12 Tips to Set Up a Home Office You Love


Working from home has several perks, not the least of which is a 1-hour commute. And, while many people believe that working from home entails working on the couch, in the backyard, or even from your bed, you may discover that you’re most productive at home when you have a proper home office. You know, the kind with a chair and a desk.

When you set up your home office, you have a lot of options and freedom. Want a chair that’s purple and orange? Have at it! Want striped walls? Be my guest! However, regardless of how you decorate, furnish, or set up your home office, I’ve got some pointers to help you create an environment that contributes to your work-from-home success.

#1 Find the best location

Choosing a location for a home office is simple for some people. They have a spare room that they use as a dedicated office space. It can be a proper “office,” but many people use an empty bedroom or even the basement as their workspace. However, not everyone has that much empty space in their home. In that case, being creative comes in handy.

If you don’t mind packing up your office before every meal, you can always use a portion of the kitchen table as your office space. However, if resetting your workspace after each meal isn’t appealing to you, examine underutilized nooks in larger rooms, huge (but empty) closets, and even the space under the stairs! With a little imagination, there are several locations that can make for a good home office.

#2 Add privacy

If you’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated office space, it’s likely to have walls that extend all the way from the floor to the ceiling and solid doors that close. As a result, seclusion and quiet are easy to come by. However, if your office is in, say, the corner of your bedroom, it may be hard to separate work from home.

Consider installing a privacy divider in your home office. There are traditional dividers that sit on the floor available online. Alternatively, you might hang a curtain from the ceiling or from a rod. Curtains are a lightweight and often low-cost way to “close the door” on your office. With a curtain, you can choose something discreet that complements the rest of the décor; or, find something wild and outlandish to spruce up your “door.”

#3 Consider who else will using your home office

Consider who else will use your home office while you set it up, and choose the space and furniture properly. Will your children use the office for homework, and will your partner work from home as well? Consider a partner desk arrangement, in which two people can operate at the same desk at the same time.

Are there any visitors? You could meet with them in the living room, but it isn’t always the greatest option. Make sure you have sitting and table space for clients as well.

#4 Invest in yourself

In many respects, investing in a home office setup is an investment in yourself. You want to create a professional setting in which you can be both productive and comfortable. However, as with many investments, you get what you pay for. And, while it may be tempting to acquire “cheap” office furniture, keep in mind what that low price buys you.

“If you’re working in your home office 40 hours a week… make sure you consider quality,” says Peggy Brown of Bush Business Furniture. “The cheapest desk won’t save you any money in the long run if you have to replace it in a year or two.”

#5 Make comfort your priority

When you work from home, it can be tempting to simply grab a chair from the dining room. Sitting at a desk for lengthy periods of time without sufficient back support, on the other hand, is a surefire way to develop posture complications. Ergonomic office chairs provide the proper support when sitting for lengthy periods of time. Buying a supportive chair, like the rest of your home office equipment, is an investment in yourself.

Brown recommends that home office workers search for the following features in an ergonomic chair: 

  • 360-degree swivel base
  • Height adjustable
  • Adjustable backrest and armrest
  • Adjustable seat depth
  • Built-in lumbar support

#6 Support your eyes and neck

Don’t forget to take care of your neck and eyes as well. Check that your monitor is in the “ideal” position. Because that spot is unique to each individual, you’ll have to experiment with placement. Here are some pointers to help you get it right: 

  • Always keep your spine in a neutral position.
  • The screen’s top should be at or slightly below eye level.
  • Place the monitor at least 20 inches (50 cm) away from your eyes, and much more away if you have a huge monitor.
  • When looking towards the middle of the screen, your eyes should be slightly down to help keep your neck in proper alignment. Tilt the monitor back 10 to 20 degrees to ensure you’re looking down at an angle on the screen. If you wear bifocals, tilt the screen back 30 to 45 degrees to avoid bending your head back to focus.

Most monitors can be adjusted. However, this isn’t always enough, and you may need to invest in a screen riser to make the correct adjustment. In a pinch, some books or an old box can also suffice. 

#7 Get the right desk

Working at home entails spending a significant amount of time at your desk. So, you want to buy a desk that meets your budget, workflow, and space. You also want a desk that helps you stay productive by keeping you comfortable throughout the day.

