Recently, the concept of having a home office setup has become more prevalent, and it’s no longer just a temporary situation for many people and has become a permanent arrangement for workers around the globe. It doesn’t appear this trend will change, either. In fact, a recent survey from Promoleaf found that 18% of Gen Z workers believe a flexible schedule consisting of remote and in-person work increases productivity. 

Having a separately designated, functional office space is vital to your success if you are working from home. The right home office will help you stay focused and create a healthy work-life balance. Before you design your work-from-home space, there are lots of things to consider, including choosing the right furniture and technology, as well as staying organized to maximize productivity. Thankfully, you don’t need to break the bank to update or set up your home office. With the right tips and tools, anyone can enjoy a beautiful, functional home office space. Once you’ve created your new home office, be sure to include a few tweaks that will increase your productivity boost your creativity levels, and give it a fresh, new look. 

Ergonomic office setup tips

You’re likely working at a computer or sitting at a desk all day, so it’s crucial to ensure that you’re getting the support you need to prevent pain and injury.

And since we are now working more from home, the reduced costs of office space, commuting benefits, and other in-office amenities have declined, and employers have budgeted for WFH supplies. You just need to ask; check out this home office gadget to have!

Here are some ergonomic tips to help you keep good posture while you work.

  • A proper desk: Make sure that your desk is at the right height for your chair and your position while seated. It should offer the appropriate height where your arms can rest directly in front of you and where your hands and wrists will be supported, making looking for the best home office desk a priority. This can also be accomplished with an ergonomic home office desk setup. A particular ergonomic mouse and keyboard are recommended to help with this and prevent things like carpal tunnel syndrome. Look for a mousepad that includes wrist support too.
  • The right chair: Your desk chair is one of the most essential items in the office. Be sure to choose a chair that will support your posture and keep your neck, back, and shoulders aligned. If you need one, add a back or lumbar pillow for even more support. Your feet should be at a 90-degree angle directly under your desk. A sturdy footrest can help keep your legs and feet in the proper position while seated. Chairs with features like an adjustable headrest, height, tilt back, and arms will allow you to find your perfect position while you work.
  • Raise your monitor or laptop: Looking down for hours at a time can cause severe strain on your neck and shoulders. Ideally, your computer monitor or your laptop should always be at eye level or higher. You can use a laptop or monitor stand to raise it to the appropriate level or simply stack some sturdy hardback books under it until you find the right height. You can also invest in a table desk stand, it will help with your range of vision while working.
  • A stand-up desk: Too much sitting can cause issues with circulation and may cause excess strain on your body. Consider getting a stand-up desk, so you can work while standing up. Most stand-up desks are adjustable, so you can raise or lower them whenever you prefer to sit down.
  • Invest in some office exercise equipment: If you’re able, consider purchasing a stationary bike or a treadmill that can securely hold your laptop. When you exercise while you work, you’ll not only feel better and get fit, but you’ll also improve blood flow which also enhances your ability to focus.
  • Take breaks: Always remember to take frequent breaks while you’re working from home. Whether you get up for a cup of coffee or just walk around the house, it’s crucial to keep moving during the day to prevent fatigue and muscle strain. If you enjoy a bit of yoga, keep a yoga mat handy in your office so you can take short breaks for a bit of stretching or meditation.

Upgrade your technology

Making sure that you have the right technology and remote work tools will set you up for success.

  • A bigger or external monitor: A large computer monitor makes it easier to see as you type or do your daily tasks. If you have a laptop, consider adding a bigger external monitor that’s meant just for working. This can help you see things more clearly and increase productivity.
  • Speakers and headphones: Listening to music during the day can boost your productivity and cancel outside noise. Invest in a quality set of speakers and a pair of headphones to help you focus.
  • Smart home system: A smart home system is like a “personal assistant” while you’re at work. These devices are voice-activated and can turn the lights on and off, give you the weather, activate security cameras, and more.
  • Chargers: Make sure that you have the correct chargers for your laptop, smartphone, PC, and all of your other work-related devices so you can stay connected all day.
  • Computer or laptop maintenance: A virus can wreak havoc on your computer and cause serious problems, so be sure you have a quality antivirus program installed or even use an online virus scanner that is reliable. The program should also regularly check and clean the hard drive and all software. Make sure that your computer has enough memory, too. The more RAM and ROM memory you have, the faster your computer will run and the more data it can store.
  • Gadgets to boost your productivity: get more value for your working day by adding a helpful gadget (or even more) to help to stay on track by juggling different products and assignments and boost your productivity.

Safeguarding Your Home Office: The Importance of Home Insurance

Your home office is a space where productivity flourishes and innovation thrives. As you invest in the latest technology, ergonomic furniture, and other essential equipment, it’s crucial to protect these valuable assets. Home insurance provides a safeguard for your home office equipment, offering a shield against potential risks and unforeseen circumstances.

