How To Set Up A Home Office And The Necessities

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Considering the global events in recent years, working from home has become a common phenomenon in many households. Working from home has a lot of benefits. However, to keep the efficiency and progress you would have in a corporate office, you need to learn how to set up a home office. You successfully set up a functioning and comfortable home office space without disrupting workflow and productivity. Once you have nailed down your perfect office environment, you can start working from home as comfortably and productively as you would in any office. Your office is not just a working space; it is more room to ignite your inner creativity and program your mind towards success.

1. Decide On What You Need

You should never clutter your home office. Instead, you should keep only those items that you need every day. These are a few examples of what your home office might include. Working on Own schedule Image Credits: larcasts.com
    • A remote manager, editor, or translator might need a small desk for their computer.
    • A graphic artist might require a larger table for their artwork.
    • Setting aside an area for meeting with clients, especially for a consultant, is crucial for success.
    • One might need to install some dedicated electronics or industry-specific equipment that they should use according to their corporate standards.
Compile a list of your needs before choosing a room or corner for your home office. It will help you to understand how much space you need.

2. Think About Privacy

This recommendation is especially vital for those who share their houses with roommates, spouses, or kids. Home Office Privacy Image Credits:5280.com
    • If you telecommute, your employer has a right to require that you have a door that closes and locks for reasons of confidentiality. Plus, this door will reduce noise from the rest of the house.
    • If you frequently meet your clients in person, set up your home office near the front house entrance.
    • To spread out design or tech equipment, you should consider a dedicated studio separate from the rest of your home.
If there is no separate room in your house that you could occupy, try to adjust your schedule. Try to be busy predominantly during those hours when everyone else is not home.

3. Set Aside A Place For Gadgets

Your smartphone is the worst enemy in your home office. Without supervision, too many remote workers tend to distract way too often by checking Instagram or messengers. Find a place to store your smartphone when you don’t need it for work — and make sure to turn it off. If you frequently use a tablet or other gadgets, keep them in the same place too. You might be surprised by how quickly you cope with everyday tasks when your smartphone is not chirping or vibrating!

4. Use A Dedicated Phone

You should get a dedicated cell phone or VoIP (Internet-based) phone for business communications. Yes, you will need to pay for it. But it should not be difficult given you have cut down expenses with having a home office. With a dedicated phone, you won’t need to share voicemails, which would sound unprofessional. Your kids or grown-up relatives would never pick up your business calls. You would never send a meme to your client by mistake. It will be easier for you to separate your work and personal life.

5. Put A Clock On The Wall

You might be wondering why you should do it if you have a clock on your computer. Well, a wall clock in the office is a great tool to help you manage time and ensure you don’t overwork yourself. Dedicated Space Image Credits: pinterest.com Professionals working from their home offices are much more prone to burnout, unlike their colleagues who work in rented premises. Split your day into several parts to give your brain and body rest. You should get up and do simple exercises every one or two hours. You should set your working limits and never exceed them, except for rare occasions. For instance, you might need to work seven hours every day. If you have a rush order and your client pays you to double the price for it, you can work for fourteen hours for three days in a row. But you should work for less than fourteen hours for weeks. The clock on the wall will remind you about that.

6. Separate The Professional From The Personal

Other than your time and phone, separate your business and private matters. Set up a business bank account. Never store your documents with your client’s records, emails, and cheques. Avoid using your home office for any other activities except work. If you want to have a cup of coffee with a friend in your office, lock all the papers in a safe or drawer and turn off your computer.

7. Signal Strength

Signal strength, be it the internet or phone, is crucial to working from a home office. In any office, internet strength and phone signal are ideally kept at the highest possible quality to ensure that workers have no trouble connecting to clients and associates that may be working on the other side of the globe.

Most people use the internet and phone for recreational or personal matters. However, working from home changes that. Ask your internet provider if they have any options for faster internet speeds. As for your phone connection, if you always have problems connecting with people on the other end of the line, buy a mobile signal booster to improve your signal strength. Internect Connection Image Credits: modyolo.com By this means, you never make a call lost and never miss out on an important meeting. Just imagine having an important meeting blacked out by the two of you disconnected from each other and what a magical gadget could miss might be such a crucial thing. Additionally, regarding the connectivity to the internet it should also be stable by any means for your job to done in the faster way. To tell the truth, without high speed Internet connection you will have to spend much more waiting and less time on work. This will definitely help to swerve your work in the direction of the negative outcome and hamper your deadlines. While so much depends on the availability of a fast and reliable internet connect, consider it your protecting factor both from any unexpected disturbances during work hours. To this, you add a reliable phone network; this will give you all the resources you need for daily works.

