With the Malaysian government continuing to increase its vaccination rollout, and the SOPs easing – like you working professionals, many people are still choosing to work from home.
Some of us have even set-up dedicated home office at home, where we do our best work.
Without a proper work from home setup, we could potentially cause harm to our physical and mental well-being.
If you have been hoping to improve your work from home setup or is simply just bored of your setup, we got you with some tips in this post.
Should you invest in a proper work from home setup?
Quick answer: Yes.
While the movement restriction is easing out, many people are still choosing to a hybrid working arrangement, spending half the week at the office and the other, at home.
Working from home should be easy, right? No more travelling to work. No more traffic jams. And yes, you get to wake up exactly at work hours.
But, if you’ve been working from home long enough, you’ll know how easy it is to get distracted. You might even begin to develop a strain on certain areas of your body too.
Not forgetting your work productivity. Are you maintaining the level you’re at compared to the times when you’re working in the office?
More importantly – do you find yourself bootstrapping for time and frequently spilling work over your personal time?
All this boils down to how efficient you are during your work. And this has everything to do with your home office setup!
Essentials for a productive home office setup.
To start – we’ll begin with some essentials, that will equip your workspace for maximum productivity. We’ll also share some practical tips on how you can best arrange them for your workspace.
Let’s get into it.
1. Height adjustable desk.
The height adjustable desk, or more known as the standing desk is trending these days, since it was found that sitting down too much is bad for our health.
Depending on your budget, a simple height adjustable desk from IKEA is priced at RM729 and the pricing could go up to RM3,449 if you opt for a more luxurious brand.
Image Source: Shopee
A height adjustable desk helps promote movement and doesn’t limit one to just seating position.
By getting one for your work, you get to switch between standing and sitting. This helps promote blood circulation and also reduce the strain on your back.
Here are a few tips, to choosing a great height-adjustable desk:
- Measure your current workspace and see what sizes of desk can fit into the space
- Choose a desk that can be adjusted to your elbow height during both sitting and standing
- Lastly, make sure the seat is comfortable and suit your home style!
2. Ergonomic office chair.
If you will be sitting down most of the time, it is also important to get a comfortable chair for work.
And if possible, we always recommend getting an ergonomic chair. An ergonomic chair is beneficial because it immediately improve your sitting posture and help alleviate lower back pain.
Generally, an ergonomic chair will have a slight curve at its lower section. The curve is designed to match the natural curves of our lower spine which in turns, reduce any strain on our lower back.
Another thing to note is the chair’s armrest. The height of the armrest is adjustable. So, make sure the height always matches the position of your arm and shoulder. This will help prevent muscle fatigue as you work.
Image Source: Dreams Time
Besides getting the right chair, you also need to make sure the sitting posture is correct. Notice in the picture above (right side), the elbow has the same elevation as the desk and the arms are well-rested on the armrest.
So, getting an ergonomic chair is just the first step. You’ll also need to make sure your sitting posture is correct to prevent any straining on your body.
The price of an ergonomic chair could go between RM239 to RM 1,099 depending on the type or brand you choose.
3. Computer monitor.
Regardless of the work you do, having a large enough computer monitor will definitely help in terms of comfort and ergonomics.
While most people work on laptops these days, having a monitor on your desk can prevent you from straining your eyes and scooping your head forward, which is bad for your posture.
The best height for a computer monitor is when the top of the screen is at or slightly below your eye level.
Computer monitors typically cost between RM319 to RM2,299, depending on the size, feautres and brand.
4. Ergonomic keyboard.
A productive and healthy home office setup is not complete without an external keyboard, more specifically, an ergonomic keyboard.
With most of us working on a computer, having an external keyboard can make sure your hands and wrist are in a comfortable position – avoiding the risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common condition that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the hand or wrist. It is caused mostly due to the repetitive action of fingers and poor working posture.
While there are a lot of treatments available for to remedy the pain, it best to not contract the condition in the first place, by investing in an ergonomic keyboard. Having a more comfortable work environment, also improves your work productivity.
The price of an ergonomic keyboard is priced between RM99 to RM300, again depending on the brand.
5. Natural lighting
Natural lighting isn’t something that can be bought, but it should be on your mind when setting up your workspace. Natural light is considered an essential part of a productive home office setup due to its many benefits.
Natural light can help improve sleep, reduce health risks towards fluorescent light and also supply a healthy dose of vitamin D.
While not entirely necessary, having natural lighting present during your work can go a long way to improving your health and mental well-being.
Find a spot at home that has ample natural lighting to it. Ensure windows are present as well so the room can be properly ventilated.
From productive-focused to wellness-focused
Now, that you got the essentials down, it’s time to look beyond the workdesk and focus on how to improve your environment.
Here are two ideas.
While these two ideas don’t seem like much, having them can change your happiness level at home.
1. Decorate your house with indoor plants.
Aglaonema Pink plant with pafcal chip at HOMA2U – RM49.90
Having a few house plants around can definitely add some life into your workspace environment. Besides enhancing the aesthetic value of your work desk or home office, certain indoor plants can also purify the air around your workspace, leaving fresher air for you.
Plus, these low-maintenance indoor plants are easy to care for and don’t require much gardening experience. They thrive without needing direct sunlight and watering. And with the Pafcal chip it grows on, instead of soil, it will grow beautifully without needing too much gardening maintenance.
Having them around your work desk can definitely help remove the mundaneness of work and add some needed freshness to your work environment.
2. Pick up a physical activity.
Working from home can be fairly stagnant at times especially if you’re only sitting by the desk. If you don’t keep yourself active, you could easily feel sleepy throughout the day and thus, affect your productivity.
That’s why it is always recommended to do a few simple exercises in between work.
Pick up a simple physical activity, such as yoga or some bodyweight exercises. Then have equipments such as a yoga mat or a dumbbell beside your work desk, so you can easily switch between typing an email to doing a quick 5-min stretch.
While it may seem like a silly and small effort, building a routine for a few minutes of light stretches and exercising, can make a difference on your work from home productivity and wellness.
There you go. Now you have everything you need to set up the perfect work from home office.
Other than the essentials, there are many ways you can mix creativity and practicality into the home office. If you need more ideas and inspiration, feel free to give Pinterest a visit and search for them!
Now it’s your turn. Share with us your ideal WFH setup and tell us how you kept up with productivity for the past few months. Feel free to leave a comment below!