In our post pandemic world, working from home has become very much the new norm for many people across the world.
Whilst we have all had the past year to adjust to our new working environment, many of us have had to cobble together a work-from-home setup, be it from the kitchen table or on a sofa in the living room. Sound familiar?
We were not equipped with the realities of working from home, or really what equipment, chairs or environment were required for a productive work environment, whilst not breaking our backs in the process!
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The good news is that by making the right choices in your dedicated home office space, it can make you more productive, reduce eye strain and actually make working from home a really enjoyable place to be.
Wondering what the best work from home desk setup is? Whether you’re a remote worker, business owner or content creator, join us as we delve into each aspect of a home office, from desk lamps to home office screens, bringing you the best of functionality and style!
What’s the Ultimate Home Office Setup?
Work from home desk
The best work-from-home office begins with choosing the best home office desk, based on your needs, and the space available to you.
You’re going to be spending a lot of hours here a week, so it needs to be flexible to the space, and be at the right eye level to make working from home a comfortable experience.
Let’s take a look at a couple different options, and what you should be looking for in the best home desk.
Home Office Desk With Adjustable Height
For full flexibility over your home office desk, a great way to achieve this is by adding a desk that offers an adjustable height. Total control over this aspect of the work desk will massively improve your comfort, and promote a good posture.
It means you no longer need to find a desk chair that will only just ‘do’ with the desk height, it opens you up to every type of office chair so you can have the best of both worlds.
If you were to change desk chairs a year or two later, again it means you aren’t limited to the certain height of a chair to make it work.
It may also take a bit of time to find the right height that works with you, and having that extra flexibility over the desk height will massively improve your comfort, and working environment. You may still want to use a laptop stand in this setup though to give you the right angle to work from, if you do only work directly from a laptop.
Adjustable Standing Desk
Working from a desk all day can make you incredibly sedentary which can lead to a lack of motivation and lethargy in the long term. An adjustable standing desk might just be one of the best solutions to this problem.
The beauty of an adjustable standing desk is that you can freely adjust it through the day, allowing you to sit when you need a rest, and converting it to a height to accommodate standing up when you want to incorporate a bit more movement into the day.
These are great for those with limited space in a home office area as they come in a range of different sizes to accommodate you. You don’t even need to team it with a desk chair if standing up long term is something you would want to do.
Some actually find that standing up during video calls gives a better impression too, whilst the improved posture can make us feel more confident.
Type of desk
Height and adjustability are two really important factors when it comes to choosing the right desk, but the type and size does too!
The size and shape of your room, or dedicated space will likely impact your buying decision here. Generally speaking, an l-shaped desk is a great option for a home office as it gives you extra room to manoeuvre and store items. It also gives you easy access to everything you need in one place, such as a printer or scanner.
L-shaped desks are great, but you might even want to explore a circular or large rectangular desk if your space allows. Opt for desks with in-built storage such as underneath drawers so you can keep your desk clutter free and organised.
For small spaces, a regular rectangular desk is probably going to be your best option. As storage may become an issue, install a simple shelf overhead so you can stack books or any important documents you use on a daily basis.
Home office screen
Working from a stand alone laptop screen for long hours causes eye strain, can make video conferencing difficult and if you’re doing a lot of admin/ technical work, it can considerably slow down your output time if you have to keep flicking between screens. There are solutions to this!
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Invest In A Laptop Stand
If you have limited space, then using a laptop on its own may be your only option. If this is the case, then invest in a simple laptop stand, you can pick these up really affordably, and they are a game changer! There are lots of ingenious small home office ideas like this that will make your life easier, and more comfortable.
A laptop stand helps to elevate a laptop to eye level which reduces eye strain as the screen comes closer to eye level. It removes that inherent want to hunch over a laptop too which indirectly helps with your posture. It’s a good idea to use one in conjunction with a laptop, even if you have a secondary screen on the go.
As the similar saying goes, two screens are better than one! If your home office desk has the capacity, introducing a secondary computer screen will have a massive impact on your work output, helping you to whizz through those to-do lists at double the pace. You can introduce a second screen to your desktop computer, or laptop.
There are a number of benefits that come with having two screens on your home desk. The primary benefit is that having two screens extends your visual real estate, allowing you to work seamlessly between tasks.
The ability to switch between both screens means less eye strain as your eyes can easily flit between screens.
Of course, two screens isn’t an option for everyone and is very much dependent on space. Also, it does come down to personal preference.
