Before the pandemic, the ability to work remotely was rare. For the past year, many of us have been working with temporary solutions while waiting for updates on when it’s safe to return to work in-person. Depending on your living situation, you may not have even owned a desk prior to 2020.
Now that we’re a year into the pandemic, it may be worth considering outfitting your home office with a little more intention. Here are a few easy ways you can spruce up your home office without breaking the bank.
Ditch the uncomfortable chair
Take a look at the chair that you’re using for your home office space. If you had to make-shift a home office during the beginning of the pandemic and you haven’t updated your space since, chances are your chair might not be ideal for working 9-5. Investing in the right office chair can help to take some of unnecessary strain off your back, neck, and hips while you’re working. Unfortunately, some office chairs can be on the pricier side. If buying a brand new chair isn’t in the budget, give Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and eBay a look-through for some affordable options.
Beef up your WiFi
Nothing is worse on a virtual call than a lagging WiFi connection. Fortunately, improving your WiFi speed isn’t actually as difficult as you would think. You can actually improve your home WiFi speed by choosing a different spot for your router. Experiment with placing your router in different areas around your house to find the spot that delivers the strongest signal. You can also invest in a stronger antenna, buy a WiFi booster/extender, change your bandwidth, or invest in cast routing technology. Cast routing technology makes websites load faster by routing all connections through a firewall and CDN to make each connection as short as possible.
Add some greenery
Homeowners will typically spend between 1% to 4% of their home’s value every year improving their homes. But you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to spruce up your remote workspace. If you’re looking for an incredibly cheap way to take your home office up a notch, consider spending $5 or less on a simple plant (real or fake) to place on your desk. A plant might not seem like much, but research shows that proximity to nature has a positive effect on our moods. Just the sight of greenery, even if it’s a fake plant, can help to reduce stress levels, which is nice during a global pandemic.
Get a good pair of headphones
This option is on the pricier side, but it can definitely help to improve your home office environment. Coworking spaces can be beneficial for some, and their numbers are expected to climb to 6,200 by 2022. But when you’re working from home, coworking can be a rougher experience. Trying to participate in a virtual meeting while your spouse is also working from home or your kids are in an online class can definitely be challenging. A good set of over-ear headphones can help to give you a greater sense of privacy even when you don’t actually have it.
Upgrade your data security
Research shows that cybercriminals have been taking advantage of the growing number of people working from home. In fact, cybercrime has increased by up to 63% over the course of 2020. While you’re keeping your tech physically protected in a personal safe, make sure you’re also protecting your information by keeping your security software regularly upgraded. You can find relatively inexpensive data security options available. Just make sure to keep your software up-to-date.
You don’t need to spend a small fortune to take your remote working experience to the next level. By following the simple tips above, you can easily level up your home office to make remote work a little more enjoyable.