Setting Up A Home Office For Remote Work (Everything You Need To Know)

Setting Up A Home Office For Remote Work (Everything You Need To Know)

Remote work has become increasingly common in organizations, and it requires employees to create a suitable space at home to work. This has escalated the importance of setting up a home office for remote work.

While working from home comes with many benefits and allows for flexibility, it is imperative to have a good office space at home with everything you will need to work productively.

We break down how exactly to put together the best remote work setup and why it’s important to have one. Use this as a guide to create the best home office space.

 

How To Put Together The Best Remote Work Setup

 

Choose a Suitable Space

Everyone has a different home space to work with – small or big, alone or shared. Regardless of what you are working with, you should find a designated office space for a remote work setup.

If you have the luxury of space, the ideal setup would be in a specific room which can be reserved as a study for work. If this is not possible, you could find a space within your living area that can serve as a mini-office.

So long as you have the space for a desk and a chair, you are good to begin your beneficial remote work position at home.

Try to avoid working at a dining room table, kitchen counter, on a couch, or in bed. While this may serve as a short-term solution, it will blur the lines between work and leisure. This will negatively impact productivity and can affect your mental health and wellbeing.

If you live with others who work from home, try to separate your workspaces so that you don’t disrupt one another. However, you can occasionally set up a collaborative space in which you work closely together to mimic the feel of an office.

Find what works best for you, and run with it.

 

Look For Natural Light

Sufficient light is an important, yet often overlooked, environmental factor that should be prioritized in your workspace.

Working in a darker area can have negative effects on your eyesight. This is because it strains your eyes, which can lead to headaches and other health issues.

If you have large windows in your home, try to position your desk near them. However, ensure that the light shines from behind your computer or laptop to avoid glare on the screen. Natural light is a good bright source that can also help with focus and alertness during the workday.

If you need to rely on unnatural light, try to get it from above where you work so that it provides sufficient brightness to your entire workspace. This makes reading and working easier, and prevents major eye strain.

A desk lamp might work for late-night reading in a remote work setup, but it’s not the best option if it’s your only source of light.

 

Stay Connected

Arguably the most important feature in your remote work setup is a strong and reliable internet connection.

There are many internet options, but you should opt for an unlimited Wi-Fi service that has a good connection and loading speed. If you share a home with others, this is especially important to ensure that your work is not disrupted by a slow and poor connection.

When shopping around for good service providers, check reviews and testimonials to ensure that they offer consistent and strong connections.

Good customer service is also important, as there can be outages and issues with the internet (it is inevitable). Speedy response time from the provider is a must to prevent long, disruptive periods of no connection.

 

Set Up A PC Or Laptop

It is likely that if you are in a remote work position, your company will provide you with a laptop and/or PC. This can be used at home for all operations.

But, there are some job positions where this is not possible, such as freelancing roles. In these situations, you’re responsible for buying your home office equipment.

If you can, choose to purchase a device model and brand that makes sense for your remote work setup.

For example, a MacBook is a high-quality laptop. If your company works predominantly with Windows applications and programs, it might be best to opt for a brand that is more compatible with this.

You might need more than one device. Some setups have a laptop and a PC, or multiple monitors for more complex work. Your setup will depend on the kind of work you do.

Remember to adjust the brightness on your screens accordingly. If the screen brightness is too dim, or too bright, it can strain your eyes and cause headaches. Many laptops or PCs have an auto-adjuster, which changes according to the light in the room you’re in.

 

A Sturdy Desk

The center of a remote work setup is, of course, a desk. It is important to invest in a durable desk that fits into your available space.

If you’re running low on storage space, make sure to invest in a desk with lots of drawers. This is convenient for storing stationery and documents. You should also consider other features, such as an opening port for chargers and cords.

Before purchasing a desk, take stock of what will be on top of it. The size you go for should depend on the devices that you need, such as laptops, PCs, monitors, printers, and so on.

You want to have some open space on which to work, so always buy a desk that is a little bigger than you need. This ensures you have the flexibility to move things around or add new items.

Another thing to consider is the height of your desk. If you are shorter, you want a lower desk so that your shoulders are not hunched. Likewise, if you are taller, your desk should be higher to prevent poor posture.

