The 10 essentials of a functional home office

Need to set up a workspace to work remotely from? Read on for the 10 essentials of a functional home office. 

Since Covid it has become more and more common for people to work remotely, at least part of the time – if not full time. And most remote or hybrid workers choose to work from home. 

But while home working may be more convenient for many, it does present a new set of problems: how can you set up the perfect home office?

Whether you have a dedicated office in your home to work from, or you are carving out a workspace from an existing room, we have compiled 10 things you need for a functional home office. 

1) A desk

Every home office needs a desk – whether it’s a bespoke piece of furniture or the corner of your kitchen table. 

It is likely you will spend many hours sat working at your desk, so it is important that it is the right height to be comfortable, has enough space for your needs and equipment, and is in the right location – somewhere with enough light and the right temperature. 

2) A laptop

Another essential for pretty much every (if not every) home office today is a laptop. You don’t need to buy a top-of-the-range model, but you do need a computer that is in good working order, is reliable, and has enough storage space for all your files and software.

3) A reliable internet connection

If you’re working from home on a laptop then you will need a reliable internet connection. If you are using it for downloading, make sure you have a high-speed internet plan that can cope with your needs. Luckily today finding the right internet provider is much simpler with comparison websites.

4) A comfortable chair

Just as you need to check your desk is suitable for hours of work, you need to find the perfect office chair – after all, you’ll be spending a lot of time sitting in it! Look for one that is comfortable and supportive; ideally a chair with adjustable height and armrests. 

If possible, try out the chair before buying and make sure it’s the right size for you.

5) A printer

A printer is a must-have for a home office. We may live in the digital age, but there are still times today when you need to print something out. This might be a contract that requires a physical signature, or you may just prefer to read (or write on) documents on paper, rather than online. 

6) A scanner

Another home office essential is a scanner. A scanner enables you to digitise documents so you can save them electronically or share them with other people. Often a printer will double as a scanner, saving you the cost of investing in two pieces of equipment. 

7) A quiet location 

Sometimes you may need to hold online meetings or phone calls in your home office. And this is tricky if you are surrounded by noise. Or you may be someone who finds ambient noise distracting when trying to concentrate. So make sure you choose a quiet location for your home office, if possible. 

8)  Good lighting

Good lighting is essential for any workspace. After all, you don’t want to be squinting at your laptop screen. So make sure your home office has plenty of natural light. But also check the light won’t be blinding you, or making it hard to see your laptop screen. You may need to invest in blinds if so. If your location is too dark, choose the right artificial lighting. 

9) Storage

While many offices today are moving from a paper-based set up, you will still need storage for documents and equipment, such as stationery. Ideally your desk will come with built-in storage. If not, or if that is not enough, you can add storage shelves to your walls, or buy a storage cupboard. 

10) A comfortable place to take breaks

And finally, it is important to take breaks throughout your working day. So make sure you have a comfortable place in your home office where you can relax and recharge. This could simply be moving to your living room. 

Tips for staying productive in your home office

Creating a functional and comfortable home office might take a bit of time and effort, but it is worth it in the long run. With the right essentials, you can establish a space that is productive and enjoyable to work in.

Once your home office is set up, it’s time to start working. Here are some tips to help you be more productive when working at home:

  • Decide on a schedule and stick to it. A regular schedule will help you to keep on track and get your work completed. Ideally you will have set working hours, such as 9-5. You may not physically be in an office, but it can help psychologically to stick to office hours. 
  • Take breaks throughout the day. It is hard to stay motivated, productive and creative if you are stuck in the same chair for eight hours in a row. So try to get up and move around every 20-30 minutes to keep your blood moving and your mind fresh.
  • Avoid distractions. It can be difficult to switch off when you are working, especially at home. If you are focusing on a task, it is recommended to turn off your phone and close your email. And try not to get distracted by household tasks, such as a pile of laundry in the corner of the room you are working in. If you can’t switch off, ensure that your view from your desk doesn’t include anything that might distract you. 
  • Take care of yourself. You can only be productive and creative if your body and mind are healthy and stress-free. So make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly.

Set up a home office that works for you 

Working from home can be a great way to enjoy more flexibility and have greater control over your work-life balance. But in order to be successful and reap the rewards of home working, it is important to set up a functional and comfortable home office that enables you to be productive and stay focused. 

With the right essentials and some careful planning, you can create a home office that’s perfect for you.