The threat of the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak compelled various types of businesses to figure out how to set up a remote office for their workforce. Creating a productive and efficient remote office involves careful planning, deliberate effort, and systematic execution.
What is a Remote Office
By definition, a remote office refers to a work environment that is outside of a traditional office. If you think that remote-office setups are nothing but a fad, think again.
Although an employee can work from a coffee shop or anywhere else, most of those, who work remotely prefer to work from home. Even before the pandemic forced companies to embrace the remote-work culture, more than 5 million employees in the United States were already working from their homes half the time.
In other words, gone are the days when most people got on a train, took the bus, or drove to the office to get to work. The usual “morning commute” has drastically changed to getting up from their beds and making a beeline for the home office they’ve managed to set up. Whether you like it or not, remote offices are the new normal.
Best Home Office Setup for Productivity
With no commuting required and no workplace distractions to deal with, working from home can give anyone a chance to take control of their career. However, did you know that your home office set up can significantly influence your productivity at work? To help you get the most out of working remotely, you’ll need to consider certain factors as you’re setting up your home office.
Find the right space
Placing a desk in one corner won’t be enough to make it a home office. When it comes to choosing a dedicated workspace for yourself, you’ll need to consider how you can best steer clear of possible distractions. You’ll also need to come up with ways to maximize the space that’s available for use.
It would be great if you can set up your home office in a separate room in your home. Working in a separate room will make it easier for you to establish boundaries between your work and your leisure time. If you don’t have a spare room and you’re a little tight on space, you’ll need to choose the right place for your workspace carefully.
Also, try to look for a spot where you can get natural lighting. In case you’re not aware, natural lighting can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and boost your productivity.
Get a home office plant
Do you like plants? Did you know that incorporating these natural elements into your designated workspace can greatly enhance your productivity? Getting a home office plant will make a beautiful addition to your interior and help reduce your stress levels and improve indoor air quality.
A cluttered workspace won’t set the stage for increased productivity. Should you decide to add a few decorations to your workspace, make sure that you pick the decorative items that won’t eventually turn into office clutter. When you’re setting up your home office, take time to identify the items that you’ll use, those you’ll have to dispose of, or those you need to move to another space.
Keep things organized
If your desk is constantly covered with documents or items, don’t be surprised if your productivity is reduced. Chances are, you’d be wasting your time looking for something important just because everything in your home office is disorganized. To avoid this, make sure that your documents are properly filed and stored where you can access them right away and not piled up like a beaver dam.
Set some boundaries
It can be a pain to lose your momentum after your work gets interrupted. If you want to get anything done, you’ll need to give your tasks your undivided attention. Keep in mind that you’re still being paid to work despite enjoying the convenience of staying home.
For this reason, it’s extremely important to let the members of your household know about your office hours. Also, if you don’t want your productivity to take a hit, stay away from the television and quit checking your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Pick out the right desk.
Your home office desk can either make or break your job. It greatly influences the amount of work that you can get done. Make sure that you pick out the right one for you.
Think about your home office space when you’re looking to find the ideal desk for you. Do you need more storage in your desk? Considering the size of the desk and if it fits your workspace will help you create a work environment that exudes comfort and inspires productivity.
If you want to minimize the time you spend sitting down while working from home, you might want to consider using a height-adjustable desk. This will allow you to have standing and stretching breaks throughout the day.
Choose the right chair
Once you’ve picked out the right desk, the next step is to find the right chair. Make sure that you get one that can provide you with proper support. If you’re not comfortable with your chair, your back will suffer pain, and it would be challenging for you to stay focused while you work.
Get the right gear on hand
Setting up a remote office that increases your productivity wouldn’t be possible if you’re missing the right tools and equipment. This would include a computer, a phone, a paper shredder, a power cable box, a laser printer, your headphone stand, or whatnot. Make sure that you don’t have slow internet that will keep on interrupting your work.
Have your own break space
Sometimes, you’ll need to take a breather from work without being tempted to chill on Netflix. You can take breaks without subjecting yourself to other distractions if you set up a break space within your home office. For starters, consider getting yourself a couch and placing it away from your desk.
Stick to your schedule
If you don’t plan your day, it doesn’t matter if you’ve managed to set up a remote office that could enhance your productivity. Coming up with a daily schedule will help you become mindful of your tasks. You can stay on track if you keep a bulletin board or a desk calendar pinned on your desktop in your remote work station.
Ground Rules for Setting Up Your Home Office
Does your idea of working from home mean sitting cross-legged on your couch while hunching over your laptop? Unless you want to wake up aching each morning, you’ll need to establish some ground rules for setting up your home office. Experts recommend the following:
Having your dedicated workspace is non-negotiable.
You would want to have your dedicated work station that’s quiet, near the window, and close to outlets. You’ll thank yourself for setting up camp where you can have access to natural light. Plus, placing your desk next to outlets will allow you to ditch the need to use those unsightly extension cords.
