7 Simple Home Office Setup Ideas

Read these tips for help with setting up a home office on a budget

We've all seen the ideal work-from-home setup as depicted in commercials: a bright room filled with all the latest gadgets, which somehow manages to marry a minimalist aesthetic with the comforts of home and the professionalism of the workplace. But for those of us who don't live in a catalog photo shoot, some simple home office setup ideas can help you craft the ideal workplace without spending half your yearly salary.

Setting up a home office on a budget can be a challenge, especially if you want one that's efficient to use on a daily basis and will stand up to many years of remote working. But with the simple home office setup tips presented in this guide, you'll have an easy — and maybe even enjoyable — time.

Creating a new work from home setup or looking for ways to improve your existing home office? Read our guide for practical tips and principles.

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Carve out a dedicated space

Ideally, you will make your home office somewhere that you can shut a door between it and your home life. This physical separation encourages a healthy degree of psychological separation too. Even if you don't have a whole room to spare, try to find a place you can dedicate entirely to working. Make sure your loved ones or roommates know that you should be disturbed as little as possible when you're in that spot. In other words, working from the kitchen table is likely not a good approach to setting up a home office on a budget, unless you live on your own.

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Eliminate distractions

If you're able to close a door between you and the rest of the house, you're already way ahead on this simple home office setup tip. But that door will only go so far in eliminating distractions when the garbage truck rolls by or your upstairs neighbors decide to host a competitive tap dancing tournament. Soundproof paneling may be out of the question when you're setting up a home office on a budget, but an affordable pair of active noise-canceling headphones likely isn't. These devices emit imperceptible soundwaves to mute external noise, creating a focus-friendly zone around your ears.

Incorporate natural light and life

Many remote and hybrid working arrangements offer a great deal of flexibility. You can handle your tasks whenever it's convenient for you rather than whenever the office is open. But a push here and a delay there can quickly warp your schedule — and your circadian rhythm. One reliable way to circumvent this issue is to bring as much natural light as possible. House plants and other greenery have also been shown to have a soothing effect. Don't have a handy window? One simple home office setup hack is to use smart light bulbs, which can modulate their brightness and color temperature to achieve a similar effect.

Prioritize modularity and portability

When you're setting up a home office on a budget, you don't want to have to do it all over again in a couple of years, or the first time you need to do some business travel. Rather than buying all-in-one devices or furniture, try to favor more modular approaches. This way you'll be able to replace individual components of your setup as needed. Similarly, purchasing tools that allow for portability without sacrificing productivity, such as a compact keyboard and portable monitor, will help you work effectively from anywhere.

Embrace ergonomics

You'll hopefully spend many productive hours in your home office. If you want them to remain productive for as long as possible, you need to look after your body. Dedicated office spaces often have professionals who will optimize your setup ergonomically, but here are a few simple home office setup tips to keep in mind for your own facilities:

  • Use furniture built for working rather than general use around the home, since it will be more customizable. Then experiment with each setting to find the perfect fit.
  • Position your monitor so the top of its screen is even with your usual eyeline.
  • Position your keyboard so you can keep your shoulders relaxed and elbows bent roughly 90 degrees while you're using it.

Did You Know?:Our guide on how to create the ideal work-from-home desk setup will help you make the most of your space.

Set up minimalist storage solutions

Your simple home office setup probably doesn't have space to spare for a records room. But taking a disciplined, pre-planned approach to what you store and where will help prevent your sleek workspace from slowly transforming into a teetering pile of paperwork. Consider adopting an inbox/outbox model so you always know what physical documents need your attention. A small desk organizer can go a long way toward keeping all of your supplies handy without contributing to clutter. Of course, the best way to keep an office space tidy is to minimize the physical documents you need to store in the first place.

Digitize your paperwork

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The ScanSnap iX1300’s compact size and extensive capabilities make it the ideal digitization device for a home office. Its small footprint unfolds to support fast, double-sized scans and a 20-page automatic document feeder, and it can instantly create a range of files including searchable PDFs and editable Microsoft Office files. Click here to learn more and shop the full line of ScanSnap scanners.

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