home office work setup with multiple displays

HOME OFFICE SETUP IDEAS: HOW TO CRUSH THE WFH SETUP


Table Of Contents

remote employee sitting at home office desk
So you've traded the fluorescent lights and stale office gossip for the joys of working in a dress shirt and your underwear, have ya?

Welcome to the world of remote work, where the lines between professional and personal blur gloriously—or disastrously, depending on your approach. Here's the thing: just because you're ditching the cubicle farm doesn't mean you have to ditch productivity. 

Putting together your home office deserves the same level of planning you put towards wowwing your significant other’s parents when they come over for dinner (cut to you feverishly delving into the finer points of charcuterie boards). 

This guide dives into home office setup ideas that are both functional and inspiring. We'll explore key elements that'll transform your workspace into a remote work haven, boosting both your comfort and productivity.
THE HOME OFFICE LAYOUT: MAPPING IT OUT
home office setup with view of the city
Before you start flinging furniture around like a drunken bull in a Kyoto china shop, you need to figure out what you're working with. Here are the three most common scenarios you’ll find yourself working with when planning your home office layout;
The 3 Most Common Types Of Home Office Layouts
A Dedicated Office/Den: The Home Office Setup Aristocrats
Look at you, living the high life with a whole room just for your professional pursuits. You probably buy your cheese from the standalone fancy-cheese section of the grocery store, don’t ya? 

If you're blessed with this kind of real estate for a WFH setup, consider yourself lucky, friend. A dedicated room for your home office gives you the ability to go all out with great lighting, an ergonomic chair and a sprawling, multi-screen desktop command center. 

 You’ll spend so much of your time here, so don’t hesitate to get creative with your WFH setup ideas and make it a place you enjoy spending your time.
A Corner Desk: The Cramped Commando
WFH corner desk with desk, plant and great chair
^Making the most of a corner desk
Cramped? Don't sweat it. A WFH office that’s a dedicated corner can be just as productive as a dedicated room. Maybe your lighting isn’t quite as dialed, or you don’t have a mothership-level multi-screens. But it’s still a dedicated space, and it’s still what you make of it.
The Vagabond WFH Setup: From Kitchen To Couch To Coffee Shop
Trouble sitting still? Do you frequently move from a table to the couch to a coffee shop? Yep, we get that. Just remember to find a place with solid lumbar support (remember, “minimalist” coffee shop = zero back support) and that’s not going to distract you from doing what you need to do. 

 And just because you moved to the couch for some deep work doesn’t mean you need to turn that TV on. Keep the distractions to a minimum.
5 Home Office Layout Optimization Tips 
No matter your setup or where you set up, there are some basic layout principles for maximum efficiency and minimal frustration:
  1. Nail The Triangle: This holy trinity of monitor, keyboard, and mouse needs to be within easy reach for ergonomic comfort. No more contorting yourself like a pretzel to grab your coffee mug. 
  2. Light It Up: Sunlight does wonders for both your mood and your circadian rhythm. Position your desk to maximize natural light.
  3. Avoid The Glare: Natural light is great, but try to position your desk in a way that avoids the sun's glare during sunrise and sunset.
  4. Delete Distractions: Distractions are the enemy. Avoid placing your desk in a way that faces a window with a view of tempting squirrels or noisy neighbors. This also means staying away from high foot-traffic areas.
  5. Zoning Your Space: Figure out how you can deliniate work space from life space. A room divider, bookshelf, or even a strategically placed rug can help visually separate your work area from your relaxation area. It may not seem like much, but this mental separation can improve focus and productivity when you're sitting in the business end of your work zone.
Home Office Lighting Do’s And Don'ts
fantastic home office lighting setup
Light is more than just flipping a switch. It sets the mood, influences your focus, and even impacts your sleep quality. Here’s how to make the most of those photons:
  • Do: Get a solid desk lamp; A strategically placed desk lamp can do wonders for setting the mood and promoting concentration. This is especially helpful in the winter months or if you’re putting in hours after the sun has started going down.

  • Do: Get great ambient lighting; Most out-of-the-box room lighting (e.g. one overhead light in the center of the room) needs a pick me up. One of the best home office setup tips to improve your overall happiness and well-being is warm, non-direct, ambient lighting in the space you’re working in.

  • Do: Get a ring light or dedicated video call light; If you don’t have consistent, reliable daylight to illuminate your face, a white light is no doubt the best for video calls. Whether that’s a dedicated ring light or even a small portable webcam light, you can’t be relying on warm light for video calls. It’s just not a good look.

  • Do: Have both warm and bright light sources available; When it comes to home office setup ideas, having both warm and bright light sources is one choice that can have an outsized impact on your performance and wellbeing.

    Bright light (whether that’s a daylight lightbulb or a natural light) is great for your home office during daylight hours. But white light can be an absolute migraine (literally) in evening hours. Homo sapiens evolved for sunlight in the day and fire light at night. Cold white light better simulates sunshine, and warm light better simulates the light of a fire. You’ll work better and be more productive if you can utilize both bright light and warm light in your work environment.

  • Don’t: Have exposed overhead bulbs Avoid bare bulbs. Especially avoid bare bright overhead light bulbs at night. This can really hurt your sleep quality.

