A lot of workers now see the need to have a home office workstation even before the Coronavirus pandemic ensued. So as to account for absolute productivity and prompt delivery of services. Anyone can have a home office workstation, be you a freelancer, businessperson, or a government worker. Since the inception of virtual/remote working system, home office workstation became a necessity.
However, some persons think working from home means you can work on the couch, in the backyard, or even from your bed. But that is not the case. You are more productive at home when you have a proper home office. One that has almost the same setting as that of an ideal office environment. In setting up your home office workstation, you have the privilege of choosing what your office will look like. Both the interior and exterior designs. You can also setup your home office according to your job description. But there are some basic necessities a home office workstation must have.
We will discuss some vital tips you need to help you create the ideal environment to boost your productivity while you work from home.
Tips for creating a home office workstation
Find the best location
This is the first thing to consider when you want to create a home office workstation. The location of your home office determines quite a lot. It determines the designs, comfort, wiring and more. Sometimes, finding the best location for your home office could be difficult depending on the nature of your house. If you have an empty room in your house, you can use it or the basement. However, if you do not have that kind of space in your house, just look for a corner, a not-so-tight space. Also, while looking for the best location, you should first look out for somewhere that guarantees your comfort and productivity. It must not be entirely luxurious, just somewhere simple and conducive enough for you. With a little bit of creativity, there are spaces you can convert to your home office workstation.
Once you find a comfortable space for your home office, do well to ensure that you have the desired privacy you need for working. Whether your office is in an open space or a secluded room, endeavor to separate home from work. You could add a privacy divider to your home office workstation if it is not in a secluded room. Also, you can get a curtain or the traditional dividers that sit on the floor. In essence, you would not want to work under duress, therefore, lookout for your privacy as much as possible
Consider sharing the space
Since your home office workstation is within your house, you should consider who else can use the space. Though you are creating it for yourself, you should still consider if your children will use the home office for homework or will your partner work from home too? Will clients or your boss drop by? If the answer is affirmative, then consider getting a children’s study desk and another desk for your partner. You can do this if the room is big enough, if not, consider staying alone, and let your partner or children use the home office when you are not using it.
Prioritize your comfort
You could be tempted to just grab a chair from the dinning area when you are working from home. But a sitting position that does not support your back is not advisable for your working condition. It is best you get an Ergonomic office chair that offers the best support when you are sitting for long hours. Always prioritize your comfort in any decision you are taking concerning your home office workstation in order to prevent potential health issues. Also, while getting an Ergonomic chair, look out for the following features:
- 360-degree swivel base
- Height adjustable
- Built-in lumbar support
- Seat depth must be adjustable
- Adjustable backrest and armrest
Support Your Neck and Eyes
Make sure to setup your home office workstation in a way that will favour both your neck and your eyes. Your monitor should be in perfect spot. However, most monitors are adjustable but that is not enough. You can get a screen riser to get the right adjustment. To get it right, you must make sure that your spine always stays in a neutral position. Also, place your monitor at least 20 inches from your eyes and the top of the screen should be below your eye level.
Get the Right Desk
Your work at home requires that you spend a lot of time on your desk. Therefore, you need to intentionally invest in a desk that fits your budget, your space and guarantees your comfort. In addition, sitting a day long can cause aches or even long-term health problems. So, instead of getting the traditional “fixed” desk, you can get an ergonomic height adjustable desk that you can sit when you want to and stretch your legs by bringing your desk to a standing height with a push of a button.
However, beyond avoiding aches and pains, a standing desk may be better for you because it will also help you loose excessive fat.
Stash It Away
There are supplies you need for your remote work depending on your job description. But you should have the basic necessities like a laptop, some paper, pens, and other office supplies. Stationary items are also good to be used in your home office workstation. It does not have to be a large filling cabinet or huge desks and drawers. Something simple could do the job, like a cubby system with small bins or some plastic storage tubs if you have to pack up your office at the end of the day. In all, make sure to stash things away when necessary.
Protect Sensitive or Important Documents
In protecting sensitive and important documents, do not opt in for shelves and cubbies. They could help you when you want to stash things away, but they are not the right solutions for your storage needs. In cases where you have to share the office, there are certain things that can’t be lying around the office. Invest in storage cabinets, especially secure drawers that look beautiful and stylish.
When setting up your home office workstation, you need to think widely and properly. Think on creative ways you can maximize your storage options because your home office has the tendency to be tiny even if it is in a dedicated room. Remember, it is your home office workstation, and you need to maximize every space to increase your productivity. Think for yourself.
