One of the most common questions being asked by today’s workforce is, “How to set up a home office?”. This is the burning question for the workforce in the COVID times. Needless to say this is a challenge, people have adapted well. People are getting more comfortable with video calls. The workforce is getting used to the new dress code. And most importantly, it appears that people have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn new skills. In order to be productive on all these fronts, people have created their own personal workspaces at their home.
Some people already had home office areas but most didn’t. Now, given the need to work from home across the globe, people have decided to go ahead and invest in a productive home office. So read on to see how to set up a home office quickly.
Choosing the Space for home office set up
Not everyone has the same choices when it comes to this question. People may be living in rented apartments or proper houses. Some may be living alone and some may have a family. Some may have a fantastic view and others may just have small window. These should cover all the varieties of all the challenges faced by people when choosing a place to set up the home office. However, in order to work in peace and be productive, the checklist is very clear. It should allow us to be stress free, focus and have minimal distractions.
If living with other people, preferably choose a spot where there is minimal traffic and low levels of noise. Since, the room mates may also have similar requirements, it may just work out well for everyone.
If you are living with family in a proper house, try to convert an existing room or walk in closet into a workspace. This can provide sufficient privacy and buffer from the rest of the household for events like skype/zoom meetings.
To sum up, pick a corner of the house where you can set up an isolated space, which mimics your office environment as much as possible to allow you to operate at your best.
Plan what you may need
We are all used to working in environments with abundance of options, ranging from standing desks to external screens. When setting up your home office, it is important to list out the equipments that you actually require to be productive. Also, if applicable, you may even consider this as an opportunity to create a home office for long term and equip with all the stuff that you may require.
Some essentials that come to my mind are a roomy table (with compartments), a comfortable chair, sufficient lighting and some stationery. If you have enough space, you may want to have a small exercise bench with a pair of manageable weights for quick reps between calls to keep you active during the day. Check out these home workout apps to complement your home office set up.
Some luxuries might be an external screen, standing desk, large monitors etc. These are considered luxuries here not only from a financial standpoint but also from a space point of view. Most of us may not have the space to accommodate these equipments. Please note, coffee, vending and soda machines are not considered office equipments. 🙂
Writing surface. Also known as a ‘Desk’
Everyone is used to having their own space at work. Your own space, which in some offices you are even required to reserve. Making it even more important. I have seen people work in a variety of configurations. Some folks combine two desks to accommodate the laptop and stationery and some folks have to screens, which look like they are suspended in mid air. Others have the revolutionary ‘Standing Desk’ and some make do with the humble desk in the corner. Finally, some are movable and others are screwed into the walls. All these configurations serve different purposes.
There is a wide variety of ways to choose the type of desk you want for your home office. You may want to consider the following factors:
- Duration – After all, if your job is not going to require you to work from home long term, it doesn’t make sense to invest in an elaborate set up. For example, sales folks can probably do without too much of a set up for the home office. However, people who are into profiles which require a lot of usage of Excel reports and such might require a proper set up.
- Upgrade – Assess the existing options that you may have available already in your house. In these uncertain times, it is advisable to not make any unnecessary expenditures. If your current arrangement is not feasible for long term ‘remote work’ arrangement, then definitely spend some money and consider this as an upgrade for current home office option.
- Finances – Money is saved when it is not spent. Some firms are paying employees to purchase the home office equipment. Please make sure to use this option if you get a chance.
Working from home has its own nuances with regards to physical health. One of the aspects affecting physical health is the seating arrangement you choose. Normal seating arrangements don’t allow for flexible movement or positioning of the chair with respect to the table.
When working long hours, people tend not to pay attention to their posture which leads to problems like cervical and lower back pain. It is easy to ignore such ailments at a younger age. However, you should ensure to all precautions to mitigate these problems. These can be lifelong ailments to endure. A nice ergonomic chair would help provide the required flexibility.
Lighting your home office set up
One of the most important aspects in identifying a space for home office set up is the lighting. It is a critical to choose a well lit space. This is important for two reasons. First, you must spare your eyes from bad light. A poorly lit space will eventually have negative impact on your eyesight. Second, sitting in low light for long periods is not healthy for morale. It definitely has a negative impact on the mental health over time.
Depending on the space available to you, consider a lighting options within your budget. There are various to consider from available at amazon at a very reasonable price. If you are tight on space, then you may consider a desk which screws on to the wall. You may want to consider lighting accordingly.
Make it your own
To sum up this post, it would be fair to say that the important factors that need to be considered for setting up a home office are productivity, healthy and comfortable. If you think about it these are same buzz words you might have heard around the office as well and it makes sense. You should manage your resources wisely when taking on this task.
Your work space has to be comfortable. To that effect, personalise it. Put up some pictures. Since you have a choice, pick out a chair that you actually like, unlike the one that you may have to compromise with at work. As a result, you should be healthy, productive and comfortable in your new home office. Happy work from home!