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How to Set up a Home Office: A Guide to Work from Home Effectively

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

6 March 2024

7 min read

Close your eyes and imagine this for a second, you wake up, get dressed, pour coffee in your favorite mug, and head over to your office desk right next to your bedroom. You don’t have to worry about missing the bus or metro!

Sounds so peaceful right? Well, due to this coronavirus outbreak, this work-life is a new reality. More than 66% of employees are working remotely during this pandemic.

In fact, remote working is going to be an integral part of the future of work, even after COVID-19.

Work from home indeed offers loads of benefits, from flexibility to reduced work pressure. But, it comes with its own drawbacks too. You have to cope with this new remote working life; you have to stay productive and maintain your health.

And, you can’t do all these things without a perfect workspace. Creating an efficient workspace in your home is essential to be more focused on your work. Let’s accept it; you can’t work for hours in your bed or sofa, because it will only make you lazy.

Worry not. Let us help you. Here’s a guide on how to set up a home office smoothly.

How to Set Up a Home Office?

The following are the 14 most important points to be kept in mind before you set up a home office. So, without further ado, let’s dig in!

1. Select Your Perfect Space

Before starting all the planning, you have to choose your sweet spot一 The Work Space! You’ll spend most of your time working here, so be extra mindful while picking your perfect space.

It can be the corner of your living room, guest room, or bedroom, ensure the workspace is not limited. If you don’t have enough space, try to remove a couple of furniture or clothes, to create free space.

If you have to spend a long time in your home office, try to choose a room with a good view and a large room. A dedicated workspace will keep you creative, productive, and free of distractions. It will help you to keep things organized and professional.

2. Start With a Master Plan

You need a perfect plan before decorating your home office. Make a list of things you’ll need to set up a workspace. From furniture to the work desk, follow a budget plan before purchasing anything.

3. Invest in a Good Desk

You need an excellent desk, which is the most crucial piece of furniture in your home office. You can purchase a customized desk, writing desk, or a return desk, make sure they are large enough to do all the work comfortably.

The height of the desk is vital while choosing the perfect desk. A typical writing desk usually is 29 inches tall; if you are using mouse and keyboard, you should lower the desk’s height according to your height. If you are tall, you’ll be comfortable in a high desk, if you are short, go with a low height desk.

As you have to sit in your chair for hours, you can go with a standing desk. Sitting at 90 degrees straight for 7-8 hours can cause muscle stiffness, so standing at least every 20 minutes while working is a healthier option. It can control the blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of weight gain, back pain, and heart disease.

4. Comfortable Chair

Choose a chair according to your comfort and height. A perfect chair will provide support for your back and arm. You should select an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs help to keep your posture accurate and give you comfort while working from home.

If your chair is causing you to lean forward while working, you might rethink your sitting preference. A low chair can strain your eyes, so always keep a height-adjustable chair in your home office set up for productivity and relaxation.

5. Go with the Ergonomic Rules

When you scan down the computer screen, your eyes will naturally become moisten, which will result in eye fatigue. According to the ergonomic rules, your monitor should be at the eye level or a little below to avoid eye problems.

While using the keyboard, make sure your forearms are parallel to the floor. Also, you can use a footrest for sitting comfortably and avoiding neck or back problems.

6. Go Clutter-Free

A messy office desk can ruin your productivity.  Laptop, router, printer, monitor, mouse, lamp, books, everything can create a massive mess in your desk. Try to buy wireless gadgets like Bluetooth mouse and printer to avoid the clutter and keep your workspace clean.

Keep all your office supplies like pens, stamps, scissors, notebooks, stored in one place. However, don’t overstock stuff and try to keep your home office minimal.

7. Bring a Little Green Into Your Life

Add a little color into your work life by adding some plants to your home office. Small plants produce oxygen and reduce harmful toxins like benzene and formaldehyde. More than 50 to 90% of computer users suffer from digital eye strain. Green plants will give your eyes a rest from staring at the computer screen for too many hours.

On top of that, if you add plants in the background while doing a video call with your clients or boss, it will add a calming, aesthetic touch to your workspace.

Here’s a quick tip, consider buying air-filtering indoor plants to decor your home office. Some beautiful air purifying plants are  Barberton Daisy, English Ivy, Chrysanthemum, Aloe Vera, dragon tree, etc.

8. Use Shelves in Your Space

One of the best ways you can keep your home office clutter-free is by using the shelves.

You can keep your nooks, chargers, photos, plants, on shelves. Keeping photos, books, in your background shelves will give a hint of your personal life. This can create an emotional bond with your clients while having a video meeting.