  1. Coverage for Equipment: Home insurance policies typically cover personal property, which includes office equipment such as computers, printers, scanners, and office furniture. This coverage can be invaluable in case of theft, damage due to fire, or other covered perils.
  2. Liability Protection: Running a home-based business or using a designated workspace at home might have liability implications. Home insurance can provide coverage in case a client or visitor is injured on your property, protecting you from potential legal claims.
  3. Recovery Assistance: In the event of an unfortunate incident, such as a fire or water damage, home insurance can aid in the repair or replacement of your office equipment. This support ensures minimal disruption to your work routine and financial stability.
  4. Customizable Coverage: You can often tailor your home insurance policy to include specific coverage for business equipment. This customization ensures that your high-value, specialized office tools are adequately protected.
  5. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your home office equipment is covered under an insurance policy brings peace of mind. It allows you to focus on your work without worrying about the financial implications of potential damage or loss.

As remote work becomes more prevalent, home insurance for your home office is a practical investment. Discuss your specific needs and the scope of coverage with insurance providers to ensure that your workspace and equipment are adequately protected.

Investing in home insurance not only secures your physical workspace but also offers a sense of security, allowing you to fully concentrate on your tasks and professional growth.

Lighting is key

Lighting is key to staying focused and productive, and choosing the right lighting can intensify your ability to work effectively in your home office.

Choose lighting that works for you: Try a few different lighting options, including task lighting like floor or table lamps to augment overhead lights. Try warm or soft lighting depending on where your office is positioned, so it can help you see better on cloudy days.

Position your desk correctly: Avoid placing your desk directly behind a window. The sunlight streaming in will create glare that makes it difficult to see. Instead, position your desk and computer facing the window or parallel to it, so you can enjoy the view and adjust your blinds and curtains as needed.

Organize and declutter

A cluttered, disorganized office can cause stress and reduce focus. Keep these tips in mind to help you stay organized and productive. Keep in mind that running a business from a home office in a hybrid environment gives you more autonomy and flexibility to manage your time, but still requires dedication, read more on how to run a business with a hybrid work model. 

  • Go minimalist: Consider adopting a minimalist style in your office. This will prevent clutter from building up in the first place, and you’ll only have the things you really need around you.
  • Tidy up your cables: Corral unruly cables using cable ties or special devices that keep them contained. This is particularly important if you have pets or younger children as it can be a trip hazard and cause a risk of electrical shock.
  • Add a book nook or shelves: Keep your books and work-related paperwork organized with a cute book nook in one corner. Add a bookcase or some shelving to keep everything orderly and in its place.
  • Custom cabinets: If you have many office accessories, add some custom cabinets for a perfect fit. They can hold your items neatly while keeping everything hidden and looking attractive.
  • Create a file system: Important work documents should be filed away in the proper order. If you deal with confidential information, make sure you purchase a locking file cabinet to keep everything secure. Another great tip is to keep your action papers in an open file box on your work surface. Keep reading more on solutions for you.
  • Make space: Declutter your office and be sure you have plenty of space to move around. The right flow will make the office feel cleaner and help your mind stay open and relaxed as you work.

Your office decor is everything

The right office décor will boost your mood and make the space feel personal to you. Remember that the goal is to create a functional remote workspace for you, so try these tips to put your own stamp on it and keep in mind that for some projects you will probably need the help of a handyman to get the job done.

  • Select the right colors: Color affects our mood and can impact productivity. Choose wall and floor colors that will make you feel relaxed without feeling sleepy. Blues and greens are productive colors that can calm the mind while encouraging healthy focus. 
  • Add scent to the air: Essential oils or scented candles will create a pleasant fragrance while you work. Smells like lavender and citrus are known to help improve things like focus and concentration.
  • Area rugs: A soft area rug will make your home office feel cozy and inviting. Choose a rug in a muted pattern or solid color so it’s not too distracting.
  • Bean bag: Add a comfy bean bag chair to your office, so you have a place to chill out whenever you take breaks or want to relax.
  • Modern furniture: Invest in modern furniture that will keep you comfortable and inspire your creativity.
  • Curtains or blinds: Make sure you have the right window coverings to prevent glare and give you privacy. Mini blinds are affordable and easy to adjust, while curtains will add a nice look to the office.
  • Wall décor: Bring personality to your office with wall decorations like artwork, a lovely mirror, or some family photos in nice frames. A corkboard or whiteboard is perfect for helping you take notes or simply to keep track of an old-fashioned to-do list.
  • Plants: Beautiful plants add greenery and freshness to an office. The power of being surrounded by nature has incredible impacts on boosting productivity and lowering stress levels.
  • Zen: Find other creative ways to weave in a little zen throughout the day. You may consider occasionally working from the garden or a man cave or taking mindfulness breaks.

Kids? Pets? Give them their own small space

If you have kids or pets, give them a little spot in your office, too.

A place for kids: Give your younger children an area in the office where they can color, work on homework, or simply spend some time with you.

A spot for pets: Add a few toys for your cat or dog and a nice, comfy bed somewhere in the room so they can keep you company during the day. 

Improve productivity: what to avoid

We have seen and read and learned and probably reviewed how to improve productivity, and it should work along with different and useful techniques and online tools. There is no doubt about it, but the first thing we need to program is and will be…our brain!

