A Checklist of What You Need in Your Home Office
One of the boons of existing in a digital age is that you don’t have to go through the daily hustle and bustle that comes with commuting before you can be productive or accomplish at work. From the comfort of your own home, you can complete tasks, meet deadlines, communicate with team members, attain goals, market your business digitally, and earn money.
In recent times, as the world suffers from a pandemic, working remotely has the additional benefit of keeping you safe. Nonetheless, to enjoy the perks of working from home, you will be needing a well-equipped home office.
Therefore, whether you’re fully working from home, or you simply frequently return home with tons of office work needed to be done, these items I will be writing on will be valuable to the attainment of a hundred percent productivity from your comfort zone.
The setting and equipment of your home office greatly influence your output, making it necessary that you note all you need without omitting any important stuff. This list will also aid you in staving off unnecessary costs and concentrating on the necessary things.
1. The Perfect Space
If your home does not have a built study, then choosing the perfect space to convert into a home office is a task you need to accomplish successfully.
Not every corner of your house is suitable as an office space. It is important that you pick an area that is quite distant from your living room, your kitchen, and if possible your bedroom.
Also, you can’t convert a space your family members walk through into a home office. It would be a distraction if you are working and people are passing by. Pick the most remote area and convert it into your home office. Averting distraction is key to making results as you work from home.
This piece of furniture is fundamental to any office, whether at work or at home. You will be needing a desk in your home office, however, the sort of desk needed is dependent on the size of your home office space.
You can either purchase a minimalist desk or a traditional office desk. Also, you can creatively turn a table, a counter, or a high leveled flat surface into your office desk.
Do whatever that works for you.
3. A Comfortable Chair
Sitting for hours in an uncomfortable chair, is synonymous with self-torture. I don’t think you would want your working from home experience to be marked by torture, therefore get yourself a very comfortable chair.
A comfortable chair is another essential piece of furniture needed at your workstation. Your job could require you to sit down working for hours, therefore, it is crucial that you’re comfortable doing it. Else, you might incur pains at your back and other parts of your body.
To work functionally your body must be comfortable. If your body is not at ease due to discomfort, your mind won’t be as productive as it should be. So while purchasing a chair ensure you aim at comfort.
4. Proper Lighting
Your office space should have adequate lighting so you don’t strain your eyes while performing tasks. Also, with proper lighting you are advantageous because you can get work done even late at night with zero difficulty.
You can opt for a desk lamp as it aids in the prevention of headaches, or you could settle for other forms of lighting.
Nonetheless, note that proper lighting is crucial if you are to be very productive at your home office. Get it well lit as it enhances working with much ease.
5. A Computer System
We obviously live in a digital age, a computer system is a must-have for your home office. In fact, this is not debatable.
Though you can get certain online work done via your smartphone, however, whether it’s to run a small business smoothly, or perform harder tasks there is a need for the computer system.
This is one essential electronic device that aids you to connect with your team, type your documents, run your website, create content for your social media pages, market your business digitally, and successfully perform numerous tasks from the comfort of your home.
Additionally, a laptop is a more favorable choice compared to a desktop because of its mobility. Whether you want to own an online business, or you are an employee, you need a computer system
6. Use Broadband Connections
Imagine having a team conference call by 8:00 in the morning, in which you are expected to give a report, and by 8:15 am, you are still struggling with your internet connection. Or a scenario in which you are to reply to an important email, or turn in an urgent report, but none of these are going swiftly due to low-speed internet access. This can be both frustrating and unprofessional.
Frankly, such a setback should be avoided. Therefore, high-speed Internet access is of the utmost importance to you as you work from home. Nothing dwindles productivity than slow internet access. This frustration can be averted by using broadband connections as opposed to the traditional dial-up access.
A broadband connection is a must-have if you are to work successfully from home.
7. A Printer/Multipurpose Machine
This is largely dependent on the nature of your business or job, however, owning a printer at your home office can prove to be quite resourceful.
A good printer/multipurpose machine will enable you to scan documents, print hard copies of documents, photocopy documents, etc.
Though you can stick to digital copies, having hard copies as backup is smart. Nevertheless, it is best to examine your needs before buying a scanner/multipurpose machine.
8. Communication Systems
While working from home you will need to be in communication with your clients and team members, so you need to own working communication systems in your home office.
