6 Easy Tips on How to Setup a Home Office

6 Easy Tips on How to Setup a Home Office (That You’ll Actually Like)

It’s usually rather small and cramped. And yet it somehow makes you get out of your PJs and into a proper(ish) outfit. Bingo!

I’m talking, of course, about your home office: that hub of remote work that so many of us have had to contend with, the single place in your home that still has this power to space apart from your work from your private life.

Maybe such a thing as a great home office setup doesn’t exist, but there are still some ideas you can put to work to make it all but perfect.

Check out these 6 tips on how to set up a home office. Once you’re done implementing them, have a good day at work!

1. When in Doubt, Go for a Cubicle!

Ever seen a full-blown painting studio living in a closet?

I have! Years ago, when I visited a friend who used to live with her husband in a tiny apartment in Sydney. Her husband was a painter, and his studio was an unassuming wooden closet.

If you live in a big house with lots of rooms, you might just be able to afford to skip this tip.

However, seeing as you’re here, chances are your place is a wee bit closer to a hobbit hole. (No offense, Bilbo!)

Yes, an ideal home office setup idea will most certainly rest on an assumption that you actually have a separate room that you can furnish with a sit-stand desk and call it office.

Alas, many of us are confined to a small space and just don’t have that perfect non-essential room turned guest room turned office.

No despair, though! You can take a single corner in your basement or garage (or your living room, or the kitchen!) and transform it into your work area.

Just make sure to install some kind of divider, improvised wall space or even a curtain so your family members don’t end up forgetting that you’re at work.

A pair of noise-canceling headphones will be your best friend.

2. Any Chance for Some Natural Lighting (Without Glare)?

Even if you don’t have to resort to a hobbit-hole-like room in a basement, your dedicated workspace will probably be situated in a spare room.

And since this spare room was never good enough to serve as a bedroom or living room, it’s probably either too dark or far too light and warm in the dog days of summer.

In Australia, you’ll typically be dealing with the latter issue.

To reduce glare and get a cooler home office, you can simply and easily get your home windows tinted. Tints will get rid of up to 99% of harmful UV rays – and they will also save you some cash by cutting down your energy bill.

But what if it’s too dark? You can’t rely on proper lighting. And window tints would make it worse.

Enter lamps! Know this, though: a floor lamp can’t replace a proper desk lamp. It might be more cozy and intimate, but it will cause eye strain!

3. Have a Seat – or Not?

To sit or not to sit isn’t the only dilemma here.

There’s a middle ground too, and it works for a growing number of homeworkers who are dealing with back pain.

So if you’re a dedicated sitter (and your back doesn’t mind it), don’t hesitate to invest in a decent office chair. Otherwise, a standing desk setup will do an excellent job. Especially if you only work part-time!

There’s another advantage to standing desks. In most cases, they’ll only be spacious enough to accommodate your laptop, possibly an external monitor, a couple of papers and pens, and a docking station with a surge protector.

No room for endless heaps of office supplies!

4. Comfortable But NOT Comfy

Unless you’re a therapist, you don’t exactly need a chaise longue as part of your home office setup.

To be honest, you might FEEL you need one. But if you get it, your home office space might soon convert into a small and chic lounge area.

Dearest remote worker, you don’t need another excuse to feed that hungry specter of procrastination!

So what’s comfortable but doesn’t invite you to take a nap?

Why an ergonomic chair, of course! It will let you lie back and relax, but it will still remind you that this is a work environment, not a video game room.

5. Let the Shelves Float

A filing cabinet can take up LOTS of storage space that you could otherwise put to better use.

So why not use floating shelves instead?

Not only are they cheaper (and DIY-er) than your regular file cabinet, but they are also stylish, minimalist, and they will prevent your working space from turning into a dumpster within weeks.

You can use them to store most of the office equipment that you don’t use every waking moment.

Floating shelves in home office

6. Cables, Cables Everywhere!

Leave them alone for two minutes, and you’ll find them in tangles.

Leave them alone for two weeks, and you’ll find dust bunnies where the tangles used to be.

I’m talking, of course, about cables and wires and cords of all sorts. All the technological advances and we’re still living in a heavily wired world!

Until wires finally go to the ash heap of history, you and I will be stuck with just two options:

  • Go wireless whenever you can – wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, internet connection, speakers, headphones.
  • Get a decent cable management kit or tray or organizer.

Sure, you can choose to keep all the chargers and USBs in a desk drawer (if you have one). But if you’re anything like me, that won’t be a viable solution. Cables have this neat way of slithering out of ANY drawer and right into your desk space.


Frequently Asked Question on Home Office Setup

What is the first step in setting up a home office?

  • The first step is to determine WHERE you want to set it up.
  • Can you afford to allocate an entire room for it? Or maybe your living room or even kitchen will have to double as an office?
  • Either way, you’ll want to be as isolated as possible from the daily hullaballoo from your family members.

What if office space is severely limited?

  • You’ll learn to live with it – literally!
  • The good news is, a decent workstation doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. All you need is a desk and a desk chair. And if your back prefers you to stand up while working, you can even make do without a chair!

How much does it cost to build a home office?

  • It doesn’t have to cost anything if you already have a desk and a decent chair! And it can cost a fortune if you’re eyeing a grandiose home office (with Mark Rothko’s paintings adorning your walls).
  • If you have to buy them, a nice desk and chair will only cost you a couple of hundred dollars.