In the past, working from the comfort of your own home sounded like a dream to most people. Under the current circumstances, it has become both a reality and a necessity to many. However, if you don’t have all the right elements for your at-home office, it can have a detrimental effect on your productivity and even your health – both mental and physical.
Regardless of the size and layout of your space, there are some elements that can help make it a more comfortable and work-conducive space. Here are some of the appliances you’ll need to put together the ideal home office.
The lighting in your office is so important. Not only does it help you to clearly see your work, but it can affect your entire mood and the office atmosphere. If you have the option, set up your office in a room that has a lot of windows, so your workspace has natural light. If it is not possible, make sure that your artificial lighting is sufficient and warm, mimicking natural light. A single fluorescent bulb in the corner of the room or dim light on the ceiling will not work.
Sitting at a desk all day long can be draining and even detrimental to your health, even if it is in your own home. Having a desk that adjusts to different heights means that you can switch between sitting and standing whenever you’d like throughout the day. You could buy one, or even make your own.
Comfortable Ergonomic Chair
If you aren’t standing it’s important to be comfortable. Choose a chair that is both ergonomic and has adjustable features. There are plenty to choose from and there’s bound to be one that suits you.
Coffee and Tea
Caffeine. A powerful productivity booster, in moderation of course. Keep a coffee maker or some tea in or around your office so you always have quick access whenever you need a little break. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a coffee maker. There are plenty of options out there for a commercial espresso machine. Find one that suits your budget and your needs.
Your home office computer can have a huge impact on your productivity and success. Make sure to choose one that is completely customized to your needs. If you tend to work in a bunch of different spaces around your office, a laptop is best. If you stay at your desk and work on multiple projects at once, a desktop with multiple monitors is the better option for you. Make sure it is suited to your individual habits.
A printer, scanner, or all-in-one device could be a good investment. Depending on your individual needs, if you want to keep hard copies of documents, then a printer is probably a necessity. If you typically stick to digital copies and only occasionally need to send a copy of a physical document, a scanner might be enough. Again, this comes down to your needs.
To best communicate with your team, clients, or anyone else, perhaps consider getting a separate phone line specifically for business calls. Online services like Skype and Zoom are also good options.
If you’ve invested a lot of money into electrical devices and equipment for your home business from home, the last thing you want is for that equipment to get ruined. Surge protectors are a really simple way to protect your devices from damage during unexpected electrical surges.
Radio and Media Players
Background music is a great way to drown out unwanted noise happening around your home and to keep you focused on work. Choose a radio or streaming station with some instrumental music if you get distracted by lyrics. Try to avoid stations with lots of ads if you can, as they tend to be distracting.
You probably already have the ability to control the temperature of your home. If your office is in an area, like your basement or the top floor, these tend to be hotter or colder than the rest of your home. You still need to stay comfortable. Use a space heater or fan to ensure that you are working in comfortable conditions.
It is essential to a productive work-from-home life that you keeping a regular work schedule. Using an alarm to wake up at the same time every day, just as you would when working at a regular office, helps you keep a routine. Consider setting an alarm to signal the end of your workday or the end of a specific task you need to spend time on.
Optional Things For a More Comfortable Home Office
Getting some physical activity during the day is really beneficial to a healthy work-at-home lifestyle. Consider adding a treadmill, stationary bike, free weights, or even use a stability ball instead of a chair to build core strength.
Your home office is your own space. It should make you comfortable and want to work. Fill it with artwork, desk accessories, and even some creative or personalized accessories, like a mug, or mouse pad to really make it your own.
For things that are really important or sensitive, a safe could be necessary. Get one that’s large enough for some important documents and any expensive equipment you might have that you want to keep safe on a daily basis, especially when you go away for long periods of time.
This might seem really obvious, but one of the most important factors of a successful home office is the ability to be separated from the rest of your home. If you just work from your bed or couch you can find yourself getting distracted from work by non-work demands around you.
If you can’t have a door or some kind of physical barrier separating you from the rest of your home, stage a space so that it is clearly designated as your office. Rather than migrating to your couch or kitchen table, only work from that one space.
The ideal office setup is not just about bringing your work into your home. It is about making working from home a pleasant and productive experience. You have the freedom to play around with space in a way that you don’t typically when you are working in a formal office. Why would you want to work anywhere else after implementing all of the above items in your workspace?