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The Ultimate Home Office Setup Guide

5 mins read

Working from home is a new development for a lot of people as a temporary measure during the coronavirus situation. However, for many, working remotely is part of their everyday routine. Many Australians now regularly work at home, choosing to take advantage of the flexibility it offers them and their families.

Whether you're a work from home pro or you just want a nice space to work in until your office reopens, you'll need a setup at home that’s designed to suit your needs. Why? It can be difficult to get into the right mindset to work and be productive if you don’t have a dedicated space to work in.

In this guide, we're going to show you how to set up the optimal office space with all the appropriate equipment and day-to-day supplies.

Home Office

Features of a good home office

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to setting up your workspace. Let’s start with the one thing that you'll likely be using the most: your computer. Should you purchase a desktop? Or would it be better to stay portable and grab a laptop? Let’s investigate the options.

Desktop vs laptop. Choosing a computer

There really isn't a right or wrong answer to this question, it depends on your personal preference and needs. These days most people can enjoy a mix of working from home, at the office or (when COVID-19 restrictions are loosened) from their local cafe or library.

A great solution to the demands of the modern workforce is the HP Pavillion x360. It’s a 2-in-1 laptop – portable and light like a laptop or tablet but has the power and capabilities of a desktop. Many remote workers enjoy a desktop for its large screen but choose to use a laptop or tablet for the flexibility it provides. You might like to consider adding an extra computer screen at home to your laptop to provide the option for a ‘desktop feel’ without the bulk of an actual desktop computer.

If your work involves lots of complex software, a desktop computer, such as the Dell Inspiron 5000, might be the better option. They typically offer more RAM, have higher processing power than laptops and a choice of storage space that’s customisable.

Another bonus of desktop computers is that they can be tailored to you and your lifestyle. You can fit them out with extra components and turn them into a gaming centre (for when it hits 5pm), or a high-quality media hub, to watch the latest Netflix shows after work.

If you’re a graphic designer or a budding creative, an Apple Mac Desktop might be for you. The Apple iMac has a retina 5K display with P3 colour, which is different to the typical white LEDs of other computers. It’s advanced red/green phosphor LEDs minimise eye strain making it a better option for those of you working longer hours at the desk. Apple’s sleek, all-in-one design is world famous because you don't need to hook up a monitor or even plug in a keyboard or mouse (they have wireless options, too). This gives you more desk space to work with when setting up other parts of your home office, like a printer or your computer accessories, which are crucial when you’re working from home.

"Many remote workers enjoy a desktop for its large screen but choose to use a laptop or tablet for the flexibility it provides."

Pick a keyboard, mouse and monitor

Computer accessories – specifically keyboards, monitors and mice – can either positively or negatively impact your remote working. Whether you choose a desktop or a 2-in-1 laptop, you may choose to purchase a monitor that you can hook up to the computer itself. This, whilst taking up a little more space, can be beneficial, especially if you like to work with multiple screens at once.

When considering what kind of screen you’d like, a curved monitor is a great option. Compared to their flat counterparts, a curved monitor increases your level of immersion with the content on its screen, making what you’re looking at feel more like ‘real life’. While they get rid of image distortion, they do cover a wider field of view, which can take some time to get used to.

Once you’ve chosen your computer – regardless of whether it's desktop or 2-in-1 laptop – it’s time to pick a keyboard and mouse. Here are some pointers on what to look out for:

  • Accessories that have proper wrist support
  • Mice that are easy to touch and navigate
  • Keyboards with all the keys you need, particularly if you’re an accountant (the added number pad can be a game changer)
  • Compatibility, making sure that it will integrate with all the devices you use, and
  • Design, because at the end of the day it’s important to feel comfortable with the technology you’re using everyday.

You can purchase a keyboard and mouse as a set. There are a lot of options out there, to ensure you find one that meets your needs.

Get the right desk and chair

Next, when setting up a home office, your desk needs to be sturdy and comfortable. While you may not think that a desk can make or break the comfort level of your home office, it certainly can as you’re going to be spending multiple hours in it each day. If you get a desk that sits too low or too high, you may slouch which is not comfortable, nor is it good for you. It’s important that you look into the height of your desk and make sure that it will work for you.

An added bonus is a desk with storage space for your stationary, books and documents, ensuring that your workspace is neat and organised and doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed. Alternatively, if connectivity is high on your wishlist, you can find a desk with built-in tech features, such as Bluetooth, speakers and charging stations that will keep your phone and computer charged, ensuring your devices are ready to go for all your important meetings.

Once you’ve spent time finding the right desk, don’t forget to put the same care into finding the right chair. Look for an adjustable chair that can be placed as high or as low as you need it to be and many offices require 5 points of contact so look for chairs with 5 sets of castor wheels if possible.

Organising your home office

Now that your home office is set up, it’s time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and organise it. How your space is arranged and what’s happening in your environment can have a dramatic impact on how well you work from home. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance of a productive workday.

Minimise distractions

Distractions while you’re trying to work can be irritating and pull you away from the task at hand. You can minimise distractions while working from home by:

  • Moving your printer to the opposite side of your home office or into another room. Printers can take up a lot of space on your desk and become a distraction if they’re too close.
  • Adding a website blocker to your work computer to remove the temptation to watch YouTube or scroll your socials!
  • Keeping a water bottle nearby so you don't need to get up all the time to refill.

But, where does everything go?

When organising your office, make space for all the things you really need. Get rid of anything that you don't and keep it tidy. When you’re working from home it’s helpful to have a notepad and pen nearby to jot down any notes or ideas when you’re on Zoom calls. It may also be nice to have a family picture or picture of your children on your desk.

At the end of the workday, don’t forget to leave your space like you would if you were hot desking at the office. Wipe it down regularly and put any old coffee cups in the dishwasher. Your ‘future self’ will thank you.

Create the ultimate home office

There are a lot of decisions that need to be made when creating the optimal workspace. However, now that you have an idea of what you may need and where to get it, setting up your home office can be a fun project.

Click here for your home office setup needs.

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