In 2020, many of us began working from home. The stores ran out of desks, chairs, keyboards, printers, and pretty much anything else we needed to work from home.
Working from home, like anything, has its pros and cons. Working in a comfortable, functional, and motivating workspace is important for your mental and physical health.
Since the Making Living Lovely team works from home, we consider ourselves well equipped in this regard.
I shared my top 10 tips for performing your best when working from home, and one of those tips was to create a comfortable working area. Let’s look at my 7 tips to improve your work-from-home office set up.
Topics I discuss in this blog post:
- Invest in the right work-from-home equipment for your job
- Set up a dedicated workspace
- Sit by the natural light
- Exercise while you work
- Keep your workspace clean and tidy
- Add house plants to your work-from-home set up
- Add your personal touch
1. Invest in the right work-from-home equipment for your job
Desks, chairs, and other tech gear can really elevate the ergonomics and functionality of your workspace. Having a functional workspace without distractions or discomfort is essential for working efficiently.
Find the right desk for your style of work
I have seen some innovative desks being created over the past two years, from ironing boards to cardboard boxes. When working from home on a daily or regular basis, it is important to invest in a desk that fits your work style.
Sharyn has a very stylish standing desk so she can choose to be seated or standing throughout the day. Since we don't walk from carparks or public transport to meetings or lunch, our bodies are sitting more than usual.
Standing up and stretching while still working is great for our bodies and productivity.
In my office, I have a large Ikea desk with drawers and a stand that can be adjusted up to 30cm, which is perfect since I also design sewing patterns for my small business and need plenty of storage and room for two computers.
Create a comfortable workspace
I don't know about you, but my wrists hurt after typing and using the mouse for so long. It hurts my back if I don't sit upright, and my neck pulsates if I arch my head to view my computer screen.
These problems can be solved with some nifty tech gadgets. Consider using a keyboard and mouse pad that helps reduce tension in your wrists. They are inexpensive and work great.
Invest in a proper chair that is supportive of your back and posture. With countless hours spent at my desk on a wooden dining room chair, I can confirm the value of investing in a supportive desk chair.
If you sit at your desk for 7-8 hours a day, this chair is just as important as your bed. Invest in your health and comfort now to avoid back and neck problems later in life.
How do you work? Do you use a laptop and monitors or a tablet? A holder can also be used to support your neck by levelling these devices with your head.
2. Set up a dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated work area at home saves you setting up every time you need to work. It means you can sit down in a dedicated spot of your home and focus on the tasks ahead.
We know it's not always possible to have a room or shut-off space for this so a small desk to work is better than slogging it on the couch.
If you need to separate work and personal spaces, you could use a screen room divider or shelves as a wall.
Check out more work-from-home tips here.
3. Sit by the natural light
This one is a little different, but I think it helps. In a lot of office spaces, you don’t even see daylight. When it's sunny and warm, why miss out on that at home?
If possible, try setting up your office in a well-lit spot, such as a spare bedroom or a sunny kitchen corner, so you can soak up some Vitamin D.
Not only can it boost your mood, but Vitamin D can also help support your immune system helping to reduce illness throughout the year. Sitting near natural light can help a little when you work from home.
4. Exercise while you work
With working from home becoming a worldwide affair people have become very creative with combining exercise and working together.
Lots of people have found this to improve their mental health and productivity. Plus, fitting in daily exercise can be a challenge for most of us.
There are a few exercise machines that you can use while sitting at your desk, there is a walking pad (smaller treadmill) and an under-desk bike. You could also try sitting on a Pilates ball to focus on core strength and balance throughout the day.
The walking pad can be used in combination with a standing desk or desk with an adjustable set up on top for your computer and keyboard to be positioned higher. You can walk at a slow but consistent pace that still allows you to type and work.
This is something that I'm eager to try so I can start walking 10,000 steps a day. Many people have claimed it increases their motivation, productivity and focuses throughout the day compared to sitting in a desk chair feeling fidgety.
5. Keep your workspace clean and tidy
This one is up to your personality, but a clean and tidy workspace is usually helpful to stay focused. Clutter and unnecessary items all over your desk can cause anxiety and distractions. Remove what you don’t need.
Another good tip is to move away from your desk to eat lunch, so you don’t end up with plates or crumbs all over your office space. Remove mugs from coffee or teas each time you head to the kitchen so you can avoid a large pile of dishes on your desk.
I love having a set of drawers next to my desk so I can keep notebooks and pens stored away and out of sight.
6. Add house plants to your work-from-home set up
Having lush house plants around my home is something I enjoy, and the same goes for my workspace. It is amazing how much peace and tranquillity can be brought to a space by a touch of green and nature.
Try adding a small indoor plant or two to your desk or on a shelf. In this article Healthline shares that house plants can reduce stress levels, boost your productivity, improve the air quality and more.
Some of my favourite house plants are:
- Peace lily
- Fiddle leaf fig
7. Add your personal touch
You are working in your home, so make it comfortable and enjoyable with some personal touches.
My partner and I share an office space in our home, so we decided to hang shelves with neon lights to display some of our favourite things. He displays his Lego collection, and I display my books, knickknacks, and houseplants.
We also hung up a few frames with TV shows and movies that have special meaning for us like The Office, Breaking Bad, and Stranger Things.
You can enjoy your day and be productive when you are reminded of the little things that are important to you around the room or on your desk.
To Sum Up
I hope that these 7 tips have helped you elevate your work-from-home set up to be functional and comfortable to work in. When you support your mental and physical wellbeing, a few simple but effective things can make a big difference in your productivity.
Let us know in the comments below what changes you are making to your work-from-home space!