Approximately 8 million people work from home in the US. The key to success is an ideal work from home office setup. Check out these great tips.
Working from home has gotten more and more popular in 2020. Jobs that were once in an office can now be completed from the comfort of your living room or a local coffee shop.
Some of us need a more structured office to get motivated though. Does this sound like you?
If so, we can help. Having a good work from home office setup can make you more productive and help you concentrate during your workday. It can also ensure that you have a good work-life balance!
How do you get started?
We have a few tips to help you set up the optimal home office setup so that you can get to work. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Keep Work Space Away From Living Space
This can be difficult if you’re in a small home or apartment. Not everyone has a room that’s free for work. Don’t fret, you can still make this work for you with some arranging.
Look for a nook or wall that you can clear some room in. It should be away from your “chilling area”, so you shouldn’t be able to see your couch, television, or bed from here.
Keep all of your work items in this space and make it your own. You want to do all of your work here (or in public places if that’s an option). This is because you want to separate work life from home life.
This can help you reduce your anxiety once you’re off the clock and can help with your sleep hygiene.
2. Get Comfy
One of the benefits (and downfalls) of working at home is that you get to choose your own seating arrangements.
On one hand, you can get the comfy chair that’s right for you. On the other, you have to buy it on your own.
You want a chair that’s going to be comfortable and supportive while also being firm enough to give you good posture. The sturdiness can keep you more alert while you’re working. Getting too comfortable might lead to laziness.
There is an abundance of office chairs available in all different styles. It’s best if you can visit a store in person to see what works best for you. If you need more back support or hip support you can get that too.
If you’re not into the idea of a whole new chair, look for the best back cushion that you can add to a chair you already own. Dining room chairs might not be the most comfortable, but sometimes we have to make do.
3. Get a Second Monitor
If you have the means, incorporating a second monitor into your space can be a game-changer for your workflow.
Working from home can make it hard to focus. There are so many other things to look at, and when you’re switching from tab to tab it’s more difficult to get back to the task at hand.
A second monitor has several benefits.
For one, it allows you to stray away for a moment to things like social media (don’t spend too much time here!) or other internet tasks without losing track of what you’re doing.
On a more work-friendly note, it allows you to keep your research open while you’re doing a task. It may also be important for you to have a webchat open with work while maintaining your workflow.
Tabbing back and forth is exhausting. Keeping 2 monitors running at the same time is so much easier.
4. Make It Appealing
Working from home can feel drab. Staring at the wall behind your monitor all day? No thank you.
Make the space your own with office-friendly supplies and decorations. This can help you get into “work” mode while also giving you something fun to look at and look forward to.
You can put pictures on your desk or hang a motivational poster up behind it. You might even want to invest in some nice office supplies that fit your aesthetic.
This is your space to decorate. If that means having cute mugs full of brightly-colored pens sitting on the desk, that’s great! If it means having motivational pictures and a “boss” nameplate on your desk, that also works!
Find what makes you feel good so that you feel better about “going to work” each day.
5. Get Up And Change Location Once or Twice
While having a pre-defined “workspace” is important, it’s also good for your mind and body to get up and move around once in a while. This accomplishes 2 things.
It’s unhealthy to sit around all day. Even if you live a healthy lifestyle outside of work, being sedentary for the long hours of a workday may actually shorten your lifespan.
Working from home lets you avoid that problem. Getting up and stretching your legs so that you can find a new place to sit helps get your blood flowing, even for a moment.
This also gives you a change of scenery and might strike up some inspiration. Go sit outside, or by your favorite window. If you have a laptop that you can work on, moving around is great.
6. Get More Physical
In the previous tip, we mentioned that sitting around all day is unhealthy. This is true, but how can you fight it?
You have a few options.
The first is a standing desk. It might sound exhausting at first, but when you adapt you may realize that this is the change you’ve been looking for. Some desks can easily switch between sitting and standing, making them a great option because you can change your position throughout the day. For an optimal posture while standing, you can order some shoe insoles from Protalus.com as well.
You can also get a yoga ball to sit on. While you’re still sitting, you’re challenging your balance and you can even bounce and roll around a little bit to keep your blood flowing.
There are even little faux bicycles that you can keep at your feet. They’re just peddling devices that you can use while you’re working.
None of these are as good as a midday walk or run, but they’re better than nothing!
7. Get Better Internet
How’s your internet speed?
If you’re not moving as quickly as you like, upgraded internet might be the answer. You’ll be able to get through your workday without the downtime of waiting for your pages to load.
You won’t need a big upgrade so you may be able to get it for a reasonable price. You’ll be shocked at how much this can improve your productivity.
8. Make It Smell Nice
If you can make your work area smell different from the rest of the house, this is ideal. You might be able to get the smell to trigger the “time to work” function in your brain just through association.
If you don’t have space to do this, wear a certain perfume or light a certain candle only when you’re working.
This will improve your work experience (who doesn’t love nice smells?) and also give you another way to separate work time from relaxation time.
9. Keep the Kids Away
This is easier said than done for many people, so proceed only if you’re able.
How do your kids interact with your work environment? Are they always around? Are they in the same room? Do they have spaces to call their own?
When your kids are home with you, try to ensure that they know that your work time needs to be private and quiet. This doesn’t mean that you should neglect them or leave them to their own devices, but it does mean that you need some “you time” to get things done between tending to them.
Give your children activities to do that they’re able to complete alone or with each other. This will also help to boost their creativity.
It’s tempting, especially for first-time parents, to want to keep an eye on your child at all times. Give them some space so that they can give you some space.
10. Get Comfy Headphones
If you work in a field where you have to communicate with customers or coworkers via phone or webchat, uncomfortable headphones can dampen your mood.
Some press too hard on the ears, making them bend in ways that are painful. This is especially true if you have any kind of earring.
Don’t wear headphones that you need to take breaks from. Invest in a nice pair that’s soft against your ears. Whether you like traditional headphones or earbuds, there’s something for you.
Even if you’re only using them to listen to your favorite tunes, comfy headphones can really help your quest for the best home office setup.
How’s Your Work From Home Office Setup?
When trying to make the best work from home office setup, you need to consider comfort, productivity, and overall experience.
Make your home office somewhere that you want to be, but don’t make it take over your entire home. Separating home time and work time is important.
Keeping your office space feeling like a genuine workspace will keep you feeling productive. It also ensures that you end the workday feeling finished with the job rather than having the impulse to work through your free time.