An essential guide to working from home

Your home office can work for you.

Words by Nadir | 4 June 2020 | 5 minute read

Ask any office worker about their day - the dreary, crowded public transport ride to their beige office building, followed by a day of standing/sitting at a computer, hunched back, sore eyes, maybe an Arnott's Arrowroot and an International Roast from a scratched mug...

Man, working from home would be so great.

Covid-19 will change many aspects of our life. One of the potentially long term changes is the way regular office workers are asked to go about their day-to-day. Many of us have spent the last few months working from home, and some of these changes may be here to stay.

Many of us approached the new working-from-home norm with excitement. Think about all the extra time in your day. Time to do your hobbies, eat healthier, live healthier, no more sweaty public transport rides. The reality though was quite different. Constant internet drop-outs, slow computers, printers that refuse to work, people talking over each other in video chats, loud neighbours, and for many, a lack of motivation.

This is all part of the learning curve though, and there is no need to be discouraged. A 2014 article published in the Australian Journal of Labour Economics found that working from home often leads to increased performance, work output and efficiency. The same article however also says working from home has the potential to allow work to creep it's way into our non-work life (Dockery and Bawa, 2014). What we really need is to try get the benefits associated with WFH while trying to limit the damage.

Here are our top 7 for ensuring a productive and fun WFH experience:

1 Have a real office.

That means not your dining table or your couch or your bed. Have an area set aside for work, and just work. You do not want your work infiltrating into the rest of your life. Your office should have a proper desk, suitable lighting including natural light and most importantly, somewhere comfortable to sit. That brings us to...

2 Get an ergonomic office chair.

An office chair which provides good support for your back and is comfortable for your body shape. Download a WHS ergonomic guide online and follow it. Your back, butt, legs, ankles, neck, eyes, wrists will thank you.

3 Typing can be painful

A proper keyboard can make all the difference during a long typing session. Some laptop keyboards are great, but if typing forms a major part of your work day, you will not regret investing in a quality mechanical keyboard. One which has nice travel and click, with well sized keys and good layout. Avoid mushy keyboards! There's lots of brands around, so try and find one that works for you. By the way, avoid lifting the little feet on the back of your keyboard, a flat keyboard is a much more neutral position for your hands.

4 Monitor = productive

Monitors are basically form our digital work bench. You wouldn't put up with a small desk, so why put up with a small digital desk. Adding an additional monitor will help with productivity. This is especially true if you're working from a laptop. Websites, document processors, presentations all look better on bigger screens. You might also be surprised with how affordable screens have become. A quality monitor can be purchased for as little as $150. Keep an eye out for screens suitable for extended viewing, optimised for office use, as these may help reduce strain on your eyes.

5 Get out and about

Because our offices are in our houses, it's easy to forget to move. Set yourself a reminder. Get out of the house everyday, go for a walk. We don't have to be confined to regular work hours when working from home, so feel free to make use of the best time in the day to catch some sun!

6 Invest in Tech

A computer suitable to the type of work you are doing is a must. A Home Techy can help advise you on the type of machine you might need to complete your work without losing your mind. Even if you have a work issued laptop or computer, a good set of headphones, an ergonomic mouse and smart lighting and speakers can make your day so much more enjoyable.

Similarly, a solid home network is vital. Everything we do is online. Our document processing, emails, storage, communication all rely on a steady internet connection. And while it is important to ensure you have an internet plan that suits your needs, bad setup will lead to bad performance. This is one of the many things your Home Techy may be able to resolve for you on the spot during a home tech tune up.

7 Don't waste your money

It's easy to get overwhelmed when trying to set up a home office. Millions of different products from dozens of different brands all claiming to be the best is exhausting and confusing. Home Techy scours the web daily for the best deals, and will work with you to find the solution that meets YOUR needs. We are not a tech retailer, so we are able to take advantage of the millions of deals available at any time. We will install your products, make sure they are set up the way your need them, answer any questions you have and best of all provide free ongoing support online forever! After all of that, you may still end up paying less than if you went to the shops yourself.

Working from home may be new and a bit daunting, but there is no reason why it can't be a positive experience for both you and your employer. And you can rest easy knowing you have a friendly tech support team on hand to help you out whenever you need it. Do you have a tech question you need answered? CLICK HERE.