For someone who works home, having an ideal home office is crucial to keep you motivated for work day in and day out. Everything should complement each other, from the desk to the chair, interior design and storage spaces, lighting and ornaments, etc. to keep you comfortable and productive. Here at Dual Monitors Guide, we always emphasize the importance of ergonomics, but there are more to ideal home office.
Here are seven of the most important things you need to have in your home office to keep you motivated, comfortable and productive.
Get the Right Home Office Equipment that Fits You
Efficiency and speed are the two most important things when working at home. However, you need to be careful in choosing the office equipment. Do you really need a large photo copier? Depending on your nature of work and preferences, your office equipment must-haves can differ from other people. You can invest on the fastest and highest quality equipment available, but make sure you don’t pay for something you will barely use on a daily basis.
Torn Between Laptop and Desktop? Why Not Get Both?
Most home offices choose desktop over laptop, as they are more reliable and powerful. Demanding tasks such as programming, graphics design, etc., need both powerful rig and great color quality monitor. However, laptop has the flexibility and mobility that desktop can’t provide. With laptops, you can go wireless and take your computer with you anywhere. You can work in your living room, kitchen counter top, patio, etc. A simple change in scenery can stir your creativity and improve your problem solving skills. Also, there are high quality laptops right now that professionals can use for their demanding job.
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Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch is a good example of business laptop: the updated processors make everything fast, which is essential for professionals. It also comes equipped with a powerful battery with 12 hours capacity. The thin and light design makes it a great solution for users who travel a lot as well.
If you want a little bigger, then you can opt to Apple MacBook Pro 15-Inch Retina Display. This business laptop comes with brilliant retina display, allowing the screen to show higher than Full HD (1080p) resolution, making it ideal for graphics pros.
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If you’re looking for a sleeker solution to complement with your beautiful home office interior, then you can opt for an all-in-one PC. All-in-one desktop computers are becoming more and more common these days. Being the most popular, Apple iMac provides stunning all-in-one iMac features a beautiful 27-inch widescreen display. It is packed with 4th Gen Quad-Core Intel Core processor with superfast NVIDIA graphics, making it the most powerful iMac to hit the market yet. It has 8GB memory, 1TB hard drive storage capacity and advanced high-speed I/O, including two Thunderbolt ports and four USB 3 ports to complete all your workstation and home office needs. All these are inside a stunning white and thin cabinet that
If Possible, Get a Separate Phone Line
If you talk to a lot of people on the phone on a daily basis, then make sure you get a separate phone line for your home and home office. This is to make sure no business associate or client gets a busy line. Also, choose a phone with messaging, conferencing and loud speaker capabilities.
Having a local and responsive computer support team can also provide a lot of convenience for making prompt home service calls. It’s crucial that you know you can rely on the equipment you have to use in your office.
Have a Good Office-Type Lighting
There’s a huge difference between home lighting and office lighting, and in the case of your home office, you should opt for the latter. Like in any work environments, good lighting is very important in home office settings. Good lighting is something that brings out the full quality of illuminated colors. Ideally, you want to have as much sunlight as possible. If you have a window in your home office, it can easily improve the lighting and give you that boost of energy that you need in the morning. However, you should know that you can’t have the same level of light throughout the day.
Let the Sunlight In or At Least Replicate It
In time where there is no day light available, say night time or cloudy days, having a good combination of general light and task light can provide a great boost in your efficiency and productivity. If you work on your basement or in a room without windows, then you can opt for daylight-replicating light to get the full-spectrum lighting you need for your workstation. There are quite a lot of ergonomic task-lighting fixtures that comes with dim level switches that lets you control the amount of light for your home office.
Lighting intensity and color can also affect our mood and energy throughout the day. As a matter of fact, research shows that working in low lighting environment can lead to negative psychological effects, such as depression. For comfort and energy, experts suggest a yellow-cast illumination. This bright color is in the middle of color progression of cool to warm, and very conducive for working.
Minimize Glares and Annoying Reflections on Your Monitor
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You can control the glares and reflections you get on your screen by choosing a matte screen over glossy screen, and opting with monitors with anti-glare coating. However, color-sensitive tasks such as graphics design and photo editing don’t work well with matte and monitors with anti-glare screens. If this is the case for you, then you can minimize computer screen glares through good ambient lighting. Also, never put your monitor screen directly in front of a light source or directly overhead.
The AOC i2757fh for example, is a 27-inch IPS monitor with great head-turner aesthetics and quality performance. One of its best qualities is its matte-coated screen which eliminates glares and reflections for comfortable display even in well-lit environment.
Control Brightness and Light Intensity in Your Home Office
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Light bulbs today are more energy efficient than ever. More and more brands are making brighter solutions, with longer life with less energy consumption. When choosing for lighting solutions for your home office, make sure you check out the energy guidelines and opt for products that are easier on the eyes. Also, get light switch dimmer control to get full control the brightness and intensity of your home office lighting. It’s a very helpful function to get the best lighting condition throughout the day.