Control the wiring
You are surely going to need some connections, wiring and all. Your mobile devices, laptops and electronic gadgets will need a plug-in to charge. Even with Wi-Fi everywhere, you will still have to handle cords, and more cords. Get some kind of cord management system. As simple as a twist tie, or something more elegant. But make sure that you use whatever you get.
Also, if your home office workstation is in some kind of dedicated space but still public, consider where the outlets will be. If you must run power strips and extension cords, make sure you do it properly with cord covers. In addition, check your Wi-Fi connection, there will be days when you want to work from the couch, or even outside. In such days, you must check your router first to ascertain if the connection is strong enough. You could get a Wi-Fi extender or a Wi-Fi mesh system to help you stay connected.
Check your lightning
This is one of the overlooked tips when setting up a home office workstation. Poor lightning may not necessarily cause blindness, but it will make you strain your eyes more often. And overtime, that eye strain can lead to headaches, thereby making you less productive. Setup your home office where you can get as much natural light as possible. It will not just help you feel better, but it will boost your productivity and enhance your environment.
However, in cases where it is quite impossible to get natural light, you can opt in for lamps. Overhead lamps is not really the right way to go as they can create a glare on your screen or desk, making it difficult for you to see properly. We Rather advise that you go for task lamp, which will shine light exactly where you need it. Go for a task lamp with good solid shade. If you are going for indirect light, just make sure the light is not totally diffused, otherwise, you may find it extremely difficult to see what you are doing.
Invest in yourself
As earlier said, think for yourself and invest in yourself. Your productivity and comfort should come first. When you invest in our home office setup, you are automatically investing in yourself too because you are looking out for a professional environment that will boost your productivity and assure your comfort.
Home Office Workstation Necessities
- Adequate space and good lighting. If you like pacing while thinking, have some space to walk around.
- A comfortable home office chair. Invest on a good one with effective back support as we earlier said. You will be sitting on it while making money so it is worth it.
- Have a desk clock or timer and calendar. These can help you manage your time and keep you on schedule with your tasks.
- Ceiling or standing fan to aid good ventilation.
- Have a garbage can beside you. You can also choose to have a box where you can throw all paper wastes which you can recycle for later. This will help you not to litter your environment. You can also a standby sink for washing your hands; not compulsory but it is necessary.
Some Home Office Work Station Considerations
- You can setup an area in your work station for reference materials such as books, magazines, research works, newspapers, and other things you often use for information.
- Make your office supplies accessible. Keep your desktop and drawers organized so it will be easy for you to get your pen and paper, staple wires, a calculator, paper clips, and more when necessary.
- For laptops or desktops, try to keep them in good order because seeing a cluttered desk often decreases one’s enthusiasm for work. You can also have a cork board and pin all your notes and other paper mess there.
- Decorate your work station with things that spark creativity and inspiration. Bright colors do not only boost energy but they also enhance your receptivity. While personal goals on paper that’s posted visibly can help you keep motivated and increase your appetite for work.
- Locate your home office far from your bedroom. You work in one while you rest in one. The two environments do not complement each other. You may be tempted to leave work and relax when you are not supposed to. Or you may be distracted by something in your bedroom.
- You do not need a television set in your home office workstation.
- Wooden pieces with red accents are ideal in portraying creativity and productivity.
- The air circulation inside the room should be continuous to encourage good flow of air.
- When you’re on your desk, be sure you are facing the open area of the room. Don’t place your back to the door or work facing the wall.
- In addition, if you work in a shared space, you should invest in a headset so you can join online conference calls when necessary with less noise leaking into your space, where other people are working, sleeping, taking classes, and so on. The competing noises makes it really hard to work.
- Also, do not cradle a desk phone or cell phone in your neck! That’s a sure way to pinch a nerve or cause muscle strain. If you use a traditional desk phone, you can get a headset designed for it plus a 3.5mm-to-2.5mm adapter so you can also connect the 2.5mm phone headset plug into the computer’s 3.5mm audio jack. Note: Be sure your computer and monitor or dock support two-way audio (mic and headset), not just audio-out.
- You could use wired or wireless earbuds instead of a headset, but the in-ear variety can be uncomfortable, even painful with long-term use for many people. (By contrast, a headset rests over your ear on a cushioned pad.) Also, wireless earbuds typically have poorer audio quality in their mics, making you harder to understand in meetings. Earbuds are fine in a pitch, but if you are on meetings for hours a day, use a headset or the computer’s audio instead.
In summary, setting up your home office workstation isn’t quite expensive. And no matter how demanding your job is, make sure you look out for your comfort first if you must work from home. Leverage on the opportunity and create a flexible working schedule for yourself.