What every worker needs to know when setting up a workstation at home

Need to work from home? These workplace strategy hints will ensure it is easy and maximize your performance.

March 26, 2020

When it comes to setting up a spot for a home office space, some considerations must be considered. From choosing the right furniture to selecting the appropriate lighting, here are 5 tips that will help you to make this issue an easy task.

1 - Brighter is always better

When it comes to choosing the best spot, consider the access to natural light. It is recommendable to always position your desk perpendicular (90° angle) to the window.

Why? Access to natural light boots productivity, help individuals to stay focused on their tasks and contributes to the footprint by saving energy.

2 - A little is a lot

For an optimal set up, the laptop should be eye level. Use some books to reach that position. For a correct sitting posture, choose a chair that allows you to have your hands, wrists and forearms in a straight line and parallel to the floor. Also, ensure that your feet fully flat on the floor (if you can't not reach it, rest them on a rigid box)

Why? Office workers spend many hours in a sitting position. Working in an unappropriated one can tense and stress your muscles, while compromising your health.

3 - Make every tool count

For those who work with an extra screen, here are some alternatives to set up one at home. TV's are great resources that you can use along with your HDMI port or Chromecast device. By connecting them you can access your laptop content through a bigger screen. Also, for those conferences in which you do not need to be active, use your wireless devices (such as air pods) if you want to take them while walking around in your house or staying outside in the balcony.

Why? Technology in the workplace has helped workers to be more efficient. Prevent your house being an impediment for that and use all the resources available to supply this need.

4 - Turn your house into an activity-based home

Activity-based working is a work style that allows employees to choose from a variety of settings depending on the activity they are developing. When working from home, allow yourself to take some calls from the couch, use the dining table as a communal desk or the breakfast bar as an alternative for a high desk.

Why? Unless you live alone, all your family members should have equal access to the space available. By choosing alternative spaces, individuals can create opportunities for a variety of workplace activities, such as focused work. Remember: implement a clean-desk policy to avoid having a conflict with your beloved ones.  

5 - Prepare yourself for losing Wi-Fi

Losing the connection to Internet is one of the most common issues we face on a daily basis, especially when we are about to take an important call, or we are working on a final delivery. If this is your case, here are is a tip to keep yourself under control: download all your essential apps in your phone. If something happens with your laptop connection, you can access them through your mobile device. 

Why? As Denis Waitly says, "Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised". As an extra piece of advice for those leaving in Latin America, always keep your laptop and phone charged (you never know when an electric shutdown can occur).

Wrap up

In an era of unprecedent changes, those who adapt faster will survive. Besides the technical factor of this DYI tips, there is a human factor that cannot be forget. Our recommendation for companies is: focus all your efforts to make sure that when employees are working from home, they do not feel as they were “home alone”. Whether that is a 1 on 1 follow up meeting with the manager or a virtual coffee with a colleague to stay connected and ensure no one feel socially isolated when working from home. 

Contributor: Lionela Riccobelli, Consultant Workplace Strategy JLL