With the stay-at-home order in effect due to the pandemic, many workers are forced to work from home. However, it can be a challenge to come up with a space conducive for work and productivity. Those who have a small home will struggle more as they try to squeeze in a spot they will allot for work. Still, creating a small office space at home is possible with a few tips.
Working from home isn’t easy. With the entire family around, it’s easy to get distracted. The key here is setting up a work station to set the mood and to give you the right headspace.
Setting up a home office will also keep you focused. Instead of working on the couch and in front of the TV, a home office is dedicated to work matters only. Keeping everything organized is important to avoid any roadblocks on your productivity.
The following tips for setting up a home office for remote work will help you get started:
1. Pick the right location
The first thing you have to think about is the location of your home office. You will spend a great deal of time in your home office so it should be comfortable and should inspire productivity.
We recommend picking a spot with a view or window. This will make your small office space more breathable, not to mention that it will help rest your eyes.
Also, it’s important to pick a spot with good lighting. Natural light is ideal, but you should position your computer monitor against the window to prevent glare.
Another essential consideration when picking a home office spot is foot traffic. Can you tolerate too much distraction from people walking around? Or do you prefer working behind closed doors? If you are holding video meetings, you should opt for a closed space so kids and other family members won’t pop out of the blue.
Generally, you’d like a quiet and secluded spot with a nice view.
2. Get a comfy chair
Now that you have a space for your home office, you should invest in a comfy chair. A swivel chair is ideal since it gives the ‘working vibe’. Your home office chair should support your lower back to prevent strain. Remember that you’ll be spending hours sitting on your desk. The last thing you want is poor posture and back pain.
Always opt for chairs with back support and armrest. It’s up to you if you want a wheeled or non-wheeled type.
If you are to purchase a non-adjustable office chair, make sure that its height is suitable with the height of your desk. When in doubt, an office chair with height adjustments is ideal.
Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle to prevent numbness on your extremities. If your current chair has poor back support, you can purchase separate lumbar support to prop your back.
3. Use an ergonomic desk
One of the most important things when setting up a home office is using an ergonomic desk. Never sacrifice function over the looks of your home office table. Always consider the number of computer monitors you’re going to use as well as other devices.
We recommend getting a desk that can be converted into a standing desk. Spending hours sitting is bad for your health.
Aside from that, you should look for a desk with additional elevation so you can place your laptop or monitor within eye level. Make sure that the desk you’re using for work is dedicated to work only.
However, you should also consider the space that you can spare. A very large desk could make the room too crampy while a very small one will not serve its purpose.
If you really want a desk tailored to your every need, you can have it customized. This way, you can also add some bits and bobs along with it.
4. Organize your cables
Cable clutter slows down your productivity. Also, when cables aren’t tucked comfortably, you’ll be more distracted and less in the mood for work.
If possible, use a wireless mouse and other complementary devices. For the cables of your computer, tuck it behind your desk using zip ties. You can also bore a hole on your desk so you can place the cables underneath.
Hiding and organizing the cables are two different things. Make sure that everything is organized so you can easily pull it out when needed. The last thing you want is a cobweb of cables. If you stick to this setup, you may unplug a device you’re not supposed to turn off.
As much as possible, shorten the cables of your devices. This way, you wouldn’t have to keep a thick roll of cables that will only catch dust. Also, remove cables that you’re not really using.
5. Set up a work phone
If you have to take phone calls for work, we recommend setting up a line dedicated to your workspace. This way, you wouldn’t have to run to and from your desk every time it rings. Also, you will avoid family members answering work calls.
A shared phone and voicemail are unprofessional. If you’re planning to work from home for an extended period, you might as well invest on a separate line.
A VoIP phone is ideal for work purposes. It’s cheaper and safer, not to mention that you have sole access to it. You can also ask your employer if they can set one for you. For business owners, setting up a dedicated line is necessary.
Make sure that you place the phone hardware right at your desk. It’s a joy to see your work desk at home all set and packed with necessary devices.
6. Sort professional from personal
To ensure productivity, you should separate your personal items from the ones you use at work. Keep work records, files, and documents within your home office. This will also prevent you from missing important documents, much so if you have kids at home.
If you own a business, establishing your home office will make you eligible for tax deductions from the IRS. You can do this by compiling all the work stuff within your small office.
7. Use creative storage
When it comes to working at home, storage space might be a little limited. You can utilize desk drawers, jars, hanging hooks, and other spaces to keep your desk organized.
For example, you can place your pins and clips in identical jars lined up in your desk. When it comes to your files, you should use multiple files and envelopes. Make sure that you label each one to prevent confusion.
Utilize storage spaces so your desk will stay organized, and you can work without any disturbance. If you have a small room, you can use hanging cabinets and boxes. Open shelving is ideal since it allows you to store more items, not to mention that it’s also aesthetic.
8. Purchase a second monitor
You can also purchase a second monitor to amp up productivity. With the additional screen size, you can switch the task easily. It also prevents you from forgetting the essential details of your tasks. This is also an ideal choice if you hate switching between windows too often.
It’s also important to elevate the monitor within eye level to prevent eye and neck strain. Some workers even use three monitors to organize their work.
We recommend a glare-free monitor so you can place it at any angle.
9. Invest in a high-speed internet
The biggest challenge of working from home has a stable and high-speed internet. Before you start working, make sure that you have set up a decent internet connection. Take note that your internet speed will directly impact your productivity. Make sure that the speed of your connection can keep up with the demand for your job.
Place the router close to your desk and on a higher platform. Also, avoid placing your router beside items that can cause signal disruptions, like a microwave oven or a non-VoIP phone line.
10. Keep your home office inspiring
If you have the extra time, paint your home office with the color that you like. You can also add a potted plant to bring life to your desk. Feel free to hang a framed photo of a place or thing that inspires you. A photo of your children madddy also keep you going, especially if you’re tired and busy.
Once in a while, you can open your windows to let fresh air in.
There are many benefits of working remotely for employers. As long as you have a home office conducive for work, you can make the setup work for you. These tips will surely help you set up your work station at home so you can balance your professional and personal life. Once you chose a spot, get the right desk, office chair, and supplies to make a comfortable workplace.