Some desks might have a feature where they can be adjusted. If not, test out any potential desks before buying one.

The height of your desk might also depend on your style of work. If you type for most of the day, you want it to be slightly lower, whereas if you write on paper, you want it to be higher.

You can even go for a standing desk, which allows you to extend it in height so you can stand while you work. This has health and fitness benefits and allows you to stretch your legs in your remote work setup while you type away.

 

A Comfortable Chair

Along with the desk you choose, the type of chair you sit on all day in your remote work setup needs to be given some thought and consideration.

You should spend a little more to invest in a good quality chair, as you will end up spending most of your time sitting in it. Spring for a proper office chair, rather than just using existing chairs from your living room or dining room.

To find the best chair for you, head to a store. Try out different chairs to figure out which is the most comfortable for you. Different bodies suit different chairs, so online reviews might not apply to your body’s shape and needs.

Look out for well-padded chairs that can be adjusted to different heights. The backrest should also be adjustable so that you have different seating options. Getting a chair with a footrest is also useful, especially if you are not tall enough for your feet to be flat on the ground.

 

Stock Up on Equipment

While a desk, chair, and computer might be the focal points of a home office, you will need other smaller accessories, too.

A good pair of earphones is key. These are useful if you’re on virtual meetings or long calls, as they aid in blocking out external noise. Wireless earphones that connect via BlueTooth are most convenient as you can move around easily.

Ensure that you have all the necessary cords and charging equipment for your devices nearby. Try to situate your remote work setup close to a power outlet, so that you can keep everything plugged in, and at the same time if necessary. Having a multi-plug adapter is useful for this, too.

A keyboard is a must-have in a remote work setup with a PC, as it is required for typing. You may also want a mouse, for both a PC or laptop, as a touchpad can become a bother over time.

While most things are done digitally nowadays, there might still be a need for a printer. If you do have one, situate it close to your desk. However, it doesn’t need to take up your actual desk space.

A color printer is best. Always ensure that you are stocked with spare ink cartridges to stay prepared.

 

Keep Your Space Tidy

A neat space means a neat mind. Keep your remote work setup free of clutter so that you are not distracted by mess, and you can work without obstruction.

The best way to maintain this is to start with minimal things on your desk so that there is not too much to continuously tidy up.

All other items can be stored away. If you need to use something regularly, keep it in the desk drawers. If not, pack it away in another part of your house.

Make it a habit to clean your desk every second or third day. Throw away all waste, wipe down the surfaces, and organize items back to their proper spot.

Having a filing cabinet to keep papers, and a desk drawer for smaller stationery items, will help with organizing your space.

When you are having lunch, try to eat away from your desk. Not only does this prevent mess, but it also allows you to take a break away from work. This is important for energy levels and mental health.

You may want to drink tea, coffee, and other beverages while working. Keep coasters nearby to avoid damage to your desk, and try to distance your drink from your electronic devices. A spill can cause internal and external damage to your setup – so be wary.

 

A Laptop Stand

A laptop stand has become a trendy, must-have item for a remote work setup.

A good laptop stand props up your laptop, but also allows it to be tilted to suit your position.

This is helpful if you need a change of scenery at home. It allows you to move away from your desk, and adjust any surface to the optimal height.

It is also perfect for sick days when you are working from bed but need a steady platform for your laptop.

Many people find it easier to work on a tilted laptop, so it can even be used on your actual desk to create this position. This can relieve some tension in your shoulders and make typing a lot more comfortable.

 

Consider Your Background

Remote work means endless virtual meetings, where you are required to keep your video on. The last thing you want your colleagues to see is your messy bed, or a sink full of dishes in the background.

When setting up your remote workspace, consider what the background of a video call would be. If you have a plain wall behind you, this is ideal. Try to avoid a window behind you, as the glare might nearly make it invisible on the screen.

Bookshelves, cabinets, and art are perfectly appropriate for the background of your remote work setup. When in doubt, keep it simple and tidy to make a good impression.

 

Backup Your Work and Keep Documents Safe

When you are based in an office, your online files are generally managed by IT, and your physical documents are kept safe.

Once you move into a home office space, this becomes riskier as much of the onus falls on you. You need to ensure that your online work is backed up, especially if you work independently and are not part of a larger company server.

