We've written before about the #1 reason that we all work remotely here at TeamGantt. We absolutely love working remotely. Because of this, I've spent time over the last few years really trying to optimize my home office so that I can be productive and comfortable while working. It's always a moving target, but there are a few items that have made a huge impact on my daily work and I wanted to share them here.
Nothing is more important then being able to close off whatever is going on in the rest of the house. It's absolutely key for focus. This used to be an opening with no doors, but we quickly added doors in order to block noise and give a nice separation to the office.
2) Motorized Standing Desk from Ikea
We all know that it's not healthy to sit at a desk for 8 hours straight. It isn't even comfortable. After lots of researching I found the BEKANT sit/stand desk from Ikea which is fantastic for the price. I opted for a different ikea desk top as I liked the finish more on this one. I wanted a white top and just liked the finish more of this white top. Total was under $500 which is great for a motorized standing desk. The only option that it doesn't have that the more expensive desks have is memory presets. However, I haven't found it a big deal to adjust it each time.
3) Herman Miller Chair - Worth Every Penny
Just because I have a standing desk, doesn't mean I actually stand all day. There is still a good chunk of the day where sitting is preferred. I used to have a typical office chair from Staples and it was fine as long as I didn't have to sit for more then about 45 mins. After that, my back or neck would start hurting. I've since opted to spend the money and get a chair that's really engineered for longer periods of sitting. I went with the Herman Miller Mirra and love it. Others here at TeamGantt have opted for the Herman Miller Aeron and are quite happy with it. I can now work for a few hours at a time and still feel good.
4) Homemade Monitor Stand
For the longest time I had my monitor stacked on a pile of books. It worked, but it was dangerously close to tipping over, and Jason was sure to remind of that every time he came over. So when I upgraded to the new iMac, I took some old reclaimed wood that I had leftover from a previous project and built a little stand for my monitor. It was easy and only took about 15 mins. If you don't want to build one, groovemade makes some super nice wood stands.
Getting each piece of the ergonomic puzzle is important. This is something I use daily.
6) Alternate Place to Work or Read
A little change in scenery is nice every once in a while. Sometimes, if I'm doing something that just involves just a laptop, such as a call with a customer, I might move over to the couch and work from there for a bit.
7) Way to Stay Warm
A little space heater that also gives the feel of a fireplace. Runs quite a bit during the winter and keeps the office nice and warm.
8) Yes, a Wired Keyboard with Number Pad
It always works. Doesn't need batteries. And yes, has a number pad.
9) Good Filing/Organization System
Managed to find a nice 3 drawer filing cabined for $15 on craigslist :)
For more tips on working remotely, check out this post.
So what are your must have's in a home office? Let us know in the comments below :)