Whether you just moved and want to work from home with a virtual office or want to teach English online. Properly setting up an efficient home office is essential. Unfortunately, that efficient home office won’t magically appear by itself. Instead, it requires a bit of planning.
Below are five tips to get you started:
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1. Choose the right area
Take stock of the spaces in your home and choose a quiet and distraction-free one you can dedicate to work. Exactly what kind of space is available differs from person to person and from home to home, but in general, you’re looking for an area with the least amount of distractions. This will significantly improve your productivity.
If you have an empty guest room or a large room that can be partitioned, consider converting it into an efficient home office. If space is more limited, a quiet corner of the living room (ideally, facing away from the TV) could do. Whatever space you choose, ensure there’s enough room to fit a desk, chair, and any office equipment you may need.
2. Write up a budget
After you’ve picked a low-distraction zone for your home office, write up a list of what you need to get and how much you’re willing to spend. Just like finding the right space, budgets vary dramatically. Some may need to renovate an entire room, while others only need to buy an extra lamp.
Whatever the specifics, writing up a budget ensures you get what you need while managing costs. Prioritize what’s essential to you, and research how to find what you need while staying within budget.
3. Find a desk that supports your work
A desk is core to any home office. Since they come in all shapes and sizes, it’s crucial to find one that suits your needs. Typically, this means two things. First, a desk that provides enough space for daily tasks. Second, one that supports healthy ergonomics.
Whether you choose an adjustable desk or a fixed one, ensure it’s at the right height. When you sit down to type, your arms should be at a comfortable 90-degree angle. If the desk is too high or too low, it’ll cause unnecessary strain.
4. Invest in a quality chair
Alongside finding a quality desk, you’ll need to invest in a quality chair. Sitting for long periods of time—a common practice for most if not all remote workers—can lead to significant back pain and physical discomfort.
Taking micro-breaks can certainly help alleviate that pain. However, after finishing your breaks, you’ll also want to settle into an ergonomic chair that allows you to adjust the height, armrests, and back support. Most of all, you want a chair that makes you feel good about sitting down to work.
5. Use the right kind of lighting
Not all lighting is made equal. For some people, bright fluorescent lights lead to eye strain, headaches, and other issues. To avoid that, they avoid fluorescent bulbs at all costs. Even if fluorescent lights don’t bother you that much, it’s important to find light sources that keep you calm and focused.
Typically, this is a mix of natural light and warm artificial light. If possible, move your desk near a window to take advantage of sunlight. Just be sure to install a curtain or blinds to avoid excessive glare and sun damage. Add a lamp for focused tasks and an overhead light for general illumination.
Keep the above five tips in mind to create an efficient home office that keeps you comfortable, focused, and productive.
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