Whether you work from home, have a side business, or simply want a place to escape, a home office may be the perfect choice for you. But where do you start? And what will you need? Below are some items to help turn that extra room in your house into the space you’ve been dreaming of:
1. Computer(s). Whether you prefer a desktop or laptop, find the choice you’re most comfortable with using. If you’re a fan of using tablets, feel free to include space for those as well.
2. Wi-Fi: You’ll want the best connection so you can easily access anything needed online.
3. Desk: Whether traditional or the newly popular standing desk, create the space where you can work efficiently and comfortably.
4. Chair: When it comes to your office chair, sure, style is important. But, nothing tops comfort. You’ll be spending quite a bit of time in here, so you’ll want to make sure your chair can withstand prolonged periods (and late work nights worth) of sitting.
5. Efficient Lighting: You certainly wouldn’t want to strain your eyes at the computer screen or at your work station/desk. If the overhead lights aren’t enough, don’t be afraid to add some lamps or open the window blinds.
6. Access to your phone and/or tablets: When working from home, you may need to make phone calls or conduct voice calls for meetings. Keep a surge protector nearby to house chargers for these as well as your computer/any other piece of technology so you’re prepared to communicate throughout the day without running the risk of a dead or low battery, thus resulting in lost communication.
7. Adequate software: Depending on your work, you may need more than just the simple word processor. Many office supply stores carry software packages so a wide variety of needs are met.
8. Printers, fax machines, copiers, etc.: Many of these are now 3-in-1s, which take up much less space than having each as a separate machine.
9. Backup services: Accidents and unfortunate events, such as your computer crashing, are likely to occur when you least expect it. Make sure you have copies of your files and data on external drives/personal servers, for it’s better to be safe than sorry.
10. A UPS system: If you’re working and suddenly lose power, you could lose your work without the help of an uninterruptible power supply system. This will give you adequate amount of time to save your work and properly shut down your office equipment.
11. Filing cabinet/fire box: If you need a place to store important documents, copies, etc., a filing cabinet is perfect. Many are small and don’t take up much space at all. There are also filing/organizational software programs available where you can “file” and “store” documents onto your computer. For the papers you absolutely cannot afford to lose, consider a fire box, which is protected by lock and will keep your papers safe should the unfortunate event of a fire at home occur.
12. Bookshelves: If you have a lot of items, you’ll need quite a bit of shelf space.
13. A shredder: If you will be handling documents with delicate information, purchase a paper shredder to protect you from possible identity theft.