Telecommuting and working from home is becoming very common in today’s working world. Even learning from home through an online degree program is becoming increasingly popular. As technology advances and organizations develop policies and positions to coincide with these advancements, more and more people find themselves working and learning from home and needing to set up a properly-equipped home office. While this may seem easy enough, there are many essential things that any work-from-home employee and student should get.
- High-speed Internet. Productivity and efficiency are necessary components for any job to be completed successfully, and if you’re waiting on a lagging Internet connection, you’re cutting down on both. Do some research and find an Internet connection that will give you the fastest speed for the amount of money you are willing to pay. High-speed Internet will allow you to get more work done in a less amount of time. Furthermore, a wireless connection will allow you work from anywhere in the house.
- Anti-virus software. The one type of software that every home office needs, no matter what kind of work is being performed, is anti-virus software. There are different levels of anti-virus protection, but the higher the level, the better the protection. When you work or study from home, your computer is your livelihood. If a virus takes over your computer, you can’t work, so you want to make sure your computer is protected.
- Automatic backups. One thing about technology is that there is always the possibility of glitches. If your computer crashes and your system isn’t backed up, you will probably lose files that can’t be replaced, making all the time you spent working on them for nothing. Not to mention that you’ll then have to spend countless hours trying to restore your computer. An automatic backup system does exactly what the name says, so that if your computer crashes, you won’t lose a thing.
- Landline phone. These days, everyone has a cell phone, but the fact is that cell phones can drop calls, malfunction, and/or break altogether. Whether you’re sitting in on conference calls, calling clients, touching base with your boss, or talking over something with your online peers for a group project, you want to make sure you’re able to stay on the line, which is where landlines come in handy.
- Comfortable chair. This may seem like a luxury item when you already have a basic chair, but remember that you’re going to spend hours sitting in your chair day after day, so you want one that’s comfortable. Having to constantly adjust in your seat and dealing with an aching back, neck, and rear end will not only make you miserable, but also cut down on your productivity. An ergonomic chair will keep away the aches and allow you to focus on your work.
- Pen and paper. In today’s computerized world, pen and paper can seem like archaic tools, but nothing works better for jotting down notes, reminders, and ideas. All of this can be done on a computer, but the time it takes to open a text-editing program, type in your note, and save the file is a much longer process than simply writing it down on a piece of paper.
- Filing system. Whether it’s a filing cabinet beside your desk or an electronic filing system on your computer, you need to have a way to organize your files. Unorganized files turn into clutter, result in lost files, and can disrupt your work flow when you have to go searching for one. Invest in a filing system to keep your work organized so that if a client or employer ever needs you to find a certain file, you can do so right away. If you’re a student, a filing system will also allow you to keep better track of your course work and grades so that if you ever need to dispute something, you can produce your evidence immediately.
- Shredder. Even though a majority of the work we do is paperless, chances are there are going to be documents that are mailed, faxed, or emailed to you that you have to print out. You may even need to print documents with information on them that can be used against you or your company if the crumpled of piece of paper falls into the wrong hands. This can be something as simple as a client’s full name, your company’s account number, or even the contact information of a classmate. Eliminate the risk and make sure your home office has a shredder.
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