In my previous post, I discussed my experience in how I built myself up mentally to working from home. You can see it here. This post will delve into my actual set up and what I have done to make myself comfortable and effective.
I am lucky, the room my office is in is a decent size. I like to feel spacious and not crammed in. Moreover, I hate desks which are set up where I would be facing a wall. To me, that’s horrible and I feel too exposed. I originally bought a simple desk from IKEA which served me well for a few years. I had a swivel office chair which was cheap and cheerful and set my chair up with its back to the wall and the desk in the middle of the room. So I was looking out into the room. Mentally, this helped a great deal.
Over time, I needed more space and upgraded to a large U-shape desk and spent a few hundred on a quality office chair. It took me a couple of days to put together but now I have so much work space, it’s fantastic. It has improved my work environment so much. To my left is a large surface area where I can lay out paperwork, or whatever I need to do. The front portion has my laptop and a second monitor, and to my right is another laptop for other work I do. I also have a nice hi-fi system to play records on or hook up to my phone via Bluetooth to listen to podcasts etc. It really helps my output.
Having this comfortable set up does several things.
- Makes my life easier
- Provides me with separate work areas for different projects
- Makes me feel I am in a work environment and less at home
- Everything is to hand and I am not having to search for stuff all the time
- It helps me physically
My main concerns with home working was the mental aspect. Wanting to be in the home office so I have gone above and beyond to make it as comfortable as possible and an area I want to be in.
In physical terms, having proper office furniture, having the right desk, a quality chair which is adjustable and provides great back support has lessened my back and neck pain. If I have less pain, then obviously my productivity will be up and I get more done. So make sure your chair is at the right height. Your legs should be angled downwards. Bring your monitor to eye level so you are not bending your neck down. You can raise your laptop up on books and get an external keyboard and mouse, or simply plug in to an external monitor and have that at eye level. Anything to make your posture at your desk help you and not hinder you.
Working from home does take a great deal of discipline. Personally, now I am very used to it, I don’t think I could ever go back to an office environment. The pros outweigh the cons for me. No travel time, no sitting in traffic, and greater flexibility.
My key suggestions are:
- Make a space for your home office that is separate from your home life if possible.
- Get quality office furniture. Don’t skimp if you can.
- Get your computers and devices setup and working well for you. Be organized.
- Make your area a nice and welcoming place to work at.
- Wear normal work attire while working (you can lose this once you are in a good habit)
- Find the best working times for you. For me it’s early start and early finish. You might work better later in the day. Do what works for you if you can.
- Never be afraid to expand or improve your working area, you could be doing this for a while.
So that’s it. Be disciplined, set up an nice environment, have quality office furniture and this should help you towards becoming a successful home office worker.
Don’t forget, if you are in pain, from working at home, or from another reason, the good folks at Back and Body are there to help you.