How to Make The Perfect Home Office
Working from home has become an increasingly common part of modern life in the last couple of years. During the pandemic of 2020, around 46.6% of people did some of their work from home. Even when companies began welcoming staff back into the office, most chose a “hybrid” strategy over a full return into the physical workspace.
The good news? People are actually a lot happier, and more productive when they can work from home. One study found 65% of respondents feel more productive outside of a traditional office space. Of course, your chances of working successfully from home are much higher if you have the right space to enable remote work.
Here are some of the top tips you can follow to create the perfect home office and improve your performance when working remotely.
1. Start with a comfy chair and desk
If, like many home workers, the majority of your day will be spent sitting behind a desk, the right chair is a must-have. Studies show that implementing ergonomic solutions significantly improve productivity because you’re not dealing with the stress of an awkward posture.
Look for a chair with plenty of support for your back and spine. There should be a cushioned space for your head, good arm support, and thigh support too. Some people find it helpful to be able to recline on their chair or put their feet up on a foot rest.
For practicality, make sure your chair features high-quality materials, so it can last for as long as you need to use it. A good quality chair may not be cheap, but it’ll pay off in the long run.
2. Consider a standing desk
A large amount of research indicates that sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for your health. A standing desk encourages you to keep active and on your feet when you’re working from home. The best way to make sure you can sit or stand depending on your requirements is to get a desk with an adjustable height.
You should be able to raise your desk’s height when you want to stand up and pull it down again when you’re keen to sit for a while. You could even look into getting a desk extender, which allows you to turn any desk into a standing desk.
Invest in your internet
There are few things more important to working from home than a good internet connection. You’ll need the internet for everything from browsing online to communicating with colleagues. To determine what kind of internet connect you need think about:
- The number of people on the connection: How many people are working or browsing the internet from your home at once? More connections mean you’ll need a higher speed.
- Use cases: How are you going to be using the internet? Video calls and larger file downloads and uploads require a faster connection.
- Employer expectations: How quickly does your employer expect you to be able to perform online when working from home?
You can check your internet speed online, then enter your postcode with Broadband Genie to compare the best broadband deals. Fibre will usually give you the best results. If you’re using video calls, you’ll need at least around 10mbps of download speed and 3mbps of upload speed.
If you’re concerned about your internet going down and making it impossible for you to work, look into getting a good data plan on your mobile phone. A tethered smartphone can give you access to mobile internet when you’re in a pinch.
3. Find the Right Equipment
Next, start setting up your desk with the right equipment for a good working experience. Start by looking into monitor options. Having a second or third screen can be particularly useful when you’re writing, coding, designing, and researching. It also means you can multi-task more effectively. Use a set of monitor arms for more flexibility than the typical stand.
If you don’t like the idea of multiple monitors, one large, high-quality screen should do. Once you’ve got your screen, consider your accessories. A separate mouse and keyboard is definitely a good option if you have a laptop, as it will give you more comfort, and a wider selection of features.
Mechanical keyboards are particularly satisfying because they offer better tactile feedback and more comfort when you’re working for long periods of time. For mice, choose something that fits your hands well, and has useful features like additional buttons and scroll wheels. Other equipment to consider include:
- Upgraded webcam: With video conferencing now more popular than ever, it’s best to have a high-quality webcam. Look for something that can stream high-definition video at high speed.
- Arm and wrist support pads: These can help to reduce strain when you’re typing and working at your desk for extended periods of time.
- DSE assessment: Protect your eyes when working in front of a screen for long periods of time. It’s worth looking into things like F.lux, which automatically changes the color temperature of your screen during the day.
4. Bring the Space to Life
A great home office should be more than just practical. Your space also needs to be comfortable and inspiring. A few green plants in your office space can significantly reduce stress and increase productivity by up to 15%. Pick a plant that’s easy to maintain and good at improving air quality, like a spider plant or Boston fern.
After you’ve got the greenery in place, think about lighting. Natural light is crucial for a good home office. Studies show that 40% of workplaces with natural light get up to 40% improvements in productivity too.
To supplement your natural lights, you should also have plenty of good ambient landing options. You could consider placing some rope lights around your workspace to give your room more ambient appeal. Alternatively, you might invest in a good desk or floor lamp.
5. Remember the Little Things
Finally, don’t overestimate the little things and the impact they can have on your productivity when you’re working at home. For instance, you don’t want to deal with an office that’s packed full of jumbled cables and cords. Basic cable management makes a huge difference to your office aesthetic.
Keep your space as tidy as possible, and add a few personal touches here and there, like art and pictures, to make the space feel more like you.
It’s also worth thinking about what’s going on behind you in the office. For instance, does the space look professional when you’re in a video call? If not, there are a lot of VoIP apps that allow you to blur your background relatively easily.
Enjoy Your Home Office
While it can take longer for some people to get used to a home office than others, having the right design strategies in place should significantly improve your comfort levels. With these tips, you should be able to feel more at home when you’re working away from the office, without compromising on productivity.