10 Tips for Setting up a Remote Workspace
Have you just started to work from home and need to set up a remote workspace?
Every day the world is shifting more and more towards remote working. That means you now have to consider a remote workspace to ensure you stay productive and motivated. Some people prefer to have a completely separate room, some like to have a desk in their living room, and some like to work in the garden. Whichever it is, you still need to prepare a workspace.
Setting up a remote workspace doesn’t need to be expensive. You can find affordable products on websites such as AliExpress, Amazon, and even Walmart. The only thing that you should invest money in is a comfortable chair, as this can impact your health. Everything else will be down to your preferences.
In this article, I am going to discuss how to set up a remote workspace to maximize your efficiency and increase comfort when working from home.
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1. Find a Good Spot in Your House
It is probably a simple point but it is also the most important point to make. Some remote workers just set up on their couch and think that it will be comfortable. It might be comfortable for a short period of time but after a while, they will get restless and productivity will drop.
Find a place at your home where you can work at peace. You will need a place where you can focus and think, “It’s time for work!” and also where you are away from distractions. Use this space for working only as this will help to help condition your mind when you sit down to start your workday. If you work in the same place you watch TV, for example, you will find yourself zoning out and watching TV instead of working.
You may also try personalizing your workspace to feel more comfortable or to make it appear more “office-like”. Popular design choices to try are minimalist, floral, and abstract. Add some plants, a fish, or a wall calendar to improve the atmosphere.
When it comes to choosing a remote workspace, it should be simple. The most popular locations for remote workers are spare bedrooms, rooms without TVs, or even dedicated office rooms. A recent trend is actually an outdoor office building in the backyard, but that can be a great expense. If you don’t have a private room, a little corner in a room that you can set up as a workstation will be great. But of course, your own office room would be much more efficient.
2. Purchase a Comfortable Chair
When setting up a remote workspace at home, you have to consider your health. In a physical office location, usually, human resources ensure you are provided with a workspace that is beneficial to your health. However, working for yourself, there is no one there to do that for you. You have to ensure that you have a chair that supports your back which will prevent any long term health problems.
Make sure your chair has an adjustable seat height and has lumbar support. There are many different choices of ergonomic chairs available on the web. You can check out ergonomic chairs on eBay, Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart, and other websites.
A useful tip: Be sure to measure your workspace first just incase the chair you want does not fit.
3. The perfect desk
In addition to the previous point about a comfortable chair, purchasing the perfect desk should be considered too. It should be the right height, width, and also include adequate compartments.
Some people who work remotely may need more monitors so a wider desk will be needed. You might also want to consider a desk where you can adjust the height to make it stand. Standing from time to time while working provides benefits to our bodies such as increased blood flow and stretching essential muscles. Here are some examples of desks you can use for your remote workspace:
- Writing desk
A writing desk is a minimalist type of desk. A laptop is perfect for this type of desk and there’s just enough space for a snack or a little notebook beside it. You can normally put this kind of desk beside a wall.
- Computer desk
For a computer desk, this is perfect for desktops. Computer desks normally have a keyboard tray for your wired keyboards and a space to put your system unit. This is ideal for those who need a lot of space and more monitors.
- L-shape desk
If you need two or more computers for your remote work then an L-shape desk is perfect for you. It can have two or more desktops or laptops at the same time. There will be more space for your essentials. This type of desk can be in the corner of a room.
4. Get a reliable pair of headphones
Whether you are working in telephone customer support or simply have meetings throughout your day, It is highly suggested that you get a good pair of headphones. The best headphones are usually noise canceling with a high-quality microphone.
Some examples of good headphone brands are the following:
- Jabra headphones
It is also worth considering headphones NOT earphones. If you use them for more than 1 hour at a time, your ears will start to become uncomfortable and irritate you throughout the day. With padded or cushioned headphones, they are much more comfortable for you to wear for longer periods of time.
5. Laptop or desktop?
Another obvious point to make is choosing your machine to work on. Some companies will provide you with one but on the other hand, you will have to purchase one. You should always check with your remote company and see what specifications they require for a computer so you can be sure to purchase the right one.
If you are a graphic designer or a video editor, check out laptops or desktops with higher specs. Usually, desktops are more efficient in this instance.
You should also consider if you prefer a desktop or a laptop. For example, if you want more mobility around the house, get a laptop. Laptops are especially useful when you work while traveling. You could use it at any time and anywhere. Don’t forget to charge it before you leave if you will not have access to a plug.
I wouldn’t recommend splashing the cash on the latest Apple MacBook to work from home as there are much cheaper options that will get the job done for you.
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6. Set up boundaries
Setting up boundaries and restrictions when working at home is essential to your productivity. I have been in many situations where members in the same household have interrupted meetings because they don’t understand the concept of remote work.
Tell your family or housemates that it’s time to work and distractions are not allowed. You will need their help to focus on working. You could even go as far as to put a sign on the door when you shouldn’t be disturbed, but that is up to you.
It’s not just setting boundaries for work time that you should consider though. You should also consider setting boundaries to get away from your work and to relax.
Set up a time for exercise, for small events, or for playing with kids if you have any! You could use an online calendar like Google calendar to schedule your daily routine. This may help remind you of important times to break/work.
7. Purchase Ergonomic Accessories
What is an ergonomic keyboard and mouse?
These are keyboards and mice designed to minimize muscle strain. Remote workers often use a keyboard and mouse for over 10 hours a day therefore the perfect one would be something that would not cause hand strains or discomfort.
Some ergonomic keyboards were made in a V-shape so both hands can type freely on a certain angle. Some have built-in wrist support.
Here are some examples of ergonomic keyboards.
- Logitech Ergo K860
- Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
- Kinesis Freestyle 2
As for the ergonomic mouse, it is also used to ease muscle strain and made according to the natural angle of your hands and wrist. It also helps to avoid wrist injuries like carpal tunnel, arthritis, and tendonitis. There are many ergonomic mice in the market and you may check the below examples.
- Logitech MX Vertical Wireless Mouse
- J-Tech Digital V628 Vertical Mouse
- Anker Wireless Mouse
8. A good webcam
Working at home will see you using many different video conference applications. Thus, you should invest in a good webcam. You might be thinking “my laptop has a built-in camera” but the quality of built-in webcams really isn’t that good. If that doesn’t matter to you then you can skip this section.
See below examples of high-quality cams that are available in the market.
- Logitech C920
- Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
- Razer Kiyo
9. Choose a good room layout
This goes together with finding a good spot in the house, purchasing a desk, and purchasing a chair. You should choose a layout that is comfortable, has easy access, and preferably has access to a window.
With a good view, it can help ease your mind and push you to take your eyes off the screen every now and then. If that’s not possible, set up your favorite paintings or photos on the wall that you can look at from time to time. Looking at your favorite photos and paintings would help relax your mind and body.
How about getting a plant? Some people say that plants on your desk can actually provide positive psychological benefits and reduce stress. You can add anything you like to the surrounding area and the layout of your home office, just make sure it is positive and not distracting.
10. Be in range of your Wi-Fi
Of course, in setting up a remote workspace, you need the part of the house where the internet is very stable. You cannot afford disconnections while working or having a meeting. It might also affect your effectiveness and efficiency on the job. Always make sure that you have a back-up internet if your primary internet provider is not working for any reason too.
You can purchase range extenders and portable mi-fi devices to prepare for these issues but only do so if necessary.
These tips are guidelines that can help you when setting up a remote workspace. Remember, we all have our own ways of setting it up and you should follow what works best for you!
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