For the last couple of years, many people have been working from home (WFH) for the first time due to the pandemic. Adapting to a new working environment isn’t easy, and it can contribute to poor psychological and physical health plus lowered productivity.
Improving your work-from-home setup can help. Many firms such as Shopify and Chegg will even pay for WFH office equipment. A suitable desk chair or ergonomic chair, for example, can help WFH individuals be more productive and boost physical and mental health.
We’ve created a list of the best equipment for your home office. After all, you’re working for hours at home, so why not have a home office design that helps you do your best work?
The first item for improving your WFH setup is a laptop stand. A high-quality stand will hold your laptop firmly at a comfortable height and angle and provide support for your wrists to avoid excessive strain. You can also find laptop stands with cooling pads that won’t block the airflow or overheat it. Comfort and no strain, no pain is the way to go when working long hours no matter where you work.
Adjustable standing desk
An adjustable standing desk can help you feel more energized and may even help avoid health problems caused by sitting too much.
You can try a rolling standing desk that you can easily push from one room to another. This type allows you to change the scenery, work while soothing a baby or young child in another room, or work while waiting for a delivery or a school bus at your front door. Standing desks are popular, and you have a lot of options to choose from. Be sure to check with your doctor if you have health issues that may be affected by standing more than you usually do.
Comfortable desk chair
Whether you work from home or in an office, an uncomfortable desk chair can be a literal pain in the butt, or worse. The best ergonomic chairs can go a long way toward getting more work done and benefiting your mental and physical health.
When your chair causes poor posture, your performance suffers. Poor posture strains muscles and tendons and can lead to lower back pain, fatigue, and chronic health issues. A well-designed ergonomic chair that fits your body type can let you work without pain or discomfort. It might even be the best investment you’ve ever made.
Pairing an ergonomic office chair with a keyboard that works with you rather than against you is a smart choice. The built-in keyboard on your laptop can strain your wrists, upper arms, and shoulders as you reach forward all day, so consider a separate ergonomic keyboard. There are many options to choose from. Try them out, and get one that feels right for you.
You can also place a gummy silicone cover on your keyboard which will help your fingers feel less pressure while typing. Add a keyboard wrist rest, and let your fingers do the typing.
If you’re using a laptop at home, looking at a Zoom screen all day while discussing data on a Google spreadsheet can create eyestrain and headaches.
Getting an external monitor can help you work more efficiently. A 32-inch full HD display screen from LG is popular, and many others will also fit the bill. You could even use your TV as a second screen via an HDMI cable or by extending your screen with AirPlay for Apple devices.
Your laptop’s built-in camera may have been fine for video calls in the past, but if you’re using Zoom on a regular basis now, you’ll want a good webcam that puts you in a professional light. There are so many high-quality options available now that you can’t go wrong by choosing one based on your budget.
Speaking of webcams, if you’re a professional in sales, education, or any industry which requires a 100% professional presentation, it might be a good idea to invest in a green screen. A green screen allows you to choose a professional background that can hide some WFH realities that are better not seen. Some even attach an iPad to their workstation as another option.
White noise machine
Loud neighbors, barking dogs, traffic, and talkative roommates can interfere with your concentration. On the other hand, if you work in total silence, you might prefer some sound while you’re working. White noise is a solution. It softens external sounds and internal thoughts so you can concentrate. You can play white noise sounds from a device like a Goggle assist or a white noise playlist on Spotify. You can also purchase a separate white noise machine for better quality.
If your home is surrounded by noise that white noise can’t cover up, you might need something stronger. Noise-canceling headphones should do the trick, and you can use them together with a white-noise playlist for better results. Noise-canceling headphones work in video conferences as well, and recipient sounds are good.
If wearing large headphones all day isn’t really your thing, install soundproofing panels for an extra layer of assurance. Any acoustic insulation boards will work, but you can try these from Home Depot.
If you’re really firm about blocking out noise, consider these acoustic foam panels for studio sound installation.
Your workstation is your money generator every day, even if you simply cross the hall to get there. It’s important to have what you need to be comfortable and healthy. If you feel good, you’ll be more willing to do a better job and be happier with your work.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.