How to Set Up the Perfect Home Office for Remote Work
I have been working “from home” for many years and I am often asked how does one go about creating an office at home where you can get work done and not procrastinate or be disorganized. I have answered this question so many times, I thought it would be a good idea to finally put it into writing.
Setting Up the Office Space
The office space needs to be a distinct step away from the home environment. It must transport you into the working frame of mind rather than seem like just another bedroom or downstairs conservatory. Everyone must know that when you enter that room – you are not at home anymore. This is key.
Your office should contain:
Desk – Your main working area must be large enough to accommodate your computer, screen, keyboard, mouse but still have enough space for your notes (and coffee cup). Also, consider a standing desk – this is worth every cents and you become more productive changing between sitting and standing positions AND less sore at the end of the day.
Office chair – Given that you’ll be sitting in the chair for a good portion of each workday, it needs to be comfy. Ergonomic chairs are more comfortable than overly padded ones that don’t provide the necessary support in the right areas.
Lighting – Bright, airy spaces are best for avoiding eye strain. Well-lit work areas also encourage getting started early and pushing through difficult days. They also help to avoid getting into a mental malaise that’s then difficult to snap out of later.
Storage space – The amount of storage needed depends on the type of work you’ll be doing. A few books on a bookshelf and a cupboard or filing drawer may be useful. However, aim to be more minimalistic to reduce the need for too many storage solutions because they eat up space fast.
Get Faster Internet Than You Believe Is Required
Internet speeds have risen dramatically in the last few years. While your personal usage at home might be limited to keeping up with your Facebook feed, business-related internet usage is likely quite different.
Downloading large files, uploading via cloud storage to keep data safe, and working on online office suites all indicate that a faster internet connection is worthwhile. When using SaaS cloud solutions for productivity, you don’t want to find that the browser is sluggish in updating the page because your internet is too slow.
Factor in how many other users there are at home. If someone else is streaming Netflix during the day, for instance, the overall speed needs to be fast enough to overcome it. Overinvesting in broadband speed is not wasted money.
Also, have a 5G or 4G LTE backup hot spot connection on your phone and test that it can tether successfully to your laptop for when the broadband experiences difficulties.
It’ll be a lifesaver when it is needed.
Using Apps for Better Productivity
Productivity apps are now available mostly as SaaS solutions where they’re primarily accessed over the web. Whether you’re needing a full-blown organizing solution like Freshworks CRM, project management software such as Asana or Monday.com, or a payroll package, they’re now all available online. Find the apps that can help to keep you coordinated and focused on the key tasks. Staying organized and able to prioritize project work ensures it can be done promptly. Also, remember to take breaks away from the office to rejuvenate before returning – every little helps.
Monitoring Temperature and Humidity Levels to Enhance Comfort
Higher temperature levels and rising humidity are things that can make life uncomfortable in a home office. Without sufficient ventilation, it can become stuffy quickly. To know where you stand with temperatures and moisture in the office space, read this guide to find the best hygrometer. A hygrometer can monitor the relative levels, allowing you to take action to cool the room down, run a dehumidifier, or pull down the window blinds before they become overwhelming. When you’re uncomfortable, it quickly takes the attention away from the task at hand. This is not something that you can afford when there are only so many usable business hours to complete important tasks.
Pace Yourself for the Long Haul
When working from home is expected to be a long-term engagement, not a short-term plan, it pays to plan as such. Pace yourself to be productive each week rather than sprinting through work, burning the midnight oil, and potentially burning yourself out. It’s useful to take regular walks and other mental breaks so that having a home office doesn’t feel like you never get away from it.
Setting up a home office successfully requires taking the appropriate steps, ensuring it’s comfortable for you, and that you have access to the necessary tools. Depriving yourself of any of these will lower your productivity levels.