If you’re very much a flexible worker that likes to work from home one day, and from a coffee shop another day, then just working from the one laptop screen might be the best way for you to operate.
Whereas, if your dedicated home office is where you work from the majority of the time, and you do a lot of data entry, research etc, then two screens really comes into its own in a setting like this, and it will help to cut down the amount of time it takes to do tasks too.
Clarity of your tasks is key when it comes to working from home. We can’t always rely on natural light to do its thing, and a crisp, clean monitor with exceptional picture quality is great for those who do a lot of video or picture editing.
A large screen is not always best if the quality doesn’t match it. Look for a home office screen with 4K quality which will provide the highest quality clarity of images, providing the truest representation of colour, and aiding you in tasks like photo editing.
If you want text to look sharper and to show more detail in images, always opt for 4K as a minimum starting point.
It’s something we use day in and day out, but how often do we consider if our current keyboard setup is working for us?
Wrist pain and repetitive strain injuries are common ailments of office workers, and it’s usually down to the keyboard and the support surrounding that.
Investing in a simple wrist support will help to reduce repetitive strain injury and aches throughout the day. These are usually gel based or made from memory foam so it perfectly moulds to the shape of your wrist, providing optimum comfort.
It may be something you only need to call on at the end of the day, but their discrete and slim profile makes them easy to store away when not in use. A must have addition for your keyboard setup at home!
Another popular option that’s worth considering is a mechanical keyboard, these use spring activated switches which offer more tactile feedback. This tells the user whether a key has been correctly pushed or not, often resulting in a clicking sound.
And don’t forget the option of an ergonomic keyboard, designed to support your wrists and fingers.
This is already inbuilt on computers such as the macbook pro, but if you’re purchasing a separate keyboard to a desktop computer, then a mechanical keyboard is a great choice. It will help to create a more seamless, and precise typing experience.
Printers and Scanners
Do you need a printer or scanner? With more companies taking steps to become paperless, owning a printer and scanner is becoming less of a necessity for many employees and business owners. It’s also possible to outsource printing and scanning nowadays if you do need to print off some newsletters or copy some documents.
Some people may find owning a printer and scanner to still be useful. You can buy all-in-one printer scanners that save space. This can reduce the need for a large desk.
Make some space for storing printing supplies like ink cartridges and paper. You can save money on ink cartridges at sites like www.cartridgesave.co.uk.
The office desk is important, but investing in a high quality ergonomic desk chair is going to make or break you during the work day.
You may find yourself drawn to beautiful chairs that work with your design aesthetic, but a good ergonomic office chair is really something you can’t brush over.
If you’re working from home, it’s likely that you can spend extended periods of time sitting down, and staring at a screen. The effects on our spine and poor posture after sitting in a poorly supported chair over a number of months, and years is shocking. Getting the right desk chair is key! So, what to look for?
A desk chair that’s adjustable is non-negotiable. Without the adjustment, you literally have a dining or armchair that is not geared up for everyday use.
At the bare minimum, a desk chair should be adjustable in both height, and the arms. Some ergonomic chairs also offer additional adjustments such as a lumbar support which is designed to support the lower back, whilst some can even be reclined.
Every adjustment isn’t necessary, but you do need to have a certain level of flexibility over your desk chair so it meets your exacting needs required for a comfortable chair to perch on.
Headrest & Lumbar Support
For the best work from home desk setup, you should actively consider opting for an ergonomic chair which has a headrest and lumbar support. It’s not just our central backs and bums that need support!
For a place that we spend most days, it needs to be comfortable, we need support, and we don’t need to add in any shoulder, back aches or injuries into the mix.
There are a huge range of desk chairs on the market to suit your budget, and even the more affordable ones offer extras like the headrest and lumbar support at no additional cost.
Desk Chairs For Smaller Spaces
Your wfh setup may already dictate the size and style of chair you need to have. Whilst smaller spaces may impact what you can have, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the benefits of having an ergonomic chair that will make your experience much more comfortable!
Opt for a desk chair with minimal design features, such as those which don’t have arms, and are considerably neater and more compact than their counterparts.
An ideal home office setup should include a beautiful desk lamp as an additional light source. Don’t be fooled into thinking that these are a style, no substance type of thing.
Imagine working under the dull glow of a street light all day, causing a headache and eye strain. You’d lose motivation, productivity would seize and it would even affect your mood.
A desk lamp is something of a necessity in a space like this. Much like how downlights serve a space, a desk lamp is designed for task lighting, providing targeted light to the designated area that requires it to aid tasks, and preparation.
