7 Necessities for Your Perfect Home Office
By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com
When you first started working remotely due to the pandemic, you may have found it a refreshing change from your conventional office. Now, after months of remote work, what might have seemed temporary at first may have become semi-permanent.
If so, it’s time to think about setting up a well-organized home office, if you haven’t done so already: It will make remote work that much more appealing for the long haul. There’s plenty you can do to make your “new work normal” succeed. Here are some steps you can take to create a professional home office that works for you.
A designated workspace is exactly what you need if you’re going to be working remotely for the long term. If your home is small or crowded, you may need to get creative in carving out a separate nook for your office, but it will be worth it. A small utility room in a corner of your house could work, or you might consider converting your guest room to double as a home office.
You’ll need enough space to hold a desk, chair, computer equipment, compact file cabinet, and other accessories you need for your job. If your room has a window and door, that’s a definite plus: You’ll have greater privacy without feeling confined. Your workspace should also be quiet and free of distractions both visual and auditory.
Depending on your home setup, you may be able to find enough extra space just by getting rid of unused furniture, outdated appliances, broken electronics, and other rubbish. For a thorough clearing-out of junk and clutter, consider renting a dumpster. Smaller bins hold about three pickup trucks’ worth of trash and can cost as little as $250 to rent. Dumpster rental services usually include no-contact delivery and pickup, for greater safety during the pandemic.
Once you’ve defined your workspace, start looking into office furniture. You’ll want a table or desk, for sure. By opting for a model that converts into a standing desk, you can alternate between sitting and standing when working in your home office: Your body and brain will appreciate the variety.
You also should invest in a good, height-adjustable, ergonomic office chair — one that allows for mobility, flexibility, support, and comfort as you work — so you’ll have no problem putting in the hours you need to.
If your job requires the storage of documents or files, a compact file cabinet would be a good investment. Space permitting, you may also want to include a set of shelves for holding office manuals, promotional items, binders, etc.
Internet access is vital to a functioning home office. Fortunately, most cities and suburban communities offer access to high-speed internet service. If several people in your home are using that service, however, you may want to ramp up your capabilities for better performance. You should also invest in a separate router for work. Reliable Wi-Fi is a must for working remotely, so don’t skimp when getting yourself set up.
Along with dependable internet, you’ll need the right technology to establish a well-functioning home office. A high-quality laptop or desktop computer loaded with the apps and software you need for work should top the list. Other equipment worth considering:
- A monitor that allows you to multitask
- Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for greater mobility
- Webcam and headset/microphone to enhance video conferencing
- Surge-protector power strip to provide you with additional outlets (and protection) for computer equipment and peripherals
- Wireless phone charger to keep your phone charged at all times
- Multifunction printer/copier/scanner, if your work requires hard copies
Depending on your job, you also might need to invest in additional accessories to make your work easier or increase productivity. Noise-canceling headphones, smart speakers, monitor mounts, laptop stands, and whiteboards fall into that category.
You may also want to personalize your workspace by adding such design accessories as plants, an attractive lamp, or wall art to increase your comfort level. A desk lamp can add warmth to your environment, while tasteful wall art adds beauty to a workspace without detracting from its professional look. Jade and aloe plants not only add greenery, but they also help purify the air (and are extremely easy to maintain).
Taking care of your home’s infrastructure is even more important when your home doubles as your workplace. If your AC goes out or major appliances start to falter, your work could grind to a halt. The same goes for faulty plumbing or electrical systems.
One solution is to protect your systems and appliances with a home warranty. If problems arise, you’ll have professional help for fast and effective repairs without putting a strain on your budget. The last thing you need is a large repair bill in the middle of a pandemic.
Speaking of finances, you’ll probably need to devote some extra funds to getting situated for working remotely. If your finances are in disarray, the sooner you get them in order, the better.
Devise a new, realistic budget, one that helps you eliminate unnecessary spending. Then start paying off those credit cards and boost your credit score so you’ll be in a solid position financially for the future. Financial security is vital during these trying times.
If you expect to work remotely for the long term, it’s worth the time, effort, and money it takes to create a professional workspace in your home. Working from home presents all kinds of challenges. The right work environment will make it easier for you to overcome obstacles and face the future with confidence.