The last two-plus years sent many of us from working in offices to working at home. When the pandemic first hit, we worked at our kitchen tables and on living room coffee tables to get the work done. Now that we’ve been doing it for a while — and it seems permanent — we want to make our spaces into “real” offices that make us more productive. Let’s go over the home office essentials to make the most out of working from home.
Essentials to get
Ideally, you’ll have a dedicated workspace, such as a spare bedroom or basement, if not an in-home office. Your workspace shouldn’t be in the same place where you sleep or where your kids go for homework and at-home learning. Dedicated workspaces provide you with a space where you can focus, avoid distraction, and strike a balance between the comforts of your productivity and home.
You’ll want your space to feel like an office, with everything you need within a typical 40-hour workweek. The right office equipment will go a long way toward creating a home office setup that encourages productivity. Some essential items include:
- Computer or laptop: Buy the appropriate device for the type of work you do if it’s not provided.
- Two monitors: Working with more than one document or window is much easier if you’re not dividing the workspace into a split screen.
- Desk and Chair: The desk should have ample storage to keep items such as notebooks, pens, and a stand-alone keyboard. The chair should be comfortable enough to sit in during the day while you’re taking meetings or finishing work.
- Bookshelf or storage: Have a dedicated space for office supplies, books, and other necessities.
- High-Speed Internet: Research internet providers in your area and choose one that has fast speeds. You may need a virtual private network (VPN) if your work requires more secure connections. A VPN uses a public WiFi network and creates a private network that others don’t have access to.
- Wireless equipment: It’s hard to stay focused with a desk full of messy, disorganized wires. Opt for a wireless mouse and keyboard to keep a clean desk.
- Videocam: You’ll be spending a lot of time on Zoom calls, so invest in a good camera. Buy one that has a lens cover.
- Headphones: A good pair of noise-canceling headphones will reduce distractions. You won’t have to worry about your howling dog interrupting your next virtual meeting.
- Appropriate lighting: Use lighting that works best for your situation, whether that’s a table or floor lamp that uses fluorescent or LED bulbs.
- Cell phone stand: A stand for your smartphone helps you find your phone quickly. Plus, the stand helps you sync your phone with your computer throughout the day.
- USB power strips: Invest in a good-quality power strip with multiple USB ports for charging different devices. Don’t forget to get surge protectors.
- File cabinet: Depending on how much paper you use, you may not need a file cabinet or may opt for a small set. Buy a used one to save money.
- Desktop organizer: Keep your pens, sticky notes, clips, and other supplies tidy with an organizer.
- Printer: Buy a printer that allows you to print, make copies, and scan documents.
Things to avoid
Creating the ideal workspace at home requires a well-organized, clutter-free space. You also need to keep it free from potential distractions. Here are some things that you should avoid when setting up the right home office:
- Ancient paper records: Review your company documents and determine which items to keep; consider scanning and filing the ones that you need instead of keeping paper copies.
- Old technology: When you buy a new smartphone or laptop, recycle the old one to clear space.
- Snacks and junk food: Don’t keep unhealthy snacks around; candy bars, chips, and soda will tempt you to munch during the day.
Perhaps your existing space isn’t adequate for your family’s new lifestyle and you’re considering buying a new home. Despite contradicting headlines about the current housing market, it could still be a good time to buy or sell a home.
Ready to build your new home office space? First Centennial Mortgage can help you finance a remodel to create the perfect home office. Contact us today to learn more.