Over the past few months, working from home has gone from being nothing more than a dream, to a sudden reality for most office workers and professionals. It has not only helped to keep people safe, but studies have shown that, if done right, working from home can lead to higher quality work and a healthier life overall. But how do you know if you are doing it right? We have created a list below that details all the equipment you need for a good home office.
While not everything below is essential, it will all help to make your work easier and will make you happier in general.
An Ergonomic Chair.
Most people don’t think about the chairs they sit in both at home and at work, but if you take a moment to consider the sheer amount of time we spend sitting down, it is staggering. Much like how you want to get a good bed because of the amount of time you spend in it, a good, comfortable chair for work is essential. Not only will a good chair make you feel happier, but it will also benefit your health because a good ergonomic chair will help to prevent you from slouching, leading to fewer lower back problems down the line.
Most people who have started working from home have cobbled together a makeshift desk out of whatever they can find, for example, crouching over a desk of drawers or setting up on a narrow kitchen counter. A good table can work, but ideally, you need a desk that you can put out of the way, and if you live with anyone, especially children, lockable drawers are essential. Before buying a desk, make sure it is large enough to fit all your equipment with a little space to spare for comfort.
Virtual Green Screen.
Something that, in the past, was one of the more challenging aspects of working from home was maintaining good communication with your employer or your team. Fortunately, video conferencing software has solved this problem but in doing so created another. If you are attending a video conference call, your home is visible behind you and this can lead to distractions or embarrassment. Luckily, zoom virtual backgrounds are available to help you hide anything in your background, be it housemates or pets walking around, or even just a messy room that would make you look unprofessional. There are hundreds of options available so you can be sure to find an appropriate background for any occasion.
Poor lighting will result in eye strain that leads to headaches and can become a huge problem that will affect your productivity and happiness, be sure to work in a well-lit room and take plenty of breaks as needed. Additionally, poor lighting is also terrible for video conference calls so be aware of your lighting, natural light is best but when that is not available, consider buying a lamp that you can position where it is necessary.
A Good Internet Connection.
A strong internet connection is perhaps the most important thing to have when working from home, without it, you will struggle to accomplish much at all. Ideally, you want your computer to have a hardwired connection to your router, but when that is not possible, try to at least have a clear line of sight with it instead. If that is also not possible, look into Wi-Fi boosters that you can use to maintain a good connection when you are further away from the router itself. If you have less than ideal speeds, it may also be a good idea to ask anyone living in your home to refrain from downloading or streaming anything when you need good speeds, for example, during a video call.
In an office environment, you likely have an IT team that ensures all your work is backed up and safe just in case something goes wrong, like your computer’s hard drive dying. At home, you will no longer have this IT team to help, but your data is still just as important. In the past our only options were physical hard drives that are bulky and take up space, nowadays, there are plenty of cloud-based solutions that you can use to effortlessly backup your data and keep it safe for when you need it.
A Printer and Scanner.
Depending on your job, you may also need a printer and scanner, but whether or not you need one regularly, printers are very useful to have, especially during a pandemic that could prevent you from accessing a public one. They are not too expensive and are definitely worth it when needed so consider picking one up when possible.
Plants or Decorations.
Plants and decorations may sound a little out of place on this list, but your mental health and overall mood are as essential to your productivity as any other item we have included. Having plants, pictures, ornaments, or even candles around your workspace can help keep your mood up and feeling positive which in turn will translate to higher quality work delivered faster.
Finally, with the digital world taking over, this last item may be unnecessary for many, but just like a printer, it is useful to have for when you need it. Having ample storage to keep paperwork is great, but we also recommend you get something secure for important documents, like a fireproof safe or lockbox. The great thing about these is that even if you don’t use them for work, you can still keep important personal objects and paperwork in them, so it is no way wasted money.
Working from home can take some getting used to, but hopefully, the information here will help to both keep you more productive, and happier overall.