According to Dave Hulst of Bush Business Furniture, “sitting all day and standing all day can cause both aches and pains or even long-term health issues.” Consider getting a standing desk instead of a typical “fixed” workstation, however, it may take some getting accustomed to. At an ergonomic height adjustable desk, you can sit when you want and stretch your legs when you need to by raising your desk to standing height with the push of a button.

Standing desks may be better for you in terms of reducing aches and pains. Let’s be honest. Sedentism pervades modern society. Working at a desk all day (while possibly munching) isn’t good for your health. Standing desks appear to be healthier than sitting ones. According to one study, standing six hours a day instead of sitting at a computer for the same amount of time resulted in a 5.5-pound weight loss every year. While it won’t replace an hour at the gym, a standing desk may benefit your long-term health.

#8 Put it away

When we think about remote work supplies, we often see a laptop…and not much else. However, depending on your profession, you’ll almost certainly have some papers, pencils, and other office supplies lying around. And, yes, there are some paper files to keep track of.

Dedicated storage options are beneficial for more than simply the rest of your household items. They can also be used to store files, documents, stationery, and other items in your home office. It doesn’t have to be a giant filing cabinet or a massive desk with drawers. A basic cubby system with little bins might do the trick. Plastic storage tubs could also be useful if you need to pack up your office at the end of the day. Even if you merely remove a little section of an existing shelf unit and dedicate it to work materials, you’ll feel more organized right away.

#9 Protect sensitive documents

Shelves and cubbies aren’t the best choices for all of your storage demands. There are some critical documents that you shouldn’t leave laying around the office, especially if it’s a common space. Brown recommends consumers to invest in lockable file and storage cabinets when they have something they don’t want to lose.

Fortunately, locking cabinets don’t necessarily imply “awful neutral colored metal.” There are several secure, locking cabinets and drawers that are also attractive and appealing.

#9 Think up and down

Yes. A home office has some cons. One issue is that home offices, especially if they’re in a designated space, are typically small. Don’t only think side to side when setting up your home office. To maximize your storage possibilities, think vertically as well. A hutch, tall bookcases, or even floating shelves can provide you with more storage without taking up valuable floor space.

#10 Tame your wires

While Wi-Fi is everywhere, that doesn’t mean you won’t have a lot of cords in your office. Even your mobile devices require charging from time to time. You can always count on cords, cords, and more cords at your home office.

Consider purchasing a cord management solution. This might be as basic as a twist tie or something a little more sophisticated, but whatever you get, make sure you use it. Also, if your workplace is in a dedicated but public location, consider where the power outlets are when you’re setting up shop. You might not have many options and end up running power strips and extension cords over the floor. If that’s the case, make sure you find a safe manner to do it (like with cord covers).

Also, when you’re setting up the wires, consider the Wi-Fi. There may be days when you choose to work from home rather than in the office. If you plan to work on the sofa or even outside on some days, test your router to ensure that the connection not only reaches, but is also powerful. To work on the patio and stay connected, you may need to invest in a Wi-Fi extension or possibly a Wi-Fi mesh system.

#11 Turn it on

When it comes to setting up a home office, lighting is sometimes ignored. Most work is done on computers, and since monitors (and even keyboards) light up, does lighting even matter?

A lot. While bad office lighting may not cause blindness, it’ll cause you to strain your eyes. Eye strain can induce headaches over time, making you a less effective freelancer.

Set up your home office in an area that receives as much natural light as possible. It can make you feel better and may even boost your productivity levels. If nothing else, using natural light to brighten up your office is better for the environment.

When natural light isn’t available or you simply need more light, invest in proper lighting. While you may believe that overhead lighting is the best option, it might generate a glare on your screen or home office, making it difficult to see. Having said that, a task lamp can occasionally help you shine a light exactly where you need it. Look for a task lamp with a solid shade that can be directed straight at your home office when needed.

That said, indirect light may be a better option for you, as lamp covers or diffusers soften the light, reducing glare and making it easier on the eyes. Just make sure the light isn’t too diffused, or you can lose sight of what you’re doing. 

#12 Creating the ideal home office

A home office may be anything you want – and could be set up anywhere you want. The options are only limited by your room and imagination, whether in a snug corner or spread out across the basement. So, take some time, explore options on creative platforms like Pinterest. Enjoy!

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I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

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