They will also help to reduce eye strain, allowing you to see what you’re working on with ease, and whilst functionality is really important, there are so many different varieties and types of desk lamps on the market that you can find one which aesthetically suits the space too.
Here are some of the key things to look for when choosing the right desk lamp for your space.
- Adjustable head – look for desk lamps with an adjustable head or lever arm, these give you the greatest flexibility over the lighting setup, allowing you to position the targeted light where it’s required.
- Colour temperature – some lamps do come with their own in built LED strip, or if you have to pop your own bulbs in, always look at using bulbs with a cool white colour temperature, this is the optimum type of lighting for tasks, anything with an orangey hue will cause headaches and evoke a very different ambience to the one required for working.
- Wireless options – this isn’t a non-negotiable, but for a smaller space, space matters! A wireless lamp, free from cables means that it takes up even less space, and you don’t necessarily need to be close to any additional plug sockets or usb ports which can be a task finding in a small space.
- Function, then aesthetics – style is important here, but functionality must lead the way. A desk lamp isn’t purely there for decorative purposes only, so do ensure the lamp has everything you need to help make your life easier, you can then look at the design side of things.
You can really have some fun when it comes to utilising desk plants in your dedicated home office space, whilst they bring such a range of important health benefits too.
Each individual plant can bring a different set of values to a space, but generally speaking desk plants can help to purify the air, are an easy way to lower stress, increase attention span, stabilise humidity levels and have positive effects on our mental health too.
How many is too many? If you wish to create a jungle in your home office then there’s nothing stopping you. But if you only have enough space for your desk to accommodate one desk plant, then that’s a great start too.
It’s worthwhile looking at a range of desk plants to see what would work best in your space, and how much maintenance they require, as they need to fit in with your lifestyle.
Just because they’re called desk plants, they certainly don’t have to clutter up your desk. Just keep them close by on the floor, windowsill or even add a trailing plant to a shelf for instant visual attraction.
No natural light in your work from home office? You don’t have to miss out either! We discovered 40 best plants for an office desk with no windows, some virtually unkillable.
From a Peace Lily to Money Trees, these fabulous plants adapt to windowless environments, and in some cases, can even survive droughts. So, if remembering to water your plants isn’t your kind of thing, it doesn’t mean your home office has to miss out on them.
How to Layout your Home Office Desk for Maximum Comfort and Productivity
Once you slip into work mode, you’ll want to get to work at your home office desk and make the time count.
There are good ways to layout your desk to ensure a good work experience, and high productivity.
- Setup your chair and desk height, keeping your screen at eye level.
- Support your wrists and fingers well, as well as your back and neck.
- Keep water to hand, ideally in a water bottle so you stay alert and hydrated.
- Have either natural or artificial light flooding your desk.
- Have a desk plant or two to offer a biophilic element to your work from home space
- Put notepads, pens and stationery neatly in a tray or drawer ready to access when y0ou need them
- Keep your noise-canceling headphones (if you use them) hanging where you can easily reach them
- Add art to the wall above your desk, or add shelves and good storage
- Make sure you have a tidy backdrop for video conference calls and zoom meetings
- Add a clutter tray – a place to catch all the clutter you accumulate throughout the day, to keep it one place.
The ideal home office setup is one that hinges on functionality, but takes into account your design needs. space and your work style. You don’t need an entire room to create a great home office, a small dedicated space is enough to create something that works for you.
Functional home office setups are great but add in some personality to ensure your work life is as pleasant as it can be.
Getting the functions right is so important for a work from home office so it’s comfortable, and won’t create any long term problems, including eye strain or poor posture. A good working environment can help you achieve maximum productivity, and even boost your mood!
If you follow these tips for creating the best desk setup, you’ll be well on your way to creating a dedicated working space.
Of course, once you’ve got the basic functions right, there are so many home office ideas to be explored, and you can focus on creating a beautiful design aesthetic, that includes introducing some of the best things (and most exciting!) into your office such as desk plants, decorative wall accessories and experimenting with colour and wallpaper.
Good luck with your new work from home office, and if you follow our tips, do let us know how you get on. A good work-life balance is essential when you work from home, so we hope you put time and energy into maintaining it.
There are lots of articles here on the blog that will help with working from home, such as Setting up a Desk with Tech in Mind, Best Desk Lights to Ease Eye Strain, and The 40 Best Plants for a Windowless Office.
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