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Your complete work-from-home checklist

16 November 2022

Ever since the pandemic two years ago, working from home has become a topic that is difficult to avoid for most workers. Despite the concept being around for a while, most of us were unexpectedly faced with the reality of having to quickly put together home offices with little to no knowledge. Regardless, remote working is here to stay, as the widespread lockdowns highlighted vulnerability in the current mode of working. Firms are now more inclined to the idea, with home offices more common than ever. As such, it is crucial to understand the fundamentals of setting up a work-from-home station if you are to navigate these often tricky waters successfully. While a home office may seem like easy work setting up, it is easy to incorporate the wrong elements in your setup and end up working in discomfort.

While the benefits of working from home are undoubted, it is surprisingly easy to see your productivity experience a dramatic downturn and even cause significant harm to your health. There is still hope, however, as there are several surefire ways in which you can configure your home office for a more productive and all-around beneficial work-from-home experience. Ergonomics is one aspect that has mainly gained popularity regarding remote working as the benefits continue to be well documented. The checklist below is meant to guide you through everything you need to know while setting up your home office; it includes recommendations on the right equipment to use and the proper office practices for optimizing your working experience.

Here's everything you need to know to work from home:

Pick the right equipment.

You will need new equipment to set up a work-from-home station due to the numerous technicalities that go into performing your work remotely. Some of the equipment that you are going to require includes:

Standing desk

A staple of working-from-home discourse, standing desks are increasingly being hailed for their many benefits for those of us glued to our workstations all day long. While typical desks only support your items at a fixed height, standing desks are designed to be adjustable so that you can shift between working while sitting and standing. With the detriments of a sedentary lifestyle being so well documented, they are a breadth of fresh air in furniture design that incorporates healthy living with remote working. As mentioned earlier, ergonomics is a term that has repeatedly made rounds in many business circles. It seeks to redesign the office space to fit your every need with benefits such as increased productivity and better health.

Even before the pandemic, office workers had been cited as at increased risk of developing chronic conditions later in life due to their lifestyles, mainly sitting in front of their computers all day. Obesity, heart issues, and musculoskeletal disorders are some downsides that a sedentary office routine can cause. With more flexible schedules and little monitoring, it is easy to slip into a routine of unhealthy habits that subconsciously jeopardize your ability to work from home. A standing desk can do wonders for you in this regard because it ensures you remain mobile during the day while working from home. Flexispot's E7 is one desk designed to integrate ergonomics into your home office and eliminate the detriments of sitting too long.

With a carrying capacity of 161 kg, the desk can easily support most of your office equipment. In addition, its raising and lowering system ensures minimal noise as you adjust your height preferences which can be saved using four programmable presets. Placed on an elegant keypad with a premium feel, the presets let you quickly and accurately return to previous height settings. Moreover, it has an anti-collision system that keeps you from hitting objects while shifting between heights. Finally, it has a cable management compartment that ensures cords do not clutter your home workstation.

Ergonomic office chair

Despite being around for ages, office chairs rarely get the recognition they deserve. They are responsible for supporting our bodies while we work tirelessly at our desks; an office chair can dramatically affect your productivity and overall health. Another crucial cog in the home-office ergonomic setup, they are now increasingly being identified for potentially being a culprit and savior in the age of rampant work-related injuries. The downsides of sitting all day had already been stated before the peak in interest regarding remote working; however, if you must, an ergonomic office chair is a great option.

They are designed to help alleviate the effects of sitting for too long using several innovative features. They include a back support design that offers lumbar support as you work, which can significantly reduce the risk of back pain. Typical office chairs lack this feature, thus encouraging poor posture, which slowly but surely compromises your body's well-being. Slumping can result in musculoskeletal disorders like scoliosis, and cervical spondylosis as too much pressure is applied to your spine. An ergonomic chair ensures your lower back is sufficiently supported for reduced back and hip pain risk while working from home.

Another benefit of ergonomic office chairs is the back, arm, and headrests which ensure parts of your body are sufficiently supported while working. With extra padding, these features are convenient as they reduce too much tension in your arms and neck, which can ultimately cause significant discomfort in your home office. Lastly, ergonomic office chairs such as Flexispot's Soutien are designed with a mesh fabric that allows sufficient air circulation across the body while working to ensure you are not left sweaty. Picking the right chair could be the difference between a productive experience working from home and one filled with uncomfortable sessions.

Pay attention to your lighting.

Despite not being obvious at first, lighting is very consequential when discussing the essentials of setting up an excellent home office. Beyond dim and bright lighting, the concept is much more in-depth than may appear at a glance, with different sources having varying results. You should always prioritize natural lighting for your home office because it provides warm light that can drastically improve mood. As such, it is highly recommended to set up a home office in a room with windows that can allow ample natural light. However, be careful not to cause too much glare, which can harm your eyes; you should thus place your station beside a window or have your computer's screen face it. Additionally, you could position your station facing north or south because it will reduce the likelihood of being distracted by shadows while you work.

However, if you cannot access natural light, you should use task lighting with a dedicated source that focuses on the task at hand. For most of us, work means using the computer and doing paperwork, both of which require greater focus. Task lighting effectively ensures your station and job are given sufficient attention by improving visibility. An example is a desk lamp which lets you illuminate specific areas of your workstation so that you can work better. You should, however, pay attention to where your place it to avoid creating shadows on your work and implementing direct lighting, which can hurt your eyes with glare. You might also consider using LED desk lamps which let you adjust different aspects of the light for more customized lighting.

Incorporate plants into your setup.

Despite appearing superficial in the office setting, plants can have a significant impact on the level of your productivity. At the very least, plants can break the monotony and bleakness of corporate culture, giving your home office a fresh and relaxed appearance. The most obvious benefit of incorporating setup is their improved air circulation. By absorbing the CO2 we release and giving out the O2 we need, they cleanse the air for easier breathing as you work.

Other advantages of having plants in your work-from-set-up include the fact that they improve your productivity which can be tied to the reduction in stress that is associated with them. In addition, plants add beauty to your home office setup, uplifting your mood for some motivation during draining work sessions. Some are high maintenance, while others, such as Cacti, can get by with minimal attention; either way, a plant is an excellent way of spicing up your work-from-home setup.

Consider color psychology.

Color is among the most straightforward factors to overlook when setting up your work-from-home station. Just as the lighting was seen to affect mood, the colors in your home office can significantly influence your outlook. Albeit unconsciously, there are connections between our minds and different colors, something that brands seek to take advantage of using theorists on color psychology. Different colors evoke different feelings, with dark and grey shades evoking a modern and stylish look; however, make sure to use them sparingly, as they can be depressing and distracting.

On the other hand, green is perfect for home offices where you spend long hours because of its mildly stimulating ability and being serene on your eyes. Along with red, blue, yellow, and orange, it is a color linked with productivity and focus, so choose one of them if these are your key drivers. If you seek to make your home office seem more spacious, consider painting it white as it does just that, while brown and black evoke a sense of power and authority. Consequently, you should pay more attention to the color scheme of your work-from-home station. You should also note that you do not have to repaint the entire room to achieve this, as green can, for instance, be created using strategic plant placement.