If you are reading this in 2020, you know the importance of having the right home office setup!
You already know that most of the adjustments the world has had to make due to the pandemic are here to stay and the trend of working from home is definitely one of them. Several major companies such as Twitter, Google, Facebook and SalesForce have already decided to implement the WFH model up to the end of 2021, in addition to innumerable expert predictions that this is how the future of working environment would look like- something that doesn’t seem too far-fetched right now.
But what lies behind this wide acceptability of the Work From Home model, you wonder? The foremost reason is none other than the significant spike in productivity, world-renowned CEOs have agreed in tandem. The comfort of home, the freedom of being able to work in PJs and attending meetings without the traffic hours have led employees to be significantly more productive since the pandemic sent the world into exile and the Corporate world has caught on to the trick.
There are enough debates on how great the Work from Home model is for work-life balance, but there is no denying that it’s here to stay. This, accepting the popular mandate, we are here to help you with the fabled home office setup, the corner of your home that really decides your productivity, the space that you’ll now be spending all your work hours (and possibly over-time) in.
Read on to know about the top 10 essential factors that make your home office setup as epic as you planned for it to be.
Top 10 things to remember when it comes to your home office setup:
1. Adequate lighting
A bright, well-lit workspace is one of the best starts to a productive day, don’t you think? A lot of our productivity depends on our mood and good lighting can have a substantial impact on our mood. When it comes to setting up your home office, you definitely want to pick a place in your home that receives plenty of natural light.
Not only you get to receive some good old vitamin D but natural light will also keep you focused, positively influencing your concentration levels. Having a naturally lit home office setup will reduce eye strain that is an inevitable side-effect of having to work on computers for long hours like most of us do. If you don’t have adequate space or any other restrictions, consider investing in some good quality task lighting that you’ll easily find online within several different price ranges to match your budget.
2. Comfortable seating
Remember that ghost ache along your spinal cord that seems to get triggered every time you think about office? Yeah, blame that on badly designed chairs. Not only comfortable seating is an absolute must for a home office setup, but you should also really put some time into choosing what kind of chair you want for your home office.
If you are in a profession that requires you to sit for long hours, then look for office chairs that offer adequate lumbar support. Unlike other corporate offices, making ergonomically safe choices for your home office setup does not require a bulk purchase, so you can invest more in your seating arrangements that are not only comfortable but also guarantee long term health benefits!
3. Proper desk and computer
If you are thinking, “a workspace would obviously have a desk, I already have/plan to have a computer…how do these have a separate mention?” Well, most of us not only take these provisions for granted since we are accustomed to working in corporate setups where we don’t get to choose, but we also tend to favor lower-priced items without completely taking into account our customized requirements-resulting in a working environment experience that we barely tolerate.
Based on the requirements of your profession, choose desks with adjustable height, sufficient drawers and other organizing elements, and of course- a sturdy laptop/desktop that can match your workload.
4. Storage space
Most of us can not afford to have a super spacious home office setup, at least, not ones that can match the conventional corporate workstations. But fret not, one click of your mouse (okay, maybe a few clicks) and the magical web will present to you hundreds of shelving options, in terms of design, functionality and budget that you can choose from.
Floating shelves/cabinets are trending and if you have a bare wall to go with your office setup- the possibilities are endless, and only one Pinterest search away! Investing in some sleek, functional shelves will not only help de-clutter your office space but also your mental space.
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5. Office planner/calendar
Even photographic memories fail once in a while. That is why whether you are a superhero or a commoner, having a detailed planner within your arms’ reach is never a bad idea, especially considering the fact that a home office setup is essentially a one-man/woman operation. A good planner/wall calendar will help you keep track of all your important tasks/events/meetings.
This is not to say that the planner/calendar app on your phone is any less efficient-but having a physical copy of it/to tick off boxes on a piece of paper often helps develop our routine better, especially when you are taking care of ten things at once.
6. Office printer/scanner/fax machine
While initially, this may seem like an investment you don’t need, but having a portable printer/scanner/fax machine will be both cost and time effective in the long run. Most of the reputed companies have started developing affordable products specifically meant for smaller workload/home workstations, so all you have to is a quick Google search according to your budget.
7. Choose the right technology
There are multiple blogs/articles listing out a hundred things that they swear that you absolutely need for your home office setup. But do you, really? While all the information overload, the pretty pictures on Pinterest or the latest little gadgets may seem tempting, an efficient home office setup has to be customized according to what your work really demands.
Choose the right pieces of equipment, whether it’s an advanced Wifi router, a Network-Attached Storage Device, hard drive backups for your computer, surge protectors to safeguard your electricals, cable organizers or even the kind of headset you are using. The right investment in the right kind of products will take you a long way.
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8. Office supplies
Let’s admit it, a majority of us, at one point or another, have taken a little harmless advantage of office supplies-whether it’s taking the stapler home, or getting all your printouts done from the office or even swiping a couple of extra A4 sheets. The bad news is that you can’t do that at your own home office.
But the great news is that you will find enough deals on Amazon and Flipkart to comfortably stock up on all your office supplies all year round. You can even go a little fancy and finally get yourself those colored writing pads/pens that always make writing a little more entertaining!
Once all your work essentials are taken care of, put in some thoughts to personalize your home office set up. You may be working from home, but it’s still your home- why should your workstation be any different? There are enough accessories that you can add to your workspace- framed photos, a fancy wall clock, simple knick-knacks or a few small plants.
There are varieties that only need to be watered only once or twice a week if you are worried about keeping your plants alive- personalizing the space will make it more inviting, not to mention that all your video conferences will finally have an interesting background. Doesn’t sound too bad if you are going to spend a major chunk of your day there, does it?
10. Separate personal from professional
However odd this last point may seem, this definitely counts as one of the top things to remember if we are talking about your home office, and that is, remember that it is still your office- however cozy, comfortable or personalized the set up might be. You may feel like spending your leisure time at the fancy desk you picked out, leaning on the ergonomic back support that makes working feel like a breeze- but don’t give in.
Multiple surveys have pointed out the risk of decrease in productivity that is triggered by an uneven work-life balance, a risk you’d unconsciously giving in to, should you fail to count your work hours.
Model your own home office!
Remote working accessibility is gradually being hailed as the ‘new normal’ and for good reasons. While there would always be jobs that demand face-to-face interaction, it is very likely that the post-pandemic world would see job requirements accommodating the new realities and altering themselves accordingly.
For a long-term work from home, you need a proper home office setup. Currently if you are staying in a small rented apartment that doesn’t offer adequate space for setting your home office, you should consider shifting to a new home with proper space. Once you have found the right home, the next step should be moving with all household belongings by hiring professional packers and movers.
While not all of us may have the luxury of a dedicated home office setup, little personalized touches here and there would go long way to boost your mood and allow you to make the most of working from home.