Though you can do without the traditional landline, it is good to have a separate phone line for business calls. Online and VoIP services such as Nextiva is a good option.
9. Surge Protectors
Electronic appliances are quite costly, therefore it will be unwise to spend good money in purchasing them without an adequate plan to ensure they are not ruined within a short period of time.
Surge protectors are a smart and easy way of protecting your electronic devices from damaging surges. With surge protectors you can save yourself the trouble of worrying over your electronic devices.
10. Backup Drive
It is essential to backup and protect your data while working from your home office. Though you can make use of cloud-based backup services to automatically copy your files, it is also good that you have an in-house backup drive.
This can be achieved because personal servers and external drives are reasonably affordable. Having them can be termed a necessity since that can save your business from losing valuable data in the case of computer failure.
Note that a business with a cloud of data is a blazing business. The value of a business’ data is not debatable therefore they should be maximally protected.
11. Filing System
Proper organization is very important in any office, including your home office. Important documents should be stored and organized in a systematic format.
Though you might aim at being paperless as you go about your business, still, there will always be certain hard documents you will have to hold onto. Hence, It is important to create a safe place to organize and store your important files and documents in such a way that each file is easily accessible.
This can be done through the traditional filing cabinet, or you could probably opt for a file folder depending on the number of important files you have to store.
Also, scanning your documents to keep digital copies is also a good way to further organize your files and documents.
This is largely dependent on the nature of your job or business. A small business owner might simply need access to spreadsheets, word processing, and Email Management System. However, larger enterprises might need additional software.
Consequently, to work from home smoothly without interruption it is imperative that you have all the necessary software you need. You can create a list of all needed software and have them installed before proceeding to working from home.
By doing this you are well equipped to work remotely.
You wouldn’t want your home office to be messy with stuff scattered all over your desk. Therefore, there is a need to place a storage in your office.
This will serve as a place to neatly keep your pens, folders, business cards, paper, ink, sticky notes, stapler, and other office supplies. By doing this your desk will stay tidy and it will be easy to access your office supplies whenever you need them.
Also, ensure you store a lot of office supplies in your home office, this way you won’t run out of supplies easily especially at important moments.
14. A Paper Shredder
This will come in handy when there is a need to destroy and shred sensitive and confidential information. Business Information you don’t want to be seen by other people should not be dumped in a bin, rather they should be shredded.
It is safe to have a paper shredder at your home office, you may need it someday.
15. Alarm Clock/Timer/Calendar
Creating and maintaining a regular work schedule is imperative if you want to work productively from home.
You will need an alarm to ensure you wake up at your daily scheduled time, just as you would do when you worked away from home.
Follow your work schedule, and through the aid of a timer you can allocate time to different tasks to monitor and ensure you use your time efficiently. Time management is very important.
Furthermore, bearing in mind that working from home should be as organized as working in any office. Place a calendar or planner on your desk so you don’t lose track of important events, deadlines, and appointments.
Working from home does not negate the seriousness in business
16. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
This is an electrical apparatus that can be used to provide backup or emergency power when the main power supply fails.
A UPS will provide you with power supply for a short period of time after the electricity goes out. Within this period, you can save your work and shut down your apparatus safely.
It will be safe to have a UPS at your home office, so that in case of a power outrage your business data will still be secured, and you won’t lose important files.
Frankly, having a backup plan is always a wise step to take in business.
17. Safe Box
There are various forms of storage, however, a safe box should be a must-have if you keep important documents at home.
In business, certain documents should be protected maximally. A safe box can be used to protect your most important business documents and paperwork.
You can also use the durable boxes to store backup copies of your business’ data and emergency cash.
One can never be too careful, therefore ensure the most essential documents of your business are locked safely in a safe box.
Knowing what you need and what you don’t will help you startup an amazing home office without wasting money on unnecessary stuff. Obviously, needs shall differ from one person to another depending on the line of business, or the nature of one’s job, as well as the available office space in your home.
Nevertheless, most of these seventeen (17) items are very fundamental in the startup of any home office. Working remotely is only possible when you have what you need, when this is achieved you could work for months or even a lifetime from the comfort of your home without running into issues.
This article is aimed at giving you a push in the right direction as you shop to create your very own home office.