Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many office and knowledge workers have had to resort to working from home, an idea that was only sometimes planned for. When the pandemic ends, organizations may find that there is no longer the need for large office buildings, and employees may recognize that there is no requirement to be in the workplace each day or to spend extended commuting.
Working from home has advantages such as no need for a commute and greater flexibility. The convenience of sporting tracksuit pants on Zoom calls is also an advantage. However, one needs to have the luxury of professional office space being ready for them.
Creating a dedicated workspace in your smart home is essential for optimal long-term productivity. Ensure the area is adequately equipped and safe for use over the long haul. To that end, do your best to incorporate as many elements as possible. Some steps can be taken to create a successful and comfortable workspace, whether for remote work or running a business from home.
It’s essential to set aside a specific area for work, no matter the size of your home. If you have a room, a separate office is ideal. However, if that’s impossible, designate a desk or even a spot at the kitchen table for work. This will help create the mental distinction of ‘going to work’ each day, even if you’re just walking a few steps. You’ll be able to improve productivity and focus in work mode rather than just casually sitting around the house.
You should obtain a desk or table with the correct work height. The work surface should be approximately 29 inches off the floor. Taller people are usually more comfortable with a higher desk, and shorter ones prefer a lower one. Many ergonomic tables have adjustable feet that allow you to customize the height to your needs.
If you use a keyboard and mouse, it is essential to have a keyboard tray that is pulled out from below the work surface. This should be a few inches lower than the desk or table that you are using. If you can fit a keyboard-and-mouse tray, ensure it is wide enough to accommodate both. If not, try lowering your desk to the tray height. If you also write on paper, you may need a separate writing surface, such as a thin cutting board, for pen-and-paper work.
Invest in sizable or two monitors for your home office, just as you would in a professional office. You can go with 25 to 27-inch monitors from any major brand but they should be reliable. To avoid straining your eyes, avoid the most inexpensive monitors, which tend to have lower resolution and appear blurry after extended use. For a healthier posture, your monitor should be positioned so that when seated with a straight back, your eyes are located 25% to 30% below the top of the monitor. This will keep your shoulders level and avoid any strain on your back.
Many chairs, such as dining chairs and deck chairs, are unsuitable for prolonged computer use as they are not the correct height and do not promote the correct posture. If you can afford it, get an adjustable professional office chair as it can be tailored to your body and workspace. However, office chairs of this type are expensive. Fortunately, there are much cheaper options also. Testing the ergonomic chairs in person is recommended to ensure they fit correctly, as it is hard to tell from a picture online.
It’s simple to understand your work environment’s impact on your productivity. Good lighting is a crucial but often overlooked factor. Aim to have indirect light that is bright enough to make it easy to read documents and view physical objects. Overhead lighting works best, and try to avoid having light sources in your direct line of sight or that reflect off your monitor. Natural light is nice, but use curtains or blinds to make sure it doesn’t cause glare.
In urban and suburban areas, most households have access to a high-speed internet provider with a minimum speed of 50Mbps. The more people using the internet simultaneously, the higher the speed of service needed. Additionally, the home bandwidth should be considered – Ethernet connections provide the best experience, allowing for video and other bandwidth-intensive activities. A Wi-Fi connection is suitable for essential office work.
If you have an external monitor, you’ll want to get a separate keyboard, mouse, or touchpad for your laptop. Using the built-in keyboard and trackpad when the laptop is folded shut or off to the side would be uncomfortable. Any type of keyboard, mouse/touchpad will work as long as they are comfortable to type on and are the right size and height for your hands and posture. Wireless ones may be convenient, but you must remember to recharge or replace the batteries.
A home office provides remote workers with a designated area to complete their tasks effectively. A productive home office should be a bright, peaceful space away from the common living areas. This allows those who work from home to maintain a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives. Your home office setup should design a space conducive to boosting productivity. Establishing a separate, dedicated home office can help you improve your work-life balance and productivity.