Do you want to know how to set up your work-from-home office? Here’s what you need to think about.
We define a work-from-home setup as the workspace, the tools, and the supporting structures you use when working from home – and how these are laid out and functionally interconnected.
Your work-from-home setup might be simple, complicated – or not required at all. If your inventory includes nothing more than a smartphone, a setup (as we define it) may be unnecessary.
At wofome, we’re always looking for ways to improve work-from-home setups, however simple or complicated they may be.
Take, for example, the smartphone user above. What do they use their smartphone for? Is it just for making phone calls, or is there video involved as well? What about text messaging or online activity? Does this smartphone user have a professional image or brand to represent? Are they doing it effectively, or could some additional wofome tips improve their impact on their audience?
Does their activity involve selling, whereby an improved setup could increase sales?
Setup – The components
For starters, break down setup into segments, such as:
- Purpose and required outcomes
- Static vs Dynamic (is your workspace spatially fluid?)
- Temporary vs Permanent (is your workspace casual and impermanent?)
- Available Space
- Orientation & Elevation
- For more than one person
- Design & Layout
- Desks and Tables
- Seating and Chairs
- Lighting and sources of light
- Noise, Acoustics and Sound
- Screening and Backdrops
- Branding and Signage
- Technology Considerations
- Wellbeing Equipment
You can use this checklist – to help you plan your own setup. We will be adding posts that explore each of these specific areas in more detail.
Be creative, be flexible
No two work-from-home setups are the same. They usually include your own personal touch and the use of materials that may be on hand. Available space (or lack thereof) plays a large part. Your setup may be designed for a temporary or permanent situation.
Design your setup piecemeal and ruthlessly exclude things that are not essential. (you can always add them in later on). Start with a blank sheet of paper if you can.
Think about using or making supporting props from the things you already have in your home, rather than spending money purchasing items. Your homemade props are more adjustable and swappable. Purchased items usually suit a single function and may not be adaptable.
The best way to cascade the overall planning process is as follows:
- Define your work practice, and what it entails (purpose, items, look/feel, functionality, privacy & separation).
- Understand the available space and location, and think about temporary vs permanent.
- Think about how your setup will affect your wellbeing, and make sure it supports a healthy lifestyle.
- Consider what structures and environmental influences create the workspace – furniture, backdrops, orientation, lighting, acoustics etc. (this list can be long and variable).
- Research how any tech stuff needs to be laid out and interconnected.
Is a home office suitable for a work-from-home activity?
Do you have a room (or recess) at home set aside for an office or study? Many homes come with this feature built into the design, and we tend to go along with that intended purpose.
It’s where we usually do personal office tasks like paying bills, writing emails, organising our photo library and so on. (did we hear the word ‘gaming’? Hmmm). This space is often used by more than one person.
But is it suitable for the more-businesslike activity of working-from-home? That depends.
For example, Sean (our founder) uses the same room for both his personal office and his work-from-home activities. It’s the only spot he has available. But, he has created two very distinct workspaces, each with its own position, orientation, backdrop, lighting, desk, chair, computer, audio and so forth. Luckily, he seldom has two people in this room at the same time.
Check out our Location blog topic as well. It focuses on choosing the ideal location in your home for your work-from-home office or workspace.
In conclusion, and as mentioned earlier, no two situations are identical, so we don’t define what a perfect setup should look like. Instead, we recommend you cherry-pick ideas that help improve your own circumstance.