Working from home had become a popular option many wanted even before the pandemic. With a work-from-home or hybrid arrangement, people can cut time commuting to the office and spend that time focusing on family or life pursuits. This flexibility allows for a better work-life balance and eliminates the stress and expense associated with daily travel.
Now, you are all set to work from home. But how do you set up a productive workspace in a non-work-space environment that you’ve well associated for relaxation and recreation?
Luckily, you have the tools to make working from home work for you and those living with you. Here are some ideas to create the ideal dedicated space to accomplish your daily tasks.
1. Find Your Space
Space is a major factor in achieving maximum efficiency while working from home. It’s not just the physical area containing your work desk but its conduciveness for actual work.
Find the best spot in your house where you can work for a given time on any given day—ideally a spare room that can be readily converted into a home office.
Setting up a home office in the common areas of the house, like the kitchen and living room, can be a challenge if you live with other people. After all, those spaces are traditionally designed for families to get together before and after work, not for work.
One workaround to the above problem is finding a nook or corner with the quietest or least foot traffic. Your bedroom is your best bet if your home has no spare rooms. Set up a desk in a spot where there are few distractions and where you’re comfortable.
2. Get Your Tech Together
Back in the office, your company can provide an extra computer you can use should yours act strange. But at home, you’ll only have your personal computer to help you get your work done.
A reliable work computer is indeed a need. Consider a fast processor, 8 to 10GB RAM, and a top-notch screen for video conferencing.
Because a computer is a major purchase, it should last you many years. It’s a huge plus if it’s affordable, like an all-in-one computer that’s refurbished and space-saving, so you can fit it in your dedicated workspace.
Add your phone or tablet, an extra monitor, and your preferred mouse, keyboard, and headphones to complete your tech setup.
3. Fortify Your Wi-Fi
A high-speed internet makes your home-office experience so much easier and more efficient. It is a must because all communication between and among your boss, clients, and coworkers is faster and in real-time when done online, especially when video conferencing.
Around 50 to 100 Mbps is ideal for a couple of people in one home using a few devices. However, the best internet speed would depend on how many people are at home while you’re working and what they use it for, like gaming, streaming videos and movies, uploading large files, video conferencing, etc. Also consider the hours when you and the others use the internet simultaneously.
Network congestion and locations are also factors affecting internet speed and where you live. In case you can’t get your internet to work faster than it already is, connect your computer to the internet through LAN.
4. Get Yourself a Good Chair
Think about the hours you’ll spend sitting in front of the computer, and look for the most suitable chair to sit through those work hours.
An ergonomic chair is your best choice. It should perfectly suit your size and workstation. Top qualities of this chair include lumbar support, adjustability, and armrests.
Good posture also plays a role in office ergonomics. It’s possible to combine standing and sitting for your work.
5. Drown Out the Distractions
Getting a dedicated office space at home is one way to create barriers separating work from personal life. Here are additional strategies that can help you deal with distractions in any form and stay focused:
- Use headphones to block out noise.
- Keep to a schedule. Or set a schedule—if you are a freelancer who can work anytime, find which hours or time of day you work best.
- Limit social media use.
- Take breaks strategically and as scheduled.
- Keep your workspace neat and organized, so there’s no need to clean it during work hours.
6. Keep Your Space Well-Lit
A well-lit work area is a productive space because you’ll be able to actually and figuratively see what’s in front of you. Thus, it leads to fewer mistakes and reduces potential health issues like eye strain and headaches from poor lighting.
Consider these three types of lighting to illuminate your home office:
- Natural lighting taps the natural light from your window, skylight, or door. Block out glare by using shades and covers.
- Ambient lighting offers general and uniform illumination in the room. Ambient lighting fixtures include chandeliers, floor lamps, and wall sconces.
- Task lighting is also known as direct lighting, as it is intended to focus on an area. A desk lamp to provide extra illumination is an example.
Feel free to decorate your home office. You are no longer in an office with many rules and constraints about dressing up your desk.
It all boils down to how you work and the impact desk add-ons have on your work. If seeing plants or framed photos of your pets improves your mood that it fuels your productivity, place those on your desk!
Here’s to Your New Home Office
Setting up your own home office is putting together all the elements that make your work comfortable, distraction-free, and best of all, productive every time. It starts with having your own space furnished with fast internet, efficient computer and tech, a good chair, brilliant lighting, and more. With these tips, you’re well on your way to a successful work-from-home experience to achieve maximum efficiency.