Working from home is no longer a new phenomenon. After the coronavirus outbreak, the mega work transition has caused many workers in the United States to acquire remote work as a normal working standard. As per the latest Upwork report, 1 in 4 Americans working remotely since 2021 will reach 36.2 million by 2025.
Several studies in the past few months have shown that employees who work remotely are performing much better than those working in an office setting. On average, those who work from home are spending 10 minutes or less a day being unproductive when compared to those who are working in the office. All of this and many more factors have allowed employers to let employees continue working from home some days in the week if not permanently.
While working from home has its benefits for the employees and the employer, it also comes with some challenges. During the pandemic, the work transition came as a surprise for many. Many employees were unaware of the remote work changes and demands. Those having average internet service at home could not find a better match for effective work from home performance. Similarly, many people did not have the right space or segregated workstation that could help them show their productive side in the new work mode.
Nevertheless, it has been over two years of working from home and many have figured out just the right things needed to balance work and personal life. However, this does not mean that a remote working lifestyle is easy to sort out for all. At first, we too had a hard time finding the right internet service provider for our home, creating a separate space for the home office, and setting up a routine that helps balance work and home duties.
If you are currently struggling to find a balance between home and work in a remote work setting or you are seeking a remote job, then you need to first prepare a home office for yourself. You do not have to fret over the things you have to do to achieve just the right work-from-home environment; we have done the job for you.
Read further to know what things you need to do and need to avoid to become the most productive in your home office.
What is an ideal home office setup?
Let us get real. You just cannot continue working from your sofa and pretend like you are the most productive you have ever been. Many people we know are still working from weird places in their homes that are not meant for a remote job. Be it your comfortable sleeping bed, couch, or dining table, you cannot be productive without a separate space dedicated to the office in your home.
You do not have to put your funds into creating a separate office near your home. Rather, you can find a small space that is a little far from the home chaos that you can turn into the home office. You can do the following to make sure you have productive working hours while working remotely.
You do not need a large room for your home office, all you need is a big enough space that can hold a desk and computer equipment and has a door that can shut when needed. You might wonder why a door is required, but to separate your home life from your work life, you need to have a door or a room separator.
Most of the people working at home either share their apartment with a friend or has a family to look after. If you have a similar situation going on, then you might not have a spare space that you can turn into a home office. You can either convert a guest room into a dual-purpose space or turn your bedroom into a mini workstation.
Other than this, many have turned their large laundry room into an office and even put office equipment in an enclosed porch. It is all about finding a separate space that is at a distance from home life and that allows you to spend some hours of focus and productivity.
Stable internet service
Most urban and suburban areas have at least one stable high-speed internet service. Working from home requires at least 50 Mbps minimum speed. However, if you have a family of two or three and several devices connected to the internet, then you need to shoot for higher speed internet service.
Internet speed matters a lot. Internet at home has always been crucial but after the pandemic and work transition, the need for speed has grown even more. In an average American household with kids learning online and employees working from home, the internet is the backbone of work and life.
The best connections for those working from home come with powered Ethernet. Therefore, if it is possible for you to connect your office computer to a router via Ethernet, then it should be the first thing for you to do. However, if you deal with basic office work, then even a Wi-Fi connection can do the job for you.
However, before you work on a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection,n you have to choose a good internet plan for your home. Find Internet Providers easily with platforms like BuyTVInternetPhone. There are a number of good internet service providers that offer amazing internet plans best suited for an average American household.
Take Cox Internet for example. Cox Internet is a good internet service for most folks. Most of the Cox Internet Plans are close to the fiber-optic speed and are appropriate for most household needs.
Cox Internet offers low-income internet discounts and bundles that add great value to its plans. Sometimes people get overwhelmed with so many internet plans and offer coming their way. In such a case, getting your services bundled with reliable internet, cable, and phone service from providers like Cox can enable a hassle-free service.
However, if you are looking for standalone internet service for a family of two with basic internet needs, then Cox Internet Essential and Internet Preferred are the best Cox internet plans to look at.
Not to forget that when choosing an internet service for home, especially for your home office needs, you have to identify whether the service offers a reputable customer service. Cox Internet offers customer service that is prompt and helps customers with all kinds of queries. The ISP also offers Cox Service al client Española for the Spanish speakers.
Proper work height
Your workspace is set to be long term so you have to focus on the height factor. The industry standard of the floor to the top of the work surface is 29 inches. If you are tall, then you might have to increase some inches, but for lower-height people, this much space is enough. Nowadays several desks and tables are easily adjustable to height, so you might not have to worry about that.
In addition, what you have to look into is that as per the industry standards a desk is usually for writing on paper rather than using a keyboard and mouse. Therefore, a keyboard tray that pulls out from below the work desk and is typically an inch or two lower than the work surface. If you do not have a desk that comes with a desk and mouse tray, then you might want to upgrade your table.
If you want to know whether your workspace is at the correct height or not, then all you have to do is sit up and see if your forearms are at an appropriate height. Also, see if your wrists are not bent or down when you use the mouse. This is important because if you want to maintain your physical health, then you need to be careful of how your workspace is treating your body.
The top surface of your wrist should essentially be on the same surface as the top of your work surface. Your finger should be dangling slightly on the keyboard. If you bend your wrist for a prolonged period of time, then it can easily cause an injury.
A good chair
When creating a home office, it is important to look out for chairs that do not cause you physical discomfort. There are plenty of uncomfortable chairs out there that can cause backaches due to extended work hours. Most of the people working from home put an hour or two extra into their work. Therefore, it is important to stay extra cautious when choosing a chair for the home office.
You just cannot rely on the dining chair in your home or deck chair as it will not get the right height balance you need and does not encourage the upright posture.
If you can afford a good chair, then do invest in a steelcase drafting chair that fits your body size and workspace. These professional office chairs can cost $600 or more, however, there are also cheap chairs that you can purchase for $150 and $250. The key here is to first test out the chair in person before your purchase it for your long-term home office.
Moreover, you have to make sure that you purchase a chair that comes with an adjustable height. There are a number of good chairs that come with the adjustable seat pan and help with adjusting the arm positions.
Most people easily understand the importance of good lighting when creating a home office. Ideally, you need to have sufficient light on your workspace for effective work from home performance. While we suggest most people working from home start their work early in the morning so that they can get plenty of sunlight. However, for direct sunlight, you have to place your workstation in a room where abundant sunlight reaches.
On the other hand, if your job requires you to work late at night, you might need a good lamp or a lightbulb sending lighting that is sufficient for your work ambiance.
When working from home, you have a lot to deal with. However, after creating a home office that has all the right equipment, including stable high-speed internet service, good lighting, a work desk, and a comfortable chair, you are ready for a long-term remote job.