Set up a home office: How to set up the ideal workplace
Home office is becoming more and more widespread as an alternative to the workplace in the company office. Even though the remote work model gained additional importance not least due to the global Corona pandemic, many employees already regularly used the advantages of working from home in advance. In particular, the possibility of being able to carry out focused tasks without the disturbing background noise of the office is an argument in favour of the home office for many. In addition, the time saved by not having to travel to and from the office to work at home is another argument in favour of the home office as a working model.
Some companies - pioneers here are also companies from the IT sector - are switching their business operations entirely to the home office due to positive experiences. In future, going to the office could only be the exception here.
However, not every employee is optimally positioned for work in a home office. This guide helps employees and companies to make the home office a productive working environment.
Equip your home office professionally
As is often the case, if you want to work professionally, you need professional office equipment. The basics are explained below.
Before choosing the right work equipment, the workplace must be equipped with suitable office furniture. Often, employees in home offices do not have their own workstation or do not have a suitably furnished one. When choosing office furniture, however, comfort and ergonomics should be the focus. A professional and ergonomic office chair and a desk at a suitable height are essential. However, the right lighting is also an important element to be able to work really productively.
Note: The same provisions of occupational health and safety law apply to the home office as to work on the premises of the company. The employer must therefore also ensure that necessary measures are taken to protect the safety and health of employees in the home office.
The desk is also a central element of the home office. It must therefore meet some requirements in order to be able to work comfortably in the home office. As a basic requirement for most employees, there must be space for a laptop, screen, keyboard and mouse as well as a table lamp. A sufficient depth of the table allows a comfortable distance to the screen. We recommend a depth of 80 centimetres in order to leave room for arm rests and other work materials in addition to the required equipment.
To protect your health, you should regularly alternate between sitting and standing positions. This relieves the back and prevents tension. Height-adjustable desks can be quickly adjusted in height.
Alternatively, there are different desk attachments that also allow a standing working posture. Attention should be paid to stability and a certain weight so that they can withstand the stresses of office work.
Anyone who wants to work focused for several hours will appreciate an ergonomic office chair. A high-quality office chair
- promotes upright sitting and thus strengthens the back muscles,
- improves breathing and
- prevents back pain, which can otherwise lead to persistent pain and sick leave for the employee.
Lighting in the work area
To take advantage of the natural lighting provided by daylight, a workstation by the window is suitable. A 90° angle between the desk and the window (i.e. a lateral position of the desk to the window) is optimal. This prevents either the face or the screen from being too dazzled.
If the work area is (temporarily) not supplied with sufficient daylight, the lighting plays an even more important role. A table lamp provides optimal lighting conditions at the desk. The light points downwards and not directly at the screen or the face. Indirect, dimmable room lighting creates sufficient basic lighting in the room that is pleasant for the eyes and for general well-being.
Storage space at the workplace
Order or creative chaos - there are very different views on this. Nevertheless, there should be the possibility to store important documents at every workplace. Mobile pedestals offer unobtrusive and space-saving additional storage space underneath the desk, while file shelves create plenty of room for important folders.
With the Lendis OS, employees can select their desired furnishings for the home office with just a few clicks. Delivery, set-up and furnishing? Lendis takes care of that!
Essential for productivity are the devices available to the employee. With the appropriate technology, the employer ensures that all tasks can be (effectively) completed, all employees always work with the same level of technology.
From our experience, the essential devices for the home office setup are:
- Laptop + docking station
- External monitor
- External keyboard + mouse
- Headset (noise cancelling)
In order to work flexibly from the office or home office, it is advisable to use a company laptop that can be easily transported. In many companies, employees already work with a laptop. Where this is not yet the case, a change is recommended. This ensures that all necessary programmes are available to employees at all times and that data does not have to be synchronised between several devices.
In addition, a company laptop is also recommended from a data protection perspective to ensure easy separation of private and professional data.
Depending on the task, different technical equipment is needed. For IT and graphics departments in particular, it is important to always have state-of-the-art equipment available in order to be able to perform all tasks efficiently.
In addition to the laptop, an external monitor is a sensible investment. This can increase productivity enormously, as the eyes are not so strained and attention can be maintained for longer. An external keyboard and mouse also contribute to productivity and promote ergonomics at the workplace.
