With more of us working hybrid or solely from home these days, creating an ideal home office setup is essential. Little touches can make all the difference, and a good working space can help boost your mood and productivity.
Make sure you have fast internet
Decent broadband isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s the lifeblood of any home office. Run through this check-list to make sure your internet connection is ticking along just right.
- Run a speed test – Make sure you know how your internet is doing by running a speed test to check both your upload and download speed. This tells you the broadband speed as it comes into your home. You should run this test at different times in the day for a clear picture.
- Look at your internet contract – Your current provider must clearly set out what speeds you should be getting. Does this match the speed test? If it’s way off, and you’re out of contract, consider switching your broadband to a faster deal.
- Aim for a minimum 35Mb broadband package – A broadband speed of 35Mb is a good start for two people. If your day-to-day work is upload or download heavy – especially large images or video formats – or you have a family who are never off their gadgets, then a faster connection is the way to go.
- Check the Wi-Fi signal – You might have great internet speed, but poor Wi-Fi within your home itself can scupper this. There’s plenty of hardware out there to help, look into Wi-Fi boosters or mesh kits to increase a poor signal.
- Always have a backup – Ensure you have alternative options if your broadband goes down. Good mobile Wi-Fi can be a lifesaver, just tether to your phone and stay put. Keep an eye on your mobile data as it can be costly outside your agreed data bundle. You also need to make sure tethering is allowed on your mobile phone contract. Otherwise, scope out nearby cafés and enjoy a coffee whilst hopping onto their Wi-Fi.
Create a personalised desk setup
A proper home desk setup is key. Stretching out on the sofa with your laptop on your knees might seem like a nice idea, but the reality is there’s likely to be too many distractions and your back and neck will suffer.
- Desk and chair – Consider an adjustable smart desk that switches between sitting and standing. If you’re employed and work from home, as standard your work should do a DSE assessment to see that you have a healthy setup. Your work may have a home allowance to help source anything you might need.
- Mouse, keyboard and supports – We all work differently and have needs unique to us. Fortunately, there’s a huge range of mouse and keyboard types. Test out which shape and size works best for you. If it’s not working for you, try and swap and sell your old gear on a marketplace. If you’re prone to RSI, then supports can help you get yourself comfy.
- Lighting – Lighting can make a big difference to our wellbeing. Let in as much natural light as possible and use blinds or diffusers to avoid screen glare. It’s easy to be stuck inside all day deep in work mode, but you could be susceptible to SAD. Try investing in a SAD or Lumie lamp to brighten your workspace and mood too. It’s worth noting, you can receive a reduced rate on Lumie lamps and claim relief from VAT if you, or the person you’re buying for, suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- Decoration and backdrop – When you’re working and living in the same place, it’s easy for clutter to build up. Think about your backdrop. Inevitably, you’ll be scheduled for a video call when you least want one! Most video call platforms can blur out your background, but not worrying because you know your space looks tip-top is much better and looks more professional.
You spend so much time at your desk. Make it a relaxing place, conducive to a happy working day. It’s not just about what others see, but how you feel in your space that really matters.