Analysts estimate that a substantial percentage of the workforce will be working at home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021. Even if you only work from home one day per week, you need to create a space for it. For the greatest efficiency, productivity experts say the following components make up the ideal home office.

A dedicated home office space. Making a workspace on the kitchen table, dining table, or coffee table is not an efficient strategy. You have to completely set yourself up when you start working, then put everything away when the workday ends. Instead, find a space you can set up and have ready to go when you start working and leave out to pick up on the next day. A dedicated, distraction-free workspace is essential. If you have an extra bedroom, a den, or bonus room, modifying it to work as a home office is ideal. If you don’t have a whole room available, dedicate an area of a bedroom, family room, or other room you can set up with a desk, chair, and storage unit permanently left in place. Use a folding screen to separate this home office area from the rest of the room during working hours.

A high-speed internet connection. Good internet is critical to working from home. Make sure your internet provider can give you a quality high-speed connection to the computer in your dedicated home office space. This is essential even if your company provides you with a personal Mi-Fi hotspot or a virtual private network (VPN) that encrypts your connection for added security.

An appropriate desk. A desk immediately sets a professional environment, even when working from home. Choose a worktable that suits your needs. You may only need a simple writing desk, or you may require accommodation for storage and space for a printer or other equipment.

A good desk chair. Working from home sitting on a dining or side chair for eight hours or more a day is not a comfortable experience. Your work suffers: as your discomfort rises, your output falls. Choose a desk chair with ergonomic features that can properly support your back, arms, and legs, and can swivel and roll.

Enough lighting. Dim lighting makes it difficult to concentrate and causes eyestrain. Make sure your home office space is well-lit and invest in a well-positioned desk light.

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