The idea of setting up your home office can be an exciting time initially. Then when you start to think about what you really need in your office to run efficiently it can become a little overwhelming as there are so many things to think about and so much choice. I have been working from home for the past 10 years now and have a fine-tuned home office (provided I can stop the kids from stealing my things).
Well, this goes without saying. For many years I worked solely on a laptop so that I could pick it up and go whenever I needed to work on the move. The only problem that I found was that I was replacing my laptop every two years because I wore it out. In the end, I opted for an All-in-One Desktop PC and a laptop which I use for when I am out and about with the minimum programmes loaded onto it. This has been a lifesaver for me and my computers. The All-in-One PC is powerful enough to run all of my programmes and saves space at the same time.
When you work from home you have to learn to multi-task, you are your own secretary, administrator and receptionist. I have a great phone and headset bundle which allows me to take calls and speak on video conference calls whilst leaving my hands free to continue typing and controlling the computer. There is nothing worse than trying to balance a phone between your shoulder and your ear for long periods of time.
Don’t underestimate the size of the desk you need when you are setting up your home office. I have worked from the dining table, from a ‘cupboard desk’ and have finally settled on a corner desk. Working from the sofa always seems like a fun idea but it’s not productive at all and you generally end up with a bad back. I found a great corner desk from Ikea which has lots of space on the desk to spread out as well as a large shelf at the top to keep my work trays and files. Eventually, when I get a bigger office I will treat myself to a larger desk too.
Ergonomic Office Chair
This is one of the most important purchases you will make for your home office so take your time and choose carefully. In order to be productive in your work, you need to be able to concentrate which means being comfortable. There is nothing more distracting than aching back, neck and shoulders. Choose a chair which provides good lumbar support and supports all the way to the back of your knees so as to take pressure off your lower back. It needs to be height adjustable too so that you can position yourself correctly at your desk.
There really is nothing worse when working from home than attempting to open an email and having the time to make a drink and take a toilet break whilst waiting for it load. Need I say more? Find yourself a great broadband deal and you won’t look back.
Position yourself so that you get good light onto your desk. I have large overhead lighting but I also bought some inexpensive adhesive strip lighting which is stuck to the underside of the shelf above my desk providing perfect lighting conditions.
External Hard-Drive or Cloud-Based Backup
It’s a fact of life that computers break and usually at the most inopportune moments. Making sure that you take regular backups of work, photographs, documents and programmes will ensure that you lose the least amount of data possible.
It may not be for everyone but I can’t recommend Ikea Kallax enough for storage units. I have them in my office and the boxes hold so much, you can add cupboard doors, shelves, whatever you need they are just so versatile and inexpensive. Even if you plan to have a paperless office, you’ll inevitably need to store warranty documents, contracts and the like.
I have tried many times over the years to be a ‘paperless office’ but I can’t quite make it the whole way, there are always things which need printing and scanning so I took the decision to only print what is absolutely necessary. Once I have used my paper documents I scan them into the computer and shred the paperwork for recycling which is where a multi-purpose printer comes into play.
As per my paragraph above, I always use a shredder to dispose of receipts, old bills and other sensitive documentation in an attempt to protect myself and my family from identity theft.