You’ll need to sit like a pro if you want to get things right. Make sure that your legs are parallel to the ground, and your feet are on the floor. If this isn’t possible, grab a box and use it as a footrest.
Mind your monitor placement
Keeping your monitor at eye level and placing it at an arm’s length away is good for you. If you’re using a laptop, you might want to get a separate keyboard and mouse. This will allow you to prop up your screen to the ideal height.
Protect yourself from the sitting disease
In case you’re wondering, the “sitting disease” gives place to the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Refuse to be someone who’s constantly chained to their desks. When you’re taking breaks, don’t forget to move around so that your muscles can stretch and relax.
Essential Furniture Types for Your Remote Office
Taking time to choose the furniture types that you’ll use for your remote office is a must. Keep in mind that a lot of careful planning is required to maximize your space while optimizing workplace ergonomics. Look over these must-have furniture types that you’d want to include in your home office.
Adjustable standing desktop
Save yourself the time and the trouble of readjusting your laptop, keyboard, mouse, or monitor. With an adjustable standing desktop, you can have the option to instantly raise or lower its height with just a lever’s simple push.
Ergonomic desk chairs
Ensure that your chair isn’t hurting your health to steer clear body aches and pains that most desk-dwellers struggle with regularly. Get an ergonomic desk chair that gets you back up and allows you to slide from side to side when you’re trying to reach for certain items on your desk, shelves, and drawers.
Aside from being fully functional, shelving can also make your remote workstation look and feel more intimate. Although you can choose to have built-in shelves along your walls, you also have the option to stick with the traditional freestanding bookshelves.
You can’t work efficiently if you don’t have proper file storage. Whether you decide to get yourself a lateral file cabinet, a standard two-drawer letter-size file cabinet, or a two-drawer legal-size one, it’s up to you. Just be mindful of the space that you have because file cabinets can be huge space-hoggers.
Since additional seating is obviously needed for your break space, you may want to get an upholstered sofa. Don’t worry; your extra room won’t require a lot of space in front of it.
What About Transformable Furniture
Transformable furniture is ideal for those who live in smaller spaces such as tiny homes and micro-loft apartments. If you’re into the micro-lifestyle, the key to enjoying a smaller carbon footprint while having an optimized remote office set up lies in choosing the right transformable furniture. The right pieces can make downsized living seem larger than life.
Since furniture designers embrace the concept of living small, many of them are coming up with pieces that complement this lifestyle. They make it possible for a tiny home office to feature an expandable sofa, a coffee table that flips into a laptop stand, and more!
The Biggest Benefits of Working Remotely
When companies across the world adopted a remote-work policy to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the rise of remote work statistics became undeniable at the beginning of 2020. Employers and employees alike have no choice but to navigate their way amidst this time of major upheaval. Thankfully, the results are positive for both parties.
Employers can hire the best talent.
With virtual employment, companies are no longer limited to certain geographical locations. This means nothing will stop them from hiring high-quality freelancers and specialists from any corner of the world. Creating teams that span multiple time zones allow businesses to respond quickly to customers, enhance the coverage of their vulnerable assets, and progress on their projects continuously.
Remote working arrangements won’t require employers to rent or buy an office space or spend more cash to install office amenities. Plus, they won’t have to worry about charges for utility and building maintenance to keep their physical office running. Likewise, virtual employment will also cause the employees to save more money because they won’t have to gas up, buy their meals, or invest in office clothes.
It boosts employee retention.
Did you know that three-fourths of the respondents said that remote work arrangements are one of the biggest nonmonetary ways for companies to boost employee retention? Those who work remotely claim that they get to enjoy a much greater sense of work-life balance with this kind of arrangement. With higher retention rates comes lower employee turnover, as well as fewer misfires.
It enhances productivity
Employees who work in traditional offices fall prey to several distractions that take up a lot of their time. These distractions could include extra minutes spent gossiping with a co-worker in the break room or getting pulled into office politics. These distractions can add to work-related stress that will ultimately result in lower productivity, morale, as well as higher leaves.
On the other hand, those who work from home are compelled to take extra steps to demonstrate transparency when it comes to their daily tasks. Since remote workers tend to manage their day-to-day work, employers can do away with micro-managing. Thanks to the teams of productive remote workers, there would be a much lesser need for regular checking in calls or useless meet-ups.
Employees enjoy the flexibility.
Since no commuting is needed, they won’t have to sit through heavy traffic on their way to or from their workplace. This means that they can get to spend more time with their families. What’s more, the flexible work schedule allows them to take much-needed breaks that could involve a quick meeting with a friend or a visit to the gyms.
Remote workers can be more innovative, engaged, and productive if they know how to set up a remote office that’s ideal for them. Creating the right remote working environment may take a lot of careful thinking, but the benefits are all worth it.
Are you looking to find an expert who can help you set up an effective and efficient dedicated workspace? Get in touch with us at Mila Design. We specialize in designing and manufacturing high-quality office furniture, cabinet furniture, and other individualized projects.