When you first start to work from home, or when you set up your home business, you will need a private area away from the rest of the house to do your work. To make this office space as productive a place as possible, there are some essential items that you will need to include when you are getting it ready. Here are our suggestions for the most important ones.
Almost every business will need to have a computer at its heart. This is where you will get your work done – typing reports, taking orders, raising invoices and so on – and it’s also the hub of operations where you can install every piece of software and sign up to all the online programs that you need. Doing this will save you money and precious space. For example, you don’t need an external fax machine when you can sign up to an efax company and get great bargains such as 500 faxes for just £25. You don’t need a dedicated phone line when you can use virtual phones that run through your computer. Everything can be done from this one machine.
Having a computer with no internet access isn’t going to get you very far. You will need fast broadband connections to work as efficiently as possible. Gone are the days of dialup, so you won’t need to worry about additional phone lines or any kind of disruption. You can go online as often as you need to, and it will all be covered by one monthly price.
Desk and Chair
Whilst it is a trendy and modern idea to use pretty much anything as an office desk – a plank of wood or a bookcase, for example – for your own health it’s much better to buy a desk that is designed for the job. The same goes for a chair. You need to make sure that both your desk and chair allow for comfortable working conditions, and that they are designed ergonomically. Alternatively, you might want to consider a standing desk, which can be better for your health.
Possibly the only thing – for now – that your trusty computer can’t do is print. Ideally you’ll want to print as little as possible, as it’s better for the environment and having a paperless office is on-trend, but for those times when you must print (and sometimes nothing but good old fashioned paper will do) you will need a reliable printer. Printers are extremely cost effective these days, and buying ink is easy as you can do it all online.
Although your computer can backup your important data, there is no point in backing it up and saving it on your laptop’s hard drive. If something were to go wrong, you will have lost the original and the backup together. You should always backup to an external source, so having an additional drive (a USB will work fine) to back everything up to is a good idea. Alternatively, you can use a cloud based backup system such as Dropbox.
For those important documents that you don’t want to get into the wrong hands, having a shredder is important. Shred them and you won’t have to worry about prying eyes and identity thieves.