Choose a Noise-Free and Private Room in Your House for Your Home Office
If you’re working in a place full of noise and interruption, then don’t expect to be productive. But if you want to stay focused and productive everyday, then make sure you consider the privacy of your office area. You can wear noise-cancelling headphones to isolate certain noise, but nobody wants to be forced to wear those things all the time. Alternatively, portable screens can block work area from nearby activities or interruptions. Also, divider walls that also work as bookcases can divide rooms and provide good storage solutions.
You can get some white noise to cancel outside noise and improve your concentration. Air filter and low fans operate quietly and they work nicely in muffling other noises.
If you’re working inside a room, then it can be practical to add a “Do Not Disturb” or “Please Keep Quiet” signage to your door and remind others about your “work time.”
Keep Everything in the Right Place
In terms of the layout of your home office, making your home office the ideal place and putting everything in the right place can help relieve stress. This is where careful and thorough organization gets into the picture.
Your desk holds your computer and other work-related items. Thus, it’s likely the place where you’ll spend most of your day. There are countless of options available to keep your desk organized, storage equipments in particular, can provide a lot of convenience in keeping your desk clean from clutter. It’s no secret that having an organized desk is important for productivity.
Other simple solutions include pencil cups, document folders and trays, business and memo card holders, etc. There are countless of storage options out there. Do a little research and look for ways to keep your own home office organized. Make everything easy to find and keep those things you use often at arm’s reach.
Comfort and Ergonomics
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Dual Monitors Guide has always been a faithful ambassador of office and workstation ergonomics. Your comfort, safety, health and welfare are the most important things. Thus, when choosing items for your home office, they should be all ergonomically designed to keep you comfortable and help promote better health for you.
Desk manufacturers have made leaps and bounds of improvements in providing better workstation ergonomics, especially for computer users. Today, you can find a lot of sit-stand desks and height adjustable desks with different styles, designs, and lift mechanisms.
Office chair manufacturers have also kept up to date with these ergonomic innovations, and many brands indeed made significant developments in their product’s comfort, particularly on adjustability and versatility. Some manufacturers even conducted biomechanics research to come up with the best design that fully supports the body. Keilhauer for example, has chairs that provide optimum pelvis balanced point, plus improved back support and free shoulder technology. They make spine-friendly design, which are practically helpful for people who work on their computers for extended period on a daily basis. Humanscale is also another great brand in office chair category. The brand also made its homework in researching the human body and how to improve sitting conditions. If you’re one of the millions of people around the world who spend most of their working days in front of the computer, then an office chair with improved ergonomics will be a good investment for you.
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You may not notice it, but our legs get a lot of beating just by sitting for extended period everyday. This is because our legs don’t get enough blood circulation in a seated position. While height adjustable sit-stand desk is still the best solution, as it encourages us to stand often and keep a good blood flow throughout our body. However, if you want to take a rest from standing, the next best thing you can do for your legs is to get a foot rest. Foot rests put your feet on a better position by providing better support from the floor and keep it from dangling from your seat. It will position your hips slightly higher than your knees, providing better lower back support.
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For your computer, consider getting ergonomic keyboard and mouse to help keep your shoulder, forearms and wrist in good position as you work on your computer for hours. You can also get soft keyboard pads where you can rest and relax your wrist.
Make Room for Light Exercise/Workout Equipment
Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill (image from Amazon)
Get a small treadmill, light weights (those cute colored ones), resistance bands, yoga mat, exercise ball and/or bosu ball, etc. and use them when taking short breaks. Study shows that taking short breaks for exercise helps boost energy and brain activity, helping you become more productive and feel energetic throughout the day. A short 5-minute exercise or activity every couple of hours can make a huge impact in your overall health as well, particularly long term, not to mention it can help you get healthier back, shoulders, and knees.
Isokinetics Inc. Brand Vinyl Coated Dumbbells (image from Amazon)
Do Whatever You Want
It's your office,
you do whatever that makes you happy. Those things mentioned above are not set
in stone, they are not hard-and-fast rules, those were just hacks for a
comfortable workstation that boosts your productivity. Find something that
works for you; consider the things you want to have around you, experiment, and
have fun! The most important thing is that you're happy, comfortable, and
motivated in your home office. You may not get the 100% optimal place, but at
least, you have something that works for you.
Designing an ideal home office may take a lot of planning and hard work to some extent. However, if you’re looking to work at home for good, then it’s an investment you can always afford to do. A little planning can go a long way, and an improved work condition can definitely catapult your efficiency and productivity. You don’t need the fanciest and expensive office furniture and equipment. All you need to find are the things you will need most and help you feel more comfortable as you work for long hours, every day.
For more home office tips, ergonomic solution tips and in-depth product reviews, check out more of Dual Monitors Guide posts.
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