Working from home has become commonplace today, as the world is presently recovering from a global pandemic. Many people are still confined to their homes, but that does not mean that the show won’t go on. Hence, remote work can hardly be avoided, so it’s high time that you explore means to make it a piece of cake, or at least comfortable.
Here, we will be giving you a plethora of tips that would change your perspective of working from home. We will also be discussing the so-called little things that improve the work environment. Also, we will guide you through uncharted territory and set you on the path to remote excellence. Bearing in mind that’s there’s a lot to cover, let’s get down to the business of home desk setups as we see it.
Little Things to Improve the Environment
We are pretty sure that you’ve heard the saying that goes, it’s the little things that count. That saying has hardly ever had more significance than in working from home. Here are a couple of “little things” that can make the ultimate desk setup.
Lighting hardly gets the respect that it deserves, but we aren’t exactly surprised. Most people do not take note of the fantastic lighting that they have in their offices, right up until they are compelled to work from home. Remote workers are typically advised to work in well-lit locations and airy places in their homes.
This will improve the work, help preserve your eyes, and give a clear picture of the task at hand. You can either make use of natural lighting during the day, or you could opt for added lighting in the nighttime. You can purchase added lighting online or from your neighborhood electronics store; these appliances are now in vogue thanks to the spike in remote working activities.
When purchasing added lighting, ensure you get one compatible with your workspace, meaning that you might have to take a picture and show it to an attendant to get the perfect fit for minimalist setups. Do not worry; all of these extra precautions would aid you in avoiding unforeseen drawbacks.
2. Organize Your Space and Desk Shelf
The fact that you aren’t going to your company’s on-site facility does not mean that you won’t organize your desk shelf. This shelf says a lot about your seriousness as a worker, and you wouldn’t want to give yourself a bad name during a zoom meeting.
What’s more, an organized space is the first step in encouraging yourself to get to work, despite the unorthodox environment. Practice makes perfect, and with time you too could be a super-organized remote worker with a great office space and desk shelf. An organized space and desk shelf would comprise objects that belong there, rather than tools, devices, and gadgets better than stacked into your bedroom.
One way to do this is by making a list of the things that should be on the desk and those things that should be in the dorm. Once you can follow this list, your space wouldn’t look too dissimilar from one at an on-site facility.
3. Use Gear You Like
You are working from home, so in more ways than none, you are your boss. That means that you can finally take off the kiddie gloves and use gear that you are comfortable with, rather than the tasking office apparatus.
Such equipment includes but isn’t limited to office mice, keyboards, monitors, and printers. It is important to note that these gear are costly but extremely necessary in the grand scheme of things. That’s because you can never tell what sort of work you’ll need to do on the fly! Using gear that you like also means that you can don some professional outfits, yet, you would have been less eager to wear at an on-site facility.
What’s more, we are aware that some men wear button-up shirts for zoom meetings, and way less under. We aren’t sure about that, but you are in your comfort zone, and as long as it’s not affecting the workflow, you can carry on.
The Guide to a Superior Workspace
Now that we’ve established a conducive environment, let’s guide you on what you need to do to craft the ultimate home office.
1. Keep A Dedicated Workspace
There will undoubtedly be a temptation to skip this item on the list, but you should pay close attention. Keeping a dedicated workspace is a necessary form of accountability, and such would put you on the clear path to remote excellence. A dedicated workspace should include essentials such as a nightstand, laptop, writing materials, and the likes.
Also, ensure that this workspace is off-limits to toddlers and infants because they think it extends their playground. Furthermore, your dedicated workspace should look the part, and looking as such would dissuade a pesky family member or friend from strolling into uncharted territory.
Your dedicated workspace should have an alluring feel about it and something that resonates professionally without being too extra. You could ask your more experienced remote worker friends for tips, as those folks always have the brightest of ideas.
2. Regularly Clear Off the Clutter
Stacking up the mess at your workspace would do you no favors, and we are talking from experience. Working from home means that you won’t have office helpers to clean up the clutter, so you have to make a habit of doing it yourself.
Daily and weekly decluttering would not be a bad idea, and the more you try it, the more used to it you’ll be. Stacking up clutter is not a good look, and decluttering is a surefire way of knowing a remote worker that has their life in order.
Also, having a clutter stacker would do you a world of good, as this is a handy yet subtle way of reminding you to do the needful. Plus, you could also set daily alarms to remind you of the task ahead, just in case it still skips your mind after all these prompts.
