Even as we return to the workplace, working from home has become the new normal for many of us due to the way the pandemic has changed the world and how companies are adopting flexible work arrangements. Despite the discomforts and constant back pains, many of us continue to work from the dining table or the coffee table. Today, we’ll talk about the essential furniture and gadgets, such as wireless keyboards, that everyone should have in their home office, items that will be useful even after the pandemic is over.
Before setting up a home office, there are a few things you need to consider.
- What will you need in your home office?
- Do you need a strong internet connection?
- What do you want to show in your background during work video calls?
- Do you need a quiet and isolated space away from your children or any other distractions?
These questions will help you determine which part of your home is best suited for use as a home office, as well as give you a rough idea of what you need to buy.
The desk is the most important piece of furniture in any home office. Its placement in the room will also have an impact on how conducive your working environment is. If you place it facing a window, the glare and heat from the sun can be uncomfortable, especially in the afternoon. If it is in the centre of the room, the use of space becomes inefficient. Besides, there are also design considerations based on where you want to put your desk.
You can’t get a desk with tall built-in shelves if you’re going to put it next to a window because it will block the view. If you need the desk to have shelves, it is best to have it placed against a wall. Also, if space is an issue, get a small desk, but if you have plenty of room, consider getting an L-shaped desk to accommodate all of your belongings.
The most important factor to consider when purchasing your desk is its height. Standard desk heights range between 29 and 30 inches. You want to make sure that you leave enough space between your legs and the desk. Your arms should also be able to rest on the desk without much effort. This helps to maintain good posture.
There is also a rise in the number of people purchasing desks with adjustable heights. These desks allow you to stand and work when you wish to. They also improve wellbeing, reduce back pain, increase productivity levels, prevent unhealthy weight gain and lower the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. Consider getting an adjustable desk so that you can enjoy these benefits.
The ideal desk size should be one that can accommodate all your work necessities without them protruding from the tabletop. If you need a desktop monitor and a laptop in order to work efficiently, consider purchasing a desk with a depth of at least 60cm so that your laptop doesn’t hang off the table and hurt your wrists when you type. A long table of at least 100cm can also help you position your monitor and laptop properly so that they don’t protrude.
Choosing the right office chair is crucial, especially for those who must stay seated at their desk for extended periods of time. With the help of an ergonomic office chair, you can maintain a healthy sitting posture throughout the day, lowering your risk of developing back problems and bodily aches. Besides protecting your back, ergonomic chairs also help to relieve the tension and strain placed on your feet, thighs, hip, neck, and arms.
Adjustable headrests, armrests, height, seat tilt, and back tilt are all features of a good ergonomic office chair. Different people have different heights, so we’ll need to be able to adjust the office chair to fit our body shape in order to stay seated in the correct position. Purchasing non-adjustable ones may not be suitable for your body.
Here’s what a good office chair should do.
- Match your height to prevent your feet from dangling in mid-air as that can cause muscle strain to the under thighs.
- Adjustable backrest to provide equal pressure lumbar support across your back without creating any pressure points.
- Adjustable armrests that can support your arms at the right angle for you to comfortably reach your keyboard.
- Adjustable headrest and tilt to provide support for your head and neck for neck muscle relaxation.
- Appropriate depth and width of your seat to provide even pressure across the whole seating area.
Aside from adjustability, consider office chairs with mesh fabric, which can provide proper ventilation to keep you cool, comfortable, and dry throughout the day, as well as reduce muscle fatigue. Mesh fabric is also a lot easier to clean and maintain. They might even be more supportive than padded chairs.
Many people use additional external keyboards with their desktops and laptops in order to maintain the condition of their laptop keyboards, improve ergonomics, or type faster with fewer typing errors. Wireless keyboards are excellent choices if you want to be able to use your keyboard from a greater distance or if you want a simpler and neater set-up without wires.
The right keyboard design can also help to improve your body posture while working.
- Flat Keyboards: These keyboards lay flat on the table and tend to put a lot of strain on your wrists, typing also becomes more difficult. They are, however, more compact and will definitely look cleaner on your desk.
- Slanted Keyboards: These keyboards are slightly tilted or may have built-in kickstands to help protect your wrists a little more.
- Keyboards with Wrist Rests: These are keyboards with built-in wrist rests that can help keep your wrists straight at all times.
- Super-Ergonomic Keyboards: These keyboards may look odd to some of us but they force you into a good typing posture. Some designs may even be difficult to operate when you first start using them.
Besides keyboard design, there are also two types of keyboards to take into consideration.
- Membrane Keyboards: These are usually slim and quiet, ideal for general use and portability.
- Mechanical keyboards: These are chunky and loud, ideal for gaming but their clicking sounds may be distracting for work.
Some of us have become so reliant on the office’s desktop monitor that we find it difficult to work without it. When selecting a monitor for your home office, size is extremely important because one that is too large will leave no room for all of your other necessities. Besides just looking for one in the correct size, there are other factors to consider too.
- Monitor Resolution
This indicates the number of pixels on a monitor in width by height format. The minimum resolution for work is 1920 by 1080, also known as 1080p. However, you may consider choosing monitors with a sharper resolution, such as a QHD or a 4K monitor if your job requires it. For example, graphic designers.
- Monitor Resolution
- Refresh Rates
Refresh rates are measured in hertz (Hz) and they tell you the number of times per second your monitor updates with new information. A greater number implies better, smoother, and less choppy images. Although refresh rate is especially important for gamers, a minimum of 60Hz is sufficient for regular productivity use.
- Refresh Rates
- Panel Technology
The most affordable panel technology is TN monitors, however, they produce poor image quality when viewed from a side angle. IPS monitors, on the other hand, have a slightly faster response time and display colours more accurately. However, of the three panel types, VA monitors have the best image contrast. The panels offer a variety of their own pros and cons. If your job only requires you to look at documents, TN monitors will be sufficient. For people who work with visuals and graphics on a daily basis, you might want to consider an IPS or VA monitor.
These are just a few of the most important pieces of furniture and gadgets you should have in your home office. Some of them may have an impact on your postural health, while others may have an impact on your work productivity. Other necessities, such as your laptop, mouse, speakers, headphones, and many more, should also be purchased after careful consideration.
Shop a range of home office furniture and productivity tools at Harvey Norman Singapore today.