The COVID-19 pandemic sent much of the work force home to work in a hurry, thinking it would only be a short time until we were back in the office again. Like many, you probably threw together a work station that was “good enough” for a temporary stint and got back to business. However, now that companies are settling in for remote work for the long haul, you’re probably acutely aware of the deficiencies of your current setup. A good work environment is important for both your physical and mental health as well as your productivity, so now’s the time to invest in your home office (and yourself). Here are a few essentials for improving your work space:
Standing desk converter: Sitting too much is bad for your health. Unfortunately, remote work removes some of the natural movement we experience in a regular office environment, such as walking to a colleague’s desk to ask them a question. If you find that the remote-work format has you even more tied to your desk than before, consider getting a standing desk converter to get you on your feet. These relatively inexpensive devices elevate your monitor and keyboard to a comfortable height for standing, and adjustable models can be moved up or down depending on your preference.
Better seating: Chances are your home office chair doesn’t begin to compare to the ergonomically correct model you have back in the office. If your back has been registering complaints after a long day at the computer, but you don’t want to spring for a whole new chair, adding back support can spell the difference between misery and comfort. You can find many affordable options on office supply websites or Amazon.
Ring light for Zoom calls: If your job includes many live meetings on Zoom, you may have fretted that you don’t look as professional onscreen as you’d like. If you’ve stage-managed your background and you still aren’t happy, your problem may be lighting. A ring light will eliminate strange shadows and ensure that you’re well-lit for those important calls and meetings. Basic models start at low prices and come with either clips or tripods for optimal positioning.
External monitor: If your work-at-home computer is a laptop, you may be sick of trying to get your work done on an undersized screen, flipping through layers of windows to find what you need. It’s also likely that looking down at the screen all day isn’t doing your neck any favors either. An external monitor positioned at an ergonomically correct height can solve both problems at once.
External keyboard and mouse: Again, laptops are convenient, but they’re not ergonomically correct for extended work. When the keyboard is at the right height, the screen is not, and vice versa. Adding an external keyboard and mouse can help you keep a proper typing posture that won’t strain your arms or your neck.
You may be surprised at how few tweaks your current arrangements need, or how little it costs to create a comfortable, functional home office setup. What will really surprise you, though, is the long-term payoff in your physical and mental health. Don’t wait—make the changes you need and enjoy the benefits now.