8. Optimize Your Lighting

Working in a dim environment is uncomfortable and bad for your eyesight. Looking at a screen for too long and then turning your gaze to a dark and dim interior can harm your health. So, to avoid any complications in your workflow and health risks, ensure you have enough light in your home office. This way, you can stay focused for long periods without it negatively impacting your eyesight. The simplest way to achieve this is to allow in as much natural light as possible. It is generally advised to have some focused light in your work area, which can be a lamp or overhead lighting. Have the focused light be pointed exactly towards your workstation, but you should also have some accent lights on the side. This is for the general brightness of the room and to ensure that the area surrounding your workstation is not too dark. Putting a little extra thought into the lighting allows you to create the optimal workstation that does not negatively impact your health or workflow. It is a fundamental step in creating a home office, and once you get the lighting right, you will see how much more comfortable it is to work from home.

10 Office Essentials to Set up an Efficient Home Office

One of two things can happen when you begin to set up an office setup in your home. You’ll either underestimate what you need to get your office up and running or overestimate. You can quickly find yourself struggling in either case. Use this checklist to develop a streamlined itemization of what you need in your home office and things to consider

1. Office Desk

Picking the right office desk is essential for your overall well-being since it positively impacts your health. Earlier, the office desk was usually bulky and used to occupy a lot of space. These days, however, we have the opportunity to pick a desk that can conform to your requirements and way of life. Dedicated Office Space Image Credits: theguardian.com An ideal home office setup, a standing desk is better suited to enhance your health and improve your workspace form. Thus, modifying the desk to the appropriate height for your standing position is essential. Ensure you place everything in your workspace at the right height for sufficient comfort. Assuming that the height of the standing desk is too high, it may cause strain on the elbows, wrists, and shoulders. It is, however, recommended to use an adjustable desk to ease the painful effects of lengthened sitting. Advanced research shows that prolonged periods’ effects have become increasingly popular. An adjustable work-from-home desk can help you achieve the desk height to suit your needs, regardless of the chosen working style.

2. Office Chair

An office chair is probably one of the most obvious pieces of equipment you are going to need in your office space. A comfortable office chair is a vital prerequisite for efficient work. And because you spend most of your time sitting down, you must go for the best chair. Other than a lumbar supportive chair, there are several features the chair should have to effectively support several hours of sitting. An ergonomic chair is designed with your health in mind. Like the standing desks, an ergonomic chair is designed to adapt to your body and offer the required support for long hours in the office. Therefore, when you are going to purchase office furniture, ensure that you prioritize health. The chair should be adjustable to prevent back and neck pains. Best Home office Chair Image Credits: nbcnews.com If you have never known what it feels like to work while sitting on an uncomfortable chair, then you should know that not only bad for productivity but also for your health. Uncomfortable seating leads to many health conditions stemming from back problems to posture. Do yourself a favor and pick out suitable seating for you. Everyone has a different seating posture, physique, and preferences, so what works for your friend may not work for you. Experts recommend finding seating that props up your back to 90 degrees. Same with your thighs and legs. Even though your preferences may differ, such seating is ideally the most optimal way to sit. Also, ensure that the seating does not prop you up too high above the desk to prevent wrong seating posture over your work for a long time. Seating slumped over leads to many back problems, making it much harder to concentrate on your work.

3. Filing cabinet

Stay Organized Image Credits:bestadvisor.com Despite the fact that modern technologies have greatly complemented daily office tasks, still, there is a place for the storage space. While making your office look pretty, purchasing cabinets to help you keep documents is worth considering. The most important feature for a proper storage is the office stationery. Lastly, the convenience of online storage is also viewed by most people as a great advantage; however, when there are files that you will have to see in hard copy, it would definitely be uneasy for you. Therefore, filing cabinets, suspended shelves and desks with a pull-out drawer should not be overlooked while one is arranging her/his office at home.

4. Laptop

Perfect Work Surface Image Credits: fiverr.com A laptop is one of the most essential items in a good home office setup. A majority of people today rely greatly on laptops because of the convenience they offer. When working from home, a good laptop means you can carry your work on the go. So whether you have a dedicated room or a space for your office setup, a laptop is one of the essential items you will require.

