Many of us are working from home for different reasons. Some can’t afford an offsite office, while others would rather get up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee from the kitchen, and conduct work from the comfort of their own home. Being organized, professional, and comfortable in your work space is best for being successful while working from home.
Even those that aren’t self-employed want a comfortable space to work from home, when needed.
The first step to setting up your home office is figuring out the best place to set up at.
Do you have an extra room that can be solely dedicated to your work, or do you need to make space for it in another room? If you live alone, any room may work, but if you share your home with others (husband, kids, parents, siblings, roommates, etc.), you’ll need to choose a space that’s quiet. Your bedroom would probably be the best bet here or any other room that’s best for you. What may be a convenient location for my home office, may be a very inconvenient one for you. Make sure to consider any family members that live with you.
Your office supplies and equipment are just as important as the location of your office.
A laptop is the bare necessity of a home office, as many people can conduct most tasks from the comfort of their bed or sofa, but I’ve compiled the components that are needed to set up a basic home office.
A computer (laptop or desktop).
With the new digital age, cellphones are able to do many things that a computer can, like post to social media sites, share files, email, and blog. Sitting in front of a cell phone all day is bound to make your eyes hurt, so a computer is necessary for your comfort.
I use my cable provider for internet, and I have the option to use Ethernet (wired) or a wireless connection. I use wireless, because it’s easier to move my laptop around. If you have a desktop computer, you would probably use the Ethernet connection.
An inkjet printer.
Many people won’t need this, because they won’t print much. Kinkos, Office Depot, or any other office supply store (or library) can print anything you need just by emailing it to them or handing them a memory card.
A desk and a chair.
Your desk should be big enough for your computer, printer, and basic office supplies (like pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Your chair should be comfortable enough to sit in for long periods of time. Many believe you need an expensive office chair to be comfortable, but I’ve been using my $40 office chair for about 4 years now (I’m definitely due for a new one). You need to see what’s best for you, but it’s very important that the chair supports your back.
Extra work space.
This would be needed for those that do other work at home besides just using a computer, like crafting, photography, and interior design. If your desk is really large, you may be able to eliminate extra work space. For extra work space, you can also get a foldable table that can be put away when not in use.
Overhead lighting is good, task lighting is better, and having both is best. Task lamps with adjustable arms are great for moving the light to where you need it most. Natural lighting is also idea during the day, but may not be available. I love working at my sofa, because it’s right next to my window.
If you need access to phone communication, a cell phone OR landline will work. If you decide to just use your cell phone, make sure you test your home office location for a good signal. Many places in a home could have spotty coverage. You would hate to have a dropped call when you’re having a important conversation with a team member, boss, or worse: a client.
Many laptops come with a webcam, but if not, it could be useful to buy a separate one. If you have out of state clients, it would be great to be able to converse with them via Skype. From experience, clients love to see your face. Being able to see the face of someone you’re doing business with helps them trust you (and vise versa). Your cellphone can be used instead of a webcam, but remember: you can lose signal from a cell phone if you have not-so-great cellular coverage.
Being clutter-free is important to being comfortable and organized. I get so frustrated when I have papers sprawled all over my desk (which happens everyday, if I might add). I’m more creative, productive, and satisfied when I have a clean desk and office. You can get a file cabinet (out of sight, out of mind) or bookshelf with baskets to hide clutter and organize your space. I love storage that can be labeled so you can quickly find what you need.
Office Supplies & Accessories.
I know I don’t need to tell you how important printer paper and notebooks. These days you can find LOADS of office accessories that are really adorable. I’m always buying sticky pads, because I go through them really fast. My favorites are the fun, decorative ones. I’m also really addicted to cute pens and pencils.
I rounded up a few of my favorite office essentials below (make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board).
What room in your home is your office area? What’s your must-have office supplies? Leave a comment and let me know!
Till next time,