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How to set up a home office

By 3rd February 2015April 6th, 2020No Comments

More companies are allowing their employees the flexibility of working from home and you may find that your home is not equipped to become an office away from the office.

Technology such as video conferencing, instant messaging and cloud computing enables you to work remotely and just as efficiently.

The ideal home office is fitted with the right technology to allow you to stay in contact with your colleagues and clients. It also provides a space where you can be productive and happy.

Besides the basics such as a desk, chair and the correct lighting, you also have to consider the hardware. If your current office set-up involves a desktop PC, you may be in the market for a laptop or new desktop solution at home.

Laptops remain expensive and although tablets are great computing devices they are more suited to the consumption of content rather than its creation.

The CloudGate Android PC is the perfect solution for a home office set-up. It is an affordable hybrid device that runs on Google’s Android operating system. It’s small (128x128mm), so it doesn’t take up a lot of desk space and it costs very little to run,  using a mere 10 watts of power. CloudGate needs zero pre-configuration and is easy to set up as it only comes with two cables. Plugin your keyboard and mouse, connect your screen and internet connection and you’re ready to go.

Working from home is also an ideal opportunity to move your data into the cloud if your employer isn’t already hosting company data this way. By installing a CloudWare server, all employer network resources – apps, data and printers can be securely accessed from your home CloudGate.

You probably have your digital data spread across multiple devices, so a cloud service makes sense. It allows you to link any internet-connected device, such as the CloudGate, and consolidate information in a single point to access it from the office, home and your mobile devices by logging in to your personal or professional account.

Here are some pointers on how to set up a home office to your liking:

  • Room: The obvious choice that comes to mind is the study or guest room, but space in the dining room or lounge can also work, depending on your family’s set-up at home. It’s important to define the space as your home office so that you work from there and not from other parts of the home. A room with a door allows for privacy.
  • Background: If video-conferencing is your main tool for staying in touch with the office, make sure the background is tidy. A canvas print of a beautiful landscape or a bookshelf will look professional.
  • Cables: Invest in a cable management solution to hide messy cables. It can either run behind your desk, along the bottom of your desk or can be a box that sits on top of your desk. A USB hub or charging station will also eliminate cable clutter. These stations aid the quick unplugging of devices when you’re in a hurry. With power outages on the increase, it is a good idea to invest in surge-protected extension leads and Uninterrupted Power Systems (UPS).
  • Lighting: Position your desk close to a window to allow for natural light. Place it next to or against the same wall as the window. Don’t position the screen so that it faces the window as the light will reflect off it. Artificial light is also important, especially for those cloudy days or if you work early in the morning or late into the evening. A table lamp or floor lamp will do the trick.
  • Ergonomics: Position your screen and keyboard by following ergonomic rules. The top of your screen should be at eye level or a little below. Position your keyboard so that your forearms are parallel to the floor. Choose a chair that has an adjustable backrest and one that offers firm lumbar support. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Storage: Clever storage solutions are abundant. Select a solution that suits your needs, whether it is optimising wall space with floating shelves or going with floor-mounted solutions such as funky storage boxes on wheels. Tall bookcases with adjustable shelves are also great. Use the shelves as they are for storing books and reference material or kit them out with wicker baskets.

Before you head down the passage to start your workday, remember that working from home may make it harder for you to not take your work home with you.

Even though this is your new work environment you still want to be able to close the door after a productive day and step into your personal life. Try and maintain a physical and mental boundary between your work and home environment, even if you’re technically working in the same space.

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