9. Add Colours into Your Work

Most of you may be skipping the color part while decorating your home office. But colors can increase your energy and productivity. Colors have a psychological impact on your life.

For example, a blue color creates a calming environment, and it can help you reduce stress in your work. While bright colors like yellow red, infuse energy into your life. You can color your walls according to your choice or add colorful furniture to your home office.  Organizing your workspace with color will help you to work better and appreciate your home environment.

10. Good Lighting is Key

It’s common for remote workers to ignore the lighting of their home workspace. You must select a proper lighting source in your office.

The light that often comes from an indirect source such as a window is known as indirect light. It’s true that indirect light helps to read paper and books easily, but it also creates glare or reflections on your laptop screen or monitor. For instance, a window behind your working desk’s side can create reflections because of the sunlight. Make sure to prevent the natural lights with curtains when it’s needed.

Overhead lighting, for example, a ceiling lamp, is the best resource of light while working at your home office.  If you want to set up a home office, don’t place the lamp right next to your office desk.  Also, make sure the light’s brightness is not too dim or bright as it can cause eye strain.

It is often overlooked but lighting can impact your mental wellbeing. According to a study, 40% of employees work in poor light that affects their productivity.  For example, blue-enriched light bulbs can create a cool, calming effect, and boost productivity. It also reduces daytime fatigue and sleepiness.

11. Grab The Right Equipment

You’ll need the right equipment to set up your home office: a keyboard, mouse, monitor, headset, and a printer to get your work done. Also, invest in high-speed internet, because a slow internet is the last thing you’ll want while working from home. Make sure you have strong equipment that supports at least 100Mbps network speed.

The best way to have high-speed internet is to install a network router.  When you are purchasing a router, make sure to check the size of the router. You should avoid routers that’ll cover most of the workspace.

So, do research before availing an internet service. This will surely make a difference in your work activity.

12. Organize Everything with a Folder

You should keep your desk clean while working. It’s frustrating to work when your desk is filled with files and papers. You’ll need files and folders to keep everything organized. Hanging folders and file folders both are great options to keep your important documents in one place.

13. Set a work-life Boundary

It’s important to balance work and personal life. That’s why you must set a boundary before starting your office work at home. Remote working offers freedom, but your family can be a distraction that can take away your focus from your work.

Do you know that on average, it takes 23 minutes to get back to the task after a distraction?

So, it’s crucial to set a strict boundary with your friends and family. You should set clear goals and working hours for yourself. Try to follow a 60-15 rule while working. Hustle for an hour and refresh your mind with 15 minutes of family time. This will help you to avoid too much distraction and would help you stay productive throughout the working hours.

14. Create Your Comfy Spot

You can’t spend your entire working hours sitting on a chair! You probably need a place to refresh your mind, read a little book, or just laid back to think. A perfect home office should have a comfy spot to boost your energy.

So pick a corner, put a nice comfy sofa or chair, throw a pillow, and curl up there with a coffee cup. It is the best way to relax a bit and declutter your mind.

Advantages of Setting Up a Home Office

Now that you’ve learned all the hacks to set up your home office ideally let’s take a look at the advantages of home-office!

Productivity Boost: When you don’t have to be a part of all the office gossip and no colleague will be there to distract you, you can work efficiently. You can create your own working environment at your own home, with absolute comfort and peace you can work productively in your home office.

Work at Your Own Pace: Home-office means work when it suits your time. You can work in the daytime or the evening hours, and there’s no one to interrupt you. This will help you to maintain a perfect work-life balance. Flexible working hours are probably the best thing about working from home.

Leverage the Comfort of Your Home: There will be no more “what should I wear today?” days! In your home office, you can attend a video meeting even in your pajamas. Jokes apart! Working from home really offers all the comfort and coziness of your own home. Make sure to leverage it properly.

Reduce Stress: According to a Flexjobs Survey study, 78% of the respondents agreed that a job that has work and time flexibility would be healthier. While 86% felt they would be stress-free if they start working remotely.

Wrapping Up

Working from home enables us to have loads of advantages, including being the boss of your own and setting work rules according to your own preference. You can take a quick nap anytime!

However, remote work is not always sweet and summer! If you don’t set up your home-office effectively, it can result in a mess. You have to create a professional work environment that separates your personal life.

So if you were looking for home office setup ideas, hope your search ends here. Because this piece gave you all the modern ways, you can decorate your home office for creative work life.

Happy WFHing!

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

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