The first step in building a comfortable office is getting comfortable equipment. You will spend long hours at your desk and your computer; the right equipment can make the difference in improving productivity and comfort.
Here are a few life hacks for choosing home office equipment.
1. Invest in a comfortable chair
A comfortable chair is the heart of a productive home office. You will spend nearly half your day on it. Investing in a good one will make a notable difference to your work life.
Selecting the right chair can be a challenge. Prices can range from a basic chair priced around $50 to a high-end Aeron chair setting you back at least $1,000.
To find the right fit, pay attention to back, thigh and arm support. Also consider the material options and warranties offered, if any. Also, should you have the space for a second area to sit within the office, a one seat sofa like this Grayson 1.5 seater from Domayne could do the trick. Perfect for taking calls and reading documents.
2. Use a second monitor
A second monitor is the closest you can get to a productivity superpower. An additional screen makes so many tasks easier — coding, designing, writing and researching. It also makes multi-tasking more approachable.
If you do not like juggling windows, a second monitor should at the top of your wish list. For best results, buy the same model as your current setup so you have the same screen fidelity and experience.
4. Consider buying a standing desk
There is a growing body of research that show that sitting for extended periods of time is bad for your health. This explains why the new generation of workers are embracing standing desks.
A standing desk is exactly what you think: a tall desk where you work standing up. Most of these desks are height adjustable (i.e. you can lower/raise the height as needed). Some more expensive versions can even be converted into conventional sit-down desks on the fly.
A standing desk will not magically transform your health, but it will improve productivity, focus and heart health.
If you think your house has enough furniture or you are not inclined to buy a standing desk, consider trying a standing desk extender. These desk extenders can also be adjusted by height and are often cheaper. They also allow you to turn any surface into a standing desk. It is quite convenient when creating a home office for the first time: you can try different places to find the one that works best for you. For furniture idea, visit Domayne.
6. Add some green plants
A few green plants will not only add a dash of colour to your office space but also increase happiness and reduce stress. In fact, even a few plants can increase productivity by as much as 15%, according to one study.
Instead of choosing just any green plants, pick something that is easy to maintain and helps improve air quality. The spider plant, dracaena, Ficus and Boston fern are particularly well known for their air filtering qualities.
7. Wire management goes a long way
You would not really want to come to work in an office that is covered in jumbled cables and cords.
Basic wire management can go a long way towards improving your office aesthetic. It is also fairly cost efficient as well — you will just need a few clamps and zip ties to manage messy wires. Here is a great article from Lifehacker on managing wires with some cheap tools.
8. Make sure you have high-speed internet
Running an online store makes it imperative you have a solid home internet connection. If your service is subpar, consider changing to an alternative internet provider or buying and installing a Wi-Fi router before setting up a home office. It is easy to get distracted when slow internet connection disrupts your workflow all the time.
For better Wi-Fi signal strength, place your router high off the ground and in the centre of your house. Make sure there is no clutter around it, as well as any devices or appliances that can cause signal disruption. For example, microwaves or home phone sets.
Check your internet speed with specialized services like Speedtest, Fast.com, or SpeedOf.Me. For more accurate results, do multiple tests and do them when no one in your home network is downloading or sharing files or doing video streaming and video chats.
It has okay if the results are about 5-10 Mbps off than promised by your provider. If the results are way lower than advertised, connect your provider and check your network for unauthorized devices. Here is how you can find out if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi and what you should do about it.