Key essentials for the perfect home office setup
Many people will dream about working from home, a way to dive out of those boring and at times stressful commutes to work, be out of the way from the boss and those annoying work colleagues and a chance to spend more time with family, friends and pets.
For many people the option to work from home is impossible due to the style of work they carry out or restrictions from converting a room to an office / studio / workshops etc.
Many of us though will be able to start 2019 with plans to work from home and in this article we will look at the option to setup an office from your home. Let us look at some key essentials:
- Location / Space: Of course you will need to be able to turn a room in to an office or at least part of a room in to one. For sure some people will only require a laptop to carry out their day to day business and some may even be lucky enough that they can be working whilst lounging around the indoor swimming pool, but alas many of us will require an actual physical set-up. Have you space to dedicate to an office? If you are rather lacking in space you can sacrifice, how about a set-up that enables you to simply pack things away easily at the end of the day?
- Internet / Telephone: Most businesses, if not dare I say all these days, will have the requirement of communication such as telephone / fax / internet / WIFI and more. Does your property have the required channels of communication or ability to have them installed so that when you go live from home you can be contacted and be in touch with the world outside? You are likely to require the likes of high-speed internet access.
- Furniture: The ideal solution is a dedicated desk to set yourself up on, though of course many people (I have been there myself) simply work from the corner of the living room table (or even coffee table). Can you set yourself up a neat and tidy desk that has adequate electric socket supply and in reach of the data from your home WIFI router and telephone line? It is ideal that you are set-up with everything you require in front of you rather than say having to get up and walk to another room just to answer a telephone call (if this is the case then go cordless)! Grab yourself a comfortable chair also and consider you will be spending a lot of time sitting down so invest if you can in to something that is designed for office use over say a simple pine chair that you normally use for sitting around the dining table.
- Choose the right spot: You will be spending a lot of time at your desk so where in the house is the best for you? You want to be somewhat out of the way, though not too isolated that you are tempted to get up and walk about in order to feel part of the home again. Have you somewhere that offers great natural lighting, some great views though not distracting ones, not in a place that people have to continuously walk past?
- Hardware: If working from home is a new thing for you then it is likely you will need to invest in hardware such as a computer and monitor, external hard drives to back up you files, printer, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), paper shredder, mobile phone, desktop phone and more. Here is where decent investment is important for the long term, trying to save money will for sure cost you money going forwards. Depending on the work your business offers, a decent large monitor screen is important as well as a faster PC with good specs.
- Software: Another consideration will be the software/apps that your business will require. When you work from your boss’s office you will likely not even consider the overall software costs they incur such as for Adobe, accountancy, Windows, video editing, anti-virus and more. You can of course look to reduce your overall spending by using free options which in most occasions there is something available, though are they better than paid for and will they save you time and money?
- Further storage: Depending on the size of your desk it will be highly likely you will also have to have some extra storage space such as for your paper filing – Think about investment in either storage boxes / filing cabinet etc.
- Back-up: As you build your work at home then the more files you will be saving which long term may be required of you to save. You can have back-up hard drives though you will also have to consider keeping them safe against theft / fire so consider an easy option to place duplicate back-ups at a third party location such as with friends / family.
- Legals: Especially for those renting you will need to check your rental agreement as some will not allow you to work from home. If you expand your home office such as moving out to a Summer house in the garden then even if you own your property you may still encounter objections and complaints from neighbours if any extra noise / lighting / parking for staff issues arise. Employing staff to work from your home will also require of you to research current legal obligations.