This is how you will make the perfect home office
How to make your own office for remote working? How to organize your personal space? What do you need for functional remote work from home?
I was hoping we wouldn’t have to talk about remote work again due to lockdown. The truth, however, is that this winter too many of us will work remotely, but also that remote work is here to stay, even if the coronavirus is gone.
Obviously, not all distance work is done, nor is distance work alone ideal.
Under certain conditions, however, such as certain days of the week, it has many advantages, both on the part of the employee and the company.
At the same time, there are many categories of people for whom work from home is a one-way street: students, entrepreneurs starting a service-oriented startup, freelance developers, YouTubers, writers…
Whoever you are, you can have your own reason to create a perfect space in your home, where you can concentrate and be productive.
And that’s the subject of this article: A list of everything you need to set up a perfect, functional and comfortable office to work from home.
Even a small corner in the living room can become a convenient desk to work from home.
Let’s start with the most important, which is the space you will use as an office.
If you are in the countryside, it is possible to live in a comfortable house with different spaces. In this case, choose a relatively secluded room that you can turn into a home office.
You definitely want it to have some sockets near you, it is good to have your internet router there (for a better connection, ideally with a LAN cable) and a window for indirect contact with the outside world.
The most important thing, however, is to be able to close the door of your space, so that no one bothers you when you want to concentrate or take part in a video call.
If on the other hand, you live in the city, in a smaller apartment, or in the countryside but in a small house, the cases are two:
🧍♂️ If you live alone
If you live alone, then you simply define a comfortable corner somewhere in your space, where you will set up your office, since in a way the whole apartment is “your personal room”.
The only thing I recommend is not to be in a place that will distract you, such as next to the TV.
The more special you feel about your office space, the more likely you are to make an absolute switch when entering work mode.
👨👩👧👦 If you live with others
If you live with others, then you should consult with them about the hours you will use the most convenient space available, preferably setting up some small office furniture there.
Working, say, at the kitchen table is a possibility, but it is possible to be bothered by those who use it during the day to eat or get something out of the fridge.
Because in such cases the noise is a problem, I suggest you get a good, over-ear headset set, from the ones that cover the ears, that is, and if your budget raises it with noise cancellation.
Simple headphones are sure to cut off a lot of external noise, especially if you listen to music, but noise cancellation contains “black magic” that makes external sounds almost lost, with a crazy trick where they undo the frequencies of the sounds by emitting reverse waves.
The budget pair of headphones I use is the AKG K72, which is very comfortable and cuts out a lot of external sounds. The best couple with Noise Cancellation, according to most reviewers, is this Sony couple.
The furniture of your office
A simple, large office is the key to building your workplace.
The desk where you will have your computer or you will rest your notes is for me the most basic part of your setup.
In my opinion, you need a simple, flat and large office. The more space you have, the more things you can handle at the same time.
Good sources for buying an office are IKEA, Jysk or Praktiker.
Of course, there is furniture for all budgets: From cheap fifty euros, to very expensive with electric height adjustment that rises high, so you can use them upright (if you are a fan of standing desks).
If you work with a computer, pay attention to the possibility of furniture for cable management.
Some cabinets have strategically placed holes to pass the cables of screens and keyboards, others have special bases on the bottom to tie power cables and chargers.
In addition to the beautiful, clean look they offer, they also improve the ergonomics of your office, since not all the space will be tangled with cables.
Nothing compares to the experience of a good, stable computer.
In the case of the computer, we have two cases: Either you will have a laptop or a desktop (fixed) computer.
Until recently, I would suggest a good laptop, since you can carry it with you. Today, my point of view has changed: Nothing can compare, at home office, with the speed and experience of a desktop computer.
Of course, it is always a matter of budget. If you can, get both a laptop and a landline.
My suggestion, though, is this: If you already have an old laptop that has started to slow down, do not get a new one. Give the same money to get a much more powerful desktop computer, which you can even make into a small enough box so you can carry it easily if needed. And keep your old laptop for the few cases (now) that you will need to work from a cafe or on a trip.
A desktop computer gives you much more performance for the same money and will last you for many more years, as you can upgrade it regularly, for example by adding more ram or a better processor. With a laptop this is not possible, since you will (usually) have to change everything.
The best value-for-money laptop you can buy right now is this Huawei Matebook.
On the other hand, if you want to make a desktop computer, look for the friend computers that we all have to guide you since ready-made desktop systems usually come out more expensive than just assembling it yourself (which is quite simple) — although I have collected some guides on how to build your own computer in the article with 100 resources to learn everything online.
Then we come to the screens. I say “screens”, because the ideal for me is two screens side by side. The real estate that a multi-screen setup gives you makes every job much faster since you can open three or four documents and view them at the same time.
I recommend at least 1080p screens with 24 inches, preferably IPS so that the colors look good from every angle.
Laptop screens are too small for serious work, so even with a laptop, I think you need a good screen to which you can connect.
From other peripherals, I repeat that it is a matter of budget. If you have money for food, get the best you can find. If not, you can get it out with a cheap laptop.
If budget is not an issue, I suggest a good mechanical keyboard, a comfortable mouse and a pair of good, over-ear headphones.
If you like the RGB lights of the gaming culture, you can get everything with RGB, so that you have perfect ambient lighting for the evening hours you spend in your office.