5. Keyboard and Mouse

Office essentials Image credits:firstpost.com

6. Computer Monitor

Larger Monitor Image Credits:pcmag.com A computer monitor is another essential item to have in your home office setup, regardless of whether or not you have a laptop screen. The idea is to be able to alternate between the two and enhance productivity. If your job requires that you utilize a dual monitor system, the placement should have the computer monitor and laptop placed together with their edges touching.

7. Webcams and Microphones

Laptop for Zoom Meetings Image credits: obsbot.com Having the best home office setup means you can join the online meeting without any problem. To do this, you’ll need an effective state-of-the-art webcam and microphone. Having these items increases the overall professionalism of your work environment. Therefore, take your home office space to the next level with a good webcam and a great microphone. Some of the best desk accessories are webcams and microphones from reputable brands. It is effective, reliable, and used by various professionals to make good quality content.

How To Budget For Your Home Office Setup

During these economic uncertainties, it is important to be watchful of your spending when creating a home office. It’s clear to get carried away with ideas, but contemplating how you will fund them is also very important. Below are a few suggestions that may help you keep your expenses within your tour budget. Home Office Setup Image Credits: prophix.com

I) Ask Your Boss About A Home Office Budget

To acquire funds for your office resources, you could ask your employer to cover the expenditure. With more organizations spurring remote networks, many are creating budgets to assist their employees with these expenses. In some instances, employers can cut down on expenses related to office utilities and snacks and do away with physical office entirely, resulting in significant cost savings. In case your employer has not yet mentioned the expenses for your home office, it may be worthwhile to inquire about it. You can feature the importance of basic requirements such as high speed connections for carrying out your job responsibilities. For self-employed individuals, you might have the option to deduct these expenses from your taxes, but seeking advice from a certified public attendant is recommended.

II) Use The Money You’re Saving

It is possible that the work-from-home set-up probably led to some unforeseen savings, like the lower gas bill from not having to commute daily or perhaps from coming out less often for lunch. A good idea to create a convenient and well-organized workspace is to change your saved expenditures a bit. Make an accurate review of your monthly expenses by highlighting unnecessary costs – these savings must be added into your home office account. Through computing your spending while slight adjustments you can have a home office that meets your requirements without breaking much sweat.

III) Take Advantage of Home Improvement Loans

If you are aiming to expand your home office zone through renovation, such as finishing your basement, constructing a new wall, or building an extension, it may be cost-friendly to consider a home improvement loan to assist with the expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Set Up A Home Office

1. What do you need to set up a home office?

For a functional home office setup, all you need are:
    • Desk space and standing desks
    • Laptop/PC
    • Desk chair with lumbar support
    • Desk Accessories
    • File cabinets for an adequate storage
    • Mouse and keyboard
    • Internet connection
    • Good lighting

2. How can I make my home office look professional?

Functionality is key when making your office look professional. Invest in a good functional desk and chair. Before anything else, office furniture determines how professional your office space looks and feels.

3. How can I make my home office more creative and productive?

When it comes to productivity, home office setups must be functional and comfortable. Start with good lighting that doesn’t result in optical damage. Ensure create a relaxed ambiance for work. Natural light is also very important, ensure you allow as much of it as possible inside. You can also use paint to showcase your creativity. Nonetheless, use neutral colors to ensure the work environment remains as professional as possible.

4. Should my home office desk face a window?

Indulge in a neat work setting and put your back towards the window for better productivity. Thinking about going for a walk outside the window to stop the resisting my cognitive function. But that’ll be worse than broken glasses, when the sun is blindingly bright, you won’t see anything ahead.

5. How to set up a small office at home?

If you don’t have the luxury of turning a guest room into a home office, you can work with whichever space is available. To maximize your dedicated workspace:
    • Avoid bulky office desks
    • Use verticle storage
    • Assess the space and keep only what you need
    • Be as organized as possible
    • Separate yourself from everyone else in the home
    • Allow the whole room to have proper lighting that supports your work

6. How to layout my office?

The best office layout will offer functionality and convenience. Assess the available space and shop for the design that will conveniently work best for you. If possible, seek help from professionals to ensure everything is designed to offer you the best work experience.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, these recommendations came in handy, and now you better understand how to set up an excellent home office. It will enable you to increase your productivity and maximize your income without stress, haste, or excessive effort.
Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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