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Work-From-Home Setup Guide: How to Create a Killer Home Office

  • Post author:Bob Haegele
  • Post last modified:February 1, 2024
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Would you like to work from home and make extra money or perhaps even a full-time income? You’ll need to have many pieces in place if you want to make money from home, but one is an ideal work-from-home setup.

Working from home can have lots of advantages, including less time commuting, flexibility, and less money spent on commuting costs.

If you’re ready to make the leap, here are some other guides to help get you started:

In this post, we’re going to focus on the exact things you need to get your work-from-home setup ready. From desks to computers to keyboards and mice, these are the things you’ll need to get started.

The Essentials

If you want to work from home, the first thing you’ll need is the essentials. This includes a desk, chair, computer, monitor, and internet connection.

Of course, this applies to those of us who do all our work on a computer and don’t need specialized equipment. Your needs may vary, depending on the job.

Desk and Chair

You’ll be spending most, if not all, your time at your desk, so it’s important to have a high-quality desk and chair. This can help prevent pain and discomfort, which can also help you maintain high productivity.

Because sitting all day is not good for your back, I highly recommend an adjustable-height desk. I have this desk from Our Modern Space. It looks great and is easy to adjust. You just press buttons to move it up and down. It also comes with headphone hangers for either side of the desk.

If you don’t like to stand while working, an adjustable-height desk isn’t a necessity. However, in that case, I recommend taking frequent breaks. You can go out for a walk or just walk around the house. The important thing is to ensure you aren’t sitting in the same position all day.

You will also need a high-quality computer chair, especially if you plan to sit more than stand. The FlexFit Hyken Mesh Task Chair is a great choice because it’s adjustable and has lumbar support. At $250, it might sound expensive, but that is cheap if it keeps your back in line.

Computer

Equally important is having a computer that is well-suited to your workload. These days, processing power isn’t much of an issue — it’s pretty easy to find a powerful enough computer.

You can find used computers with ample processing power for most workloads. The one thing I would suggest is looking for a computer with a solid-state drive (SSD) rather than a hard disk drive (HDD).

Most modern machines come with SSDs these days, especially when it comes to laptops. Either way, a computer with an SSD will be much faster than a similar machine with an HDD.

Monitor

If you buy a laptop, you may not need another monitor. Personally, I don’t usually use a second monitor, but some people swear by it. Some people have two- or even three-monitor setups and say they couldn’t work any other way.

For instance, some people might have two or three 21″ 1080P monitors. Alternatively, a single monitor might provide enough screen real estate if it’s a larger display. For instance, I have a 27″ 1440P monitor that I use for personal use and occasionally to work on my site.

Internet Connection

If you need a work-from-home setup, having a fast, reliable internet connection is one of the most important pieces.

Imagine having to meet with your boss or a potential client via Zoom and having the call drop because your connection isn’t good enough. That’s a great way to lose business!

If possible, make sure your connection is at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for download and 10 Mbps for upload. The faster, the better.

There are many types of internet connections available, like cable, DSL, and fiber optic. Fiber is generally the best choice, as it offers the fastest speeds and best performance. However, it isn’t available everywhere.

If you can’t get fiber, you’ll most likely have to choose from cable, DSL, and mobile internet (5G) plans. Of the three, the cable is generally the best choice in terms of performance and reliability. DSL can be slower, and 5G can have inconsistent performance.

You’ll need to find what works best for your budget. However, I recommend finding a plan with decent speed in your area so you won’t be left behind.

Bonus Equipment

We covered the basics above — these are areas where I don’t recommend skimping on costs, as it will be worth it in the long run. This equipment is less mission-critical, but finding something that works well can still make you more effective.

Keyboard and Mouse

You might think you can just use any keyboard and mouse when you work from home. But if you are staying hunched over your laptop touchpad all day, you might be in for a not-so-pleasant surprise.

Using a mouse and keyboard that doesn’t conform to your body can lead to repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. This can lead to symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in your hand and wrist.