3. Regularly Clean Your Station
Your workstation is your moneymaker, and we haven’t seen many people become well-known without taking care of their moneymakers. Working from home has its perks and flaws, with one of the flaws being the absence of cleaning staff.
However, there’s a reason why you have a mind of your own, so maybe it’s high time you condition your mind to accept reality. That acceptance includes but isn’t limited to you taking out the trash, caring for your workstation, and regularly making the place habitable.
A dirty workstation is remarkably uninviting, and such would subconsciously push you further away from the task at hand, thereby creating a mockery of the remote worker in you. It’s something that you can nip in the bud, so why make it an issue in the first place?
4. Clean Off Keyboard and Mouse With Cleaning Supplies
This is more of a necessity rather than a luxury, as not doing so would radically reduce the lifespan of the said instruments. Keyboards and mice come in different shapes and sizes, so we understand that some of them might be arduous to clean.
However, you must do your research and find a working method to clean such tools. Also, it would help if you did not clean these sensitive gadgets with mere soap, water, and a rag. There are cleaning supplies in stores that are made for the sole purpose, and it’s those tools that you should get for the task ahead.
Keyboard and mouse cleaning supplies are pretty affordable, and the vast majority of them offer significant value for money. As such, it would not be a bad idea to stack up the supplies right after you’ve checked the expiry date. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
5. Add Things That You Enjoy and Love
Motivation is extra essential when working from home, as you are likely to be alone most of the time. As such, it would be a super bright idea to surround yourself with healthy things that you love being around. Such items include but aren’t limited to plants, pictures, decorations, and unorthodox pieces.
These things would play a significant role in motivation, eradication of loneliness, and setting you on the path to the ultimate home office setup. It does not have to be much; try to get creative and captivating. A beautiful workspace is also known to motivate remote workers, banish the shenanigans of prying housemates, and maintain an air of professionalism that every job deserves.
It doesn’t matter if you are a freelance writer, graphic designer, website developer, or company executive; adding things that you love and enjoy will boost your motivation levels.
Small Psychological Tricks to Improve your Working From Home Experience
The human psyche plays a significant role in work getting done, or it gets tossed away. Here are some of the handiest psychological tricks that remote workers can key into to improve their workflow.
1. Get Dressed for Work Each Day
We won’t act like we aren’t aware of the temptations of simply working in your house clothes since you aren’t leaving the house. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we’d prefer if you took the alternative route. That alternative route involves putting on office clothes, getting dressed for the day, and treating your workspace like an on-site facility.
Getting dressed for work has a psychological effect on a remote worker, as it reminds them that it is not business as usual. This should be the first thing that you do once you are done showering and eating. Do not worry if this feels awkward the first couple of days or weeks; with time, you’ll get used to the drill. It doesn’t have to be too fancy; a nice office shirt, pants, and light cologne would do the trick.
2. Take Walking and Stretching Breaks
When work is smooth, flowing, and plain sailing, there is a tendency for a remote worker to keep at his workstation without taking some time to breathe. It is important to note that this is not a competition, and you will get extra credit for the stressful extra hours. As such, map out some time each day to take walks, stretch, and enjoy a well-deserved break.
Remote working has its pros and cons, so it wouldn’t be such a good idea to turn a perceived advantage into the complete opposite. Kindly give yourself some time to breathe; the project(s) you are working on deserve the best version of you. Furthermore, taking frequent walks would improve your mental health, aid your brain in assimilating complex tasks, and give you something to look forward to at the midpoint of work.
3. Start On Time and Avoid Overworking
Typical office workdays begin at 8 am or 9 am, so we tend to wonder why some remote workers conveniently begin work closer to noon. Such an act is a toxic trait, and it would do neither you nor your career any good. Remember, early to rise means early to get to the prize, and you owe yourself that duty of perfection.
What’s more, you mustn’t overload yourself with unreal amounts of work, for the sake of putting in extra. Ensure that you are in constant contact with your supervisor so that they’ll set you on the correct part. Doing extra isn’t a bad idea, but doing so much that you’ll end up overworked should be simply out of the question.
4. Have A Start and Stop Time Set
You might notice that we are doubling down on the point previously stated, and we are doing so on purpose. Having a start and stop time set would assist remarkably in putting you in work mode. Doing the opposite might make you miss deadlines, get overworked, and live a life of disarray in the long run.
There’s a reason why on-site facilities have certain tasks assigned for a specific timeframe, and it wouldn’t be out of place for you to try it too. Remember, you are the number one beneficiary, and your company comes in a close second.
