Setting up a home office: Steps to get you started

There has been a growing trend in people working from home and the concept of remote work just shot up when the pandemic hit. We started to experience a surge in demand for working remotely and other alternative setup for remote working. One of them was to set up a home office so they could work from home.

Working from home has become a more commonplace thanks to the internet and growing communication technology. For you and I, this had led to the need for setting up a home office that should be geared to make us more productive.

While you may think that working from home equates to working on the couch, your backyard or even from your bed, you will eventually find out that you are likely to be more productive if you have a good home office setup.

This article takes you through the steps you can take to ensure you have all the ingredients you need to setting up a home office.

Setting up your working space

A home office is designed for your personal use so it should reflect that. It’s important that you make the best use of the space that you’ve got. With proper planning, you will be able to decorate your room based on your needs and preferences.

The most productive workspace is a space in which you feel comfortable and confident.

For example, you can select a minimalistic look for the wall and keep your furniture made of wood or any other firm material.

Additionally, you may also find that you are more productive if you’re facing towards the window which provides some great views. Though it might actually work for some, others may find windows distracting.

The point is, you’d know best what works for you. So in this case, if the windows are a distraction, hang a suitably large painting to cover it.

Getting the right equipment to set up a home office

Prior to getting started with working from home, you need to ensure you have all the equipment are set in place to avoid any frustrations. Either way, it’s important that you do not over or under estimate the list of the things you need when planning for your home office space.

Some of the essential equipment for setting up a home office include a:

  • working laptop that is durable and versatile;
  • high-speed internet connection;
  • sturdy table with enough space;
  • comfortable chair that you can easily move around with;
  • power bank;
  • surge protector at close reach.

Though the above list may include the most common ones, there are more specific home office equipment that you might consider. This would largely depend on the type of work that you do.

For example, if you’re working as a remote graphic designer, you might need a stylus or a drawing pad.

Other additional items may include filing cabinets, backup power supplies, multi-purpose printers, microphone/headphones for online calls, paper shredders etc.

Making your home office space ergonomic

Setting up a home office to be ergonomic is similar to making yourself comfortable when you’re about to drive a car. You’d ensure want to ensure that the seat is adjusted to your requirement, pedals can be easily reached, the side mirrors give you a good line of sight and that the seatbelt is on.

In the context of a home office, you should consider making similar adjustments too. This will ensure you have everything you need to make yourself comfortable. This would include a chair that allows you to sit back, proper lighting to prevent eye fatigue, and your essentials easily reachable. It would also be ideal to have enough desk space to store your personal items such as your work laptop or printing materials.

Making your home office space more ergonomic helps reduce your chances of injuries, provide more comfort, which in turn helps you stay productive and focused.

You can find more information on this guide that provides a detailed description of making your home office ergonomic.

setting up a home office ergonomics
Ensure you have enough desk space for your essentials

Final tips on setting up a productive home office

Although there are many factors that influence the level of productivity you can achieve while working remotely, a home office is a great place to start. We now have better software and technological improvements that allow us to get more done in less time. So, start out on the right foot by setting up a home office.

Here are some key takeaways to be more productive:

  • Never compromise on the chair – if you had to invest on one thing for your home office, let that be on a good, comfortable chair.
  • Consider getting a standing desk to help ease the strain on your shoulders and back. Keep switching!
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain. Every 20 minutes, stop looking at your screen. Stare at something 20 yards away for 20 seconds;
  • Get some natural lighting and minimise glare.
  • Provide yourself with enough legroom. Don’t let your feet dangle.
  • Place a good distance between your monitor and at your eye level: Extend your arm and your screen should be just past your fingertips.
  • Invest in a noise canceling headphone to prevent distractions.

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