Are you getting ready to set up your at-home office? With more and more people working from home in 2021 (and that trend likely continuing in 2022), now is a great time to create a comfortable and productive space to work at home.
If you’re not used to working from home, you might not know what you need. After all, you’ve always had your school or employer supply things for you.
We’re here to talk about some of the things that you’ll need for a productive work-from-home office. Read on to learn more.
The Right Technology
The best home office starts with the right tech for your work. What kinds of devices do you need to stay efficient and productive?
For most people, it all starts with a computer. You want to make sure that you find the right one for the specific needs of your work. Whether you work from home or you use your home office for schoolwork or personal work, your needs will determine your technology tools.
For many people, a desktop is the best option. Desktops are the most powerful home computers, and any savvy tech-lover can easily upgrade their desktop to fully suit their needs. That said, a desktop is going to be an expensive purchase, and many people don’t have a need for such a large and cumbersome device at home.
Laptops are great for most workers. Anyone who doesn’t require a lot of processing power for their job will be more than happy with a high-quality laptop. Bonus: you can take your laptop with you wherever you go, making it an appealing option for people who work remotely or who like to do tasks while they’re out and about.
Find the right laptop for your needs, and you should have an efficient and effective device. Consider using a laptop with the Intel Evo platform this year (what is Intel Evo? Read more here).
If possible, consider getting smaller work devices as well. Tablets are useful for anyone who brings their work on the road with them. A stylus can turn a tablet into a perfect design and drawing tool.
A Perfect Desk
In your home office, you get to pick the right desk for you. No longer do you have to deal with the one-size-fits-all desks at your work office.
If you’re going with a sitting desk, make sure that it’s a good height for your workflow. You want a comfortable amount of space around your legs so it’s easy to move in and out of your desk space.
You should consider a standing desk. Standing desks are great for easing and preventing back pain, combating a sedentary lifestyle, and enhancing your overall productivity.
If you’re not committed to standing all day long, that’s okay. Many standing desks transition into sitting desks when you’re ready to give your legs a break.
Comfortable and Supportive Seating
Speaking of your desk, you’re also going to want somewhere comfortable to sit.
Choose an ergonomic chair to protect your back and keep yourself productive. You want something to support your body so you don’t end up with work-associated pain.
A good chair should allow you to place your feet flat on the ground while your arms rest in a comfortable position on your desk (desk height will also affect this). Poor arm placement can result in wrist soreness and even carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some people like using alternative chairs to keep them mobile and focused. If you feel most comfortable and productive on a yoga ball instead of an office chair, so be it.
When you work from home, you need to make sure that you have enough storage for everything that you need. Whether you’re storing documents or office supplies, insufficient storage can result in a lot of clutter or even lost items.
Always assume that you’ll need more storage. It’s better to over-prepare than under-prepare.
If you work with a lot of paper documents, you’re going to want a variety of filing cabinets to keep everything secure and organized. You should also have several drawers on, under, and around your desk to keep all of your work tools at arm’s reach.
Also, consider shelves. Shelves are great for books and documents, but they also allow you to add decorations to your office without crowding it.
Make sure that you’re able to reach all of your storage options. You want to be able to access everything that you need without having to get up from your desk. Even a small disruption, like getting up mid-project, can kill your productivity.
After you have plenty of storage supplies, it’s time to organize everything. We recommend using organizational tools and helpers so everything stays in its place.
Start with labels. A good label maker can be the difference between a tidy office and a cluttered mess. Label documents, office supply areas, and everything else that requires some level of organization.
Shelf and drawer dividers are helpful for home offices. It’s easy to throw things wherever they’ll fit when you’re busy with work, but this results in lost items and a cluttered space.
You can make a set of DIY drawer dividers with only a few supplies. You can also use items like drawers and leftover cardboard boxes to keep your space organized and tidy. Consider adding cable organizers if you use a lot of devices while you’re working.
You should also include personal organizational tools when you’re gathering supplies. You’ll benefit from a planner and a calendar if you need to stick to tight deadlines.
Are you easily distracted? Whenever you work or take classes from home, it can be hard to stay on the ball. There are so many distractions in your home!
It’s helpful to have a few things at your disposal to help you when you’re feeling distracted.
First, have small things that you can use on breaks. Believe it or not, regular breaks can actually help you with distraction and help improve your overall productivity. Consider keeping small games or an adult coloring book nearby (but not near enough to play while you’re working).
If you struggle to stay productive in complete silence, we recommend getting a white noise machine. You’ll have better concentration when you’re listening.
Some people benefit from small sensory items like clay or a fidget tool. Remember that these aren’t just for children; they can help adults stay focused as well.
Do you have to communicate with others from your at-home office? Make sure that you have the right tools for the job.
You’re going to need a pair of high-quality headphones with a microphone if you want to ensure that everyone can hear you. You’ll also want a webcam. While most laptops come with webcams now, it may benefit you to get an external HD webcam.
You can’t work or take classes from home without high-speed internet. There are likely several reliable internet providers in your area, so don’t be afraid to price shop.
You want your internet to be fast enough that you can easily stream videos and do video chats. Slow internet can impede your workflow and even stop you from working altogether.
A home office isn’t all business all the time. You want to add personal details to make it feel homier.
Start with wall decor. Add a few art prints, put up your calendar, and consider putting up photos of your friends or family members to keep you motivated. It can make a huge difference when you’re tired from work, if you can look up and see something that will add cheer to your day.
Add personal items like small tchotchkes onto your shelves and desk area. These small details will add more personality to your home office.
Make sure that you have lighting that makes you feel comfortable. Harsh lights can make you feel tired or anxious.
Finally, consider adding some greenery to your home office. Plants can make a room feel fresher and more inviting which might help you feel more productive.
Improve Your At-Home Office Today
Do you have everything that you need for a perfect at-home office? You have complete control over your at-home office setup, so why not personalize it?
Make sure that you have the right tech tools, comfortable furniture, great organizational tools, and enough decorations to make your office feel like it’s truly yours. Have fun setting it up!
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