Among US workers, 25% worked from home all the time, and 20% did so part of the time.
It has never been more important to have a home office than it is today. If you’re going to be working from home, or already are, you know how important home office essentials are. If you want to get work done, you need all of the tools and devices necessary at your fingertips.
What is most essential for a home office to function, and what choices do you need to make?
Table of Contents
1. Ergonomic Furniture
If you plan to spend any time in your office, you want it to be comfortable. Ergonomic furniture is about more than comfort though, it is about how the furniture interfaces with you. This means the ease of use, comfort, and suitability for work are all taken into account.
Here are a few ergonomic furniture essentials:
- Stand-up, adjustable desk
- A chair with proper back support
- Laptop stands
- Easy to reach lighting solutions
If you have to stoop or sit for an entire day, every day, you are going to have some issues. Having adjustable furniture that enables you to work from a variety of positions will lessen the stress on your back. Don’t forget to leave yourself some room to stand up.
2. Computer Accessories
No home office design is complete without consideration given to the central piece, your computer. Whether it is a laptop or a desktop, you’ll want everything available and organized to get your work done. Your list may involve specific job-related requirements, but let’s take a look at a more generic overview:
- A mouse, using a trackpad or other interface on a laptop can be less than convenient
- Large monitor, prevent eye strain even while using a laptop by hooking up a monitor
- Keyboard, you can hook up a keyboard to a laptop or a desktop
If you’re used to using a laptop, consider connecting your peripherals to the laptop and using it as the “tower”. This will not only give you more flexibility and movement, but it can even prolong the life of your computer. Wireless versions of mice and keyboards can also help reduce the amount of clutter in your office.
3. Power Accessories
A home office checklist isn’t complete if it doesn’t include power accessories. These include various devices that can help keep your office less cluttered and more efficient. Every device we use these days requires either power or charging, often this also comes with more cords that could get in the way.
Here are a few power accessories you should put on your home office list:
- Cordless phone charger
- USB power strip with surge protector
- Cord clips for organization and safety
- Extra cable and cable clips
You want to make sure you have everything you need, but keep it out from under your feet. Having a lot of cords around is a recipe for disaster, or at the very least an embarrassing accident. The same is true of surge protection, as a single energy surge can destroy a computer.
4. Creature Comforts
If you plan on spending a lot of time in your office you’re going to want some creature comforts. If your job requires a lot of deep thinking or long consideration, you don’t want to have to leave every fifteen minutes. This means taking time to add a few amenities that you can partake in.
Here are amenities that serve as an example of what to put in a home office:
- Mini-fridge for drinks
- Coffee maker
- Tea maker
- Mug warmer
- Space heater
A lot of your decision here will be based on your personal comfort needs and the environment you live in. Make sure that you don’t forget creature comforts, they are home office essentials that can change the whole complexion of your work.
This is one of the big advantages of a home office. Another is that you can control the temperature that the room is at. No more suffering through freezing cold conditions or sweating all day. Get your best work done in the most cozy and nice office possible.
Something else you might want to invest in is a place to rest. Not everyone wants this in their home office, but having a couch to sit or lay down on and take a nap can help keep you sharp and focused. You may find that a couch or loveseat can offer you a safe haven from interruption.
5. Organizational Furniture
Not all the furniture in your office is about your comfort, some of it is about filing, organization, and retention. Make sure that you choose pieces that compliment the way you want your office to look. The less clutter and disorganization there is, the better off you will be at meeting deadlines.
Here are a few must-haves no matter what home office design ideas you go with:
- Filing cabinets
No office is complete without reference materials so make sure you have a place to store them. If you are going to keep data or files in hard copy, a filing cabinet can make that retention a lot easier. This can also help give you a place to showcase things that you are proud of, such as degrees.
If you deal with private information or data on hard copy, you might consider a safe. Safes are also nice because they can protect your valuables from fire damage and theft. They can also be to store a variety of objects, like flash drives and other valuables you might need to secure.
6. Lighting Solutions
Having great lighting inside your office isn’t vanity, it is necessary. Lighting can help you avoid trip hazards and keep away the dreaded eyestrain. We no longer have to rely on neon lights, there are better solutions out there.
Here are a few ideas that might help you get what you need.
- LED light tree, a tall lamp that can light up any room
- Light strips, LED lights that can be run along the lengths of walls and windows
- Desk lamp, for when you need a little extra light
Lighting is one of those areas that is highly subjective, as you need lighting that works for you and your situation. Pay close attention to the color of the lights, you don’t want something that will distract you. Avoid colors like blue as well, as they can have a damaging effect on your sleep pattern.
No office is complete without decorations, you don’t want to be working in the modern equivalent of a dungeon. At the same time, you want to avoid distractions but there are some times when it is good to be able to take a moment and enjoy the space you’re in.
Here are a few decorative ideas for your home office:
- Pictures of friends and family or places you’ve enjoyed
- Paintings on the wall
- Models that can fit and theme with the bookshelf
- Designer throws for cushions and unused chairs
The more personal your home office feels the better, within reason. You want to feel like you’re going to work, but not like you’re chained to a desk. With this personalized feel, you might think it difficult to stay on topic, but the opposite is true, having beautiful interiors helps keep people motivated.
8. Office Supplies
No matter how you slice it, a home office needs to have home office supplies. Not only will you need them on hand, but you’ll also need extra that is easy to get to. Whether you are signing your name, keeping notes, or sending a real letter, office supplies help you get the job done.
Here are some standard office supplies you should have in your home office and have extra:
- Pens, you can never have too many
- Paper, for both writing and a printer
- Stick-it notes are surprisingly handy
- Highlighters come in handy all the time
- White-out, when you make an error with ink
- Filing tabs to keep things in a category
Your job or work may require additional or specific office supplies, so make sure that you keep them around too. Items could include objects like staplers and other paperwork tools. No matter what you need, having extra on hand will save you a headache in the future.
Home Office Essentials
Focus on figuring out what home office essentials means to you. Make sure to keep a list of items. This will help you keep track of what you have and what you need to make your office complete. Everyone will have some differences in what they find to be essential, and that’s okay.
Whether it’s a home office you intend to use part-time or full-time, it will be your office. Don’t let anyone else claim the space you need to be successful. If you want to read more ideas and information, please check out our website. We want to make you as successful and knowledgeable as possible.