For employees whose regular tasks include making phone calls, a headset is a sensible purchase. Noise-cancelling headsets are also helpful for employees who have problems with street noise at their home office or who regularly have other people in the household.
Hire professional technology so that your employees can also work productively in the home office.
Ways to procure office equipment
Equipping employees for the home office can be done in different ways, each with advantages and disadvantages.
- Use of own equipment
- Purchase of office equipment
- Office equipment rental
What are the advantages of the different ways of procurement?
1. use of own equipment
Most workers also use a computer at home and have an internet connection. Mistakenly, for many companies, this means that everything is in place for working from home. This is not the case, because an adequate workplace is usually not available. Moreover, private devices are seldom high-performance technology and usually do not have professional software on them. Last but not least, storing business data on private devices poses a data protection and security risk.
Info: In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the employer must generally bear the costs for the necessary work equipment. If employees procure the necessary work equipment themselves, they are entitled to reimbursement from the employer.
2. purchase of office equipment by the company
By purchasing the necessary office furniture and other work equipment through the company itself, the problems mentioned above can be avoided. However, the purchase is associated with high acquisition costs. If employees leave the company, the company ties up needed capital in unused assets. Especially in times of crisis, this can lead to or exacerbate liquidity problems.
If the home office is only a temporary measure, the purchase increases the investment risk.
3. rental of home office equipment by the company
Alternatively, it is possible to rent everything that is needed for productive work in the home office. In this way, each employee can be flexibly equipped for the duration of the home office. The rental period is freely configurable. If the assets are no longer needed, they can be returned without any problems.
The equipment for additional employees is provided within a short period of time. High acquisition costs can be avoided in favour of low monthly rents, which keeps the cash outflow low.
With Lendis as a professional partner for office equipment, companies benefit from a wide range of high-quality and professional products. Especially in the area of technology, you benefit from our State of the Art promise: Every 2 years we replace your rented products with the latest model. This means that your employees always work with the latest technology.
The Lendis OS is the innovative software solution for equipping your employees' home office with technology and furniture in an uncomplicated and flexible way.
Useful tips for a productive working environment in the home office
Noise is considered a significant disturbance factor for the ability to concentrate. Therefore, look for a quiet place in the flat where you can work undisturbed for a longer period of time. Passage rooms or rooms facing the street are less ideal for a workplace.
Daylight has been proven to promote health and well-being. If possible, choose a room for your home office with as much daylight as possible during working hours. If this is not possible, the workplace should be illuminated with floor and table lamps. Daylight lamps, which have been proven to have a positive effect on the mind, are ideal.
If you work several hours a day, you need oxygen. Be sure to have a window at your workstation to let fresh air in regularly.
Air-purifying plants also help to create a pleasant climate that increases the feel-good factor and strengthens the immune system.
Tips for productive work in the home office
Working in a home office is different from working in an office. Setting clear rules for yourself helps to be productive in the home office. The following tips will help.
- Fixed working hours: If possible, start and end your working day at the usual times. It makes it easier to work with colleagues if all team members are available at the same times.
- Schedule breaks: It is not only the law that provides for break times for employees. Time off is important to clear the mind and gain new energy for upcoming tasks. Sufficient exercise and fresh air provide additional energy
- Separate professional and private tasks: Separating private and professional activities in terms of time and space helps to complete tasks in a more focused and time-efficient manner.
- Keep meetings: Regular meetings should also take place in the home office. A constant exchange with colleagues strengthens the sense of unity and makes it easier to work together on a project.
- Set rules for video conferencing: Adhere to clear rules of conversation to minimise the hurdles of video calls. This way, all listening participants turn off their microphone. A limited number of participants can help avoid confusion. A prepared agenda serves as a guideline for the meeting. At the same time, as with face-to-face meetings, the shorter the meeting, the more efficient it is. A good video conference can be held in 10-15 minutes.
- Choose appropriate clothing: To get into work mode, it helps to choose the appropriate clothing.
- Avoid distractions: Put distracting factors such as mobile phones aside if possible and set aside fixed blocks of time in which you can concentrate on your work.