*This is a collaborative post
For many people, working from home has become the new normal since the onset of the pandemic. A new way of living and working. My husband and I have actually worked from home for many years. Myself as a freelancer and the company my husband works for works on a home-based model with a small satellite-based office in London for meetings and Sales. It’s a routine we have perfected over time, so I thought people might find it useful if I shared some of the things that I think you need to make working from home successful.
- A Suitable Workspace – you need to consider how this is going to work in your home, especially if you are a busy household. My husband has a lot of video calls during his workday, so a separate room was a must-have for him. I do very few calls but work around my childcare obligations, which has meant a desk in the dining room works better for me. You need to think about your life, your home and the demands of your job and work out what space would work best for you based on the space you have in your home. I’m sorry as comfy as it is, long term your bed doesn’t cut it.
- An Ergonomic Desk Set-Up – do not underestimate how important this is. Said as I am currently under a consultant for an extremely bad back. You need a laptop stand or a monitor, a separate keyboard and mouse, maybe sure everything is at the right height for you. If you don’t it will affect your health. Here is a useful guide if you need one.
- A Comfy Desk Chair – as above this is crucial. When I first started working from home I got a desk chair that I liked the look of rather than thinking about whether it would be good for my back health and posture. This was such a mistake. Now I have an ergonomic Herman Millar desk chair with an additional lumbar support cushion. I really do implore you to take your back’s health seriously and this is absolutely not a cost to scrimp on.
- High-Speed Broadband – with multiple people working from home and my children’s love of Netflix we need decent broadband or we would struggle. Don’t forget to look out for deals and negotiate with your provider.
- Bluelight Glasses – being on screens all day can affect your eye health. Blue light glasses block the blue light from computer screens and reduce eye strain. You can find some great frames at Mouqy.
- A Printer and Scanner – you can get around not having a scanner by using a scanner app on your phone, but you do really need a good printer for managing work and contracts. We have the Epson EcoTank which is great as you do not need lots of cartridge refills for it and so is better for the environment.
- An Alexa or Bluetooth Speaker – sometimes the only way to get work done it get your head down and listen to some music. I have an Alexa on my desk which is great for setting timers and reminders and getting the news headlines as well as listening to music or the radio. My husband prefers a blue tooth speaker to listen to his favourite tunes on Apple Music.
- A Noise-Cancelling Headset – an absolute essential if you do a lot of video calls, great for shutting out the noise of children in the next room, as well as for making calls more comfortable for you.
- Decent Lighting – in the winter the light disappears quite quickly in the UK in the afternoon, to help your eyesight and your video calls! You need a decent desk light. You might also want to consider a ring light which can make you look more professional on video calls too.
- Accessories To Make Your Desk Look Nice – ok not an essential, but in a way it is. We often spend more time in our workspace than anywhere else, so it’s important that it’s a comfortable and happy place. My desk has lots of fun things on it that make me smile. From artwork by my children, a mug my girlfriends gifted me, as well as bunting hanging off the top of it. A much happier space to work away at.
- A Coffee Machine – for my husband coffee is as essential as water. And bad coffee is just bad manners. So decent coffee is essential to a happy working home. Ok, as above it’s perhaps not an essential, but something that will make the day that little bit more comfortable.
Here are my essentials to make working from home easier, better for your health and more comfortable is there anything that you would add?