Working from home can bring so many benefits. It reduces your stress, gives you more flexibility, saves employers money, and will make you more happy with your job.
But if you just converted to a work from home job, you might be a little lost as to where to set up shop. Assuming you have space and aren’t living in a tiny little studio apartment, getting a desk and computer together somewhere in your house or apartment shouldn’t be hard.
In fact, if you set up your home office efficiently, you can maximize your productivity levels to make sure you can get the most out of your day (and don’t spend it just petting the dog).
Here’s how you can put together the best home office to get maximum productivity:
Step 1: Find a spot away from Distractions
Distractions are definitely prominent in the office, but when you’re working alone in your own house with your own belongings, the distractions are endless.
To start putting together your home office, consider where in your house or apartment it’s going to go. If you live in an apartment, you’ll obviously have less options, but think about where the most traffic is and move away from that.
When I lived in a one bedroom apartment with my wife, I found a little corner under the stairs that actually worked really well. It had a wall to the left and a wall facing me, so there really wasn’t much to look at.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a full house, then you obviously have more options. Have an open bedroom? Use that, unless the room is next to somewhere you know will be noisy throughout the day. Or if you don’t have any open rooms, do you have any unfinished portion of the house you could throw up some flooring and drywall to give yourself a personal office? This will get you your own space in the house, along with increasing your home value.
Step 2: Pick the Right Desk
Picking the right desk for your home office is crucial to increase your productivity. If you’re not comfortable at your desk, chances are you’re not going to want to work there.
Try to pick something that fits the aesthetic of the room and fits your style. I highly recommend a standing desk. You might think you can’t stand all day and be productive, and you’re probably right. Thats why I invested in a convertible standing desk.
If you go this route, get the frame separate from the table top. I found this was actually cheaper than buying them together (and better quality). You can find lots of options for the frame/legs, like this one from Jarvis.
Once you have a frame, head over to Ikea and look at their table tops. Pick one up, sand it, stand it, finish it, and throw it on top of the frame you bought. Now you have a pretty sweet looking desk that converts for when you want to sit down and take a break!
Step 3: More or Less Monitors?
I wont get into what type of computer you should buy, and I’m assuming you already have a solid laptop picked out that works great for working on the go.
It’s important to consider if you want to work on that small of a screen while you’re working from home. Consider picking up a monitor or two to connect to your laptop so you have more screen real-estate. This will help make you more productive while you’re working from home.
That being said, more monitors could be a distraction for some people. The extra space tends to give people too much to look at, so it might be a better option to go with a single monitor.
If you do get extra monitors, put them on a desk mount so you can clear away space under the monitor. This helps keep your desk clean and yourself happy.
Step 4: Lighting & Extras
Now that you have a room picked out away from distractions, your own desk picked out, and your computer and monitors figured out, it’s time to finish it off with anything else you want to add.
If you’re looking to maximize productivity, stay away from adding anything that will be a distraction. But here’s a list of things that you could add that will help give your room some color and help you feel comfortable:
- Nice desk lamp with a good shade for subtle lighting
- Small desk plants
- Mail sorter for keeping bills/paper in order
- Laptop stand
- Solar powered keyboard
- Wireless mouse
- Long mousepad for keyboard and mouse
Use your new home office!
Chances are you spent a lot of time setting this all up, so it’s time to put it to work. Give it a few weeks and see what you think of your new desk and monitor setup. You might find you’re not being as productive as you thought you would with more monitors, so maybe think about going down to one.
At the end of the day, your home office should be a comfortable space that you enjoy being in. It should be separate from the rest of the house, so when you get in to work, you’re in “work mode”.
Side note: Dogs are not a distraction. They are an important part of any home office setup: