Checklist for Setting Up Workstation at Home in 2023
Who knew that a day would come when setting up a workstation at home would be such a relevant consideration? Traditional offices dominated the workspace for so many years that this seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream.
Here you are in 2022 contemplating your remote workstation setup, though. It's not a difficult thing to do by any means, but if you should gloss over any essential elements, you can end up with a very uncomfortable and unproductive workspace.
The idea here, therefore, is to help you put together the best home office setup possible. This is probably a good time to note that combining everything you learn here is only your foundation.
In other words, you should not leave anything you see out of your planning consideration, but you don't have to stop with the information you are getting now.
Remember that the idea of taking the time to ensure you have a proper work from home setup is making it the best space possible for you. You're the one that's going to be using it and it needs to support you in reaching your KPIs.
The point here is that you are encouraged to build on these insights, especially if you see where an additional element here or there can become incredibly beneficial for you in the end.
Establish a Dedicated Space
You would think that this would be a fundamental point of contemplation, but that line of thinking couldn't be further from the truth. Realistically, establishing a dedicated space is very critical.
The problem is when people are in their remote workspaces, they don't think of them as being as serious or even as important as they would be in traditional offices. However, considering the work being done in them is just as essential, why wouldn't they be?
That's the mindset you need to adopt before you go through any of this, or you're going to end up only giving a halfhearted effort.
So, before you do anything to any space in your workstation at home, understand that you need to have a dedicated space. One of the biggest reasons people slack off and end up not being productive at home is working in spaces that the mind has subconsciously filed away as relaxation areas.
If you have a whole room that you can make into your office area, then that is even better. If not, however, all is still not lost. Maybe there is one side of one of the rooms in your house that you can take and make it into a place for serious work.
Working on your bed or working on your couch is a very ill-advised thing to do. Instead, you want to ensure you have a set home workstation setup. Whenever it's time for you to take a break, then you can always walk to one of those more comfortable areas to get some relaxation in.
So, before you go any further, think about what your workstation at home is like and which areas of it would probably make a great base of operations.
Get Good Furniture
Getting good and modern office furniture can simply not be overstated. As humans, people are programmed to try to save a buck here and there. That tendency is not the worst thing in the world, and no one is saying that you should splurge, break the bank, and end up with no money.
Instead, the idea being put forward here is for you to invest in a solid set of office fixtures for your workstation at home, so they stick around with you for a long time to come and so that they are functional.
Whether you think you do or not, you need to have a modern home office desk. These are the result of years of development, so they are built to meet the current crop of needs. You can see this in adjustable standing desk designs.
The discovery has long been made that the sedentary lifestyle that sees you sitting for the whole day is a very unhealthy recipe for your body. The challenges that can come from this, including a shortened lifespan, are well documented.
The problem is on the flip side, you also cannot be standing for the whole day, since that comes with its own problems. Therefore, you need to get to the midpoint of implementing sit-stand sessions in your routine.
For that, you are going to need a proper ergonomic chair. The said chair should be customizable, featuring a nice seating pad, height adjustment, seat tilt, lumbar support, etc.
When you're going through the sitting portion of your sessions, you need to be doing so with a neutral posture that preserves your spine health.
The desk and chair are just two pieces of office furniture in the workstation at home, but they are the most fundamental. Certainly, if there are other fixtures that your job may require, it would serve you well to make a proper investment at the start.
Good Internet Connectivity
If you are using a workstation at home, the internet is your gateway to the rest of the world. Whether it be to access internet-based information or services, or to communicate and have video conferences with your team, the web is what does this for you.
Therefore, it's in your best interest to ensure that you have good internet quality to support your needs. The good news is that you don't need an enterprise-level connection to pull this off. However, don’t go for the cheapest plan just because of its price tag.
In most cases, it's not too expensive to get a plan that gives you over 25 Mbps download and upload. These numbers are by no means even close to as high as the metrics go, but they should be enough for most standard work needs.
Buying a workstation at home plan with those speeds is often not too costly at all, especially considering that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like to affordably offer these metrics in bundles with phone and cable services.
Storage as a part of your work from home office setup it's not always going to be a challenge. Depending on what people have and what they do, their storage needs may defer.
