Essential Equipment (Key tools) for Setting Up a Home Office
The dream of working from home has never been so reachable for many worldwide, but what equipment do you need to set up an office at home that’ll help you be productive, organized, and efficient?
I’ve been working from home for nearly a decade now, so I’ll let you in on a few key areas which I’d wished I’d known when I first started. Some of it is common sense, but hopefully, you’ll find some tips you hadn’t already thought of.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
If you’re living alone or don’t have kids running around, setting up a home office in the living room or as part of another room could be an ideal situation for you.
However, from experience, if you can try and find a spare room or a dedicated workspace, then it certainly helps with productivity. You’ll get fewer distractions from other family members and all the little things that need doing around the house, and it’ll help you focus more on what you need to get done.
Computer / Laptop and accessories
Chances are if you’re running a business from home or working for someone else, you’re going to be working online. This means you’re going to need a good laptop or home computer capable of doing the job you do.
Get yourself one that’s good enough for the job you’re doing now with a little extra power in case your business interests change later on.
Get Yourself a Mouse
Along with that, grab yourself an ergonomic mouse to plug into your laptop. It’ll change the way you work.
No more repeatedly scrolling across the trackpad to close that window when a flick of the wrist with a mouse and you’ve accomplished what you need in half the time. Add all that time up and over the day; that’s potentially an hour or so saved.
Not only that, but RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) is a thing. Make sure it’s comfortable to use for hours on end to help prevent any injuries that could become a lifetime of worry.
Get a Separate Keyboard
While you are at it, grab yourself a separate Bluetooth-enabled keyboard. It allows you to use your laptop as a monitor properly and, much like the mouse, will speed up your work life without the clunky trackpad getting in the way.
Setup and External Monitor
Many of us will have laptops. My main computer is a 15-inch laptop, which is excellent for mobility and working anywhere but can be a little small when trying to keep up with the daily workload.
Having multiple applications open simultaneously needs space, which is where a monitor comes into play. Grab yourself a second screen, and you’ll see the increase in productivity within minutes, no more needing to close down screens, open others, and then back again, allowing you to see all you need.
It’s definitely a work from home time saver.
High Speed Internet & Good WiFi Connection
For many, you’ll probably already have a fast internet connection, but if you don’t, you’re going to want to invest in a connection that gives you fast download and upload speeds.
There’s nothing worse than waiting for a website or application you’re using to load, which will cost you hours of vital work time that you could have spent working on something else.
And even if you do have a good internet speed, you’ll also need to ensure that the Wifi signal from your router to your work area is also up to scratch. It’s painful having to sit in just the right spot for your laptop to connect. Get your home infrastructure working right, and it’ll help reduce frustration and save you time on your current projects.
Find The Right Desk For You
One of the best items I invested in is an adjustable standing desk. Being attached to a computer for 8 to 10 hours a day means that I find myself sitting down a lot, which can adversely affect your health.
Adjusting the height and standing up for a few hours throughout the day gets the blood flowing and the brain ticking over better, helping reduce the daily harmful effects of desk work.
You don’t need a standing desk to be productive, though. Opting for the right desk with room for all your vital office equipment is a good starting point.
Comfortable Adjustable Office Chair
Working from home often involves hours of sitting. We’ve all been there; we get so involved in work that we often forget to take a break, and when you do eventually get up, your back hurts, your legs ache, and you’ll be moaning about how bad you feel for hours.
To help with some of this, you’ll want to grab yourself an adjustable office chair. One that is padded and comfortable on your bottom and one that you can adjust the height of has lumbar support and back adjustments.
Sitting in the correct body position in relation to the height of your desk, keyboard and mouse will help prevent those bad backs and aches, which is all worth it even if it costs you a few extra bucks.
Good Office Lighting
Your eyes are probably one of the most important organs in your daily job. Mine certainly are, which is why you’re going to want good office lighting around your workspace to look after them.
Much like you would wear sunglasses on a bright sunny day, adding light to your office space will help reduce the glare from your screens and help protect your eyes for the future.
Dedicated File Storage for Backups
Many companies will let you save your work to their dedicated servers or cloud-based file storage systems, but if you’re a freelancer or small business, perhaps you haven’t gotten around to putting anything in place just yet.
My advice, don’t wait! Too many times have I lost hours, sometimes days of work from failing to back it up in the right location. You might think that having it saved on your laptop is OK and put it off till tomorrow, but technology can be fickle. One moment it’s working; the next minute, it’s not.
Be sure to setup a backup system, whether it’s a home server or a cloud-based storage solution like Dropbox or GoogleDrive for your files, it’s worth the time and money to setup and can save you more than it costs in the future.
One tip: make sure you have a backup in a different location from the original cause if the worst happens like a fire, you’ll still have a copy to fall back to.
Telephone & Mobile Plan
Using video conferencing software might be all the rage for many online businesses and remote workers. However, some people still prefer to use their phones to get in touch.
Landlines are dying out, so making sure you have a good mobile plan with minutes, data, and reliable coverage in your area means that you’ll never miss that all-important call about the next big thing.
Invest in a Safe
If you’re storing important documents at home, you’ll want to keep them in a safe location, and what better place than a fire-proof safe.
Yes, they might cost a pretty penny and can take up vital office space, but it’ll give you peace of mind that the documents you need, whether contracts, external hard drives, or IDs, will be safe when you’re not there to protect them.
Get one that’s fire-proof rated and from a reputable company to ensure its efficiency from break in attempts and fires.
These are just a few of the essential office tools that’ll save you time and help you work more effectively, helping you save money, and all from working in the comfort of your own home.
No matter your home office setup, you’ll no doubt find one that works for you, but there’s no denying that there are a few simple ways to boost your comfort and productivity. This lets you get your job done more efficiently, leaving you extra time for other things.
Ultimately if you only manage to find yourself a small space away from distractions or invest in faster internet, every little helps make your life that much easier.