To complete your daily task more efficiently, you want your home office setup to be as pleasant and comfortable as possible.
It’s estimated that during 2021 approximately 1 in 4 Americans will be working from home and by 2025, more than 36 million Americans will work from home. There are many advantages to home working, including saving money, less time spent commuting, and the ability to have a more flexible schedule.
However, to work successfully from home, it’s important to optimize your home office setup to fit that purpose. Sitting on the couch won’t help productivity in the long-term!
The Advantages of a Great Home Office Setup
Having your home office setup the right way has its own distinct advantages. Not only should your productivity skyrocket, but you should also feel much more comfortable, relaxed and excited to dive into work each and every day.
In the modern world of work-at-home setups, time is money, and the more optimized your home office is, the more money you will save. This can be greatly enhanced by the tools and accessories you decide to kit your office out with. Having a decent filing system, computer, printer and plenty of storage will ensure everything runs smoothly and mistakes are avoided.
Finally, you should consider how many hours each day you will be spending in your home office – and be mindful that creating an awesome space to work in will lend itself to awesome work being achieved.
It’s quite possible that this newly designed home office setup could be where you are spending most of your time for the coming years. And if your company, business, side hustle, or new venture requires inspiration in order to be successful, then your home office setup should be truly inspired.
Whether you are self-employed or employed to work from home, it’s important to be still professional. This guide will help you understand the finer details of having a practical and comfortable home office.
Guide to Your Own Home Office Setup:
Think About Your Needs
The first thing you need to think about is what you actually need to do your job. For example, a job where you work alone such as a freelance writer, may only need a small desk with room for a computer. However, a graphic designer may need a larger desk to create artwork for customers.
Consider what other furniture and equipment you need. Do you need storage, space for tools or equipment, or room for clients to visit?
All these factors need to be considered and form part of a detailed list of requirements for your home office setup. Now that you know what you need, you will know how much space you need and can allocate a room accordingly.
Decide Where To Work
When deciding what room to use as a home office, there are some things to consider. First, remember how much space you will need. Next, pick a room that will give you maximum privacy and quiet while working. If you live with family or roommates, this is important to help minimize interruptions for you and them!
For example, if you spend time on the phone, you may want a room with a door that closes to reduce noise. Similarly, if you will have clients visiting, you may want your home office nearest the front door to reduce the need for people to walk through the house.
If you are employed, then make sure to discuss this with your employer. This is because some employers may require you to have a lockable office for security reasons.
Get The Right Equipment
Making sure to have the right equipment is vital to do your job properly and to stay healthy. The first thing to think about getting is a proper desk and an ergonomic chair.
When thinking about what desk to get, give some thought to acquiring a standing desk. A standing desk means you can easily switch between sitting and standing while working. There is some evidence that suggests standing while working gives a boost to health.
Let’s be honest – sitting all day working and probably snacking too is an easy way to end up out of shape! A little standing can help combat that.
Having a chair you can adjust is essential to maintain correct posture and avoid suffering from back pain in the future. A good chair will be height adjustable, have a 360-degree swivel base, adjustable back and armrest, and built-in lumbar support. This is one thing you shouldn’t buy cheaply! Your back will thank you for investing in a high-quality chair.
Depending on your living arrangements, you may have to work in a shared space. To create a boundary, you could buy a curtain or privacy divider to put around your workspace. This may also be worth considering if you need to have privacy while you work.
If your work involves any sensitive documents, then you will need to get lockable storage. These days there are lots of stylish options to pick from so you can get something that matches your decor. Locking important or sensitive documents away helps prevent loss and the wrong people seeing them.
Consider Your Environment
Choosing a workspace that has lots of natural light is essential. This is because working in natural light helps boost productivity and staying alert. Your mental and physical health will also benefit from working in well-lit conditions.
Headaches, eye strain, and general well-being all improve thanks to working in natural light.
Other additions to your home office setup that can improve your working environment are things like plants, works of art, or photos of the family. Having these around your home office can help improve your mental health.
First, make sure your spine will stay in a neutral position and that the top of the screen is at or slightly below your eye level. Ideally, the monitor should be approximately 20 inches away from your eyes – if you use a large monitor, you may need to place it further away.
For proper neck alignment, your eyes should be looking down when looking at the middle of the screen – tilting the monitor back between 10-20 degrees usually helps achieve this. Most monitors can be adjusted, but if yours can’t be, consider buying a monitor stand to raise the height if you need to. Putting the monitor on a stack of books is also an option!
One great benefit of working from home is that there is no one monitoring you all the time. Supervisors or coworkers can’t see what you are doing. This means some people find it easy to get distracted when they should be working.
If you have a dedicated home office, make sure to remove any possible distractions. TVs, game consoles, and even your smartphone should all be kept elsewhere.
It’s especially important when you are self-employed to be productive. After all, time spent not working is time you won’t get paid for! If there is a device you need for work, like a smartphone, keep it switched off when not in use.
Keep Your Personal And Professional Life Separate
Working from home means the lines between your personal and business life may get blurred. Having a dedicated home office is one part of creating a boundary between the two.
Another tip here is to make sure all your business documents are kept separate from your personal documents. Make sure to have separate bank accounts and keep all records relating to your business in your home office.
Doing this can help during tax time because if you claim a tax deduction for a home office, it will be easier to verify due to the separate documentation.
To further establish a boundary when working from home, make sure to have a dedicated phone line just for business calls. You could have a new landline installed, get a business cell phone, or an internet-based phone.
Doing this helps you keep business and personal matters separate. It will also help you sound more professional as clients aren’t potentially having calls answered by other household members such as children or roommates!
Look After Your Mental Health
For the good of your mental health and your productivity, having regular breaks is important. That doesn’t mean going to watch TV for an hour!
Instead, make sure to get up and move around or even try to go outside for a walk. The fresh air and daylight will do wonders for you!
Plan your breaks for the day and make sure you have a clock in your office, so you know when it’s time to go! Studies have shown that workers that move around more enjoy better health both physically and mentally.
If you are self-employed, consider looking for a virtual friend. There are lots of online groups for the self-employed or homeworkers. Have a look at joining one for extra support. Even online chats once or twice a week can significantly improve your mental well-being.
Home Office Set Up – Final Thoughts
Working from home comes with many benefits. Probably the best one is not having to commute to work!
Although space may be limited in your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a quality home office that is comfortable. You spend a lot of time working, so follow this advice to protect your mental and physical health. Plus, working in a well-planned home office will make work easier!