Many of us dreamed of working from the comfort of our homes, but in reality, it can be a challenge. Even without kids, pets, and our significant others, there are plenty of distractions and inconveniences that can ruin our productivity.
I’ve collected you my best tips in this 4-part series to help you keep your sanity, stay healthy and productive.
Image source: Pexels, Huseyn Kamaladdin (@kamo11235)
First of all, choose a dedicated area. A separate room with a door is the best option, but if you don’t have a spare room a quiet area with some privacy will do. This is especially true if you have meetings with customers or you have noisy flatmates.
Lighting can affect mental health, productivity and mood. Pick a spot with plenty of light – preferably natural one. It reduces the likelihood of headaches, eyestrain and improves your attitude. Although, do not sit with your back to the window. It is best if a window is to your left if you’re right-handed, and to your right, if you’re left-handed.
Studies found significant reductions in stress among workers when plants were introduced to their workspace. They also clean the air and by absorbing sounds (rather than insulating against noise pollution), plants help to reduce the distracting effects of background office chatter. I personally, just love looking at them!
Image source: Pexels @lum3n
Sitting on the couch with your laptop may seem like a great idea, and it certainly looks good on Instagram, but let’s be real – it’s far from ideal. I can guarantee, within 3 hours you either spill your coffee on your lap, fall asleep, or your back start to hurt like hell. Trust me on this.
A desk – Ideally at least 60×100 cm, with adjustable height.
A comfortable chair, that supports your back – If you can afford an office chair with wheels.
A monitor, laptop stand or a box to keep your screen at eye level
Image source: Unsplash @laurenmancke
Sitting on the couch with your laptop may seem like a great idea, but it’s far from ideal.
The chair is the trickiest part as even the cheaper ones usually cost at least 80 €, but if you have back issues or you’re planning to work from home permanently it is a must-have. Regarding the desk, I compromised on buying the cheapest Linnmon / Aldis combination at IKEA for 31 € with shipping. I’m lucky enough to have a laptop stand from my company, but before, I used to use a cardboard box for the job. (If you choose this option put 4 bottlecaps between the box and the paper to prevent overheating.) You can also purchase one from Amazon for as little as 11 €.
Image source: http://ergonomictrends.com
Keeping the right sitting posture won’t be easy without a mouse and a keyboard. To reduce the muscle load and prevent back and neck pain your elbows should be to your sides, and your arms at or below a 90° angle. Only using your laptop is basically impossible.
If you can bring your set home from the office. If you need to buy one consider ergonomy and the practicality too. A cheap set would only cost you around 15 €, but it might be worth looking for a wireless version – and if you can afford an ergonomic one that’s even better.
Even if your phone is the latest model or you have a new laptop, you’ll probably need a good pair of headphones with a mic. You might be just fine with the one you already have for your mobile, but only if they are comfortable to wear all day long and are good quality enough.
If you need to invest in one, go for those with noise-cancelling features. Don’t forget you’ll need it to help you create personal focus and block out distractions and your colleagues/customers to understand you more clearly. Besides, the ideal headset has long battery life and Bluetooth compatibility.
It’s definitely not a necessity, but a really (really really) nice to have. Especially if you’re working with huge excel sheets, graphic designs or multiple tabs simultaneously.
Image: My current home office setup. I’ve been using that monitor for more than 4 years. The laptop, eyboard and mouse is from my company.
What are your biggest challenges when you work from home? Snap a picture of your home office and share it!
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This article is not a sponsored content. I haven’t been hired or paid to recommend anything mentioned in this post.
Hi, I’m Reka,
I’m here to help you grow your business and thrive in your carreer.