This blog post may contain references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services.
Now that we’re nearly two years deep into the remote work revolution, it’s time to take that home office setup to the next level. Even if you’re headed back to the office as usual, why not create the ideal space you need to work from home if need be?
When done correctly, a home office can be even more effective as a space for productivity and personal achievement, making the experience less stressful and more enjoyable overall.
It’s part atmosphere, part feng shui, and part technology – all components must come together to create the perfect home office space, and we’re going to help you get there.
In this article, we’re focusing on the tech side of things, but these selections will improve every aspect of your home office, from aesthetics to utility and the general vibe you need to get stuff done! Let’s jump right in.
Power and Functionality
Just like every meal needs a protein and some veggies, your office needs a strong foundation of powerful, reliable technology.
“We’re talking about our livelihoods here, so don’t hesitate to upgrade a five-year old laptop or ditch the old desktop for something more up-to-date,” said Sean Byrne, Founder and CEO of Sweetkick. “Buying new hardware is a bit intimidating because of the price and the time it takes to procure and install everything, but as soon as you’re all set up, you’ll be wondering what took you so long to make the improvements. Plus, the extra productivity you gain from the new tech will pay for the upgrades many times over.”
Hardware is only part of the deal when it comes to maximizing your home office experience. Make the necessary software upgrades as well so that you stay ahead of the curve.
Become an Insider
“Software is everything when it comes to your experience working remotely, especially if you’re self-employed or work within an autonomous team within your company,” said Drake Ballew, CEO of Practice Health. “If you need to spend a few more bucks each month on a SaaS subscription that helps your business or removes some stress for your life, it’s so worth the money. When you start to recognize that time is more valuable than money, that’s when you start to see the power and value of technology – keep this in mind as you advance in your career.”
Ergonomics and Accessibility
More power isn’t always necessary when it comes to home office tech, of course. Sometimes, comfort is key to helping you work long hours and maintain a sound body and mind.
“Take a minute to analyze your space and see what improvements can be made in terms of ergonomics, meaning how each tool and piece of tech is accessed and fits your physical specifications,” said Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer of Paradigm Peptides. “Maybe you’ll realize that you need a slightly bigger mouse, or a keyboard with a bit more elevation for wrist comfort. Maybe your office chair needs an upgrade, or simply a pad to place on the seat or the headrest. These might not be super high-tech solutions, but they can make a massive difference in your daily life.”
Considering the average remote worker spends more than 8 hours a day at a desk, you may as well take the time to create the most comfortable space possible – but not too comfy.
“Keeping a good posture and staying alert is also key in creating an office, so don’t expect to get much done if you’re reclining in a cushy chair and surrounded by distracting technology,” said Lilian Chen, Co-Founder and COO of Bar None Games. “Your tech needs to serve a purpose, which is to ensure that you get as much done possibly in the shortest period of time, while remaining focused and healthy for the long term.”
The most productive remote workers make ergonomics a central focus in designing offices, rather than just loading up on tons of fancy hardware without thinking about the human element of the experience.
“You’re a human being, not a robot,” said Ryan Azimi, Director of International Development of ETIAS. “Invest in things like humidifiers or air purifiers to help you breathe more deeply and stay energized and stress-free. Get a water purifier to keep nearby so you aren’t walking back and forth from the sink or fridge. Fix the lighting in your office so it’s not blasting you with harsh light all day long. All of these small fixes add up to a controlled, custom environment that allows you to perform at your peak.”
Organization and Structure
Time is money, as we know, and a well-organized space ensures that we never waste time looking for an item, whether it’s in the digital or physical realm.
“You want to get to the point where you can navigate your office with your eyes closed, and just go by intuition and feel,” said Dan Gray, General Manager of Kotn Supply. “If you’re constantly shuffling through papers, get yourself a vertical folder container that you can sort and label. If you can never find a pen, paperclips, or a stapler, place them in an organizer right next to your printer and always return them to that spot. On top of that, be sure everything is well lit with soft, overhead lighting that doesn’t irritate the eyes.”
Until you spend a few hours organizing everything and clearing away the clutter, you won’t realize what you’ve been missing. Being organized is the ultimate productivity hack, because it minimizes the variables and puts the power back in your hands.
“When it comes to office supplies, electronics are just as essential as pens and paper,” said Jeffrey Block, Founder and CEO of Great Useful Stuff. “Keep all your tech organized—and, more importantly, keep all those cords untangled and hidden—with this multi-device charging dock, which can hold up to five gadgets. Simply tuck your cords in the dock’s base and use the elastic bands to secure them in place. (The charging ports can stick out through holes for easy access.) After adding the lid, store your laptop, tablet, phones, or other handheld devices, and get back to work.”
Consolidation and Efficiency
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably got too much tech, which means it’s time to consolidate and make things more efficient.
“The techie personality can accumulate clutter – mostly wires, chargers, and other tech gadgets,” said Dr. Debanjan Banerjee, Consultant Geriatric Psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health. “Despite the mess, people with this type of desk are perceived as friendly and creative, as well as the sort who are compulsive, curious, and excited to experiment. However, techies may be a bit difficult to work with and do things their own way. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to tech, so be practical.”
Wireless devices and all-in-one computers are great ways to take a step towards minimalism without compromising any productivity. You’ll quickly see that having fewer items around you is better for the mind and simplifies your thought process, too.
“There are tons of ways to consolidate your tech, whether it’s compact power adapters, charging stations, or mouse pads that have built-in chargers or USB support,” said Chandler Rogers, CEO of Relay. “Browse around and see if you can make upgrades that ultimately reduce the amount of space taken up in your office by tech. It’s sometimes hard to let things go, but realize that you’re benefiting your mind, body, and career by making these small investments.”
Back in the day, the goal was to accumulate as much tech as possible – now the opposite is true for modern remote workers! Efficiency is everything, and this is reflected in the tools we use each day.
“That’s why everyone is excited about things like standing desks and mini-elliptical machines under your desk. Every piece of tech you add or remove from the equation needs to be viewed through this lens of overall well-being. If something is causing unnecessary strain or slowing you down, leave it out of your tech lineup.”
Bonuses and Fun Stuff
Perhaps these suggestions aren’t “essential” like the others we’ve mentioned so far, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important! After all, you need to make your office space your own, and these fun, affordable tech additions can help you achieve just that.
“It’s nice to keep some cool tech-inspired sculptures or a digital picture frame with rotating images on your desk,” said Alex Carroll, Founder of Caliber Games. “There are also things like colored lights or projectors that people use to add to the ambiance of their home office. As long as it doesn’t distract you and makes you feel inspired to tackle new challenges, that’s all you can ask for.”
Even if your office space is looking a bit crowded, you’ve also got to set aside some time for fun and games. Be ready to jump into a video game or video chat room with friends after work.
“Everybody is gaming these days, even people who have never played before,” said Rio Wolff, Chief Operating Officer of Big Heart Toys. “If they’re not gaming, they’re chatting with people online more often than in the past. Get yourself a nice headset with a mic and upgrade your setup to be more social online if that’s something you enjoy.”
The right tech setup can totally transform your work-from-home experience, so what are you waiting for? Make these upgrades today and start the next phase of your remote work career.
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone
The content of this website is for informational purposes only and does not represent investment advice, or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security, investment, or product. Investors are encouraged to do their own due diligence, and, if necessary, consult professional advising before making any investment decisions. Investing involves a high degree of risk, and financial losses may occur.