Outfitting A Home Office: Essentials And Extras

how to outfit a home office

Working from home has become increasingly common, and setting up a home office is a great way to create a dedicated workspace. Here are some tips to help you outfit a comfortable and functional home office:

- Choose a dedicated space: Decide on a room or area in your home that can be transformed into your office. Consider the amount of space you need, the level of privacy you require, and the availability of a lockable door to minimise interruptions.

- Furniture essentials: Invest in a good desk and chair that are comfortable and ergonomic. Look for adjustable options to ensure proper posture and consider the position of your desk in relation to electrical outlets and natural light.

- Storage solutions: Determine what type of storage you need, such as bookshelves, filing cabinets, or desktop organisers, to keep your space organised and clutter-free.

- Lighting: Ensure your home office has adequate lighting to reduce eye strain. Combine natural light with task lighting, such as a desk lamp or floor lamp, and adjust the brightness of your monitor to a comfortable level.

- Technology: Position your computer monitor to avoid glare, and use cord management solutions to tidy up cables. Consider investing in a docking station, printer, and headset for online meetings.

- Personal touches: Add homey accessories, inspirational artwork, or a gallery wall to make your space more inviting. Choose a colour scheme that motivates you and use curtains or shades to diffuse natural light and minimise glare.

Characteristics Values
Location A quiet, low-traffic area, with natural light and away from distractions.
Space A dedicated room with a door, or a dual-purpose space such as a guest room.
Desk Adjustable height, with storage, and placed facing the door.
Chair Adjustable height, ergonomic, with lumbar support, swivel and reclining features, and armrests.
Storage Bookcases, storage cabinets, desktop organisers, and filing cabinets.
Lighting Indirect, natural light with additional task lighting and no glare on screens.
Colour Motivating colours, with darker rooms having lighter shades and brighter rooms having darker shades.
Accessories Homely, comfortable, and inspiring accessories such as plants, artwork, and personal items.


Choose the right location

When outfitting a home office, choosing the right location is crucial. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect spot:

Assess Available Space

Firstly, evaluate the space you have available for your home office. If you have a spare room, that's ideal, but if not, get creative! Consider underutilised areas such as an empty corner in a larger room, an unused closet, or even the space under the stairs.

Consider Privacy and Quiet

If you require privacy and quiet for your work, opt for a location away from the main living areas of your home. A room with a lockable door can provide the necessary seclusion. Alternatively, you could use a privacy divider, such as a traditional divider, a curtain, or even a plant to create a barrier between your workspace and the rest of the house.

Evaluate Traffic Flow and Distractions

Think about the level of activity in the areas you're considering for your home office. Do you work best in a bustling environment, or do you need a quiet, tucked-away space? If you're easily distracted, avoid high-traffic areas, and choose a location that allows you to separate your work life from your home life.

Natural Light and View

Access to natural light and a pleasant view can enhance your workspace and boost your productivity. Position your desk near a window if possible, or hang inspiring artwork or photographs to give yourself something interesting to glance at when you need a break from the computer screen.

Keep Clients in Mind

If you anticipate having clients or colleagues visit your home office, choose a space that offers ample seating and a professional atmosphere. A private space away from the main living areas is ideal for conducting business meetings and ensuring client confidentiality.

Think About Storage

Consider the amount of storage space you'll need for your home office setup. If you have a lot of books, files, or equipment, you may require a dedicated room or an area with ample shelving and cabinets. Efficient storage solutions will help you stay organised and create a more productive work environment.

Noise and Disruptions

If you live with others, think about how your home office location might impact them, and vice versa. For example, if you're a musician, setting up your studio in a shared space might not be the best idea. Similarly, if you take frequent client calls, ensure your workspace is somewhere you can speak without disturbing others.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Lastly, remember to prioritise your comfort when choosing a location for your home office. Ensure that your workspace is set up to promote good posture and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries. An adjustable chair, an appropriately positioned monitor, and a desk at the correct height are all essential components of an ergonomic home office.

Remember, the right location for your home office will depend on your unique needs and circumstances. Assess your available space, work requirements, and personal preferences to make an informed decision.


