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Working from home is here to stay, so it’s time to upgrade your at home workspace. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to do that. Here are five ways to upgrade your workspace that won’t break the bank.
Use your TV as an external monitor.
Tired of staring at your small laptop screen all day? You don’t have to purchase an external monitor – your TV works just as well. All you need is an HDMI cable and a wireless keyboard, and possibly an HDMI adapter. While some laptops have HDMI ports built in, many newer PC models require either a Mini DisplayPort or USB-C adapter. For Macs, it’s typically either a Lighting to HDMI or Apple DisplayPort adapter. A quick google search will tell you what you need.
You can also use your TV as a second monitor if you want to have some extra visual workspace. Choose the option to extend your screen rather than viewing it on a second monitor. Using this option really comes in handy when you’re creating content or working on a complicated project as you can have all of your files open and viewable in the same place.
Build yourself a standing desk.
You don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a fancy standing desk. Chances are, you already have a DIY solution in your own home – an ironing board. While it’s not as sturdy or quite as adjustable as a standing desk is, it’s certainly a more economical solution, as an added bonus it folds neatly out of the way when not in use. Be sure to put your laptop away when it’s not in use, as you don’t want to risk it getting knocked off the ironing board and meeting an untimely and expensive demise.
You can also purchase an adjustable laptop stand that sits on your desk and can be raised and lowered to customizable heights. This can be quite useful if you do a lot of video conferencing, as it allows you to easily position your laptop at a good camera angle. If you’re handy, you can always build a laptop stand yourself.
Adding some greenery to your workspace does wonders for both your mood and your productivity. Studies have shown that productivity increases by 15% when an office has plants. Simply seeing greenery and nature promotes a sense of calm and can reduce stress. Adopt a plant or two, or as many as you can to fit in your workspace to give yourself a mental boost.
If you have pets, be sure to research which plants are safe for your animals. Unfortunately many are highly toxic, so be sure that you aren’t bringing in something that can make your pet sick. Consider hanging plants from the ceiling or placing them on shelves that are out of your pets’ reach to ensure that both your plants and your pets stay healthy.
Invest in noise cancelling headphones.
You don’t have to shell out a ton of money for a pair of decent noise cancelling headphones – even the inexpensive pairs do their job. You’ll be compromising on the sound quality of a cheap pair compared to something like Bose or Beats, but the main purpose is to block out external sound, and cheaper pairs also do that. The best noise cancelling headphones are over the ear rather than earbuds. The larger earpieces are more effective at reducing ambient sound and are better able to block out voices than in-ear headphones.
Upgrade your work chair.
Splurge a bit on a comfortable work chair. You spend many, many hours per day sitting on it so it’s a worthwhile investment. Everyone has their own preferences, so figure out what will be the most comfortable for you personally. You want something that will be supportive yet comfortable. Height adjustable chairs are always a good idea, as are ones with at least a small amount of padding. If you have the option, go to an office supply store and actually sit on a few chairs to get a feel for what you find the most comfortable. If online is your only option, be sure that the chair is returnable in case it ends up not being the right fit for you.
A more economical option is to simply add a cushion to your existing chair. There are a number of ergonomic seat and back cushions that can be added to all kinds of chairs that instantly improve comfort. Another addition to make a desk more comfortable is a foot hammock. It attaches to the desk legs and allows you to stretch out and extend your legs.
For the original article, visit: Forbes.