Our series ‘Working from home tips’ is all about useful hacks for working from home. We will give you tips from how to find your workflow when working from home to how to keep the team-bond from a distance.
For many people, a home office has now become a vital space in their day-to-day life. If you are one of the many who has to get settled and figure out how to work from home, creating a home office is most likely on the top of your list.
But what exactly do you need when you’re working from home?
Some want the bare essentials and just avoid a sore back, while others want to go all-in on the technology. Regardless of which one you’re leaning towards, we’re here to go over the basics in a home office - and what you can consider adding if you want your very own high-tech office at home.
Windows, internet, and storage
Before you decide where you want to create your home office, there are some things you’d want to consider. One of them is the natural light. If you can avoid it, don’t set up your home office with a big window or light source behind you. In video calls, the light from behind will make you look like a silhouetted villain.
When working from home, it is vital to have a good internet connection for a smooth workday. Depending on your internet stability, it might be worthwhile for you to consider buying an ethernet cable to ensure a more stable connection to your computer.
Papers, books, leaflets. Most people have papers and files lying on their desks in the office. If you’re one of them, you should think about storage possibilities in your home office.
Build a home office on a budget
Not everyone wants to pour a lot of money into building a home office, and it’s actually not necessary. However, there are some things you ought to consider when you are working from home – your body will thank you for it later.
A home office chair
Check how you sit in your chair. Is it easy to maintain a good posture? If not, you should consider investing in an office chair. That way, you can avoid a sore and painful back from sitting on your kitchen chair with a bad posture the entire day.
A kitchen chair isn’t the only thing that can make your body ache after a long workday. So can spending your day working on a laptop. It usually gives us a hunched posture when we move our head forward to peer down into the screen - putting a strain on our neck. A posture that can lead to sore neck and headaches.
It might be worth considering buying a computer monitor for your home office. It doesn’t mean that you have to buy the biggest monitor with the newest technology. Unless, of course, you want to tech it up a bit.
If you decide to bring a computer monitor into your home office, buying a mouse and keyboard along with it, will for many follow naturally.
Not only can it play tricks with your brain to use the keyboard on your laptop when you use your separate computer monitor as your screen (yes, I’m speaking from experience). It will also make it easier to use the screen on your laptop as a second monitor. All you have to do is put your laptop on a book or two, so it’s at your eye level.
Keyboards come in many shapes and sizes. There is more to the keyboard world than the regular non-wavy keyboards. If you’re not sold on the ergonomic wavy keyboards but want something where the tabs have a distinct click sound and with lights, mechanical keyboards might be the way for you to go instead.
Just like with keyboards, computer mice come in many different forms. Just like hands and wrists are all different. With so many choices, keep in mind when you’re shopping that you want to keep your wrist elevated and straight.
For both the keyboard and the mouse, you might want to consider a wrist rest as it will help you rest and stabilize your wrist.
Tech set-ups for your home office
An office desk
An office desk doesn’t have to be part of your tech set-up, but it can be. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one, but a height-adjustable standing desk gives you the flexibility to sit and stand when you need a change.
Today, most standing desks are electrical, but if you want to go vintage style, you can also get them with a manual crank.
For people working on a stationary computer, a webcam will most likely not be an extra add-on but more of a necessity for the inevitable online meetings that come with remote work.
For others, who work from their laptop, buying a webcam can be a nice upgrade when wanting a cleaner image. One thing to keep in mind when looking for webcams is that there, generally speaking, are two types of webcams: the ones with a microphone and those without.
For those more tech-savvy, it is also possible to hook a camera up and use that as your webcam – as you can see, our Product Manager, Mark Phillips, has done.
Home office lighting
If you want to look great on video calls and recordings, you can purchase lighting to help you out. Ring lights have become popular. If you put your lighting next to or on top of your monitor, you will get the best result.
Home office microphones
A good microphone can immediately improve your audio quality. So, if you spend a lot of time in meetings talking to leads and customers or make presentations, it would make sense to invest in a microphone.
Home office headphones
With a worldwide pandemic, many people are now working from home. If you’re not the only one working remotely at home or if your neighbor has decided to redo his house, headphones can come in handy. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones can help you close off the surrounding noise and let you get on with your work.
Look for headphones you can wear for a long period of time without feeling discomfort. Some prefer earbuds, other on-ear headphones.
To know what you need to build a home office that specifically works for you depends on your occupation. Keep that in mind when you go over our list. No matter the budget, having a home office that works for you is essential for a good work-from-home quality of life.