How to improve my home workspace

Here’s how to spruce up your workspace at home

Singapore’s “circuit breaker” measures to contain the further spread of COVID-19 kicked in on Apr 7. Since then, many things have changed - working from home (WFH) indefinitely became the new normal, and home-based learning for school going children began as well.

Now that your home will double up as your office - as well as a classroom - how can you build a conducive environment for yourself and your family?

We bring you a few tips to build a home office that can help you stay as comfortable and productive as possible.

1. Grocery delivery: Stock your work pantry essentials

Games for Grocery delivery: Stock your work pantry essentials

For most of us, there’s always something to keep our morale up and help us maintain razor-sharp concentration. Be it a morning starbucks drink or a good old Kopi-o-siew-dai, lots of us have got on-the-way-to-work routines we’re used to.

Now that we’re working from home though, those routines have suddenly come to a halt, but don’t fret! From Nanyang style coffee to gourmet specialty coffees, healthy snacks to not-so-healthy snacks, sugar-free tea to cans of soda, you can readily order them online to enjoy them at home to help you power through your day.

Many online stores and deliveries like Lazada, foodpanda, EAMart, and Kindness Mart bring convenience to you and your family, and now is as good a time as any to try them out.

If you’re going to stock a pantry, healthy snacks like roasted nuts, greek yoghurt and dark chocolate are best - but having an occasional ice-cream is definitely fine too. Just because you can’t go out, it doesn’t mean you can’t use a little break.

2. Build a workstation that works for you

Build a workstation that works for you

Building a workspace involves selecting items that are going to be either temporary or permanent fixtures in your house – furniture, a computer, the works. We understand that you may be reluctant to spend the effort when you can’t go to the physical store to see the furniture. But it is worth the time and money invested - especially if it contributes to keeping your focus, prevent back and neck pains, and increase your efficiency.

Without leaving your chair, you can check what tech brands such as Dell and Lenovo have to offer. Or if you prefer, online marketplaces such as Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10 can give you more brands to choose from. You will get 8% back in cash credit or eVoucher should you pay your online shopping with POSB/DBS Cards.

Ready to build your workstation? We have a few ideas to get you started:

  1. A monitor
    Considering how much time you spend in front of your computer, a separate monitor can boost your output with the extra space. At the same time, it will lessen the eye strain that’s caused by working on a tiny laptop screen.
  2. A wireless keyboard
    Now that you have a monitor, typing off your laptop may be a little inconvenient. A wireless keyboard can contribute to a clean desk (no stray wires!), and allow you to work from anywhere as long as your monitor is within sight. Just remember to sit up straight - or you may need to take a trip to the masseuse once the “circuit breaker” measures are lifted.
  3. A scented candle
    Working from home can bring with it a whole different set of grievances, such as friction with family members, miscommunication with your colleagues due to the lack of face to face interaction, or simply sheer annoyance when you are unable to get something to work.

    Getting a scented candle can instantly help you relax after a stressful teleconference or a difficult day.

3. Ergonomics: Get a good chair

Build a workstation that works for you

A good chair can create all the difference in making your hours at work pass by quicker and more painlessly. However, selecting the right chair can be a test - prices can range from $50 for a basic chair to $600 for a Secret Lab chair. But more expensive doesn’t always equate better.

Where to start? Well, first consider back, thigh and arm support. Chairs with movable armrests and back support will definitely give more options for greater comfort. Pay attention to the material the chair is made of - a chair covered in fabric may be more breathable but also more susceptible to stains, while PVC chairs may need less maintenance. Leather chairs, while comfortable, are also more expensive and difficult to maintain. Do remember to check if it comes with a warranty as well, especially if you bought it online.

4. Add greenery to your workspace

Build a workstation that works for you

Humans are social beings, and when everyone suddenly starts working from home, you are cut off from the casual social interactions that connect you to others throughout the day.

One way to break the monotony of work is to add a few green plants around your workspace. Plants have been shown to up happiness vibes and reduce stress, and some studies show that even a few plants can increase productivity by as much as 15%1.

Pick something easy to maintain and that will help improve overall air quality. For example, the Spider plant, money plant and rubber plant fare well in this regard. In our opinion, getting a plant (or two) is definitely a win-win - it helps clean the air and could help you get more done at work.

So there you have it - some tips to help improve your WFH experience. Stay safe, stay home and crush your Q2 2020 work goals!

1 https://www.goget.com.au/blog/plants-in-the-office/

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