If you’ve experienced these injuries in the past, look for keyboards and mice with ergonomic designs. For instance, keyboards with split layouts, curves, or palm rests can help. For mice, contoured shapes and thumb rests can relieve strain.

Headphones

Obviously, buying an expensive pair of headphones may not be important if your home environment is not normally noisy. But if you face frequent distractions, headphones can help block out distractions and improve focus.

Personally, I like to listen to video game music while working. It’s often relaxing and usually has no vocals, which can distract me. Other people like to listen to classical music or lo-fi, which have a similar effect.

Many types of headphones are out there, and all of them are slightly different. For instance, there are earbuds, over-ear, and on-ear headphones.

I would generally recommend over-ear headphones for comfort, especially if you plan to wear them for hours. I have an older version of the Sony WH-1000XM5, and I love them. The price might seem steep, but it’s well worth it if you wear them every day.

Webcam

If you buy a laptop, a webcam is another device you might already have. However, you may need a separate webcam if you buy a desktop computer or your laptop is older, and the webcam is not good.

Also, consider how often you do videoconferencing when working from home. If you do it seldom, if ever, you may not need a webcam. But if it’s something you do regularly, you’ll want to have something high-quality.

Fortunately, there are lots of webcams available that work well and are affordable. Webcams like the Insta360 Link, Razer Kiyo X, and the Anker PowerConf C200 can all work well, depending on your budget and needs.

Printer

If you work from home, a printer may or may not be necessary — it depends on the role and your preference.

For instance, while documents are inevitable, you can consider prioritizing digital solutions for document sharing, signatures, and cloud storage. This can help reduce paper use and maximize accessibility.

However, printing may be necessary for some, such as those who handle physical documents, print contracts, or need physical copies for filing. In these cases, you might need a printer for your remote work.

Many kinds of printers are available, such as inkjet, laser, all-in-one, and tank printers. Each has its own set of pros and cons, which you’ll need to weigh to find the right printer for you.

Optimizing Your Workspace

Once you have everything you need to make your workspace productive, you’ll need to optimize it. This means setting everything up so your workspace works for you.

Location

One of the most important things is to situate your workspace in a productive location. If possible, choose a quiet, distraction-free place for your desk.

If finding a quiet space in your home is difficult, consider soundproofing or noise-canceling headphones to block out noise. If space is limited, try using foldable desks, room dividers, or ottomans with storage to make the most of your area.

In addition, you should keep your area as clutter-free as possible. Having too many items in your area can distract you and make it more difficult to focus. Keep your area clean and organized to stay productive.

Lighting

Having the right lighting can go a long way in making your work-from-home setup not only more enjoyable but more productive, too. For one, you should combine different lighting sources to create a balanced work environment.

You should also prioritize natural light where possible, as it can make you feel better, more alert, and help your circadian rhythm. If you live where days get short like I do, a light therapy lamp can help.

Light temperature also matters. Warm light (around 3000K) can make you feel more relaxed, while daylight (around 5000K) can make you more alert. Use the right type of light for the right situation.

Organization

As mentioned earlier, keeping your workspace less cluttered is an important part of staying productive. If your work-from-home setup is crowded with numerous distractions, you will probably find it harder to stay focused.

In addition, try to utilize vertical space and use hidden space. Plastic drawers can be a way to accomplish both goals at once.

Also, try using digital files when possible instead of physical copies. This will result in less paper and make it easier to stay organized.

Bottom Line

Having a great work-from-home setup can take time to create, but it’s well worth the effort in the end. It will make you more productive and happier, and it can save you time and money. What’s your favorite work-from-home setup tip? Let us know in the comments!

 

Hey there. My name is Bob Haegele and I'm a personal finance writer who has been freelancing since 2018. Since then, I've built a six-figure career as a freelance writer. My work has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes Advisor, TIME.com, USA Today, and many other outlets. Interested in starting a blog of your own? Check out my post on starting a blog.

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