Home office set-up guide
Are you unsure of how to set up a comfortable and practical office space at home? There are several things to consider, from how best to use the space, to making sure you maintain healthy working habits and good posture. From selecting your equipment, including desks and chairs, to finding the correct sitting position, find advice and home office set-up ideas below.
How should your home office look?
The look, feel and functionality of your home office is important. These factors will all depend on how you use the space and how often. You will also have to factor in the space itself: for instance, whether it’s used solely for work, or is multipurpose, and whether it’s large or small.
While home office spaces can be very different, setting them up in an ergonomic way is vital to limit the risk of aches, pains, and repetitive strain injuries.
Common challenges when setting up a home office:
Are home workspaces worse than offices?
When properly set up, a home office offers the same level of productivity and comfort as an office building. The key is to consider your specific needs for the space. If you are employed, your employer is responsible for supplying you with suitable equipment, as well as the training needed to set it up healthily.
How to set up your home office, step by step
Working from home is much more enjoyable – and healthy – when you have a comfortable workspace. However, it can be difficult to know where to start. Follow our step-by-step guide to ergonomic desk set-up and make sure your home office is the best it possibly can be to keep you protected from aches and pains.
1. Assess your space
The first step to achieving the best home office set-up is having a clear understanding of the space available. Once you’ve chosen the location for your home office, assess it thoroughly.
Measure your workspace
2. Setting up your ergonomic equipment
Investing in high-quality ergonomic equipment limits your risk of avoidable injuries and strains. It’s important to select equipment that suits your home workspace: take note of dimensions and product features.
To gain the maximum benefits of your home office equipment, you will need to adjust the settings to your specific needs.
Your work surface
Make sure your desk or work surface is large enough to allow you to move your equipment around. This will help you achieve an arrangement that best suits you and the tasks you’re completing.
To achieve an ergonomic desk set-up, there should be enough room to find a comfortable position for all your limbs with room to move. The height of your desk or surface should allow you to work comfortably, and also provide sufficient leg room.
An ergonomic chair will provide the support you need while working from home. When setting up your chair, there are some key things to consider:
- Seat height – you need the correct positioning for your work surface and your feet should be flat on the floor, or on a footrest.
- Back height – your back should be fully supported.
- Tilt – you should be at the right angle to work comfortably at your desk.
You may choose to use a single screen or multiple screens, depending on the space available and the nature of your work.
The screen used most frequently should be positioned so that your head is upright, not twisted or side-bent, and content is easy to see without squinting or leaning forward.
It’s much more comfortable and productive to have a separate mouse, rather than using a laptop trackpad. For both part-time and full-time work, an ergonomically-designed mouse gives you the support you need.
Position your mouse so that your arm is relaxed by your body and your hand is in a neutral position.
To achieve the perfect posture, you may need additional equipment for your workspace, such as:
3. Perfecting your homeworking environment
Once you’ve evaluated your home office space, selected ergonomic equipment, and set everything up carefully, it’s time to consider the look and feel of your workspace. Decorating your space in soothing colours, adding plants and artwork are all ways to make your home office more inviting and enjoyable.