  • Don’t: Have your lightsource behind you; If your light source is behind you, it doesn’t matter how bright or clean it is, your face is going to be dark on video calls. When you’re setting up your home office, place the light behind the camera and ideally, at a 45-degree angle to your face.

  • Don’t: Use white light at night; White light is exactly what you want for working during the day and the last thing you want while working at night.

  • Don’t: Work in a dark room; Working in a dark room is not only bad for your circadian rhythm, but it’s just unprofessional on a video call.
5 Types Of Home Office Desks: Picking The Right One For Your WFH Setup
Your WFH desk is your command center, your creative haven. Choose wisely! Here's a breakdown of your deskish options:
Home Office Desk Options
The Space Savior: The Compact Desk
a home office setup with compact desk
^Example of a Compact Desk (usually 20" - 40")
Living in a shoebox apartment? Don't despair. Folding desks, wall-mounted desks, and even lap desks can provide a functional workspace without sacrificing precious square footage. You’ll find Compact Desks range in size from about 20” - 35”.
The “I Just Need A Regular Desk” Desk: The Medium Desk
medium desk with great natural light as home office setup idea
^Example of a Medium Desk (40" - 60")
If you’re looking for that middle ground between tiny desk and Don Draper’s desk, you want a Medium Desk. 

Medium desks are going to be what most people need in a desk. Medium Desks range from 40” to 60” and provide enough space for everyday work needs.
The Statement Maker: The Executive Desk
executive desk for home office setup
^Example of an Executive desk (60"+)
Perfect for anyone who wants to look like a Bond villain, the Executive Desk gives you room to spread out. These are usually considered any desks over 60”. 

Just remember - with great space comes great responsibility…to keep it organized.
Stretch Your Legs: The Standing Desk
home office setup idea standup desk with treadmill
^Your standard standup desk

Feeling sluggish? A standing desk might be exactly what you need. It promotes better posture, reduces back pain, and can even boosts your energy levels. However, standing all day isn't ideal either. Consider a standing desk with a sit-to-stand converter for the best of both worlds.

And if you opt for a standing desk, make sure to get a floor mat with solid padding as well.

The Wall Watcher: The Corner Desk
Nothing quite like a view of the wall, no? But wall desks are ideal for those who have the space, need to sprawl out and want to avoid distractions.
5 Keys To the Perfect Chair For Your Home Office Setup
You spend a good chunk of your day glued to this chair. Make it one worthy of royalty (or at least your aching back). Here's what to keep in mind:
best office chairs for remote work setup
5 Ergonomic Features to Look For In Your WFH Chair
  1. Adjustable Lumbar Support: Crucial for maintaining proper posture and preventing back pain.
  2. Armrests: Help to reduce shoulder strain, but ensure they're adjustable to fit your needs.
  3. Breathable Mesh Fabric: Keeps you cool and comfortable during long work sessions.
  4. Adjustable Height: You’d be surprised how many desk chairs lack adjustable height. Make sure yours has it.
  5. Headrest (Optional): Provides additional support for your neck, especially if you spend a lot of time leaning back. Not crucial, but nice to have.
List Of Other Home Office Setup Ideas
Incorporate Plants Into Your WFH Setup
plants-desk
^Adding plants to your home office setup improves wellbeing
When you’re looking for ideas to spruce up your WFH setup, plants are one of the easiest fixes you can implement. And it turns out, plants can have a pretty big impact on our physical, mental and cognitive wellbeing.

And you really don’t need a green thumb to keep many office plants alive. Here’s a list of easy-to-maintain houseplants that are perfect for your home office. They require little sunlight, infrequent watering, and about as much care as you put into reading the Terms & Conditions of that new iOS update.

Heads up though; despite what you read, indoor plants do not have an impact on indoor air quality. While plants improve indoor air quality in hermetically sealed environments, this doesn’t practically translate to our daily lives. The number of houseplants you’d need to achieve measurable impact in air quality would be in the hundreds or thousands, depending on the plant.
Acoustic Tiles & Floor Mats
If you live in a noisy urban area, working online makes you acutely more aware of how many trucks, trains, planes and sUpEr CoOl LoUd mOtOrCyClE GuYs can impact your work every day.

And if noise-canceling headphones aren't quite cutting it, acoustic tiles and acoustic mats can be a lifesaver, especially if your work space doesn’t have carpeting. They absorb sound that would normally bounce around your office. And those single-pane builder-grade windows on that new apartment you just moved into isn’t going to do much of anything in terms of keeping out the noise. But hey, you have a cava bar/analog film development studio on the ground floor, so that should make up for it ya?
Humidifier/Dehumidifier
a humidifier as a home office setup accessory
^Adding a humidifier to home office makes life more comfortable
Depending on where you live, humidifiers and dehumidifiers are absolute essential additions to your home office setup, especially in peak summer/winter months depending on where you live. Chicago in winter? You 100% need to experience the magic of a humidifier and how much better your skin will feel. Miami in the summer? God help you - get 2 humidifiers immediately.
Fans
For some odd reason or other, there’s not a lot of value placed on airflow in our indoor spaces. I suppose this does come down to personal preference, but I personally feel and perform better when I have some sort of airflow flowing through my workspace.
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