If you have not already done so, investing in a home office is certainly worthwhile. If not for a professional image towards your colleagues, then for ergonomic sitting for your back. Here’s how to set up a good home office.
First of all, it’s a good idea to consider where you want to create your home office. It’s important to have plenty of light so you can read properly, for example. Also consider what a suitable place would be in combination with your housemates, family and preferences. Do you want to sacrifice a separate room for it, or do you want to sit in a living kitchen amidst all the commotion? For example, one person may always want to have music or a television on. The beauty of a home office is that you can choose your own way. Think, for example, about the view you want to have, such as the garden or your family in the living room.
For inspiration on the look and feel, you can, of course, go to Pinterest and search for home office. You’ll see one board after another, making it easy to see what suits you. Apart from the fact that a home office should, of course, look nice, there are also other things to keep in mind when creating a home office. Ergonomics is essential here. There’s a reason why you don’t often have folding chairs and sofas in the office because they don’t give you a good posture if you have to work standing up. It can totally ruin your back, so make sure you have a desk and an office chair that you can adjust. You can find all sorts of information online about adjusting both your viewing angle on your monitor and the height of your chair.
Invest in a separate monitor
In your research into the correct ergonomic posture, you will probably discover that working behind a laptop is not good in terms of ergonomics. You have to look down too much, which can cause neck complaints. Invest in a good monitor with a keyboard and a separate mouse so that you can either use your laptop screen as a second screen to display certain statistics or information or fold it up and work solely with the monitor. Don’t forget to get the right cables, so that you can connect the laptop to the monitor (probably via VGA or HDMI). A webcam is also useful. Normally it is on your laptop, but if you close it and only use the monitor, you can use a separate webcam on your monitor.
Place the monitor at right angles to the window to not see any reflection on the screen. It is a good idea to sit near a window because you have a supply of fresh air, which keeps you sharp during the day. By extension, it is also advisable to place plants, because just one or two plants make people happier and clean the air.
Whether you like to listen to music, you can invest in a Bluetooth speaker or a wired speaker. Don’t forget to buy good earplugs. Firstly, they come in handy when the kids are too noisy, and you need to focus (at least if you buy earplugs with noise cancellation). Secondly, they make it easier to understand calls and prevent the rest of the house from listening to your phone conversations or presentations and courses you’re taking. If you choose smartly, you can also use them, for example, to go for a run during your break.
If you’re a slob, make sure you have not only a desk with drawers but also some other storage space near your home office. This can be useful for administration but also to give you a good place to put your clutter. Especially if you start living more at your desk, it will soon be cluttered with paperwork. Invest in a cupboard or box to put loose things in. And don’t forget an office trash can so snippets of paper or letters and documents that are no longer needed can be deposited there, so they don’t unnecessarily fill up your desk and your storage space.
Light is important for your workplace. If you want to work late at night, you can forget about daylight. You can invest in a nice lamp, but do so with a smart lamp, for example. These can give off different types and strengths of light. Yellow and dimmed for atmosphere in the room, but bright and white for when you need to read something. It is important to have a lamp at your office in any case, because in the winter it can be dark at five o’clock in the afternoon and it is better for your eyes if the whole room is illuminated, instead of your monitor or laptop screen being the only source of light.
Check your employer
Before you start your home office, check what options your employer offers. Some employers pay employees for a desk, but some employers give you the option of picking up a monitor from the office (or sending it to you). This will not only save money, but also less searching for monitors. Finally, it is good not to think too classically: a paperweight, a printer, a pen holder, they are not needed at all for most professions. Besides, you don’t have to buy everything at once, because most online shops deliver the same day or the next day if something is missing in your brand new home office.