Invest in ergonomic furniture

When outfitting a home office, it is important to invest in ergonomic furniture to ensure comfort and productivity. Here are some tips to help you choose the right ergonomic furniture for your home office:

Choose an Adjustable Desk

Firstly, consider investing in an adjustable desk that can be customized to your height. This is especially important if multiple people will be using the workspace. An adjustable desk allows you to adjust the height to find the most comfortable position for your back, neck, and wrists. You can choose from a variety of options, including electric height-adjustable desks or more traditional desks with manual height adjustments.

Select an Ergonomic Chair

An ergonomic chair is crucial for maintaining good posture and preventing back pain. Look for a chair with adjustable features such as armrests, seat depth, and lumbar support. Ensure the chair has a comfortable seat cushion and breathable mesh or fabric to keep you cool during long work hours. Additionally, consider the chair's swivel and reclining features, allowing you to move around and adjust your position throughout the day.

Don't Forget Accessories

To further enhance your ergonomic setup, consider investing in accessories such as a footrest, a wrist pad, or an adjustable monitor stand. These accessories can help improve your posture, reduce neck strain, and ensure your eyes are level with your screen. Additionally, a chair mat can protect your floor from scuff marks and make it easier to roll your chair, reducing the strain on your back.

Prioritize Comfort and Quality

When investing in ergonomic furniture, prioritize comfort and quality. It is worth spending a little extra to ensure you have a chair and desk that provide the necessary support and adjustability. Opting for cheaper options may seem appealing, but they may not offer the same level of customization and could end up costing you more in the long run if they need to be replaced sooner.

Consider Your Space

When choosing ergonomic furniture, consider the space you have available. Measure your designated office area and choose furniture that fits comfortably. If space is limited, look for space-saving options, such as wall-mounted desks or folding desks. Additionally, think about the placement of your furniture in relation to electrical outlets, natural light sources, and the position of the door.

Claiming Your Home Office Expenses

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Get the lighting right

Good lighting is very important in any office space. Poor lighting can cause eye strain and headaches, which can negatively impact your productivity. Here are some tips to get the lighting right in your home office:

  • Maximize natural light: Try to set up your home office near a window to take advantage of natural light. Natural light can help boost your mood and productivity. If possible, position your desk so that you can look out of the window when you glance up from your computer.
  • Avoid glare: Ensure that there is no glare on your computer screen from windows or overhead lights. Position your computer monitor in a way that minimizes glare, and use curtains or shades to diffuse bright sunlight.
  • Layer your lighting: Even if your workspace has ample natural light, it is important to have additional lighting options. Layering your lighting allows you to adjust the lighting according to the time of day and weather conditions.
  • Task lighting: A small lamp on your desk can provide task lighting for reading or writing. Make sure the lamp is positioned in a way that minimizes glare on your computer screen and is not in your direct field of vision when working on the computer.
  • Indirect lighting: Indirect lighting illuminates your workspace without causing glare or being in your direct line of sight. Ceiling lamps or lights placed away from your direct field of vision can provide indirect lighting.
  • Choose the right light bulbs: Look for light bulbs with lower wattages than those used for general household lighting to minimize glare and eye strain.
  • Adjust your monitor brightness: Ensure that your monitor's brightness is not too dim or too bright to avoid eye strain. A good rule of thumb is to set the monitor's lighting intensity slightly brighter than your ambient lighting.
  • Consider a monitor riser: You may need to raise your monitor to the correct height to avoid hunching your back and causing injury. A monitor riser can help you achieve the proper height, and some even provide handy shelving for your desk.

By following these tips, you can create a well-lit home office that is comfortable and conducive to productivity.


Manage your technology

Technology is an essential part of any home office setup. Here are some tips to help you manage your technology and create a functional and efficient workspace:

Choose the Right Devices

Select devices that meet your specific needs. If you work with electronic devices, ensure your desk is positioned near electrical outlets for easy access to power. Consider investing in a laptop or desktop computer, a reliable printer, and any other necessary peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, or touchpad. Don't forget to include a headset for online meetings, especially if you work in a shared space, to reduce noise distractions for others.

Internet Connection

Ensure you have a reliable and fast internet connection. Most urban and suburban areas offer high-speed internet options, so aim for a minimum speed of 50Mbps. Consider using a wired Ethernet connection for your computer, especially if you work with video or other bandwidth-intensive tasks. If you opt for Wi-Fi, ensure your router supports modern standards like 802.11ac or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6).

