Whether you’re running a small business from home or a rented space, you want a comfortable and useful office setup. To get there, you’ll need to envision how you want to use or improve your available space. It often helps to make a sketch of where you plan to place furniture along with a list of items you’ll need. These can include tech equipment, lighting adjustments, storage supplies, and privacy dividers.
If you’ve already set up your office space, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to keep it the way it is. Small improvements such as different furniture, new ways to keep things organized, and a few personal touches can make a big difference. Since you and your employees spend most of your waking hours in the office, it should be inviting and free of distractions. Here are a few ideas and suggestions to make sure you have the best setup for your needs.
1. Reliable Wi-Fi
Without a reliable, broadband internet connection, you’re probably not going to get much done. Home offices located in garages, attics, and basement bedrooms can be especially problematic. They’re usually far enough away from the modem or router to experience signal strength issues. Even indoor rooms located on the edge of a home’s floor plan can have a weak or spotty signal.
You can run into the same difficulties in rented office space, especially if your business occupies a large area. Split setups, where portions of space are set apart for guests and employees, can also degrade your Wi-Fi’s bandwidth. Visitors, clients, and employees need to connect, too. However, when your office is in the back, it can be difficult for a modem to distribute adequate capacity.
Adaptive Wi-Fi solutions, such as the Plume WorkPass, use a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and pods to effectively distribute bandwidth throughout your small business. Frustrations such as dropped connections, buffering, and spotty video calls become a thing of the past. You also won’t have to pick up your laptop and move closer to the modem or reposition it.
The AI component of adaptive Wi-Fi will learn when and where you need the most capacity. Laptops and networked equipment in your office space won’t have to compete with other devices. Instead, you’ll get the fast speeds and reliable connectivity you need to stay on task and fulfill your responsibilities.
2. Comfortable Furniture
Admittedly, our definitions of comfort are subjective. However, when it comes to office furniture, ergonomic options can help prevent needless injuries. Using furniture that doesn’t support proper posture can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. These disorders cause symptoms such as pain and fatigue, which can impact an employee’s ability to work. You might also incur costs related to treating the injuries sustained by employees using that furniture.
Ergonomic chairs from Herman Miller or Steelcase can ensure you maintain good posture while seated at your desk. You’ll want a chair that allows you to adjust the height, backrest, armrest, and seat depth. While seated, you’ll want to make all necessary adjustments with your feet flat on the floor. Although you might need to adjust the chair throughout the day, it should always support your back. Additionally, you’ll need the chair adjusted to a height where the top of the monitor is slightly above eye level.
Other equipment you can use to implement proper ergonomic working conditions includes monitor risers. Nowadays, you can even purchase desks with built-in risers. These raise monitors to an appropriate level so that you’re not hunching your shoulders and back. By placing your monitors at a height aligned with ergonomic practices, you can avoid neck, shoulder, and upper back strain. You’ll also cut down on the need to adjust your chair as often.
If sitting all day is a concern, standing desks and workstations can provide more flexibility. You can switch between sitting and standing positions or keep the desk in standing mode. This can help you avoid some of the health problems associated with remaining sedentary. Getting in more standing time at the office can burn more calories and prevent modest weight gain. It’s no substitute for exercise, but standing also helps alleviate discomfort from sitting for too long.
3. Time-Saving Tech Gear and Accessories
Investments in wireless keyboards and mice, headphones, and dual monitors can more than make up their costs via an increase in productivity. Although purchasing a solid laptop or desktop may be top of mind, quality accessories can make a huge difference.
Ever struggled with a laptop’s trackpad? Or needed to switch between multiple documents in different programs on a single screen? Trying to work around these annoying obstacles only slows your team down and makes working with technology unnecessarily cumbersome.
Save yourself the frustration. Plan to get a few additional gadgets, such as Apple’s Magic keyboard and mouse. If you’re a PC user, your wireless mouse and keyboard options are nearly endless. You can pick and choose only those accessories you really need. Eliminate the source of multiple frustrations with a wireless mouse you can set up in minutes.
Noise-canceling headphones with built-in mics can also save you in shared office spaces. You could even benefit from them in a home office that overlooks a busy street or your neighbor’s yard. Quality gear will help drown out distractions from other people’s chatter, lawnmowers, and cars driving by. Plus, the built-in mic can help you sound more professional during virtual meetings and VoIP calls.
Dual monitors are essential for employees who routinely switch between word processing docs, spreadsheets, and web-based applications. Without two monitors, employees are constantly minimizing one screen to bring up another. They have to keep toggling back and forth and are more likely to lose their focus. All of these extra and repetitive movements on a keyboard or mouse can add up in lost time. They can also increase the risk of wrist strain and injury.
Setting up two monitors is relatively easy using a dock station or a split video adapter for desktops. Employees can view multiple programs at once and easily move around between screens. With a dual-monitor setup, team members are able to refer to data within two or more applications simultaneously and make quicker decisions.
Many Office Settings Could Benefit From a Modest Refresh
Planning or redesigning your office setup is an opportunity to create a welcoming and constructive space. Regardless of an office’s size and location, it can be a place where you and your employees look forward to spending time.
With a well-planned combination of effective solutions and equipment, the time you devote to work is more likely to be rewarding and feel fruitful. Tweaks to your Wi-Fi, office furniture, and tech gear can help you create the best office setup for your business.