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Setting Up the Ideal Work from Home Office

Setting Up the Ideal Work from Home Office

Over the last few months, many offices have had to shut down or drastically reduce their on-site operations in favour of work from home arrangements. This safety measure is likely to last a while, with some businesses able to make cutbacks that may encourage them to make this a more permanent deal.

While most of us can get by sitting on the sofa or at the dinner table to work on our laptops for a few hours, this is not a conducive long-term environment. Many have realised the need for a properly designated workspace they can report to as they did to their offices.

Having that dedicated space can help bring some much-needed focus and create an area in which to properly organise documents and other work-related paraphernalia. So whether you have a whole room in which to set this up or not, you should have an area you can call your own and make it distinct from the other comforts and distractions of home.

To create this ideal work from home office, there are a few steps that should be followed that will guide how you arrange the space and components you will invest in.

1.      Find A Quiet Space

It is very easy to become distracted from work when at home. In the office, the noises are typically work-related and easily fade into the background, allowing you to keep the focus on the task at hand. The sounds of the elevator, a photocopier, people discussing a work issue, or even gossiping can easily be tuned out by those accustomed to working in an office.

At home, the sounds are different. Televisions, cooking noises, kids playing outside are often a common occurrence. There is often a strong temptation to go find out what is happening. More so because you are isolated.

To help achieve better focus, you will need to try and find a quiet area in the home to work and keep out the noise. It should be an area where other family members have reason to be passing through.

A spare room upstairs is a good place to set up when you have kids running around. You can shut the door and enjoy more peace in which to attend to your job and handle calls comfortably. If your work involves a lot of paperwork, as with design jobs, ensure the space is big enough to spread out the materials. 

Aim to have a dedicated space in which you can place a proper work station. As said, using your dining table, kitchen counter, or sofa is a bad idea as it can be bad for your posture and make for awkward typing that can strain your wrists and back.

2.      Seek The Light

Having a well-illuminated space in which to work is important. Ideally, it should be natural daylight, so look to set up near a large window. This helps to encourage alertness and promotes healthy mental and physical wellbeing. It is also healthier for your eyesight and promotes productivity.

If your home does not have a possible workspace near a window, consider investing in full-spectrum bulb lighting. They provide bright white light and ambient temperature similar to natural daylight. Though more expensive than ordinary light bulbs, they are a close second to natural daylight and can provide much of the same benefits.

To add to these natural benefits, you may also want to consider adding a plant or two around your work area. Plants are a great addition to any office space as they promote feelings of happiness and can improve indoor air quality. 

3.      Organize Office Furniture

The most basic requirement should be an office/computer desk and a suitable chair. If you will spend most of your time on your computer, do consider a computer desk. They are configured to ensure monitors sit at a good height that allows the head to face forward and the back to enjoy good posture.

Even if you use a laptop rather than a desktop, you can invest in an external keyboard and mouse on which to place on the designated shelf and allow you to sit comfortably while working. Do not worry so much about sizing. There are many sizes of desks available that should comfortably be accommodated in whatever size of space.

Also, consider the health benefits of a standing desk. They take up much less room and you can comfortably stand in whatever attire and footwear as you work. You can even opt for a converter you can place on any convenient table to work from.

If handling plenty of paperwork, then a desk alone may not be sufficient. Consider cabinets, drawers or bookcases you can place nearby and use to keep your documents organized. Clutter and confusion can prove counterproductive so avoid trying to arrange your work area haphazardly.

4.      Work With What You Have

Not everyone will have the funds or space to set up a dedicated workspace. Many live in tight quarters and may not have the money to purchase a new desk or chair. In such situations, you can likely make makeshift adjustments to what you have to create a healthy work environment.

Wherever you decide to sit when working on your computer, ensure that the position achieved does not injure you. Your computer monitor should be around an arm’s length away at eye level. If using a laptop, you should be able to prop it up using a cushion, books, or folded towel. Invest in an external keyboard and mouse for your laptop for better comfort. Try to maintain a 90-degree angle with your keyboard.

Whatever chair you sit on should allow the natural curve of your spine to be supported. Spending too much time leaning forward can easily lead to pains. Again, you can make use of cushions or a rolled-up towel to fill the space and get good back support. 

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