Working from home becomes more prevalent every day.
I am guessing you are among the growing army of home-based professionals.
To be happy and effective in your day-to-day, you need a productive work-from-home setup.
Look for ideas on how to turn your home office into a more productive space?
The following essentials will help you create an organized and efficient working environment within the confines of your house or apartment.
14 Essentials for a Productive Work-from-Home Setup
Let me clarify a few things before we proceed. This article focuses on home-based desk jobs, more particularly those that are related to writing jobs, such as content creation.
I know there are other sources of income you can do in the comforts of your home that involved different equipment.
For example, if you’re a baker, you need a good oven, or if you’re a furniture-maker, you must have a great set of woodworking tools.
So, if your work does not fall into the category this article is focusing on, I apologize. But if it does, let’s continue.
1. A Great Computer or Laptop
A computer with good performing components and software is the most important must-have if you are dead serious about working from home.
It is more than just a word processor. It stores your files and documents, handles your email correspondence, provides access to your social media accounts, and keeps you connected with the outside world. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s also where you’ll create most of your content for publication, such as articles, blog posts, etc. So, depending on what kind of content creator you are, this is an essential piece of equipment.
For some, it’s just something nice to have around for convenience’s sake, but for us writers, it’s something we can’t live without.
2. Fast Internet Connection
No matter how technologically advanced your computer and other gadgets are, they will not live to their full potential without an internet connection.
The worldwide web is your gateway to an almost infinite library of information. It is now the most widely used tool for doing research, communicating with people around the globe, accessing educational and entertainment materials, and many other things I can’t mention here due to time and space limitations.
Your work-from-home setup wouldn’t be complete if you will not sign up with a reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) in your locality.
3. Helpful Software, Apps, and Web APIs
Again, no matter how high-tech the hardware of your computer is, you cannot unleash its mighty power without the help of a bunch of software and applications.
To optimize your productivity, you need access to various electronic tools other than your machine’s operating system and graphical features. For example, if you are an author, you need access to various helpful applications, such as a grammar checker, online eBook creator tools, and many others.
If you’re a blogger, you would need access to a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, a plagiarism checker, graphic design software or API, and many others.
No office today, even a home-based one, would be complete without telephone service.
Sometimes you need an immediate answer from your client or supplier that waiting for an email response won’t do. It gets more complicated if the two of you are living in a different time zone.
Conversely, there are times when the other party needs to reach you right away and the telephone is the fastest way to do it. This is especially true if one of you has no access to the internet at that moment.
Having a printer in your home office will make it easier to print out the documents you need.
It will save you time and energy of running out to use a copy machine at the grocery store or library every time you need one or two copies, etc.
The printer should be able to handle both black-and-white texts and full-color images if possible. It would be better too if you got one that can also scan and photocopy.
6. Comfortable Desk
A desk is another essential piece of furniture for any home office.
Your desk should be large enough so that there will be plenty of space for paperwork, computer equipment, and any other items that may need during work hours.
It should also be sturdy so that it doesn’t wobble when you type or move around on your chair.
I would suggest that you get a height-adjustable desk that enables you to shift from a sitting to a standing working position in an instant and vice versa. It would be helpful for your blood circulation and prevent muscle fatigue and stiffness from prolonged sitting.
7. Office Chair
Having a comfortable and ergonomic office chair is of utmost importance too.
Get a piece that can support your back well to protect and provide comfort to your spine. It should also be height adjustable to ensure you get your feet flat on the floor. A good pair of armrests where you can place your elbows and forearms at 90-degree angles is also a plus.
It would be extremely helpful too if it is wheeled and can swivel if you move around the office a lot. Be sure to lock the wheels whenever you are working on long typing projects.
8. A Good Desk Lamp
A desk lamp is essential for working late at night or early in the morning when there isn’t much natural light coming in through the windows.
Make sure you have one with an adjustable arm so it can beam directly on whatever you’re working on without shining directly into your eyes, which makes them tired.
It would be best too if you get one with LED bulbs or a lamp. Not only it is more energy-efficient, but it also provides better illumination.
9. Writing Board
It’s astonishing how many home offices don’t have a whiteboard or chalkboard, as these handy tools serve their purpose.
Writing boards are great for brainstorming, jotting down thoughts and ideas, and even drawing out plans and charts.
If you’re working with an office that doesn’t have one, pick up an affordable one at any office supply store or online store and hang it up on the wall or door of your office.
10. Pens & Markers
Pens, markers, and highlighters are likewise important in every home office.
Don’t tell me you don’t need to jot down something from time to time. It may be a reminder, an idea, an important number, etc. Sometimes a pencil is not enough as you need something written more permanently.
It would be great if you can stock up on a variety of colors that you can use for different purposes. It includes highlighting important information or marking things off your calendar if needed.
11. Filing Cabinet
If you think you can make your entire work process 100% paperless, think again.
There are types of paperwork that require that you keep a hard copy, especially if they are signed by your clients or suppliers and yourself. I’m talking about contracts, purchase orders, receipts, invoices, tax forms, etc. that you need to file.
A filing cabinet comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors, so take some time to find one that fits your needs and your style.
Many people prefer using file boxes instead because they’re portable and easier to take with them when they move offices or homes.
12. Paper Shredder
If you often deal with documents containing sensitive information, such as social security numbers or bank account numbers, then a paper shredder is essential for you.
This piece of equipment helps keep your personal information safe from prying eyes.
Shredding not only keeps your information secure but also helps prevent identity theft by making it harder for anyone who might try to steal it.
13. Bookshelf or Bookcase
Bookshelves are a staple of every home office. They’re great for storing books and folders as well as helping tidy up your workspace.
They also add an extra touch of class to the decor and help define the space.
If you’re working from home, most of your projects will likely involve books or papers, so having an organized place to store them is essential.
If you don’t have enough space for a full bookshelf, try using a bookcase instead. It is more compact and can hold just as many books. The only difference is that if you need to store larger items like binders or files, they may not fit in a bookcase as easily as on a standard shelf.
14. Desk Accessories
Office accessories encompass a wide variety of items that provide utility, convenience, and productivity.
It may include desk or wall clocks, wired and wireless chargers, staplers, scissors, tape dispensers, and a gamut of sundry items. Just pick the ones that you use regularly in your work.
There you go. Those are some of the most essential items for a productive work-from-home setup.
I’m sure that there are other things that you find important that I missed. Drop us a line if you have any comments or suggestions.