Using programs like Google Drive, DropBox or iCloud is a suitable and convenient way to do this.

Your physical documents should stay together in your remote work setup. Invest in a filing cabinet that is used solely for business documents, so that they do not get lost, or mixed up with personal items.

 

Keep Exercise Accessories Close

Fitness activities are a surefire way to improve mental health and stay alert throughout the day. You can schedule a workout for before or after your workday. You could also do short spurts of activity in between.

Consider going for short walks throughout the workday. If you cannot afford to be away for a while, keep a few accessories like dumbbells or stretch bands nearby. nearby.

If you feel yourself getting sluggish or distracted, a 5-10 minute break to exercise or stretch should do the trick.

 

Head Outside

If you have a balcony or outdoor garden space, make the most of it.

Working outside now and again is a good way to get some healthy sunlight, boost your mood, and improve your mental health.

You can purchase a small table and chair to make it easier to work outside.

For this, a laptop stand comes in handy. When outdoors, it is important to keep an eye on devices, as long exposure to direct sunlight can be damaging. Move to a shady spot or keep your outdoor time to shorter periods, where possible.

 

Keep the Temperature Right

The temperature of the room that you work in is crucial to your productivity.

It may be tempting to heat a room during colder months, but keep in mind that this can be counter-productive as it can make you feel sluggish. Likewise, if a room is too cold then you will be uncomfortable, which can be distracting.

Stick to a temperature in your remote work setup that will be most comfortable and natural for your mind and body.

If you do feel hot or cold, rather opt for a smaller scale of temperature adjustment. A desk fan, or small heater, can be easily adjusted.

 

Personalize your Space

You will spend many hours per day at your desk, so it should be a space that feels warm and inviting.

Avoid having a generic workspace. While you do not want to clutter your desk too much, you should add personal touches to your remote work setup that will lift your mood and inspire you.

This will vary from person to person. You can add pictures, motivational posters, small ornaments or decor items, plants, diffusers, candles, and more.

If you want a visual platform for organization, then a whiteboard, pinboard, or sticky notes can be utilized for this purpose.

 

Why It’s Important To Have A Good Remote Work Setup

 

Increase Productivity

A good remote office setup is key to the productivity levels of an employee.

A designated space to work will help keep you focussed and on the ball.

Having a strong and reliable connection will reduce any disruptions so that you can work without pausing.

Being equipped with all the necessary devices for your job is key to performing your role optimally. If you do not have everything you need – you may not be able to put your best foot forward.

 

Remain Professional

A proper home office setup can mimic an office space.

This helps you to remain as productive as you would be in an office. It also shows in your work, and how you present yourself to others.

An office space allows you to attend meetings in a professional setting. An appropriate background presents an image that is taken seriously by colleagues and superiors.

The quality of your work, as well as the speed at which you complete tasks, will be aided by good office equipment and a strong internet connection.

 

Stay Comfortable

When working from home, your desk and chair are where you spend the most time. We’re talking 7 – 8 hours per day, at least 5 days a week.

Having a good quality, durable desk and chair are imperative in this setting. If you compromise on this, your physical health will likely suffer in the long run.

The same goes for good lighting. While poor lighting might not feel like the end of the world at first, over time, the impact on your eye health will be apparent.

Your workspace should be comfortable and customized. Personalizing your home office to suit your personality, and warm up your environment, will encourage productivity.

 

Sustainability

When you start working from home, you might not have everything you need. However, it is key to remember that this setup will be long-term, and adjustments need to be made to accommodate this.

Getting your remote work setup right from the get-go is important. This reduces discomfort in the transitional period and allows you to settle in faster as you don’t need to continuously make adjustments.

You need to adapt your home to have a built-in office space in the long run. This is key to ensuring you’re satisfied working from home.

 

Conclusion

Setting up a home office for remote work is key to your job satisfaction.

Ensure your workspace is comfortable, functional, and personalized. It should be filled with good quality, durable equipment that will hold up in the long run. Lighting, internet connection, and storage space are equally important.

A great remote work setup will allow you to be productive, appear professional, and keep comfortable.

With a strong remote home office setup, you will be able to perform your role efficiently and thrive as a remote worker.


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