This amazing tool will work in favor or against us obeying what we order it to do so. All should know the magnificent power this organ has of us from an early stage to know how to adapt, organize and command in the best and right way for us, our thoughts, reasoning, and will, to become better and more productive beings to us and for the benefit, we seek or need as an individual or as a community. You can keep it even more active by playing mind games.

If you want to stay productive, there are also some things you should avoid, including:

  • When possible, avoid putting your desk in your bedroom. This can make it difficult to separate life from work and interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Develop a meeting agenda: Building a great meeting agenda can make your work more productive by organizing your meetings with a list of topics and activities to discuss during your calls.
  • Avoid neglecting to make a morning routine, and always make sure you get up, shower, and get dressed every morning to help you stay motivated.
  • Don’t work in your pajamas. Instead, get dressed as you normally would or at least put on regular clothing after you shower.
  • Try not to eat your breakfast and lunch at your desk. Taking breaks in another room or outside will help reset your mind and give you a mental break between tasks.
  • Don’t neglect to have some healthy snacks on hand to keep you energized. Keep a water bottle with a lid near you to prevent spills on your computer keyboard, and drink water throughout the day.
  • Avoid listening to music that distracts you and listen to calming music that will boost your mood instead.
  • Putting distractions around you will make you lose focus. You can keep things like a stress ball or your Zen sand garden near you, but never directly in front of you while you’re working.
  • Do not forget to set up a routine when working from home. Find your own pace, whether it’s checking your email or tackling big projects first. Find how you can work from home successfully.

Speaking about the need to take over consideration, when we talk about Home Office, certain disadvantages may turn into great opportunities to make them advantages.

Location/Space

Make sure that you place your office in a neutral spot. What do we mean by neutral? Well, it might surprise you, but you will need a place that is comfortable, but not too comfortable. A place in which you don’t struggle to concentrate, but will not make you just back off or maybe relax too much. Sounds familiar? When we pick a place in which we feel too comfortable, automatically our brain and our whole body are invited to rest and shut down for periods of time that we need to be productive. On the other hand, when we are completely uncomfortable, this place becomes a nightmare working spot in which we need to take breaks in order to focus again and try to feel pleasant to be able to perform. You can use your garage or shed and transform it!

Fatigue/Burnouts

Talking about finding the perfect spot to be able to face and beat these two enemies, when we try to be productive. Well, both of these conditions are perfectly normal when we are speaking about functioning. Our body needs food, as it needs water, as it needs to have a break in order to continue specific tasks. Even when what you do is what you love to do, if you don’t pay attention to factors such as; thirst, hunger, sleeplessness, exhaustion, cynical detachment, a reduced sense of efficacy, and bored; your productivity will be affected. Inform yourself about these in order to fight against them. Have a target, but a realistic target. Organize your time so you give your body what it needs. Pay attention to details no matter how small you may think they are, but even water is vital, a dried brain will never function as it is supposed to. Get in touch with people in the meantime. Develop a meeting agenda and get in touch with people in the meantime Rethink what you did in order to find a better solution or just stop and look at it from a different perspective. Move!

Motivation

Keyword! Although people that have been asked about this have answered: because I need to work; then, if it is what moves you, do it! Do you need the paycheck? Work for it! Need to pay bills? Organize what you do to get what you want. Think about what was your motivation in the first place, to do something. Want to travel? Target your budget and a destination for you to want it really badly that you will work for it. A house or maybe an apartment? Go for it! What about clothing? For some people, this is a need and it is valid! Support your family? That too! Afraid it will be stressful? Maybe, but we need to be realistic that the fact is that it is needed and rewarding as well. Last but not least, the truth is that there are a lot of unemployed people out there that would love to be in your shoes. Let’s not wait till that happens to us, in order to be grateful for having one! Keep in mind there are engagement activities for employees to maintain a good relationship even while working from home.

Security

Home Office requires to be prepared. Sure! But just to make it as easy as it can be for us to develop correctly. Wifi, the internet, cable company, phones, or cell phones, are things to watch carefully when you start working from home. Why? Just to make sure we have the right equipment to invest several hours a day in technology to be able to do our job correctly. We need to keep in mind the members of the family, in case we have, so the usage of the internet at the same time will not cause any problems. It is better if we check the number of equipment to make sure we have what we need. As far as if we have children in the house at the same we need work, we have to make sure that our equipment or workspace is not dangerous to them, even if we have a pet, just to make sure the safety of the members or our tranquility to do our best without any surprises, scares or dangers. Working alone from home can pose a number of unique risks and challenges.

But remote working is not necessarily as good for the environment as it seems, since it also involves spending a lot of energy on lighting, heating or air conditioning, electronic equipment, and many other resources needed to work comfortably from home. Growing environmental awareness has pushed people to develop new habits at home in recent years, such as avoiding waste or reducing energy consumption. For remote work to be more environmentally friendly than office work, these habits need to continue when home becomes the office

When you work from home, it’s your chance to design an office that’s all yours, (If possible you can also create a backyard office!) so be sure to make it unique to you. Keep these tips in mind when choosing the right furniture and technology, but most importantly, do whatever works best for you, and create the perfect home office that best suits you. Eventually, you’ll establish a nice daily routine and enjoy working in an office that is special and motivating to help you accomplish any task.