Working from home is the new norm. In fact, it was already a way of life for some, even before the pandemic. Some offices already had provisions in place for work-from-home arrangements. The pandemic simply acted as a catalyst to speed up this shift.

This resulted in an increased demand for online shopping and online payment options as well as faster and more stable internet connections. We also saw a multitude of collaborative and online meetings, turning our homes into offices one by one.

If you’re still adjusting to your work-from-home setup, here’s a few tips to help you create your perfect home office.

Level Up Your Home Office

1. Find a dedicated space 

First thing’s first: you need to find your nook for your home office. Here are three things to consider when finding a dedicated office space at home:

  • Have privacy. When setting up your remote office, you want as much privacy as possible. This isn’t only for the benefit of your colleagues or clients, but more importantly, for you. Find a place that’s out of your household’s way, but at the same time, accessible in case you need to attend to domestic matters.
  • It should be free from loud noises and other distractions. Separating your personal and professional life can be challenging, but is very important. The fewer distractions you have, the more productive you’ll be.
  • Have good lighting. Lighting is one of the most overlooked aspects of office setup, but it plays a very important role in office ambiance. Poor lighting can cause eye strain, which not only affects your ability to concentrate at work, but your overall eyesight. Make sure your office is properly lit and your lamps angled to minimize glare on your monitor and your eyes.

2. Comfort is key 

Sitting all day can get tiring too. That’s why it’s important that you make your setup comfortable enough so that your body doesn’t stiffen up, despite putting in long hours.

Start with your chair and build your workstation around that. Pick a chair that you feel comfortable sitting in for an extended period. Ideally, you’d want one that provides lower back support and supports good posture to help ease the stress after hours of work.

Once you have a good chair, it’s time to get your desk. An ideal desk height would have your arms placed at a 90-degree angle. In cases where the chair height is adjustable, one of those height adjustable desks may come in handy. Height adjustable desks allow you to stand while working, providing you with a myriad of health benefits.

Next is your monitor setup. For maximum comfort, make sure your monitor height is at eye level. In this way, your neck isn’t bent downward. 

No matter how comfortable you are in your office, there’s one thing that you can do that your body will thank you for. Move around and take breaks. Whether it’s standing up to stretch your legs, walking around or hitting your favourite recliner for a few minutes, changing positions frequently will help keep your body loose and relaxed.

3. Invest in tools

In this new era of working, it’d be wise to embrace technology to help make you successful in your home office. Investing in good quality equipment can make or break your experience. 

The most important tools in any remote setup are your computer and good internet connection. No matter how great your computer is, poor connection will always botch the experience.

Having a variety of peripherals to suit your different needs also comes in handy. Tools such as a USB hub can complement your setup very well by adding more connectivity, especially if you’re using a laptop. 

Other peripherals to watch out for are good quality printer-scanners, a mouse & keyboard, a good webcam and microphone for your meetings. 

4. Have a nice backdrop

A nice, clean background can largely impact your video conference meetings and influence impressions your peers have. You may opt for a plain background or a stock virtual background, but you can also get creative with the way you want to portray yourself to others. Creating a backdrop that provides insight into who you are as an individual can help you make meaningful connections with your peers. 

5. Take care of your mental health

One very important issue that has plagued many during the pandemic is mental health, such as depression. With some being forced to isolate, some haven’t taken it as well as others.

In order to afford yourself the best chance of having a healthy state of mind, we recommend that you try the following:

  • Get enough sleep & rest.  Get at least 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep a day.
  • Have a healthy, balanced diet and stay hydrated. Make sure to hydrate yourself with water breaks. 
  • Create a daily routine. During uncertain times, a routine can give you that feeling of normalcy. Once your body gets used to it, you won’t have to think about what to do next.
  • Bring the outdoors, indoors. Since we’re advised to stay indoors most of the time, why not bring some of the outdoors in? Add plants to your home office to increase green spaces and oxygen. Working by the window allows you to feel the outdoors as you work.

Embracing the remote life

While it may seem daunting to adjust to working remotely, you’ll find that the benefits definitely outweigh the disadvantages. Yes, setting up your office on your own may be a big challenge, but the opportunity to learn is there. With a wealth of resources just a click away, you should be on your way in no time.

When transitioning into offsite work, remember to talk it over with your family – know each other’s schedules in order to uphold harmony. Work hard, but always take care of yourself first. Move around often, have a balanced diet, get enough rest and most importantly take care of your physical and mental health!