See how nice and cozy he is with the screens and his chair. #goals
Unless you belong to the extremes of working standing (or walking), a good chair will be one of the most important investments you will make for your comfort and health.
Do not try to work for a long time with any hard chair for the kitchen, you will spoil your body and soul.
At the very least, look for any cheap office chair at IKEA, with supports to rest your elbows and, if possible, support for the waist.
In Berlin, let’s say, I had bought a similar one from IKEA for 50 € and it turned out quite good for its money. I had put some aftermarket wheels on her like the ones on the skateboard and she went like a motorbike (lol).
The more you play, the more likely your chair is to be good since it is obviously not a cheap product, but it is definitely good to go to some stores and try what suits you up close, or at least try chairs that you know, so you do not decide blindly.
At home where you will work it is essential to have quality, stable internet. This means that if the connection is slow, upgrade it to something better and if it often drops see if your provider is to blame and change it.
Next, make sure you have a decent router that picks up your home appliances and, if possible, connect it to your computer with a LAN cable, which is much more reliable than WiFi. If you have to use WiFi, get a router with 5Ghz WiFi (802.11ac) that is less likely to interfere with the overloaded air from neighboring networks.
In the worst case, your office is far from the router and does not even pick up a good signal, buy a set of powerline adapters, which can distribute your internet anywhere in your home through power outlets.
Yes, the powerline LAN is incredible and (usually) works flawlessly.
Hardware for video calling
Since video calls have become the main way of communication for workgroups, every home office needs a good set of cameras and microphones.
The simplest solution, if you work from a laptop, is to use your laptop webcam, which 99% will do the job you want just fine, although not with the best quality.
If, on the other hand, you have a desktop computer, there are two options: One is to buy a separate webcam and the other is to use your mobile phone or a DSLR camera (if you have one), as there are special programs that make them work like webcams.
It may sound like overkill, but the quality that a DSLR can give you in your video calls will make you think again.
Especially in the case of compatible DSLRs, the image quality you will have (and others will see) will be almost cinematic compared to blurry and low-resolution webcams.
If you have a Canon DSLR camera, then download the EOS Webcam Tool to use it as a webcam. If you have a Nikon camera, try the corresponding tool. And Olympus has its own gadget for its OM-D cameras.
The light makes the day, but the lighting of your office makes the difference in the aesthetics “day and night”.
Having natural light in your office during the day is very good for your mental health, as it keeps you in touch with the outside world, but if the light falls directly into your eyes, it can easily tire you out.
Try to set up your desk so that the light comes from somewhere sideways and is not bright enough to be reflected on papers and screens. If this does not work, try to set up a curtain to cut most of it, depending on the time of day.
Also, find an easy-to-use LED desk light so you can easily move it around your desk whenever you need to read a paper document or take notes.
The light from a ceiling lamp is not enough, nor is it usually at the right “color temperature” to read documents.
Materials for writing
A Moleskine may seem expensive, but believe me, it takes a long time to fill it. In a large Moleskine, I wrote notes and solutions and math exercises and it lasted me for a year.
Nothing compares to the combination of pen and paper to quickly record your ideas and the flow of your thoughts.
So always have a pack of white A4 glues and a good pen with you, like my favorite Pilot G2.
You can always get expensive, large Moleskines and splurge on for their great feel, which is often worth it, but the A4 sheets are to be more flexible and the fact that they are completely white, makes it easier for me to general brainstorm or record to-do of the day.
A desk will sooner or later be filled with notebooks, papers, books, and a range of clutter, such as chargers, cables, and external hard drives.
Obviously, you can not throw them around. Proper organization of space positively affects the psychology of work. A clean, organized office also leads to organized thinking.
Therefore, you will need space to store all this. The most logical point is in an office drawer that you can have next to you. You can find many cheap ones, but they often go with office furniture.
Another good alternative, or even additional solution, is the plastic storage boxes that you can find in stores such as Praktiker, IKEA.
It has sizes that fit everything, can be stacked, and is very useful.
Design and personalization of the space
Bring to mind car-driven idiots. Yes, those who eat their money to put strange lights and spoilers on them. Sounds silly, doesn’t it?
Yes, but doing the same for your room is a serious and adult activity, which helps to be productive.
Obviously, we laugh at that… Whatever you do with lights and unnecessary ornaments is an act that is done only for the Fuck. It offers nothing practical but inner satisfaction.
But it is so, but so satisfying.
On Reddit, for example, there is a community of millions of registered users who are building their own “battle station”.
Now, if we can keep any of this, it is that the closer you make your office space to your character, the more you will enjoy the (several) hours you will spend in it.
Therefore, as much as it may seem unnecessary at first glance, it is actually worth investing in making the space beautiful.
The first and best is to use special lighting. This can be from a small warm-colored lamp that gently illuminates a corner of the room, to sets of connected adjustable lamps that change color and intensity from an app on your phone (or can be connected to your computer’s RGB).
It is also important to make the space smell nice. You can use the wonderful space scents with sticks, scented candles, or an aroma diffuser like this from Muji.
Finally, you can put posters on the walls that express you, or if you are an avid Otaku, figurines on your shelves from your favorite anime and games.
Making your own office is a very nice process, which can be done from very cheap until it reaches luxury situations.
Apart from the very practical bases, it is largely a completely creative project that we do for ourselves. We are building, in a way, a personal church for our productivity.
Therefore, I hope the above tips were useful for those who are going to work from home in the coming months or even years.
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