Working from Home Setup

By Jerusha Shah

Working from home has become the standard for a lot of us in the year 2020 and it probably will change how and where we work altogether for the next few years. Companies and employees had to adapt strongly in the past year in order to be able to continue working under lockdown conditions. The biggest adaptation some of us had to consider was remote working.

 

Remote Working

 

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Remote work can be defined as a work arrangement in which employees do not need to commute or travel to a central place of work. The place of work for the majority of us during these times was our home. The thing is that we often did not have the specific working equipment we have when we are working in an office and a lot of us needed to invest in specific equipment to be able to work comfortably from home.

Of course, today it’s possible to work from anywhere with a simple laptop and a WIFI connection but let’s be honest: you may want to be comfortable when you are looking at 8 hours of work and there is a specific setup that can guarantee your comfort.

 

Why is it important to have the right setup?

 

A proper working equipment and a decent setup can help us bring normalcy and get us in the proper mood when working from home. Having a good home setup is also good for your health to avoid headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back strain. A bad body posture can make your life harder and can have a negative impact on your work. The right home setup when working form home can help you minimize the risks.

 

home desk

 

What are the requirements for a good working from home setup?

 

Everyone is different when it comes to working equipment and how we like our working space to be. Nevertheless, there are some key elements that will make you more productive and more comfortable when working from home. When you have the appartement or house to do so, choose a dedicated working space. The best is to use a small room that has a door in which you can put a desk, a computer, and some other equipment. It has become rare to have a dedicated office at home but some room that you may have can be used differently and could potentially be your office.

 

home office

 

To reduce strain on your body, a standard height should be respected when working: 70 cm from the floor to the top of the work surface. In order to respect this standard height, it’s better to get a type of furniture that has adjustable height which is the case for some desks. In any case, you should not have to bend your wrists up or down during your work since this could cause injuries.

Your monitor or your laptop should be at the proper height. The screen should line up in order that your eyes are at a height of 25% to 30% below the top of the screen. This way you don’t have to push your back forward which could also cause injuries.

In case of repetitive strains and recurrent pain while or after working, you should consult with your local doctor in order to discuss with him the possible arrangements that could be made to your setup.

 

What is the best equipment to buy for my working from home setup?

 

Like in your office, there are a number of dedicated working equipment that can make your life easier. You have essentials such as a good internet connection, a good chair, good lighting but you also have a lot of accessories to become a working from home professional.

Let’s start with the essentials.

Good internet connection: without internet these days you might have troubles getting anything done. This is why a good and stable internet connection is the most important essential when working from home. You should aim to have a modern equipment supporting at least 100Mbps for wired connections and at least 802.11n for wireless ones. You should also check your internet service provider to get the quickest connection possible. We would advise for 50Mbps as a minimum but if you live in a crowded area you might need for capacity than that. You can also try to check the bandwidth within your home as this could be different from your internet service. If you have an Ethernet cable that you can connect to your WIFI router it’s better but your WIFI could handle standard office work.

Good chair: your chair will be the most important equipment to ensure your health in the long run especially for your back. Using a bad chair could have very negative impact on your health. If you can afford it, get an adjustable professional office chair where you can set a precise fit for your body and workspace. Try to test those chairs in person if possible, to make sure they are the right fit for your body. The most important things to check for when buying a good working chair is the adjustable height, lumbar support, arm height and lateral arm position.

 

office chair

 

Good lighting: lighting is good for your eyes. Our eyes are already heavily strained by our computer screens and it’s therefore very important to support them by having good lighting when working. Ideally, you have sufficient indirect light to illuminate your workspace to make it easier to read. Indirect lighting is important because makes for a more diffuse light in your working area. Make sure that you don’t have a strong light directly in your field of vision since this can make it harder for you to see. On the other end of the spectrum, don’t use a laptop of monitor with a too dim setting otherwise you will concentrate more to see something which can cause headaches at the end of your day.

With the essentials, we also have a couple of important accessories that can make it easier for you to work from home. Those are your desk, keyboard, laptop stand, monitor, webcam, headphones and docking station.

A dedicated desk is the perfect furniture for a more professional setup. A desk will make it easier for you to design a dedicated working space at home and to have everything work related in the same spot. There are a lot of desks that you can buys on the market but the ones that are height adjustable or make it easier to stand would be the one to go for.

 

desk

 

Your desk now needs proper working accessories. The most important accessory for your desk might be a proper monitor. This will make it easier for you to work while avoiding straining your eyes too much. We would advise to go and buy 25- to 27-inch high-quality monitors that feature QHD or 4K UHD quality. Be aware to check your computer’s video specs and get a monitor whose display resolution matches its maximum capability. To get your monitor at the proper height, you might need a monitor riser which is a cheap accessory you can easily find on Amazon of your local Officeworks.

If you don’t have the budget or don’t want a monitor, we would advise for a laptop stand. With the proper stand you can adjust your laptop height to make sure your back stays healthy when working on a single laptop. You can find foldable stands that easily fit anywhere in your home.

A docking station is a great laptop accessory to use with your monitor. You can plug the laptop into the dock and leave all the other connections alone, then easily remove the laptop when you need it elsewhere. It’s a great way to combine the lightness of your laptop with the high-quality visual of your monitor.

If you invest in a monitor-docking station setup you might want to invest in a proper keyboard as well. When looking for a keyboard try to find the ones specially developed with home setup in mind. Find a keyboard that is responsive to the touch and not the wrong size for your hands or the wrong height for your posture. When considering investing in a keyboard, you can also buy the appropriate mouse since those two often go together. They will help your posture put also make you way faster when working.

 

keyboard and mouse

 

I love listening to good music or podcasts when working on some tasks. For this we would advise investing in proper headphones that are comfortable enough for you to wear during the day. Make sure these headphones can be used when conducting virtual meetings or conference calls. They should cancel outside noise and have a good mic built in.

The current way we are working, also means that we often need to present or create digital content from home. This is the case with webinar production, AGMs or virtual meetings. For this purpose, we would also advise to invest in a proper webcam as well as a webinar microphone. We have the perfect post for you to find the best microphone for recording webinars.

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