Ultimate List For Your Home Office Essentials (2020)
Whether you're working at home temporarily or permanently, it's not as easy others think it is. For others, they may see people working at home "slacking" around with their laptops lying on their bed or crouching on the counter. It doesn't look as professional nor friendly to your posture. Work from home requires more than bring your work home. You have to create an atmosphere that doesn't only look professional but also enhances your productivity.
When at home, it's easy to get distracted when sitting by the dining table or lounging on the sofa. A home office set-up gives you the proper space to sit down, get things done, and all you need within an arm's reach. Aside from the fact that you can avoid having back pain for sitting at the couch or lying on a bed for a long time.Studies from Harvard shows that it's recommended to have a separate space for sleeping, working, and relaxation to keep your mental health at bay.
The best way to go is to find a spot in your house with free or minimal distractions throughout the day. Setting this "spot" would frame your mind and the people around you in the work zone. An open office set-up makes you work freely and easily accessible by your family members or housemates. Best of all, you can customize it based on your liking.
Here are some home office essentials for the work from home office set-up;
Since you will be sitting most of the time, purchasing a quality office chair is a good investment. Imagine yourself sitting 6 to 7 hours straight on an ordinary dining chair or sofa. It can strain your back, which will make it challenging to focus on your work. Your work office chair serves like the backbone that'll tie everything together for you.
Ergonomics chairs are not only comfortable but also convenient to use. Unlike the regular house chairs, it's designed to support your body in all the right places, especially the lumbar area. Thus, ensuring that your spine is in the correct position to avoid or minimize back pain and good posture.
Things to look for in an ergonomic chair:
- Height. Look for an ergonomic office chair that can be adjusted to your height. The seat should be at least 16 to 21 off from the floor. Ideally, you would want to have your feet flat on the ground to support your lower back and neck.
- Width and Depth. The depth of the chair should be spacious enough to sit against the backrest. You should be able to move freely in your office chair and not feel restricted.
- Lumbar support. Traditional office chairs have straight back, making it hard to sit for an extended period. The ergonomic chair follows the natural curve of the spine, making it easier to sit around. Also, it should be adjustable frontward and backward.
- Armrest and Backrest. The width should be 12 to 19 inches. Both features should be adjustable where back and arms can rest, minimizing tensions in the muscles.
- Swivel. For convenience, the chair should swivel around and can reach other areas in your workstation.
- Materials used. Check the materials where the backrest gives you an "airy" feeling like a hammock and the pad as soft as a mattress. If you can't find any or is out of your budget, a seat cushion can be an alternative.
A piece of office furniture that's essential is the office desk. Depending on your budget and space, you can either purchase a customized desk or get the regular one in the outlets or online. Things you have to look for are the sturdiness, height, and width of your office table. An alternative option to customized desks is a stand-up adjustable desk. Sitting for too long can do harm on your back. Thus, standing while working makes a healthier option.
To add character to your space, add a bookcase, scented candle, and plants setting the right mood and ambiance. Ensure that your office desk can house all the essential office supplies such as notepad, notebooks, post-it notes, and pens. Place them in a desk organizer for that polish zen look.
Although most of the files people are working on are now digitalized, some documents are meant to be printed, filed, and organized. If you prefer having your desk empty aside from your computer, you can store them in the filing cabinet.
Technology has changed the workplace's dynamic, providing the chance to work remotely without disrupting the flow of business and quality of work. Your hardware becomes the core of your business or profession. As such, you must have the right tools to make it happen.
For office purposes, you don't need to invest in high-end hardware and software. Here is the necessary hardware and software set-up you should have:
- Super Power Strip with USB
- Laptops or desktops
- Other accessories such as external keyboards and mouse
- Home phone
- Printers and scanners
- Ring Light for meetings
- Noise-canceling headphones
- For creatives, drawing pads are a must
- Microsoft Office
- Adobe Creative Cloud
Laptops versus desktops
Laptops give you agility compared to a stationary computer. It provides mobility where you can bring in wherever you go and even change the house's scenery if you need one, without having to unplug and connect several parts all over again. Also, laptops consume less power versus desktops. Disadvantages include the keyboard and mouse, the price, and upgrades only limited to RAM and hard drive.
Desktops, on the other hand, provides you with a powerful processor at a lower price. Also, you can change your monitor to suit your preference or match what's needed for work. Compared to laptops, most of the parts are removable and can be easily upgraded and repaired. Disadvantages include lack of mobility, consumes space, and too much power.
Choose the hardware, depending on the nature and demands of your work. However, generally, laptops with sufficient RAM and storage space are enough to run your business at home.
One of the biggest challenges in working at home is distractions. When you are in an important online meeting, the last thing you wanted is to miss out on pertinent information and to be able to communicate clearly. Instead of relying on the internal video and mic set-up of your computer, invest in good quality headset or headphones and a ring light or good lamp for a good source of lighting.
One of the crucial yet most overlooked, office essential is connectivity. Working at home requires high-speed internet due to the number of tasks that need to be accomplished online. Video conferences or online meetings take up a lot of your bandwidth. You wouldn't want to drop out of a call right when your client is about to give their decision. Also, the chances of sending or receiving huge files online may take time if your internet is not fast. High-speed internet will make all these possible.
If you're sharing the connection with other household members, invest in a high-quality modem/router. Mobile broadbands are your savior while on the go. Explore your options and talk with your service provider to get the best plan.
Home Coffee Station
The luxury of working at home is to get freshly brewed, gourmet coffee within your reach. It's easy to lost track of time, especially when you're working at home. Thus, if your energy is dwindling down, coffee from your own machine could jolt you back to full speed mode. From the classic French Press to the primary Coffee Maker, you can even choose a fancier option like an espresso machine.
For the non-coffee drinker, a glass teapot is your perfect partner for that quick break from the day's work.
Home office add-ons to boost your mood;
Diffuser and essential oils
With distractions everywhere like your bed or TV, staying alert can be challenging. Having a diffuser at hand with scents like lemon, rosemary, or peppermint. The smell can help decrease fatigue and boost your energy levels, motivation, and focus.
Studies have shown how plants can drastically change the mood and improve air circulation inside the house. In addition, it can also decrease stress, stabilize humidity levels, and reduce "sick building syndrome."
When you're alone, it's easy to get bored and uninspired. Re-energized your place. Get the coffee shop ambiance by firing away jazzy music in the background.
Setting up your home office can be daunting and expensive. But you don't need to rack your credit card bill to get everything at high-end and high-cost. Stick to what works for you and what's essential. Shopping for items can also be draining as it is when you have to move from one place to the next. Get yourself a one-stop-shop office supplier that provides everything you need without the hassle. At the end of the day, the cost of setting up your own home office outweighs the money that you shell you as it makes you more efficient and productive.
HBR Guide to Being More Productive (HBR Guide Series)