7 Tips for Setting up a Home Office for Remote Work

beautiful home office with blue wall and pictures

by Dale Harris

You’re thinking of setting up a home office for remote work and you don’t know where to start. Whether you’re working remotely due to the pandemic or decided to pick up a side hustle to make some extra money, working from home provides many benefits.

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You’ll save money on gas. Avoid the rush hour commute. Eat lunch in the luxury of your home. And spend more time with your family.

But setting up a home office takes more than working on your laptop on the couch or kitchen table. Here are seven important tips to consider when setting up your home office.

1. Choosing Furniture

When purchasing home office furniture, you want to keep a few things in mind. First, you need the right-sized space to do your work. Will you be working on a laptop? You could get away with a small desk.

But if you need room to spread paperwork around, you may need something larger. Do you have room for an executive desk? Or does your desk space only afford you forty-eight inches?

The size of the room you have to work with will dictate the furniture you need to purchase such as a desk, bookcases, filing cabinets, and additional tables. Make sure to use a comfortable chair at the appropriate height to work comfortably. Or find one that’s adjustable.

2. Create a Healthy Work Environment

When setting up a home office for remote work, your environment should be a healthy one. Consider placing plants around the room to get additional oxygen.

Don’t work in a room where people smoke if there are smokers in your home. Another idea is to have sufficient task lighting. Enough to see your workspace, but not too bright causing eye strain and squinting.

If you work at the computer for many hours, consider adjusting the blue light on your display. Blue light is harmful to the eyes when you’re exposed to it for long periods of time. You can pick up a pair of blue light glasses if your computer doesn’t have the ability to use the night vision mode.

3. Set Yourself Up to Be Productive

It’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re at home. The phone rings. You receive emails. Your Twitter feed and social media apps never end. Consider turning off the alerts or using a program that limits the use of social media.

Some apps actually block social media. But don’t worry if you have a social program for work such as Slack. You can set up the preferences in the apps to tell them which sites you want to block and leave others alone.

Another way to be productive is to create a schedule. Especially if your boss isn’t tracking the time you spend doing your work on a company portal.

Plan work times with appropriate breaks, time for lunch, and stick to your schedule. You’ll be surprised at how much work you get done. Plus, you won’t need to attend all those impromptu meetings held at the office lasting half the day.

4. Separate Your Workspace from Shared Areas

Don’t have a private room to do your work? Well, don’t set up your space in the middle of the kitchen or the living room.

Your family may want to watch TV, do their homework on the sofa or the kitchen table. Choose a quiet, peaceful space where you can concentrate. Additionally, an area designated for your work will make you feel more like a professional.

5. Designing and Decorating Your Space

When you’re setting up a home office for remote work, you may want to make your space appear like it’s an office. Find a style that suits your taste. Maybe even paint the room.

If your room has bright red walls, you may want to tone it down. You may want to choose a color more conducive to working in an office environment. To coordinate the space, pick up some accessories.

Want to do a gold theme? Pick up a pencil case and a container for paper clips. You can even buy gold paper clips. These kinds of touches make a great way to personalize your space and make it more productive.

6. Minimize Family Distractions

If you live with your family, let them know in advance that you don’t want to be disturbed. If you have an extra room to use as an office, consider putting a “do not disturb” sign on the door and keep the door closed to minimize interruptions.

While that won’t guarantee you’ll never get an occasional (hopefully occasional) knock on the door, it will help to make interruptions less frequent than keeping the door open and family members walking into your office to ask a question every hour.

If you live with roommates, ask them to keep the noise down while you’re working if they raise the volume beyond a level you can bear.

7. Keep Your Work Area Positive

It’s important to maintain a positive state of mind when you’re working remotely as well as any time of the day. Unexpected problems occur at work and at home. Clients go with other companies. Your boss loses their temper.

Your child gets sick. The principal calls you because your kiddo has acted up inappropriately. Many situations can put you in a bad mood.

Try to roll with the punches. Don’t let mishaps and obstacles get you down. They’re often unavoidable. You can deal with them after work if they’re not emergencies. A good way to feel positive is to listen to soft music or meditation tapes while you’re working.

Of course, if this distracts you, think of some other options. One possibility is to place posters with positive sayings you like on the wall. Or positive quotes in frames on your desk. Have a few post-it notes with positive affirmations in front of you.

Is there a painting that lifts your spirits such as lovely Monet oil painting? An Andrew Wyeth watercolor? Hang it on the wall for some creative, positive inspiration. Color and nature affect our state of mine.

Follow these proven tips for setting up a home office for remote work. These home office ideas will help you create a positive, productive work environment, achieve your goals, and earn an income.