Remote work gives you the freedom to work wherever you want. But that doesn't mean you should. Some places are much more conducive to productive work than others. If you're serious about remote work, you need a work from home office.
X-Team has been a fully remote company for over fifteen years. During that time, we've come to understand what a productive, dedicated workspace looks like. This article will explain why it's important to have a WFH office and how you can set one up (even if you don't have enough space in your house).
Building a WFH office takes time. You won't immediately have the perfect setup. Instead, you will build it over time. The pictures in this article are all home office setups from X-Teamers that will demonstrate this progress. Hopefully, they will inspire you to build a space where you can be at your most productive.
Why Have a WFH Office?
A WFH office is an environment with fewer distractions. Anyone who works from home knows that distractions are plenty. The TV is playing the latest Rick and Morty episode, the kids are running around when they should be studying, and the dog is barking at a squirrel.
A WFH office is the quiet corner that shields you from everything else going on in your home. It creates a psychological and physical boundary between your work and your life. It's where you go to focus deeply on your work.
A dedicated workspace gives your work a sense of legitimacy too. Remote work gives you significant freedoms, but you still have to work. An office lends weight to that. Work is not frivolous. It is important and should be done to the best of your abilities.
How to Set Up a WFH Office
Find a Location
Building your WFH office is a matter of gradation. In the best-case scenario, you have a separate room that you can use exclusively for work. When you're not in that room, you're not at work. When you're in that room, you are.
But that's not always possible. If you don't have a separate room for work, find a separate corner in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen. If that's not possible, designate a chair on a table as your work chair. When you're not on that chair, you're not at work. When you're on that chair, you are. Create some sense of separation for your WFH office.
Protect Your Health
You cannot cut corners on your health. If you're a remote worker, you probably spend at least eight hours a day sitting down, looking at a computer screen. If you do so with poor posture, you'll likely develop repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, mouse elbow (also called tennis elbow), and back pain over time.
It's crucially important to build an ergonomic workspace. At the very least, buy a good ergonomic chair, but consider an adjustable desk and a monitor arm too. Don't forget about your eyes either. Sit an arm-length away from your screens, look away every once in a while, and make sure your home office setup has adequate, indirect natural light.
Buy the Right Hardware
It's hard to be productive on slow hardware. When setting up a WFH office, ensure you have a laptop or desktop PC that has enough computing power to serve your needs. Think at least 8 GB of RAM and a quad-core processor if you're a programmer.
In addition, you will probably want a second monitor too, particularly if your primary screen is a 13 to 15-inch laptop screen. Access to an Ethernet cable is useful too, if your wi-fi connection is spotty. Even a printer can be useful if you still need to the occasional paper page.
Make It Beautiful
In 2018, Clutch surveyed 1,003 knowledge workers about their ideal workspace. 61% of all workers valued an aesthetically pleasing workspace, more than workspace flexibility, community atmosphere, and learning opportunities. People want to work in a beautiful space.
This is one of the reasons X-Team created the Vault. Our collectibles give every X-Teamer the possibility to easily build the WFH office of their dreams. We encourage you to build out your office, so you feel energized and motivated every time you're at your desk.
A WFH office is a requirement for every full-time remote worker. While building your ideal setup will take time, it's never too late to get started. Find a good location, make it ergonomic, buy good hardware, and make it beautiful to build the work from home office of your dreams.