I’ve had this post on my ideas list for a month or so now, and I never could have predicated just how relevant it would be for the whole world when I ended up putting it together. We are now in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and a lot of us are working from home for the next month or so.
But that is not why I initially put together my compact and portable home office setup. The actual reason is because what used to be my dedicated office space is now a nursery, which will be bub’s room once he or she arrives in June.
Because we live in a small-ish apartment there are no more spare rooms for me to set up my office so I decided to create a little kit that allows me to set up office at the dining room table (or wherever I feel like really). Everything I use easily and quickly fits into a cupboard so I can set up and pack up each day, leaving our dining room table clear for meals and weekends.
My main goals with this setup were:
- To keep things minimal and compact
- To have a work space that is ergonomic
- To make sure setup and pack up were quick and easy
My Compact + Portable Home Office Setup
If you prefer to watch a video rather than to read a list you can see my IGTV vlog below, or keep scrolling for a little list of the things I have in my home office kit.
1. Ergonomic Seat Cushion
When you don’t have a dedicated ergonomic office chair it’s important to make sure whatever you are using is good for your posture. A few months ago I decided to get the Miracle Bamboo Seat Cushion and I love it. It’s really compact, has a removable/washable cover and turns my ordinary dining chairs into ergonomic chairs I can sit in for eight hours without getting uncomfortable.
Of course if you don’t have one of these on hand you can always try using a firm cushion or pillow that you already have at home.
2. Back Cushion
Because my seat cushion offers plenty of lumber support I just use a cushion from the couch behind my back for some extra comfort.
3. Laptop Stand
Looking down at your laptop for long periods of time isn’t great for your neck or posture, so a stand is something I decided to invest in as well. I’ve had my stand for years now and can’t do without out it! I use the Raindesign mSTand and love how minimalistic it is.
If you don’t have a stand on hand or aren’t ready to invest in one yet you can always use a pile of books or magazines instead. You want your screen to be at eye level so you don’t need to look up or down while using it.
This one kind of goes without saying – but of course you will need your laptop/computer!
5. External Keyboard
Another thing I use to help with my posture is an external keyboard, which allows me to keep my arms bent at a right angle.
6. Document Tray
For all the other bits and pieces I use throughout the day like a notepad, planner, pen, phone cable etc. I use a document tray.
If you don’t have a document tray on hand you can always use an A4 sized box or carton that you have at home to keep everything tidy and easy to pack up.
7. Something to keep you Inspired
To me it’s important to feel inspired while I’m in my work space and so I like to have something pretty to look at – whether it’s a fresh or dried bunch of flowers, candle, photo, quote, crystal, plant, mood board or anything that makes your space feel uplifting.
8. Anything you want Close at Hand
I also keep my water bottle by my computer and a space for my coffee/tea cup – they are both reminders to stay hydrated and get up for a break now and again.
Tips for a Productive Home Office
- Dedicate your usual commute time to your physical and mental wellbeing. Go for a walk, do some home yoga, mediate or journal. Create your own little morning ritual to clear your mind and set yourself up for a motivated day.
- Get out of your PJ’s – you don’t have to get dressed up but it’s not a great idea to stay in your PJ’s either. You’ll feel more like you’re in work mode if you freshen up and get changed, and if for some reason you need to duck out of the house you don’t need to get changed first.
- Work near a window and let in some natural light and fresh air, you’ll feel more energised and inspired.
- Take breaks – get up and move around or even go outside on your balcony or in your yard for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. It helps to stretch your legs and get your blood moving. It’s also easy to get so stuck into your work that you forget to eat – so do your best to set yourself a daily routine.
- Put your phone out of reach or turn it off if you get easily distracted by social media and apps. It’s so easy to pick up your phone and waste a couple of hours in the social media rabbit hole, especially if your in a procrastination mood.
- Phone a friend if you feel stuck. Just because you are working by yourself at home, doesn’t mean you need to figure everything out on your own. Sometimes all we need to get unstuck is a fresh perspective, and chances are whoever you call may also need some input on something too!
So that’s it – my compact and portable home office setup! If you have any other suggestions or ideas I’d love to hear them in the comments below,
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