If you’re one of the millions of Americans who are now working at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, you’re probably having a difficult time transitioning from office life to home life. Don’t get us wrong, working from home has many attractive perks—no time spent in rush hour traffic, a flexible schedule, the ability to work in your pajamas. However, setting up shop in your home, whether it be your living room, bedroom, or a home office, can be difficult. Below, you’ll find five essential work from home items you need to be the most productive and efficient employee you can be.
1. Ergonomic furniture
First, you need the right furniture for the area you decide to set up your workstation. You don’t want to hunch over a rigged table made out of books, crates, and a piece of plywood. Instead, you want an ergonomic desk that fits your height and allows your legs to fit under. You might also want to consider investing in a sit-stand desk that can be converted throughout the day. This way, you can increase blood flow throughout your legs and stand for a few hours while working, and then convert to a sitting position when you get tired.
When you do sit, you want an ergonomic chair as well. Sitting on a bean bag may feel comfortable for the first ten minutes, but after that, you’ll be fidgeting trying to get comfortable and be productive. An ergonomic desk chair with ample lumbar support, armrests, and adjustable seat height will ensure you don’t strain any muscles trying to work behind your computer.
2. A reliable computer
Once you have your furniture picked out, it’s time to make sure you have a reliable computer that allows you to get your work done. Slow lag times can make working from home extremely frustrating. When searching for laptops or computer towers for your desktop PC, look for ones with high processing speeds and ample storage. This will allow you to store large files and documents without slowing down your computer. Investing in a dual monitor might also be something worth checking out. Having two monitors to work on is a great way to boost productivity as it allows you to keep important information on one screen, and working information on a second screen.
3. High-speed internet
Your computer is only as fast as your internet. As you set up your work from home station, invest in high-speed internet. This is especially important if you have a large family or multiple roommates who need access to WiFi at home at the same time as you do. More people using one internet connection can cause it to slow down, which can be a headache.
When choosing an internet service provider, there are a few things to consider:
- Search for internet providers in your area, as prices and speed can vary by location
- If you live in a populated area, you most likely have access to multiple internet providers—make sure to compare prices, speeds, data caps, and the plans they offer
- Determine how much speed you need by seeing how many smart devices are in your home, how many people stream or download files in your house, and how often you’re using the internet
4. Noise-canceling headphones
When you work from home, you’re surrounded by distractions. Netflix, food in the fridge, your bed, kids, loud neighbors—the list goes on. To be productive, you need to limit your distractions. One way to do so is with noise-canceling headphones. A pair of headphones like these will allow you to play soft tunes or background music that helps you stay focused, all the while drowning out honking cars, screaming kids, and loud TV shows.
5. Organization solutions
Working with a mound of papers cluttering your desk or cords wrapping around your ankles is a recipe for disaster. Organization solutions, such as cord organizers, filing cabinets, stackable bins, drawer dividers, and other storage solutions, will allow you to keep your workstation nice and tidy. This way, if your boss calls you asking for an important document, you can easily locate it without combing through mounds of paperwork and other documents.
Working from home is becoming a new norm for people all across the country. Whether your job is requiring you to work from home or you’re a freelancer or small business owner who already operates from home, it’s essential you create a workspace that promotes productivity. With these five work from home items, you’ll be able to stay focused and work your best.