In this time of mobile technology and virtual offices, the dream of working from home is now an authentic option for many of us. If you love the idea of kicking back in your own space, there are a few essentials you will need.
If you are an employee making the most of the option, you may have everything you need to carry out your daily duties provided for you by the boss, but if you are working for yourself, you may have to front the cost for some – if not all – of the technology you will need. Plan carefully, and you will avoid buying what you just don’t require. Let’s look at the essentials.
Who You Gonna Call?
A second phone line is a home office essential as having combining one line for your home, and your office could make you appear to be unprofessional. It also allows you to answer any calls professionally as you can easily differentiate a business call form a personal one. In the same vein, ensure your business line has its own answering machine with a professional greeting for when you are out. The recording should state the name of your business and provide the number of your cell phone (if you are going to be in a position to take calls on your cell) and your business hours.
Pick a Card
Business cards are still very much a requirement so make sure to get these professionally printed. Keep plenty on you for networking or advertising purposes while out and about. They are also essential to attach to your professional documents such as invoices and quotations.
In general, however you work you will need one or a combination of a computer, tablet, smartphone or laptop.Review your “must have” over your “would be nice” to have and choose the best you can afford in line with what you are going to use it for. For example, running a computer graphics business will require a much higher spec machine than merely running presentations or spreadsheet data. A large monitor may also be considered essential if you plan on spending lots of time in front of the screen.
An Internet connection is a home office essential so ensure your ISP is up to the job, again dependent on how quickly you need to access information, including a web-based mail facility if you choose to use one.
It’s Personal… And Business!
You may think that your home office needs to just contain the essentials so you can work, but don’t forget that as you are at home you can give yourself permission to personalize the space as you want it. Perhaps your line manager wasn’t so keen on your quirky office toys, but now you’ve got the chance to design your own bobbleheads and place as many office toys on your desk as you see fit. As long as they don’t interrupt your workflow, why shouldn’t you make this space more “you?”
Pretty in Print
Whether you need a printer and what kind, depends solely on your needs. Producing high-quality promotional materials or quotations, you’ll need to invest in a top-of-the-range color printer for your home office. Alternatively, it may be more economical to buy a basic black and white printer, choosing to have your high-quality documents printed by a professional company. Multifunction printers are often the best picks for home offices as you can combine the capabilities of a copier and scanner in one. These are also more economical to run and also leave a much smaller carbon footprint as well as taking up far less space in what may already be a confined area.
So there you have it! Five essential items that you will need to make your home office functional.