A guide to setting up the perfect home office
A lot more of us are working from home as part of our everyday routine. Ensure you’re still comfortable, safe, and productive by knowing your home office is set up like a pro.
If you’ve already got a home office setup ready to go, consider making sure it’s insured. You can get a quote online easily!
Pick the right location
Consider the lighting
A surefire way to stifle your working spirit is bad lighting. If you can, set up shop by a window or another spot that gets plenty of bright, natural light. This is beneficial for a few reasons:
- Well-lit areas increase productivity and help you feel energised.
- Increasing the overall light level of a room will decrease eyestrain1, since you won’t be staring at a screen that is significantly brighter than its surroundings.
- Daylight is good for you! It helps in the production of Vitamin D, which has been linked to regulating your mood, among other things.
- It can lower energy consumption. You won’t need your overhead lights on if there’s enough coming in through the window – so you can save a few bucks, too.
Home is where the heart is – and where a lot of distractions are, too! Because of this, being able to set up in a dedicated space can help divide work and home life.
If you can set up a full home office, great! If you can’t, try and find another space that isn’t used by others every day. This could include:
- a guest room, which you set up as an office when no one is visiting
- a porch, if it’s closed-off and quiet enough, or
- your garage, if you’ve got the space and don’t mind sprucing it up into a comfy office nook.
Invest in the right furniture and equipment
Don’t doubt the difference a proper chair can make – nor the potential damage a bad one could do. If you’re going to be working from home for the long term, it’s worth investing in the best furniture for your needs. Plus, you can claim home office equipment back at tax time2, so make sure you’re keeping receipts!
For a chair, this means getting an adjustable one with enough cushioning and lumbar support to keep you comfortable throughout the day.
Having the right furniture can be especially important if you’re a brainstormer and like to move around. For these spaces, you could get a couch, a pinboard, or a whiteboard-on-wheels.
Tech essentials for your home office
If you’re looking to make your home office as efficient as possible, here are a few things to consider getting.
- A second monitor.
- A headset.
- A multipurpose printer/copier/scanner – though things are done digitally these days, this is an often an office staple.
Depending on your needs, it may even be worth getting a dedicated work computer. This can help solidify the work/home divide, and help eliminate any other potential distractions. Plus, you can claim this (and most other office equipment) at tax time! Visit the ATO website for more information.
While most office jobs involve sitting down to do your work, it’s important for both your mental and physical health to move regularly. This can be as simple and easy as a few quick stretches or a short walk every few hours.
Consider a stand-up desk
Found in many modern offices, a stand-up desk can help lessen the issues linked with consistent sitting. You can adjust these to a range of different heights – often, at the push of a button.
If you do decide to get one, make sure it’s set to the correct height. This is the height at which your forearms are resting on the desk’s surface, and are parallel to the floor. This is so no part of your body is overly strained in any way.
Keeping your workplace tidy will not only help you find what you need quickly, but will also improve your mood and productivity.
- Use drawers, baskets, and shelf organisers.
- Keep everything within arms reach – easy to get means easy to put away.
- Set a time at the end of each day to wind down and clean up your space, ready for tomorrow.
All the needs of a home office can create a lot of potential trip hazards. Practice good cord management to make this worry disappear. Bundle your cords together where you’re able, and consider getting a plastic cable manager to keep things in check.
Set a to-do list
Setting a to-do list may help you to manage your time more effectively. Hot tip – doing this the night before means everything’s ready to go the moment you sit at your desk.
Listen to music
Need an extra boost to get through the day? Throw on some music! It can improve motivation, help you focus, and improve your productivity.
Make sure your home office is covered
Finished upgrading your home office? With Apia Home and Contents Insurance, you’ll be glad to know your office equipment is included as part of the standard policy coverage. So you can worry a little less and get back to work.
Read the Product Disclosure Statement for more information, including limits and exclusions.
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Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (Apia) ABN 14 099 650 996 AR 239591 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI), the issuer of Home, Landlord, Car, Caravan, Motorhome, Boat, Travel & Compulsory Third Party Personal Injury (CTP) Insurance.
Any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. The information is intended to be of general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.