What Does Every Home Office Need?
Now more than ever, having a home office is vital to one’s productivity and success. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people continue to work remotely and have had to adapt to this new working environment.
But what makes for the “ideal” home office?
If you’re working from home, then chances are you’re prioritizing 2 things: productivity and comfort. Remote employment gives you all the familiarity and comfortability of your house, with a few important upgrades to ensure you stay on top of your work.
Why is a Quality Workspace So Important?
When it comes to “quality” in a workspace, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Some people might value comfort and individuality more: they’ll buy chairs with the best support, or decorate their work area to liven it up. Others will put efficiency first and foremost: they work to keep their workspace free of clutter, keeping everything they need within arm’s length and making sure they complete assignments as quickly as possible.
In this unprecedented age of remote working, many people might value faster Internet speeds to make their jobs easier. Still, others might try to make their new work area as cozy as can be even though they’re in their own homes.
Generally speaking, a quality working environment should allow you to be comfortable and enjoy what you’re doing while also allowing you to work efficiently and without distraction.
Listed below are several things which can make a world of difference in how successful you can be when working out of a home office.
Let’s face it: the Internet you’re used to at home likely pales in comparison to the Internet at your workplace. Faster Internet lets you get more work done, and more work done means you keep pace with everyone else in the workplace.
Most modern routers operate on 2 frequencies: a 2.4Ghz frequency and a 5Ghz frequency. The 2.4Ghz frequency has better range throughout the home, but can slow down very quickly if multiple devices are connected. The 5Ghz frequency picks up the slack, offering high-speed Internet even when multiple devices are in use.
However, location is another important factor that comes into play here. If you live in a more urban area, for example, you’re more likely to have access to fast Internet speeds than someone living in a rural area.
Routers can also be expensive. Those on the cheaper end typically go for $100, while most routers cost a minimum of $300.
It’s a good idea to conduct research on a particular router before you decide to upgrade. You can also contact your Internet provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding Internet speed.
Click here to see a list of commercially available Internet routers.
A Powerful Computer
If you’re someone who was already working remotely even before the pandemic, then you’ve probably invested in high-end computers for quite some time. If you only just started working remotely, though, then now is the time to consider buying a new desktop or laptop.
Computers with higher processing power and more memory are essential in a remote work environment. Combined with the aforementioned high-speed Internet, you can complete a multitude of assignments at once and have plenty of space to save everything.
A device with a webcam is an absolute necessity. Even if you’ve never used a webcam before, you’re likely going to rely on it for work meetings via Zoom, Slack, or any of the other programs which have gained popularity amid the epidemic.
Devices with touchscreens, including laptop-tablet hybrids, are very popular. They have all the power of a laptop with the convenience of a tablet or other handheld device–you can quite literally take your work with you wherever you go.
As with most technology, cost is key. Even the cheapest devices will still be hundreds of dollars, and higher-end devices may cost you a minimum of $1000.
A Proper Filing System
If you’re dealing with a lot of paperwork, then a good filing system can help keep you on track.
Having a paper sorter on hand can help you keep certain types of assignments together–financial reports, for example, can be separated from other documents. Older assignments which have already been completed can also be placed in binders.
Organizing your work will reduce clutter in your workspace, which may actually be beneficial to your mental clarity. Studies show that getting rid of old or unneeded objects allows you to better focus on the tasks at hand, rather than the tasks of the past.
Even if you do all your work digitally, you can still take advantage of proper filing systems. Grouping related projects into a single folder on your desktop and backing everything up on USB drives are just some of the ways you can keep your work computer free of built-up clutter.
A Decently-Sized Desk
Desks are arguably the most essential part of any work environment: they are, after all, where almost all work is performed. Your assignments, devices, and any other items to help your work will inevitably be gathered here.
When it comes to picking a desk, size is the most important factor–both the size of the desk itself and the size of your home office. A desk that’s too small will lead to more clutter in a short amount of time; too large, and everything can end up being too spaced out.
Likewise, a desk that’s too large for your office simply won’t fit, while one that’s smaller might look out of place in an otherwise spacious area.
On average, the best dimensions for a work desk are 30 inches in height, 48-72 inches in width, and 36 inches deep.
But sitting in front of a desk all day isn’t healthy for the body. There are a variety of adjustable desks available which can allow yo to work standing up–perfect for keeping your posture straight.
Click here to view several adjustable desks available for purchase.
Decent lighting makes for a decent workplace. Inadequate lighting can cause strain on your eyes, especially if you’re working in front of a computer monitor all day.
The best lamps for home office use come equipped with LED bulbs. These bulbs are great for those who want to save energy, and most lamps that use them allow you to change the brightness depending on how much natural light your work area receives.
In most cases, a simple desk lamp will cover all your lighting needs. But if you want a little extra light to help you out, there are a multitude of LED floor lamps which brighten up a wider area. Regardless of which lamp you go with, you’ll keep your office bright and your eyes healthy.
Click here to see several floor lamps available for purchase.
We rely on technology in ever aspect of our lives, especially when it comes to work. There are several gadgets which are essential for every home office, whether it’s because they boost productivity or because they simply offer some extra comfort.
A paper shredder is perfect for anyone who deals with a lot of paperwork at their job. Shredders can reduce the amount of papers collecting on your desk, keeping your workspace clean and organized. They are also an absolute necessity if you’re working with documents containing confidential information.
Surge protectors can be overlooked compared to other items you might include in your home office, but they are a valuable thing to have on hand. If, for whatever reason, you lose power during work hours, a surge protector can save your work devices from shorting out and potentially breaking.
What’s the biggest advantage of working from home? You have constant access to everything you could possibly need to make yourself comfortable while working. The following items aren’t particularly vital to your home office’s success–rather, they are simple creature comforts to make your work day easier to get through.
Radios are an easy way to get some background music going while you work. Smart devices, like Amazon Alexa, are more modern alternatives that fill the same role.
If you want some snacks or beverages during a work session, consider adding a mini-fridge to your office space. This way, you won’t have to constantly head into the kitchen to grab food whenever you get hungry.
People who spend all day sitting at a desk may want to invest in an ergonomic chair. The best chairs allow for good sitting posture and providing support for the back while also being comfortable and easy to adjust.
Even in a home office, work can still . That’s why it might be good to invest in a neck and back massager. These devices will take out all the stress out of your work day and help you ease into a productive, relaxed mindset to make the work day fly by.
For a simple decorative item, you can never go wrong with a house plant. Studies show that keeping a plant in your work area can reduce anxiety, improve your mood and provide a little extra oxygen in the air. Plus, they’re very low maintenance: all you need to do is give them routine waterings and some sunlight.