Create the perfect remote office space and keep your desk organized with our tips.
For many employees working from home during the pandemic, having an organized and comfortable home office space is a must. If you don't have access to a separate office or a quiet room at home, start by creating a designated working area. Given that many businesses will continue to adopt the hybrid work model in a post-pandemic world, as global surveys reveal, here are some useful tips to set up your desk when working from home.
1.Get the basic tech in order
Depending on the nature of your job, the set-up of your desk and tools of the trade may change, but there are some basics and non-negotiables to ensure a smooth WFH experience. Fully functioning laptop? Check. Fast internet connection? Check. If it's not the case, consider getting an ethernet cable. Spotty wi-fi that ends up wasting your time (and time is money). No one likes an awkward Zoom call (unless you accidentally leave on a hilarious cat filter – in which case, you are excused!).
2. Choose your comfort and ergonomics
Long hours at your desk with poor posture can cause a host of health problems affecting your spine, joints, and eyesight. Here are some guidelines to prevent them:
Keep your laptop or monitor at an advisable distance and height so that you don't hunch, slouch or strain. Does your chair help you maintain a straight back? If not, consider replacing it with an ergonomic office chair. You may prefer using a standing desk or an exercise ball if you prefer. Find what works for your comfort and commit to it.
Keep your wrist elevated and straight. A mouse is essential (FYI, a mouse and keyboard pad with a wrist rest can be life-changing).
Your keyboard should be at eye level. Use a computer monitor or prop your laptop on a stand (you can use a stack of books as a makeshift stand too). In both cases, invest in a keyboard. Bluetooth is preferred, as you'll have fewer cables and more USB ports.
3. Find a source of natural light
Spending a long time in front of blue-light sources such as laptops and mobile devices isn't ideal. Try to get as much natural light as possible, even if it's indoor, as there are plenty of mood-boosting health benefits. If you're lucky enough to get a window with a nice view, why not set up your desk there? As a tip: a couple of strategically placed mirrors reflect natural light and brighten up your space. Consider getting an LED lamp (with warm or cold light settings) or a monitor light bar for your screen.
4. Keep your hybrid desk clean clutter-free
You needn't be a minimalist, but the less clutter and the cleaner your desk, the more productive you'll be. It's easy for documents to pile up, so put loose papers into binders and ditch non-essentials. As Marie Kondo would say: throw away anything that doesn't spark joy. At the end of each day, make it a ritual to reorganize your desk so that clutter doesn't start building up – and you can fully switch off for the day. Messy wires can be anxiety-inducing too, so tuck them away using cable bands.
5. Get leafy
Bring the outside in by placing a bunch of potted plants on your desk. Some greenery will instantly perk up your hybrid workspace all year round. Plants in your office not only look stylish but they help to reduce stress and increase productivity by 15%, studies show. Succulents are beautiful and low maintenance.