Millions of people around the world are full-time remote workers. They are the happy owners of printed pajamas and always keep their laptop stands close at hand. But how do office people cope? Due to COVID, many have been forced to work from home — people’s lifestyles changed overnight. Many continue working from home still, as it’s more efficient, saves time on your daily commute, and helps lessen the damage to the environment.
Whether you are one of the people who continues to work from home, or have just switched, we have a lot of tools that can help you enjoy this style of work without any unnecessary stress or a decline in your productivity.
We’ve prepared a complete guide that should help you set up a home office you’ll fall in love with.
Create a home workspace you won’t want to leave
In his recent bestseller on essentialism, Greg McKeown talks a lot about the power of a routine. Greg is an experienced business strategist who’s worked with virtually every Silicon Valley leader you know. What he notices a lot is that successful people love routines and familiar environments because these things help them hone their work. For them, success is a natural extension of routine. Creating a workspace at home can be a perfect version of such a routine — a cozy nook for your daily rituals and, eventually, success. So let’s set you up.
Ask Instagram for home office ideas
Yes, Instagram. The first step to crafting an appealing home office is having an image of it in mind. And what’s more visual than Insta feed? Plus it’s the easiest way to get free interior design advice, without having to risk your safety and meet anyone in person. Hashtags like #homeoffice will offer you around 3 million visualizations of inspiring spaces for work.
Equipping your ergonomic office
Once you know what it should look like, it’s time for your great ergonomic home office to start materializing. Before getting any furniture, decide on the hardware you will use. Laptops can be harmful if used for a prolonged period of time, so you might need a laptop stand. PCs are generally better for your back and neck — but only in combination with a good ergonomic chair and desk. Make sure you plan those things in a way
Electric standing desk
Here’s the minimum viable requirement: A desk. No matter how pure your love for sofas and soft chairs is, working at the desk is a must. If you commit to creating a home workspace you’ll use often, get an electric sit-stand desk — like the one from Vari. By the way, they are offering a 10% off during the quarantine period.
The perks are obvious. You’ll be moving more and sitting less during your workday, easily adjusting a desk to your height and current mood. Whatever desk you choose, make sure it’s easy to assemble at home, has programmable height settings, and comes with a cable management tray. Just so you don’t ruin your home office zen with cords and cables.
Adjustable desk chair
If you want to keep your back healthy throughout the quarantine, ditch kitchen chairs. Just as any other chairs that don’t provide waist support and fail at keeping your spine aligned. The rule is if you’re spending more than 4 hours in a chair every day, you definitely need a dedicated office chair to stay healthy.
Ideally, it should be an ergonomic chair with a seat height range and adjustable backrest. The good basic option you can get at an affordable price is Ergousit High Back Ergonomic chair. It’s designed for comfortable sitting and is easy at the installation.
Flexible laptop stand for Mac
If a Mac is your best-all-around work machine, think about getting a laptop stand. You can get one for as low as $25, and it’s going to make a perfect addition to your home office setup. A laptop stand helps raise the screen to your eye level, optimizing viewing angles and reducing screen glare. What’s more, it helps prevent your Mac from overheating.
According to BestProducts review, the best MacBook stand overall in 2020 is Rain Design mStand Laptop Stand. It’s made of aluminum and ensures perfect surface stability. Also, it looks good — fitting the top-notch design of Apple computers.
Headphones that cut out the noise
Also, don’t forget to treat your ears kindly. A solid pair of headphones will help create a focused environment at your home office. For prolonged use, we recommend the bestseller — Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless noise-canceling headphones. It’s not the cheapest option, but one of the best on the market in terms of muting the noise around you. And if you still feel like dog barking or your noisy neighbors are getting to you, we’ll talk about a few Mac apps that help solve this in a minute.
Skyrocket productivity with best Mac software
Creating a workspace at home is vital — but it’s only part of the journey. The next step is adapting your behavior, and no good desk can solve that. To stay productive, try and create a home workspace inside your computer. If you’ve never used to work from home before, you’ll basically need to rebuild your productivity flow from the ground up. One of the tools that helps you stay in control is called Setapp. It’s an app subscription that covers 230+ apps for Mac and iOS devices. Here are a few examples of using Setapp to boost productivity at home.
Keep the noise under control
Your new pair of headphones will save you from distracting noise. But how about the noise that actually keeps you focused? Noizio is a Mac app that brings ambient and chilling sound effects into your home office. You can choose to listen to the rain or thunderstorm. If your summer vacation got cancelled due to quarantine, enjoy the sound of sea waves right from your desk. You can even ask Noizio to play the noise of a coffee house if you miss working from such places. There’s also a possibility to mix custom sound effects for you.
If you use wireless headphones, you’ll also need ToothFairy — a Bluetooth connection wizard for Mac. The app is centered around a single yet powerful feature of Bluetooth pairing. Instead of digging through settings, it enables you to pair headphones with Mac in a click, as well as switch between different Bluetooth devices if you use many. Try it and you’ll never go back to the traditional Bluetooth pairing.
Focus with AI soundscapes
Set the mood just right for productive work with AI-generated soundscapes in GetSound.
The app creates a soothing continuous soundscape that matches your location, weather, and time of day. You can change location or pick a different environmental layer for the sound to better suit your preferences.
Enjoy ambient sound with or without headphones and never worry about not feeling in the mood for work when you are working from home!
Ensure Wi-Fi never lets you down
Stable network connection is essential. For those working in offices, Wi-Fi sounds like a no-brainer — something they never worry about. At home, things might be trickier. Wireless coverage might not always be stable at your apartment, or maybe Wi-Fi works only across specific locations. NetSpot is a great app that helps you solve any network trouble.
Basically, it’s a smart Wi-Fi scanner that can perform live network scans and give you extensive information on it. You’ll know where the signal is weak/strong, what’s the download speed, and troubleshoot Wi-Fi problems accordingly. No technical knowledge needed whatsoever. Make sure you run a NetSpot scan before realizing your home office ideas — this will help you pick the optimal location with good Wi-Fi coverage.
Get the work done — maybe faster than ever
At home, you always have a few extra to-dos. Laundry, cooking, and cleaning become hard to avoid when you’re never leaving the apartment. This shouldn’t come at the expense of your work, though. Taskheat is one of the best apps to use once you get overwhelmed due to a huge number of things on your list.
Taskheat doesn’t simply record your tasks. It teaches you how to connect and prioritize them in a way that takes the burden off your shoulders. You can bring everything that’s on your list in a smart flowchart, helping you prioritize. The list view is supported too. Tag tasks for better navigation, delegate on the go, and share your flow with a colleague in a click.
The feature I personally adore is location-based reminders. This might not be very relevant when you’re stuck at home but works magically otherwise. Taskheat allows you to set reminders for specific tasks with locations — so that once you’re near, you get a ping from the app. Never ever forget to pick up those doughnuts on your way home.
Automate progress tracking
Want to know how productive you actually are? Timing can tell you. It’s a Mac app that works in the background and reports on your productivity once you ask it to. No need to start or stop any timers. You can add a task you want to complete today, and Timing will start tracking your progress automatically. In the end, you’ll get a comprehensive report on how much time you spend, what apps and websites you use, and what helps you achieve your goals.
As we’ve mentioned before, all these apps are available with a Setapp subscription. Starting at $9.99 per month, you can use dozens of apps to help you work better. Hope this will help you create a personal working vibe — a smart routine that you can stick to while working at home, and actually stay on top of your game. Cheers! And by the way, you look awesome in that pyjamas.