Either way, you are adding value to the brand you work for. You can set the alarm to remind you about when to begin work, and you can also do the same to remind you about when to result for the day. Holding yourself accountable is the way to go if you aim for remote working excellence and offer value to rendered service.
5. Separate Work and Non-Work tTime
Remember the saying that states that you should not mix business as well as pleasure? That saying is richly represented in this point, and we owe you a duty to put you on notice. Work time should remain work time, and you should attempt to achieve as much as is professionally possible in those couple of hours.
Non-work time, on the other hand, is just as sacred, as it affords you enough time to breathe, relax, and replenish yourself before the next task ahead. The separation of work and non-work time plays a significant psychological role in readying you for the job (s) at hand, and anything less would be a disservice.
6. Create Google Chrome Login for Work
Google has evolved, and one thing that I genuinely admire about the company is the steps taken to help professionals. A Google platform allows remote workers to log in at the beginning of work and log out when their careers end.
This platform is super helpful for a remote worker, as it keeps such a worker sincere. If not, it would be a cup of tea to resume late and close early. What’s more, it is a great way to monitor and calculate the time you spend getting honest work done. This, in turn, would help you monitor your progress, work on your flaws, and improve your productivity.
7. Less Is More: Adopting the Minimalism Approach
Some of the most incredible creatives are minimalists, and there has to be a reason why doing less seems to get bigger and better results. This is not to say that we promote doing the barest minimum, as that is not what minimalism represents. Instead, it would help if you cut off the distractions and focus on the task ahead.
What’s more, it is high time you leave the tissue and address the issue on the ground. Working from home requires being bright, and a representation of being wise is being able to reach a distance in the quickest possible time. You can do this by adopting the minimalist approach rather than aimless beating around the bush.
Consider Your Furniture
If your furniture is unappealing, it is highly likely to be a significant distraction during work. Here are some things to consider while purchasing furniture for working from home office setup.
1. Sitting Desks vs Standing Desks
The standing desk versus sitting desk is a real cause for debate in the remote working industry, as people have been torn in-between the desks. On the one hand, the standing desk has unique ergonomic features that promote healthier living. Then, on the other hand, there’s the sitting desk that is more of a norm and affords you a comfortable backrest.
Purchasing a desk is necessary when working from home, as doing such would dissuade you from the “bright” idea of working from your bed. Standing desks come in different shapes and sizes, and they could even be adjustable if that tickles your fancy. Height adjustment desks fall under standing desks, and they are a favorite for remote teenage workers.
The standing desk versus sitting desk debate is one that seemingly has no end, as writers, gamers, and tech enthusiasts have reasons for choosing either one. What’s more, sitting desks should be paired with a compatible chair, which we will discuss in a bit.
Getting office work done away from home would be significantly more difficult without using a top-notch desk. Where would you put your laptop, writing materials, the world’s best worker mug, and a host of other necessities? What’s more, it’s not every desk that can serve as an office desk, so maybe you should hold on before calling your carpenter.
You can purchase a top-notch office desk online or from a trustworthy furniture store. Our advice is to consider the amount of space, the main uses, and a host of necessities before purchasing.
Gaming has quickly become a top-notch pastime for people working from home, especially when done with the task at hand. As such, a handy desk would do wonders for your gaming prospects and give you something extra to look forward to.
All work and no play didn’t do anyone favors, so it’s only proper that you cool down after busting your behind in the workstation. You can play many games during your spare time, but we will leave that to you to figure out.
A Professional Touch
Something is captivating about having a befitting desk at the center of your workstation, which many remote workers aspire to. Having a befitting desk is a sign that you mean business, and the taller the desk, the better. The reason is that no pesky toddler will be able to reach the contents on the desk at any given time.
There are numerous businesses desks online, but the stock images shouldn’t deceive you. Ensure that you take your time, scroll through the reviews, and painstakingly check the details. Working from home has its perks; the sooner you showcase them, the better!
Chairs are a vital part of a proper remote workstation, and they play a significant role in either helping to get the job done or otherwise. An excellent workstation chair has many characteristics, such as size, comfort, ergonomics, and versatility. Work chairs can either be purchased online or from your neighborhood stationery store.
However, you must consider a host of factors before you click that order button or drop a couple of bands on the piece. Chairs come in different shapes and sizes, they have their perks and flaws, so it’s up to you to choose a beneficiary to your workflow.
Here are some things to look out for before purchasing a remote chair.
Size matters, and getting a perfectly crafted chair could be the difference between excellence and straight-up mediocrity. There are a host of adjustable chairs in the market, and such would be a smart option if you are looking for something long-term.