Monitor Setup

Invest in a good-quality monitor, preferably with a higher resolution to reduce eye strain. Look for displays with specifications such as QWXGA, QHD, WQHD, or 4K UHD. Ensure the display connector matches your computer's video specs to get the best video quality. Position your monitor so that the top is slightly above eye level when you sit straight, preventing hunching and shoulder strain. Consider using a monitor riser to achieve the correct height.

Manage Cords and Cables

Keep your workspace tidy and safe by managing cords and cables effectively. Use fabric cord covers on your desk and feed cords through a desk grommet to hide them underneath. For cords on the floor, use cord winders, tubing, or a wire organizer attached to the desk to keep them off the ground.

Lighting and Glare

Proper lighting is crucial to reducing eye strain. Position your computer monitor to avoid glare from windows or overhead lights. Use indirect lighting, such as ceiling lamps, to illuminate your workspace without causing glare. If additional lamps are needed, place them away from your direct field of view to prevent glare on the screen.

Backup and Protection

Don't forget to back up your important work! Use cloud storage services like OneDrive or iCloud to ensure your work is easily accessible and safe, even if your computer is damaged or lost. Additionally, consider using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect your equipment from power surges or outages.


Add some inspiration

Now that you've got the basics down, it's time to add some personal touches to your home office. Here are some ideas to make your space more inspiring and motivating:

  • Choose a colour scheme that motivates you: Opt for colours that energize and inspire you. If you're unsure, shades of blue and green can create a balance between focus and relaxation, while sunny yellows can enhance positivity and motivation. You can also consider painting an accent wall with a bold colour or fun wallpaper to create a visual cue that work should be enjoyable.
  • Add some greenery: Bring life into your home office by adding plants or flowers. A large cactus or an oversized plant can provide company and a sense of calm. If you're not much of a gardener, consider low-maintenance options like succulents or hanging plants.
  • Create a gallery wall: Curate a gallery wall with artwork, inspirational quotes, or even your children's framed artwork. You can also include a DIY mood board that you can personalize and change whenever you need a boost of inspiration.
  • Display cherished items: Surround yourself with items that bring you joy and motivation. This could be a print of your favourite city, a special photo, or quirky knick-knacks that make you smile.
  • Incorporate meaningful accessories: Opt for homey and stylish accessories, such as a pretty mug for your pens, trendy notepads and sticky notes, and a decorative wastebasket. You can also wrap your bulletin board in a gorgeous fabric to make it more visually appealing.
  • Utilize lighting: Ensure your office has ample lighting to reduce eye strain and headaches. In addition to natural light, consider adding a desk lamp or a stylish floor lamp to create a cosy atmosphere. You can also add a playful pendant light or a whimsical glass bubble pendant for a touch of whimsy.
  • Incorporate comfortable seating: Invest in a great chair that is not only comfortable but also ergonomically correct. Look for features like adjustable height, lumbar support, and adjustable armrests. A comfortable seat is worth every penny, especially if you'll be spending long hours in your home office.
  • Add some privacy: If your home office is in a shared space or a busy area, consider adding a privacy divider or a curtain to create a sense of enclosure. This can help you focus and reduce distractions.
  • Incorporate storage that inspires: Choose storage options that are both functional and inspiring. For example, you can use floating shelves to display decorative items or hide unsightly cords. Stylish storage containers, such as bins, baskets, and buckets, can also add a touch of personality while keeping your space organized.
  • Create a multifunctional space: If you have a multifunctional home office, such as a guest room or a hybrid workspace, consider using a simple white curtain to divide the space. This can help create a sense of separation between work and other activities, allowing you to focus better.

Frequently asked questions

Choose a quiet area with minimal interruptions and, if possible, a lockable door for privacy. If space is limited, consider a corner of a room, a closet conversion, or an unused niche.

A desk and a comfortable, ergonomic chair are must-haves. Look for adjustable height desks and chairs with good lumbar support.

Ensure your monitor is at eye level to avoid neck strain. Add indirect lighting, such as a floor lamp, to reduce glare and eye strain. Include homely accessories, such as a pretty mug for pens, to make the space inviting.

Invest in good internet service and a headset for online meetings. Manage cords with cord covers and wire organizers. Add a printer and a surge protector, and consider cloud storage for your work.

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