The problem comes in when there isn't a defined space to put many of the things lying around and cluttering your office area. If you need to get yourself a filing cabinet, then go ahead and do so.
Whenever you have an overcrowded workspace, it can have a subtle mental effect that messes with you. It can turn you off working, encourage procrastination, and eventually cut your productivity severely.
A filing cabinet is not the only way to go about ensuring that you have adequate storage. Whatever you do, just ensure that you work on the storage concern for the best results.
Getting proper office furniture for a workstation at home is one thing, especially if you want to ensure that you can carry out your base functions effectively. However, people sometimes gloss over the importance of the home office accessories that help to complete the experience.
Quality of life improvements are always welcome in the workspace, especially when they give you a productivity or comfort boost. You don't need to have a bare-bones experience if you can afford and see the need for additional accessories.
A monitor arm is a tremendous example. Many workers could benefit from the ability to freely move their monitors and adjust them unrestricted. Unfortunately, when your monitor is sitting on its built-in stand, that becomes a bit of a problem.
With a monitor arm, you can rotate your screens, taking advantage of both portrait and landscape orientations. Additionally, you can freely adjust the vertical and horizontal positioning of your screens to your liking.
Do you have to have a monitor arm to be able to work? No, you do not. However, having one in the workspace helps to make doing your job a lot more comfortable and convenient.
That's the perception that you should be adopting where office accessories are concerned. Setting up a workstation at home doesn't demand them, but they enhance your workspace, so getting your hands on a couple of them wouldn't hurt.
Don't go out of your way and overdo it with the accessories now. Instead, take the time to sit and contemplate the ones that are likely to give you a boost, and focus on getting those.
Technically speaking, you could call lighting the black sheep of ergonomics. For whatever reason, it is highly underrated and often ignored as a part of the ergonomic equation. Everyone talks about the chairs, desks, and even the keyboards, but the lighting is often glossed over.
Note that this goes beyond a visual enhancement. Different hues evoke different mental effects, and they can make or break your ability to work as effectively as you can.
Additionally, there are also health considerations. Inadequate lighting can most certainly damage your eyes over time, which is an effect you do not want to deal with.
Capitalizing on proper lighting means learning how to balance direct and indirect lighting, as well as learning how to have artificial lighting complement natural lighting.
To this end, you may want to consider getting your hands on an LED desk lamp. However, you don't want to shine the beam down, as that's not the best thing for your eyes.
Instead, you want to angle the beam, sort of allowing it to flow naturally from the side.
As far as the natural versus artificial balance goes, the general rule of thumb is to increase the intensity of the artificial light when there is less natural light. Of course, that means that when natural light is at its strongest, you want to decrease the artificial light intensity, assuming you even need it at all.
You don't want to produce glare or competing light sources, so avoid putting your lighting next to your monitor. This means that if you can also avoid sitting at an angle that causes the sun to shine directly on your monitor, then you should probably do so.
The monitor’s brightness is also something to keep in mind. A screen that’s too dim forces the light receptors in your eyes to overcompensate. Similarly, a screen that’s too bright overloads your light receptors, which can lead to some highly detrimental consequences.
It cannot be said enough that this is your workstation at home. Therefore, it needs to reflect you. Do whatever you need to do for the area to feel welcoming. This is a principle that goes even beyond remote workspaces.
You often find that people in traditional offices use pictures, toys, and a host of other creative elements to ensure that office areas feel welcoming to them.
Yes, you are in your home workstation setup. By default, that should create a welcoming air, but you can do more to enhance things to even greater heights. For example, you can explore ideas around changing up your home office wall decor, assuming you have any.
Some people like wallpapers with patterns. You could consider putting up some of those. Alternatively, you may be into the gaming or anime landscapes. What's stopping you from putting up a couple of posters or stickers on your walls?
Again, these are just a couple of ideas to help your creative juices start to flow. Take the time to think about what would make the space feel uniquely yours and go at it!
Now, you've come to the end, and you should have a pretty good idea of what a home workstation setup takes at a foundational level. As you are thinking about what to do with your workspace, ensure that you leave none of these things out of the equation.
Setting yourself up for a substandard experience is one of the quickest ways to put you on a fast track to low productivity. Think about everything you have learned here and try to creatively use it to make your workstation at home somewhere that you're excited to be for as much time as you are going to spend there.
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