Setting up a home office is a serious task. There are many challenges ahead. You need to choose a room, make sure there is enough space, get a chair, a desk, and more. The sheer number of decisions can easily make you quit or rush the whole thing.
Remeber, it is your home office we are talking about here. This is where you will have to spend hours at a time and still be productive. It has to be great. We know that it is not easy to do it, especially if you are doing it for the first time. This is why we decided to create this small guide. Here is how to set up a home office.
Go For Natural Light If Possible
Do you know that HR professionals see natural light as the number one perk in corporate offices? Well, they are right to do so because there are studies that confirm that natural light boosts productivity, efficiency, and even increases job satisfaction.
Unless you are working during the night, you should take natural light into consideration. Choose a room with the most natural light during the day and see whether you can set up a small home office there.
Read more: Best Air Purifiers for Your Office
Working by the window is a great idea as well. It will allow you to take a look outside from time to time. Changing the focus gives your eyes some much-needed rest, and you will need it if you are working on a computer.
If you work the night shift, you will need a good and reliable source of artificial light. The best lighting solutions have low glare. Even if you are using overhead lights, you should consider investing in a gooseneck lamp. Position it away from the screen, and you shouldn’t worry about headaches, hyperactivity, or sleeping problems.
Choose a the Right Office Desk
Once you have decided where your home office will be, you can proceed with other plans. First on the menu – an office desk. When it comes to office desks, get ready to be amazed by how many there are on the market: anything from lap desks, to L shaped desks, to standing desks and beyond.
If you can afford some extra room, you can go with one of the standard office desks. We will leave the specifics to you. Be mindful, though! An office desk made of wood will last you many years to come – the more drawers, the better, since you will be able to keep your workplace tidy.
Related: How to choose the right desk for work
However, many people don’t have the luxury of dedicating an entire room for their home office. If so, it is time to improvise. Fortunately, desk manufacturers have already addressed this pain point.
Say hello to the floating desk. Also known as wall-mounted desks, they come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are even foldable so that you can get your precious space back when you are done working.
When choosing a wall-mounted desk, be mindful of its load capacity, the size of the surface, and how easy it is to assemble and mount on a wall.
Get a Comfortable Chair
A good chair is in order if you are going to work from home. Using any other chair than one specifically designed for prolonged sitting will expose you to certain risks. Your spine, neck, and shoulders will be the first to suffer.
Most of the office chairs are ergonomically designed to provide the necessary lumbar support. Look at it as a long-term investment. When shopping for an office chair, pay attention to the materials. Again, sturdy ones will last longer. High-quality fabrics will prevent sweating and make the chair feel even more comfortable.
Related: Affordable Office Chairs Under $100
Adjustability is another great thing to look into. You will need to set up a chair for your personal needs. A quick reminder; your knees and elbows should be at an approximately 90-degree angle. Your back should be straight, and your eyes should be at the same level as the top bezel of your screen. The minimal distance between your eyes and the screen should be 20 inches, while maximal distance is 40 inches.
A good chair should allow you to get into this position easily while providing comfort and support.
Don’t Forget Cable Management
If there is any health hazard when working from a home office, then it is poor cable management. You can easily trip over and hurt yourself. So, cable management should be one of the top priorities when setting up a home office.
The best thing to do is to plan ahead and leave at least a few extra sockets for plugs. You will need at least one wall plug nearby. Utilize the cord hole in your desk and tie all those cables together.
You can always step up your game and invest in cable management accessories. There are plenty of those going around, and they are not expensive at all. You can use colored stickers to label each cable so that you can make replacements and adjustments easily.
Plan Extra Storage Space
Some people are completely fine with the storage space that comes with office desks. Even wall mounted desks have compartments and drawers you can use to store office accessories and papers.
However, if you are dealing with a lot of documents, you have to make sure that you don’t mix them up and lose some in the process. There are a variety of office cabinets you can get. We will leave it up to you to decide the size and the color.
The only thing to pay attention to is that drawers and mechanical parts should be built of durable materials, as you will be using them regularly.
Invest in a Good Internet Connection
If the nature of your work is entirely internet-independent, so to speak, feel free to skip this section. However, the chances are that it is not. Thanks to the internet connection, we can do work more efficiently and stay connected with clients and partners 24/7.
When we say invest in a good internet connection, we don’t only mean to get a decent package from your internet service provider. The advice also encompasses your IT infrastructure at home. If you have some generic router, you will probably experience issues with bandwidth and latency.
Don’t worry; it’s not something that a good router can’t solve. You will also be surprised by the prices of good routers. If an internet connection is your bread and butter of being able to do work, don’t think twice. Invest in a good and reliable router.
Your Home Life Stops When You Enter Your Office
This basically covers all but one of the essential steps of setting up a home office. Don’t forget that work from home is still work, and keeping home life separated from your life as a professional is very important. It can especially prove hard if you don’t have a separate room to spare.
Related: Best Cities for Remote Workers
Communicate your needs to the people you live with and stay true to your commitment.
We hope that this clears a few things on how to set up an office in your home. Yes, there is a lot of ground to cover, but it is not something that’s too hard to achieve. Follow all the tips we shared with you, and we are confident that you will be able to set up the office of your dreams right there in your home.