Working from home can seem perfect to most people. You can just get up from your bed, have a long breakfast without the need to rush to the office, skip the normally tiring morning commute, and walk up to your home office which in most cases is just a few steps away.
But no matter how alluring or beneficial work from home is, it can eventually lead to constant distractions and reduced efficiency if you don’t have a proper home office setup.
Why a home office is essential for remote work
Working remotely from home has become a necessity in the post-pandemic workplace. In a fast changing world where colleagues are dispersed across locations, it’s important to adapt to new technologies to keep up with work. A home office is highly necessary when you consider the tools and technologies you will need to work successfully from home. In addition to adopting the right tools, you will also need to structure your workdays and follow some guidelines to ensure your productivity in remote work stays high.
The significance of creating an effective home office
A home office has to be efficient in order to be effective. A good home office is not just a setup cobbled together with a chair and a table. It has to be efficient and also healthy to work at. A badly planned work from home setup can affect your ability to work peacefully and effectively. It’s important to first identify a well lit and airy space and then pick the right kind of ergonomic furniture to set up your workspace.
As a remote employee, choosing the right remote work setup and taking your time with it can make all the difference. To help you set up the perfect home office, we have put together the ultimate list of remote work setup essentials.
What equipment do I need to work remotely?
How do I setup my home office for remote work?
1. Good lighting
It is very easy to underestimate the effect lighting can have on your ability to work. Good lighting can make your work environment more comfortable and help you stay focused for longer hours.
You should avoid fluorescent lighting since it can often cause drowsiness. Instead, set up your work desk in a place where you get lots of natural light. Though make sure to set your desk in a direction that gets indirect light only so that the light does not directly reflect off your monitor. If you work longer hours, you may even need lamps around your desk, but make sure they don’t create any glare on your monitor.
2. Neat background
You never know when you would have to get on a quick video call with a colleague or a client. It can be rather embarrassing when your remote coworkers end up seeing your big pile of laundry or a day-old apple that you forgot to pick up.
That is why you should keep a neat background to always be ready for sudden meetings. It’s preferable to back up your work desk to a wall and keep your background as a wall so others on the call don’t end up seeing your private space even by mistake. You can show off a few books you like or keep a few plants around to liven up your meetings.
3. Dress for work
Staying in your PJs all day as you work from home (WFH Meaning), sounds like heaven for most homebodies. But working in comfortable PJs may not make you feel confident or productive. Not to mention, suddenly getting on video calls with your supervisors or clients can become embarrassing when you are still in your PJs.
Instead, you should dress for work, like you would dress to go to an office. Wear smart casuals that make you feel confident from the inside and you will automatically see a significant rise in your daily productivity.
4. Ergonomic seating
Sitting down on your sofa or using your dining chairs to work may sound like a great short-term solution but it can end up being very bad for your back and spine in the long run because they don’t encourage an upright posture.
Instead, you should invest in a good ergonomic chair that offers lumbar support for your lower back and lets you adjust the arm height, chair height, and tilt according to what works best for you.
5. Clutter-free desk
The more clutter there is on your desk, the easier it will be for you to get distracted. Removing the clutter and creating a more minimalistic workspace can help you focus better.
Keep as few items on your desk as possible. Anything that isn’t essential to your work should be removed permanently. It is also smart to use a desk with drawers so that you can keep the actual desk surface clean while moving all the unnecessary items into the drawers.
6. Whiteboard and sticky notes
We usually keep our eyes glued on the keyboard and monitor all day, whether we are talking to colleagues or brainstorming an important work problem. But when you are stuck at a problem, going the analog way and taking your eyes off the monitor screen for some time can help a lot.
Keeping whiteboards and sticky notes in your remote workspace can give you a fun way to brainstorm ideas, write outlines, and conceptualize your goals which can directly lead to a boost in productivity.
7. Plants on desk
Plants are more than just aesthetically pretty decorations. Keeping indoor plants near your desk can filter the air, brighten up space, and add some color to the otherwise gloomy interiors. They can also help you manage your stress and refocus your energy back to the work. In fact, studies have found that introducing plants in the workspace can increase productivity by over 15 percent.
If you are unsure about maintaining plants and watering them regularly, start by getting some small-sized succulent plants which only need to be watered every 1-2 weeks.
8. Fitness gear for work breaks
If you are usually bound to your desk for more than 7-8 hours a day, it is imperative to take short breaks both for your mental and physical health.
The seated position isn’t the healthiest, especially if you are putting in longer hours which is why you need to combat sedentary desk life with regular exercise. Though you don’t have to hit the gym every time you want to exercise, you can get some fitness gear like a yoga mat, dumbbells, bike desk, and ankle weights that you can use right at home during your work breaks.
9. Keep inspiration nearby
Whether it is pictures of your families, mementos from your last trip, or a few motivational quotes that you like to stick to, you can keep them around your workspace to stay motivated all day round. Personalize your space the way you prefer and add anything that keeps you in high spirits. Although, keep in mind to not go so overboard that it ends up distracting you.
10- Good quality speakers/ headphones
According to a study, people who work on a task while listening to music are able to complete the task in a faster and better manner, as compared to people who don’t listen to music at all.
A good quality Bluetooth speaker or headphones can fill your workspace with positive vibes and wash away all the distractions to improve your focus on work. Not to mention, headphones can also come in handy when you have to get on a quick virtual meeting and there are family members or roommates around.
11. An ergonomic keyboard
After a long day at work, the last thing you want is painful wrist strain due to the keyboard not offering the right support to your wrist. Moreover, ignoring wrist issues for too long can even lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and a million other problems. To avoid it altogether, opt for an ergonomic keyboard that can increase comfort, reduce wrist strain, and help you stay focused.
12. Best remote work tools
Remote work is only possible because of the technology that backs it. Without the right remote work tools by your side, you only struggle in handling your everyday tasks even if you have the best desk, chair, or lighting.
When it comes to picking the right remote work software, opt for something that can streamline your tasks, overcome the main work challenges, and make it easier for you to connect with your team. Most importantly, the remote tools should save you time and improve overall efficiency