In 2016, about 43 percent of employees worked from home at least part of the week. That number is only going to increase over the next few years as more businesses make the transition from office culture to a remote workplace.
If you’re like most people trying to adjust to the new work-from-home lifestyle, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed. It’s up to you to create a home office setup that will help you be just as productive as you are in the office. So, where do you start?
Luckily, building the perfect home office is easy as long as you know what you need. Here are a few must-have items to add to your setup now.
1. Plenty of Light
Having plenty of light throughout the day can make a huge difference in how productive your working hours really are. If possible, try to place your work from home office setup close to a window. This will allow you to take advantage of natural light anytime you’re at your desk.
Natural light is often easier on your eyes and reduces feelings of fatigue and eye strain that are so common with computer-based tasks.
Keep in mind that you’ll also want to invest in at least one desk lamp as well as a floor lamp to add light when the sun isn’t high in the sky. Look for desk lamps that offer adjustable heads and brightness. Choose floor lamps that produce enough light to make your office usable at night or early in the morning.
Just remember to invest in LED bulbs for both lamps. These put out less heat and use far less energy than other light bulb options. This means you won’t have to worry about your electric bill going up because you’re working from home at odd hours.
2. A Dedicated Desk
Though it’s tempting to work from the couch or your favorite seat at the dining table, it’s not in your best interest. Those spots encourage distraction and make it hard to stay focused throughout the day.
If possible, invest in a dedicated desk that you can use for work and nothing else. Try to choose a model that’s sized for you. Remember, you want your arms to be at a 90-degree angle when you’re typing at your computer.
The easiest way to make sure your desk fits you is to try them in person or buy models with adjustable heights. You may even want to look for a sit-stand desk so you can change up your position throughout the day.
The more you can move around, the fewer aches and pains you’ll experience.
3. The Right Chair
Just as the right desk can make a huge difference in your productivity, the right chair can change how you feel throughout the day. Look for an office chair that provides plenty of support and can adjust to your body’s unique needs.
Choose models with armrests to help reduce fatigue and make sure the option you buy has plenty of lower back support to help you maintain good posture.
If you already have a desk chair and don’t want to go to the expense of buying a more ergonomic model, you don’t have to settle for discomfort. Instead, view lumbar cushions online and buy one that will give you the back support you need. These cushions are removable and can get added to different chairs in the future.
4. Plants You Love
Potted plants are a great way to make your desk feel less like a bland and boring space and more like a place you’ll enjoy spending time. Just make sure you choose plants that are easy to care for.
Species like orchids, aloe, ivy, and lucky bamboo all add a unique flair to your desk and can go a few days without getting watered.
You’ll also want to place your plants on your desk in their preferred light conditions. For example, lucky bamboo grows too quickly when you set it in a bright, sunny spot. Instead, try to place it in the shadow of your computer monitor.
If you’re not sure how to properly care for your desk plants, ask your local garden center for advice.
5. Enough Storage
No matter what type of job you have, you’re going to need a way to stay organized. This means storage needs to be a part of your home office setup.
Think about the types of items you need on-hand. Office supplies can stay organized with the help of in-drawer desk organizers. Papers and files will stay in better shape in a dedicated filing cabinet.
Once you know what you need to have at your fingertips, shop for storage solutions that fit your space and your sense of style.
6. Comfortable Lounge Areas
Even the most productive and die-hard worker needs a way to take a break every now and then. Those breaks will help you regain your focus and find solutions that you’ve struggled to come up with at your desk.
Give yourself a place to take those breaks in your home office so you can get back to work as soon as you regroup. The best home office setups have couches or comfy chairs where you can step away from your computer for a minute or two as needed.
When you have to leave your office, it’s easy to get distracted with household duties, and keeping a comfy lounge area in your office space will reduce those distractions.
Incorporate These Elements Into Your Home Office Setup
Making the change to working remotely takes a bit of getting used to. There’s no one watching what you’re doing and distractions can be a real issue. However, building the best home office setup can make all the difference.
Incorporate these items into your setup and you’ll be able to stay just as productive as you’d be in the office.
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