People are working from home during this pandemic, and the trend will continue for some time now as the virus is still around us. Here’s what you need to do to ensure that your home workspace supports your work — and doesn’t wreck your body — in the long run.
Working remotely is not a novel concept, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it an unavoidable requirement for many workplaces and knowledge workers. However, the effect of the covid-19 crisis is lowering its peak. Many offices and workers discovered that they don’t need large offices, and many workers have found that they don’t have to be in the office each day or invest several hours in commuting.
But, so many organizations have picked up makeshift office spaces because of the pandemic, which will not collaborate well in the long term. Aside from having the proper facilities, the physical setup and ergonomics of the working space are critical, especially when it comes to avoiding repetitive movements that a poor configuration can cause.
The best work from home office setup
A lengthy home office should have a dedicated working area in your house. Do as much as you can to make a complex home office functional and safe workstation.
We’ve compiled a list of ten ideas for improving your home office, the majority of which you can implement right away and at little to no cost. Ask if your company has a budget for remote office equipment, and then see if you can have a few things reimbursed from your company if it encourages remote work. In any case, these pointers will improve your home workplace very quickly and easily.
1. Plug in your earphones
Depending on what you need and want, a set of earphones can cost between $12 to hundreds and thousands of dollars. However, even a cheap set of headphones with a microphone that costs less than $50 is an excellent investment for remote work because it enhances how you sound to people in video conversations.
Noise-canceling headphones, if you’re okay with paying more money, you can reduce ambient noise. Large, comfy over-ear headphones will eliminate the background noise and help you concentrate more.
The wonderful thing with earphones is that you can use them for your office and personal work like listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks; who wouldn’t want a good pair of headphones?
2. Make use of a back pillow
You will not require a costly office chair at home because a simple back pillow can make any basic chair comfier. For your chair, look for an affordable curved foam cushion ($25-$85) or use something you already have around the house, such as a tiny decorative pillow or rolled-up towel.
Sufficient spinal support is only one aspect of a well-designed ecological system. Check out some other tips for making your home office more ergonomic.
3. Elevate your laptop or monitor
Your gaze should match the level of the screen when you’re working on a computer. Most of the time, the display or monitor is set too low. This way, you end up bending over or clambering your neck. There are two straightforward options.
If you have a monitor or computer in your home office, stack a few books under the base to raise it to achieve a comfortable working height.
When using a laptop, you’ll need a laptop stand (also known as a riser) as well as an additional mouse and keyboard. The stand should add a few inches of height and must have the flexibility to tilt. Try not to type on a laptop’s keypad while it’s on a riser, as this can result in further damage to your wrists and shoulders.
4. For video calls, good lighting for your face is essential
It doesn’t take much effort to look good in video calls. The most vital aspect when making video calls from home is lighting.
Walk around your house to find a decent call-taking area. It might not be the same as where you perform your other work. Try to get some direct sunlight from a doorway during the day to lighten up your face. Please ensure your back isn’t facing a window or a bright lamp, as this will completely obscure your face. Close the curtains or pivot the curtains at least 90 degrees.
If you’re working in a dark environment, set up a simple desk lamp that you can keep at the side of the table or behind the desktop, selfie lights (sometimes known as ring lights) can also be helpful for lighting.
5. A designated space
Ideally, you’d utilize a modest room with enough space for a desk and computer equipment, as well as a door that can be closed to keep work and home life distinct.
Many individuals don’t have extra space, and many people can turn a guest room into a dual-purpose area that can be used as an office during the day and as a guest room when visitors come. An enclosed porch, a spacious laundry room (or, for Europeans, a drying room), or even a garden shed can double the storage space.
If you can’t acquire a dedicated area, try to find a niche space as far away from the rest of the house and also feasible for your work.
6. Organize your cables
A mess of cables is unsightly and inconvenient. However, this occurs if we have a laptop, computer, monitor, network, printer, and anything else that requires power in a home office.
Having your cable problem under control can make a massive difference in the appearance and efficiency of your workstation. Set aside time to unplug and detangle things, as well as a few low-cost items to straighten up tangled cords. Zip ties or adhesive wraps, painter’s tape, and even toilet paper rolls are among the things you can utilize. You don’t have to spend half of your salary in organizing your home to get it organized.
7. Always have a clean cloth on hand
Make sure your monitor and keyboard are free of dust, pet hair, and fingerprints. To clean your screen, keep a microfiber cloth on your desk (or in a drawer with your chargers). Keep a second cloth handy to clean up the desk and keyboard; it doesn’t have to be special. It’s OK to use an old dish towel or washcloth, or even a damp paper towel that you replace every day.
If you have constant moisture on hand, keeping a few disinfectant wipes in your home office area would just not hurt, as long as they’re safe for the surface you have. Natural woods and lacquered surfaces should be avoided.
8. Inhale the air
Place a few affordable lights near your desktop and add a few drops of essential oil in a cup of boiling water. If you believe in aromatherapy, you’ll know that some scents can make us feel relaxed (lavender) or invigorated (peppermint) (citrus). Even if you don’t believe that perfumes have any discernible effect on us, they can be enjoyable. You can also prefer diffusers for aromatherapy.
9. Include plants
Never underestimate the strength of nature. A few plants in your home office can make a significant difference. According to studies, proximity to nature, such as workplace plants and windows with outdoor scenery, easily influence the workers. Plants can help you be more productive and less stressed.
10. Excellent internet connection
Most cities and suburbs have a minimum of one high-speed internet service provider; 50Mbps is the speed limit to aim for, and more individuals use the internet simultaneously.
Your home’s bandwidth is also necessary. If feasible, connect your laptop to your network via an internet cable; this is especially crucial if you conduct video or other broadband activities. If you can’t attach your computer to your network, Wi-Fi is acceptable for essential office work.
Make sure you have contemporary technology in both scenarios, with wired connections enabling at least 100Mbps (1Gbps has been standard for years) and wireless connections supporting at least 802.11n (802.11ac is much preferred). Almost every Wi-Fi router is dual-band, supporting both current standards like 802.11ac and 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) and older standards like 802.11b/g/n, which some of your devices may still use (for example, outdated smartphones). Almost every Wi-Fi router is dual-band, enabling newer protocols such as 802.11ac and 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) and older protocols such as 802.11b/g/n, which some of your equipment may still use (such as older phones and some home-automation devices).
You can try setting aside an area for documents and other items you think you’ll need but don’t use. You can keep a box or basket near your desktop or you can use a steel structured storage box, or better keep a cupboard near your desk. You can keep your unnecessary stuff on a different table. And, you are all set for an organised home office.