Working from home isn’t a trend for a select few anymore. After the last few years, it’s become a steady way of life for a majority of people. One thing we’ve all learned is that, to be as productive as possible when working at home, you really need to create a unique home office. Having an area that defines where you work and separates it from where you live is vital to living and working productively at home.
Create the best home office for you
Your home office could be a second space with a door you can close or just a spot in your home where you can sit down, answer your e-mails, take a Zoom call, and stay organized every day. If you want to create a home office that’s unique, something that will be your favourite room in the entire house, here’s how to set up the best home office for you.
Home office essentials
There are a few must-haves when creating a home office. Here are a few essential items you’ll need to get set up.
Choose your desk
In any home office, the desk is the best place to start. I really believe that a desk will dictate the style and flow of your home office, and there are different types of desks to suit every style. You’ll want to choose one you like the look of, but something that works in your room, too.
There are so many different desks it’s going to be hard to choose just one. There are L-shaped desks that give you more than enough workspace for your computer, printer, and paperwork and smaller desks that double as a gaming desk when you’re not working. One of the latest trends in home office desks is standing desks. They can raise if you’d like to work standing up and lower when you’d like to sit.
No matter which you choose, when you pick your desk first the rest of the room will fall together quickly.
Choose a comfortable chair
Having a good desk chair actually increases productivity. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your office chair, so it should be one of the most comfortable chairs you own. When you work at home and you have a hard office chair, it’s all too tempting to move over to your couch. Couches lead to naps, and naps, however nice, can seriously slow you down work-wise. Not to mention it’s not good for your back to work from the couch.
There are as many different types of desk chairs as there are desks. Maybe you’ll choose an executive leather chair or a bold velvet chair. Both options are comfortable and stylish. There are also mesh office chairs that are both breathable and comfortable. Whichever you choose you’ll want to make sure it’s something you can sit in for a few hours at a time.
If you find your back or shoulders hurt after long hours in your home office, you can try an ergonomic chair. This type of chair has lumbar and neck support and can adapt to your body, movement, and posture so it keeps you comfortable and supported during the day.
Bookcases to keep your home office organized
Bookcases are easily one of my favourite pieces of furniture, and they are an essential piece of office equipment. They control clutter because they hold all your favourite collectibles, books, and other things you like to see or need to use during the day. They are also the perfect backdrop for Zoom calls, and they are a great place to put a lamp or two for extra ambiance.
If you have space I’d recommend adding several bookcases. You could even do an entire wall and have your bookcases styled so they look built-in. If you have a small room you may want to opt for open bookcases with no back panelling, just to create a more open look.
While the latest styles favour open-shelf bookcases, there is a lot to be said for having a few bookcases or wood cabinets with doors. You can pack up your clutter at the end of the day and hide it behind closed doors so everything is neat and tidy when you walk in the next day. Some bookcases can mount on the wall above your desk to give you easy access or you can have a few different sizes and line them neatly on one wall.
Office desk hutches
For extra storage and better organization, it’s a good idea to have a mounted hutch or workspace organizer on your desk. They provide space for everything from pens to printers to paperwork, and having a clean desk helps keep your productivity up during the day.
Filing cabinets are still a must-have
I can’t imagine life without a filing cabinet and I believe they are a home office essential. If you look at other people’s home offices on Zoom, you’ll probably see a filing cabinet in the corner too.
They are a vital part of any work-at-home space because they keep every piece of paperwork, every receipt, and even your kid’s artwork in a neat and tidy space. They aren’t boring to look at either – the latest filing cabinets are just as stylish as your other office furniture. Some types of filing cabinets can even match your desk or bookcases, or you could choose a filing cabinet in a bold colour so it adds a splash to your home office.
Nice to have options for a home office
Beyond a laptop and a printer, there are a few pieces of tech that have made working at home so much easier.
Webcams usually come built into laptops, but a separate one with better quality is worth investing in if you frequently meet with coworkers on Zoom. There are several great options you can choose from. The latest webcams are available in 1080p Full HD or 4K resolution and can stream at 30 or 60fps. They have microphones built in so you don’t need to use an additional mic, and some offer features like a privacy shutter to block viewers when you’re not on a call.
You can take a look at the video creation buying guide for an idea of how to choose a great webcam.
Streaming lights put your best face forward
What was life like before selfie ring lights and streaming lights? Video calls were often too dark and you were stuck with a harsh glare overhead or a sidelight that didn’t quite show your best side. A selfie ring light will hold your camera or phone if you’re making a video, and you can use the light to put the focus on you instead of the shadows in the room.
Streaming lights attach to your computer or are adjustable so you can position them anywhere you need lighting. You can switch light modes depending on what you’re capturing, and some types of streaming lights have software you can use to adjust your lighting and make you look your best.
Headsets for video calls
You aren’t going to be able to answer your coworker’s questions if you can’t hear them, so a headset is a great addition to your home office. You can plug in and listen carefully to any video calls, and in your downtime use them to stream music to boost your concentration.
The latest headsets have retractable microphones so you can mute yourself with a touch. They are either corded or wireless and give you crystal clear audio for calls or if you’re tuning into a live video feed. If you need to block noise while working you could choose a noise-cancelling Bluetooth headset. They use either different types of noise cancelling technology to create a calm, quiet work environment for you.
You can stream your favourite music from your computer speakers, but it won’t sound as good as it would on a Bluetooth speaker. These speakers are portable, easy to carry around if you want to take them with you when you leave home, and there are quite a few different ‘concentration’ playlists you can use to help with your focus.
Streaming music can make your day feel happier and more productive, and if you need to block outside noise you can also stream nature sounds or white noise.
Tips for adding style to your home office
When you’re tired of staring at the same four walls every day, overhauling your home office feels like you threw open the windows and let the spring air in. Once you’re finished setting up the main parts of your home office, there are a few ways you can make it more inviting.
Decorating your home office
You can make your home office your own unique space by adding different types of home decor. Before you shop you’ll want to create a mood board or save some ideas for a theme or colour scheme. Once you know what you like you can shop for different items to complement your space. Some people like to add a comfortable chair in a corner with a few throw pillows. You could also liven up a home office by adding wall art, blinds or curtains to block outside light, and little touches like lamps, plants, or collectibles.
Stay productive with aromatherapy
An aromatherapy device can work at different timed intervals, so you can set it to turn on before you head into your home office in the morning and you’ll be greeted by a revitalizing scent. Scents like citrus can help you wake up, while a burst of lavender can signal it’s time to close up for the day.
You can mix and match different essential oils to create new and interesting scents. You can feel your mood changing when you add new oils to your aromatherapy device. Some will help you wind down after a stressful day while others will give you a boost when you feel tired.
Schedule your breaks with a smart display
You don’t want your home office to be a door you dread opening every day, so it helps if you set timers and boundaries for your day. You can use a smart display and voice assistant to alert you when it’s time to take a break or use it to do a guided 5-minute deep breathing exercise.
The latest smart displays stream videos from sites like Netflix or Disney+ and some have built-in cameras you can use to video chat with friends. Plus, you can use them to play background music while you work.
Create the best home office for you
You should love your home office and be productive when you’re spending time there. There has never been a better time to refresh your entire home office to make it a more efficient space. You can get started right now by taking a look at all of the home office and organization products available at Best Buy.