In this day and age, home offices have become as much a part of the home as the dining room or kitchen. While some lucky people have the luxury of a spare room which can be dedicated for a home office, others might have to make the most of their square footage and work out of their living room, at the kitchen table, or in the bedroom.
Either way, once you’ve found a suitable spot, the next step is to set up the space in away that’s comfortable (keep in mind you’ll be sat or stood there for eight hours a day five days a week!) and conducive to productivity, and ensure you have everything you might need to get your work done.
As along-time remote company, the BOOQED team has had a few years of experience working from home, and have come up with a short, practical list of items we simply can’t work without!
So, if you find yourself struggling to remember all the necessities, use this checklist as a starting point for everything you absolutely have to have. Say hello to the home office of your dreams in 3, 2, 1...
A laptop or computer
If you’re working from home, a laptop or computer is the first item that comes to mind as a work from home essential. There’s no two ways about it. If your company doesn’t provide one, do some research to find one that meets your specific needs.
If you prefer performance over portability, a desktop is probably the way to go. On the other hand, laptops allow you to work from anywhere so would suit better if your work often involves visiting clients or travelling overseas.
At the very foundation of any efficient work-from-home setup is your desk. While working from your bed or the couch might seem more convenient and comfortable, it’s all too easy to fall into the wrong mental state that prevents you from getting meaningful work done.
Ideally, you’d have space for a traditional or standing desk big enough to fit your laptop/computer, your phone, a keyboard and a lamp.
If you don’t have the space, why not try out this handy contraption that allows you work from the couch without feeling like you’re working from the couch.
An ergonomic desk chair
When it comes to your health (and comfort), your desk chair is arguably more important than your desk. The chairs in your home, while sufficient for sitting for short periods of time, do not offer the necessary support that you’d require working eight hours a day. Investing in an ergonomic chair will keep you comfortable and seated in the correct position to support your posture.
Keep an eye out for things like lumbar support, whether the chair has a swivel base and can be adjusted so your feet can rest flat on the floor and your arms at a 90-degree angle.
You probably already have a home Internet provider set up already, but the difference here is “high-speed”. Tasks like video conferencing, sending and receiving large files, or coding require a much stronger, faster Internet connection compared to your everyday browsing, and the last thing you want when working from home is to have your video call drop out halfway through an important meeting or spending hours waiting for a file to download.
Speak with your provider about available options, and if the majority of your work requires high-speed Internet, consider upgrading to a faster package. Trust us, it will save you a lot of time and frustration further down the line!
A printer or multipurpose machine
Depending on the nature of your work, you could probably get away without having a printer most of the time. Nonetheless, there will be occasions you’ll wish you had one on hand.
Rather than purchasing a pricey printer, look into multipurpose machines which can handle all your scanning or photocopying needs.
We’ve all been there – a glass of water that spills over your laptop and boom! Everything you’ve worked on for the past three years is gone.
Save yourself the worry. A cloud-based backup system will automatically save your files but it helps to have an external backup drive too. What’s more, they’re relatively affordable (and totally worth it in case of computer failure!).
Pens, files, business cards… There’s a lot of stationary that needs to be neatly stored yet easily on hand when needed.
There are a lot of options available too so take your pick!
Noise cancelling headphones
This is especially helpful if you live in a noisy household. How else will you drown out the noise of children running around in the background? On a day-to-day basis, listening to music or just having some and quiet is great for getting you into the work zone. Plus, they make conference calls a breeze too.
In addition to being noise cancelling, it is important to check they’re comfortable and have good sound quality. After all, you'll be wearing them for hours at a time, so be sure to research the options available or better yet, try them on in store before buying.
Sure, having the right desk and chair set-up is important but having the right lighting is surprisingly vital for your health and productivity. An improperly lit workspace can lead to eye strain and headaches.
Plus, working out of a dark office is just plain depressing. Lighten things up a bit with a proper lamp, you’ll feel all the better for it.
Want an easy fix to boost your mood and productivity? Simply add a bit of greenery to your work desk or the room you’re working in. You don’t want to turn the place into a jungle! But a fresh plant or two can go a long way.
In addition to making the place look pretty, having plants have shown to improve air quality and reduce stress.
A coffee maker
Ah, coffee – the preferred morning beverage of choice for many people around the world. If you are working from home and can’t start your day without a hot cup of joe, you’re going to need a way to make coffee.
Instead of having to run out of the house to queue at a crowded coffee shop and drink out of a disposable paper cup, we suggest you invest in a coffee maker so you can brew it exactly how you like it and get your caffeine fix throughout the day. Plus, it’ll save you money in the long run too!