed, working from home might continue in the long run.
In a hurry to get up and work in the shortest time, you probably put up a temporary workspace. You need to know that your productivity is significantly dependent on how well you set up your home office. If you are to continue being productive in the prolonged work-from-home period, you might want to rethink your home office setup – it’s not too late!
Here are some guidelines on how to create a perfect home office setup.
Have a dedicated space
When you mix work and home tasks in one place, you risk one spilling over to the other. You need to find a separate and dedicated space for your work in order to create a division between the two. However, you need to consider a few things when choosing the perfect space for your home office.
For starters, put in mind the nature of your work. If, for instance, you must meet with clients or customers instead of meeting online, you might need to consider a room near the entrance of your residence. If you do a lot of conference calls, you need a room with a door where you can lock out distractions. In addition, you need to choose an area that is well ventilated with plenty of fresh air getting in, if possible.
Sometimes, it’s just way too challenging to find a dedicated workspace in your house. That room close to the door may get enough lighting, but is not well ventilated, or the room with a door is well ventilated, but does not get enough natural sunlight. In this case, with remote working continuing for an indefinite time, you need your designated home office, and for this, you can consider a home addition project. Having your own home office means you can customize it according to your personal needs and the nature of your work.
Invest in comfortable office furniture
You probably spend most of your time sitting when you work, and it is only right that you are as comfortable as possible to avoid back and neck aches. Get yourself a proper chair and desk. It is paramount that you follow the ergonomic rules when choosing and setting up the two. Ensure that the chair you choose gives support to your back, arms, and thighs.
When setting up the workspace, ensure your arms stay parallel to the floor, and your legs rest on the floor or a footrest with your back and neck straight. Your eyes should rest slightly below the top of your screen to avoid straining them when working.
Consider a standing desk
Sitting for long hours can hurt your health. Besides taking regular breaks, you can break up the time you sit down by working on a standing desk. Consider one that is height-adjustable so you can adjust the height as you need it. If you are limited on space, you can opt to purchase a standing desk extender. You can place it on top of your desk and adjust it to your required height.
This extender is actually advantageous because you can turn any surface into a standing desk. For instance, if you want to break the monotonous working from the same space, you can place the extender on the kitchen counter and have some work done while standing up.
Pro tip: Even as you set up your office, remodel your kitchen to make it a perfect alternative working space away from your home office. Your kitchen also makes a perfect breakout room at home for coffee breaks or when you just want to recharge.
Ensure enough lighting
A place that is well lit improves productivity. If you are to create an office setup that will not dampen your motivation to work, you need to ensure that the space is getting enough natural light. Consider enlarging the existing windows or adding an extra one. It’s fundamental to well being, and productivity.
If you don’t have the luxury of adding a window, take advantage of the fact that light reflects. You can paint the walls white or use a large mirror to reflect light through the entire room.
Alternatively, complement the natural light with ambient lights. These come in handy when you have to work during the night, on a cloudy day, or if your office is in the basement. However, avoid placing overhead lighting directly above your computer screen or placing your computer in front of a light source. Otherwise, the lighting can cause glare that can make you strain your eyes.
Chose décor that is inviting
One advantage of having a home office is that you have the freedom to choose the décor according to your taste and preference. To complete the setup, choose a décor that is warm and inviting. Go for energy-inducing colors such as red, orange, or yellow on the walls. Hang artworks that reflect your personality and also brighten up the room.
You can also add some plants to your home office. Besides improving the aesthetic of your home office, being around greenery has a way of calming the mind and lifting your spirits. They can work well in keeping you motivated and sparking your creativity.
Have some organization
Working in a cluttered room can deeply hurt your morale and dampen your spirits. If you are to be productive, you’ll want a clean and organized space for your work. Use trays to organize your pending work to avoid wasting time looking for paper in disorganized piles. Have some pencil cups to organize your pens and other writing instruments. Invest in a file cabinet to organize your files to avoid piling them in a corner or lying around.
Perhaps the most forgotten item when it comes to organization is having cables lying all over the place. Besides creating a mess, they can easily cause injuries if stepped on. It is best that you find a solution, such as bundling them together or using cable covers to organize them.
Achieve a setup for your own needs
Setting up a home office is the first step to ensure you are staying motivated when working from home. It makes sense to want to set it up in a way that draws you in to get work done. These tips give you an idea of how to achieve a perfect home office setup that can set you up for continued productivity.