It wouldn’t be the most innovative option if you purchased a too-small chair, as the discomfort could be unbearable. Neither would it be a brilliant decision to snag an oversized chair, as, before long, you’ll hurry over to the couch (which defeats the entire purpose). As such, make sure that you take all the measurements, do the necessary research, and buy a chair fitting for the task ahead.
Put, purchasing any piece of equipment without ergonomic features is a recipe for disaster. The reason is that in a couple of years, you’d feel it, and not now.
As such, ensure that you focus on purchasing an ergonomic working chair that would take care of all your features. Pay attention to the arms, lower region, back, and torso, as you never can tell where the pain would come from (if it does).
Purchasing a remote working chair that is incompatible with your desk is a recipe for disaster, and before long, it will dissuade you from long-term use. As such, ensure you go the extra mile in making sure that your purchases match, and they work hand in hand.
If you find this difficult, you could take a picture of your preferred choices and send it to a furniture expert. The advisor costs will undoubtedly be less than replacement shipping costs if you order a wrong fit.
3. Mouse and Keyboard
The mouse and keyboard combo are extra crucial in the small working sphere, and the absence of such could make the job more demanding. Here are the three significant types of mouse and keyboard combos on the market.
Wired vs Wireless
Wired mouse and keyboard combos are the classic iterations. They have been in circulation for the past few decades, and they pretty much get the job done. Wireless mouse and keyboard combos, on the other hand, are a more recent invention. They are connected to the monitor via Bluetooth, and they have a sophisticated nature. The wireless brand has durability, as their wired counterparts have lower expectancy because of the wires.
Mechanical keyboard and mouse combos are the oldest of their kind, and they are slowly but surely going out of circulation. These devices are noted for their ruggedness, retro look, and incompatibility with newer connection ports. Mechanical combos are a throwback to the more complicated remote working days, and they are difficult to spot in modern stores.
Backlit keyboard and mouse combos are notable for being assets when working in the dark. As such, you will be able to spot the keys with little or no fuss, as well as work late into the night. Backlit combos are known to consume more power, but that seems to be the only drawback. These days, most modern keyboards are equipped with such, so you’ll likely have to make an express order not to get yours with a backlit.
4. Desktop vs Laptop
Both are computers, but they each have numerous differences. Here, we will be looking at the value desktops, and laptops offer to a person working from home.
The Option of Working Outside Your Home
These days desktops are getting dated while laptops are shooting up in popularity and becoming necessities. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most professionals prefer the latter when getting work done and urgently.
Desktops come in different shapes and sizes, but most times, they are practically impossible to carry around, as well as utterly challenging to maneuver by the day.
In terms of size, on average, laptops are certainly smaller than desktops. This happens to be an asset for people working from home, as they would want zero stress, rather than a giant computer that needs sophisticated wire sorting even to be helpful. Remember, as always; the ball remains in your court to make the final decision.
There are many pressing questions to answer, such as the number of monitors needed, the size of said monitors, and the display type. We will be discussing each of them in brief.
How Many Monitors Are Optimal?
It all depends on the task at hand as regular office work might entail only a single monitor for the job. On the other hand, professional gamers would need at least two high-quality monitors for their professional endeavors. Having two or more monitors doesn’t mean that you have chosen to be wasteful with money like some older ones erroneously think.
The size of a monitor is one thing that unfortunately gets overlooked, but we will end that in a bit. The typical monitor screen ranges from 24 inches to 27 inches, 32 inches, and anything that falls between the first and last on our list. Size matters, and some job descriptions require more giant screens while others do not.
Monitor display types are as versatile as unique words in the tech dictionary, and we have a couple to highlight. First off, the LED display type has been around for decades but is slowly but surely creeping out of circulation. Then there are the OLED and QLED that happen to hit the sweet spot between the old and new. OLED and QLED display types come in handy for lower graphic games, office jobs, and working on non-sophisticated tech tools.
Last is the LCD type, a favorite screen for professional gamers, live streamers, and graphic designers per excellence. All four display types are excellent, but the LCD type seems to be the hot ticket!
Working from home might be a daunting task for some, but as soon as you’ve mastered it, then it’s a piece of cake. You get to ease through the motions, work at your pace, and not have to meet up with annoying office staff that can’t seem to take a hint. However, before you begin your remote working career, you should stock up on the abovementioned devices. Doing so would be putting yourself in a tight corner, and as the saying goes, “why do something if you can’t do it well”?