In this article you will find:
- 12 Home Office Set Up Tips
12 Tips For Setting Up Your Home Office
Here are some tips to help you set up your ideal home office:
1. Find the Best Location
For some people, choosing a spot for their home office is easy. They've got an empty room that they use as dedicated office space. It can be an actual “office,” but many people use an empty bedroom or even the basement. However, not everyone has that kind of free space in their home. When space is tight, you have to think creatively about your “office space. Check out unused corners in larger rooms, large (but empty) closets, or even under the stairs! There are plenty of spaces that can convert into an office with a little bit of creativity.
2. Add Privacy
If you're fortunate enough to have a dedicated room for your office, that room probably has walls that go all the way from the floor to the ceiling and solid doors that close. That makes privacy quite easy to come by. But when your office is in, say, the corner of your bedroom, you might find it hard to separate work from home.
Consider adding a privacy divider to your home office setup. You can get traditional dividers that sit on the floor. Or you could hang a curtain from the ceiling or on a rod. Curtains are a lightweight and generally inexpensive method of “closing the door” to your office. And, with a curtain, you can choose something subtle that blends in with the rest of the décor. Or choose something wild and crazy to give your “door” some pizazz.
3. Consider Who Else Uses the Space
As you're setting up your home office, consider who else will use it and pick the space and furniture accordingly. Will the kids also use the office for homework, and will your partner work from home, too? Consider a partner desk setup where two people can work at the same desk at the same time.
Are clients dropping by? While you could meet with them in the living room, that may not always be the best choice. Make sure you add seating and table space for clients, too.
4. Invest in Yourself
Investing in a home office setup is, in many ways, an investment in yourself. You want to create a professional environment where you will be productive and also comfortable. But, like a lot of investments, you get what you pay for. And while it may be tempting to buy the “bargain” office furniture, don't forget about what that bargain price gets you. If you're working in your home office 40 hours a week, make sure you consider quality. The cheapest desk won't save you any money in the long run if you have to replace it in a year or two.
5. Get the Right Desk
On the note of desks, you would want to invest in a desk that fits your budget, workflow, and your space. The desk needs to contribute to your productivity by helping you stay comfortable all day.
6. Support Your Neck and Eyes
Don't forget to help out your neck and eyes, too. Make sure you've got your monitor in the “perfect” spot. That spot is different for every person, so you'll have to experiment with placement. Follow some of these tips to help you get it right:
- Your spine should always stay in a neutral position
- the top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level
- place the monitor at least 20 inches from your eyes, farther away if you've got a large monitor
- Your eyes should look slightly down when looking at the middle of the screen to help keep your neck in proper alignment. Tilt the monitor back 10 to 20 degrees to ensure you're looking down at the screen at an angle. If you wear bifocals, tip the screen back to between 30 and 45 degrees to ensure you're not tilting your head back to focus.
- Most monitors are adjustable. But, sometimes that's not enough, so you may need to invest in a screen riser to get the right adjustment. Or, in a pinch, some books or an old box can also do the trick.
7. Good Lighting
It's very easy to underestimate the effects of your work environment on your ability to work. Lighting is often an area people don't think about. Ideally, you have sufficient indirect light to illuminate your workspace, so you can easily read papers and see physical objects. Overhead lighting is usually best, such as from a ceiling lamp.
Indirect lighting means lights, not in your direct field of view or reflecting off your monitor. For example, an outside window behind or to the side of your desk can create glare on your monitor screen when the sun is shining. Natural light is quite pleasant, but diffuse it with shades or curtains so it doesn't create glare.
8. Clear Your Home Office of Clutter
When your workspace is free of clutter, your mind can think clearly. The first step in clearing your office of clutter is to simply rid yourself of items that you don't need.
As for the items you wish to save that you don't use every day, there are many organizing products that are specifically designed to organize them. Clustering your items into groups helps you find items when you need them because it's easy to remember where they're located. Utilize filing cabinets, decorative baskets, and other holders. These organizing items can be both pleasing to the eye and functional. Hence, attractive and organized spaces improve your happiness and productivity.
9. Figure Out What Items You Need
A water bottle? Your phone? Files and books? Do you drink a lot of tea during the day? It might be helpful to keep a cup and some tea bags close to the (prefilled) kettle for instance. Do you like to listen to music but you're sharing your space with someone else? Keep your headphones close and your laptop charger even closer.
10. Add Some Little Things
We're all under a lot of pressure these days, which can make work stressful and make it hard to focus.
Adding a few personal touches can be a mood booster. Try putting some happy photos, your favorite coffee cup, or meaningful knick-knacks around your space to re-energize you.
11. Find a Comfy Mouse (and Mouse Pad)
Working on a laptop can feel cramped. A mouse is just more ergonomic to use than a trackpad, and a gaming mouse specifically could help if you're dealing with some wrist pain. Consider investing in one that fits all your needs and ensures you're comfortable while working from home.
12. Reliable Internet Service
Most urban and suburban areas have at least one high-speed provider for internet service; 50Mbps is the minimum speed to shoot for, and the more people using the internet at the same time, the more you want to get a higher-speed service.
The bandwidth within your home matters too. The best connections are wired Ethernet ones, so if possible, connect your computer to your router via an Ethernet cable; that's especially important if you do video or other bandwidth-intensive work. Wi-Fi is fine for basic office work, so if you can't wire your computer to your router, use Wi-Fi.