It can sometimes be hard to stay motivated and productive, especially if you cannot leave your house and your bed is only a few steps away. While it is easy to prop up your laptop on any table and call it an office, it is essential to curate a workspace that lets you be productive for at least 6-8 hours a day.
With 2021 active in full swing and deadlines knocking on our doors, taking the time to thoughtfully choose the right setup is a worthy investment of our time, and there is no doubt about it.
To help you get your home office up to par for maximum efficiency, we’ve put together a list of eight essential home office upgrades that you need this year!
1. An ergonomic chair
If the feeling of being slumped over at your desk, neck craned over, body aches affecting your day sounds familiar to you, then it is time to invest in an ergonomic chair. A study by the W.E Upjohn Institute reveals that employees who were given an ergonomic chair reported fewer physical ailments throughout the day and showed an increase of 17.7% in productivity. An ergonomic chair is designed for maximum lumbar support and will help relieve you of any pent up tension in your back. Chair basics that you should be looking for are easy adjustability of height and depth, adequate support for your arms, cushion softness and rotation options.
With a multitude of options on the market ranging in price and quality, it can be hard to know what’s right for you. Here is a guide on Office Chairs that will answer all of your questions!
Our pick: NV Chair in Black
2. A Sit-stand desk
If your work involves sitting at a desk for more than 8 hours a day, this upgrade is the one you should be paying attention to. Sit-stand desks or standing desks are growing in popularity, especially after thousands of businesses went remote last year. The reason is simple. Sitting all day poses dangers to your health. It puts you at risk of ailments such as diabetes and weight gain – and standing does the exact opposite. A sit-stand desk has a host of benefits you may not be aware of. It reduces pain, improves productivity and lowers your risk of weight gain.
Our Pick: Leap Sit-Stand Desk
3. Keyboard and Mouse Set
One of our top home office upgrades is the keyboard and mouse set. The last thing you would want after a long day’s work is hand strain. The most ergonomic way of reducing wrist strain and working comfortably is investing in a separate mouse and keyboard set. Most of us don’t think of buying a separate keyboard and mouse because most laptops have built-in keyboards and trackpads. These built-in options can be great if you’re on the fly or are just looking to answer a few emails. But if your schedule involves working for 8 hours a day, the ergonomic benefits of this upgrade can really make a huge difference in the long run.
Our pick: Logitech Wireless Keyboard Mouse Combo
4. Extra storage space
None of us could have predicted that we would be working from home for over a year. This means some of us may not have adequate storage space in our home offices. Our desks can get messy very quickly without the right storage solutions, so this 2021 let us tell you how you can upgrade to a better, more efficient storage system. A small drawer with a couple of compartments is usually enough, but if you own too many supplies, you can try out some options like :
5. Cable Organisers
Stemming from point 3, it is essential to have ample storage and make use of the space you already have. There is nothing worse than a bunch of tangled up cables taking up space on your desk or on your floor. Tangled up cables suck a lot of our time, particularly when we need to unplug something and can make your whole office look messy in a matter of seconds. Contrary to what you may think, organising cables is very simple. Step 1 is to spend some time and unplug all those tangled cables. Step 2 is to invest in a cable management system to make sure everything is neat and tidy.
To make your work easier, you can always label each cable with a small sticker to know precisely which cable goes where.
Our pick: Cavoline Cable Management Grip Tie
6. Desk Improvements
This one isn’t an upgrade, but if done right, can definitely feel like one. Once you have your chair, desk and storage sorted, the next important step is to plan your desk’s layout. A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind for most of us, so here are a few tips you can use to set your desk neatly :
- Wipe your desk down: Start by removing all of your items. Then grab some disinfectant, some wipes and get cleaning. Don’t forget to clean your keyboard, mouse and computer screen too.
- Give everything a home: Make sure every item on your desk, in your drawers and containers, has its own place. Think of your desk space as prime real estate – whatever sits on it needs to deserve to take up that space!
- Keep things in reach: Keeps all of your important things within arm’s reach. These items can be things like files, stationery, chargers, your water bottle and headset.
- Desk Layout: Every desk needs a lamp, a pen stand and a few knickknacks, but keep in mind to not have things strewn everywhere. Push all accessories to one side so that you have enough empty space to write or use your computer.
7. More light
A critical one of the ten home office upgrades you should be making is related to your lighting. Our eyes need all the help they can get to support you through your 8 hour day. Not having enough natural light or operating in low light conditions can make you feel drowsy and sometimes trigger feelings of depression.
Instead of using fluorescent lights that hurt your eyes, consider using options that work for you. Adding a good lamp or moving your desk near a window can ensure enough light for you to see clearly. If you are looking to reduce cabling on your desk, consider investing in battery operated lights or even floor lamps!
8. Plants and colours
A grey, bland and boring home office space will not do much for your creativity, productivity and mood. If you want to stay motivated, you need to feel calm and relaxed. This can be facilitated by adding pops of colour around your workspace. Adding a potted plant can act as one of your quick and easy home office upgrades because they are cheap, liven up your space and give you a little extra oxygen!
Plants are more than just decorations. Studies have shown that being around plants is good for your health and increase productivity by about 15%! If you aren’t that confident about taking care of plants, invest in succulents. They do the job and are very resilient!
If plants aren’t your thing, you can add some colour by painting your wall, hanging up some lovely prints, adding some cool office supplies or placing a new colourful rug in your room.
From the energy we use and the products we buy to the practices we adopt, there is a lot we can do to conserve energy and maintain a green home office. Here are some tips on how to be sustainable while working from home that we think you’d like!