An increasing number of people are now working from home. It’s not hard to see why – working from allows you flexibility and a better work/life balance.
However, setting up a home office can be daunting, and expensive. Initially, you may not have the money to create the office of your dreams. But you have to start somewhere so you can get to work.
So how do you know which pieces of office equipment are essential?
One of the tricks to mastering working from home, is having the right equipment where you need it. So read on to find out the eight important pieces of office kit that you can’t do without.
1. Office Equipment Begins with a Desk and Chair
The most important pieces of office equipment you will ever buy are your desk and chair. If you are going to be working full-time from home, you will spend a lot of time sitting at your desk. So finding the right desk and chair is incredibly important.
You might be thinking that you can get away with working from the couch or the dining table. But if you do that you could be storing up health problems.
Working at a desk requires a different posture from watching TV or eating a meal. You will also be sitting working at a desk for much longer periods of time. Therefore, you need a desk and chair that will support your back and encourage good posture so you can avoid spinal problems or repetitive strain injuries.
The next most important item on your list of office equipment is a computer. No matter what sort of work you do, you can’t survive without one.
The type of computer you choose will depend on what you will be using it for. If you are likely to be going out to meetings you will most likely need a laptop rather than a desktop.
However, there can be ergonomic issues with using a laptop for long periods of time. One solution is to use a desktop in your home office and to get a tablet for when you hit the road.
If IT is not your strong suit, make sure you ask a qualified retailer exactly what you require from your computer when you buy it. The specifications can vary, and there’s no point paying for something that is more high-spec than you need.
Even if you have a smartphone, it is worth investing in a separate office phone.
A telephone will make it easier for you to keep your work and home life separate, which can be a bit of a challenge for home-workers. It will also look more professional on your contact details if you have a dedicated office phone.
Any office with a computer is going to need a printer to create hard copies of documents.
The type of printer you need will depend on how much you use it, and what you use it for. If you are only going to be printing invoices, letters and labels you won’t need anything too high-spec or expensive.
However, some jobs will require a printer with better capabilities. If you work in the creative industries, for example, a color printer with a high resolution will be essential.
5. Internet Connection
When you are a home worker, your internet connection is your portal to the rest of the world. So don’t underestimate how important it is!
In order to run a successful business, you need to stay ahead of your competitors and access information fast. A slow connection can cost you money, as well as drive you crazy.
Losing internet connection when you are in the middle of a video conference, or uploading important files can be a catastrophe for your business. So make sure you have the best internet connection you can afford.
6. Copier and Scanner
Copiers and scanners are really useful pieces of office equipment.
You never know when you might need to scan an original document and email it or store it on your PC. You may also need to make multiple copies of documents or receipts that only exist in hard copy.
Getting a combined copier and scanner will be a useful addition to your home office. This might sound expensive, in which case you could consider a buy now pay later arrangement.
Identity theft is a real threat to everyone and if you are a home worker you are even more of a target.
Think about all the different pieces of information you store: from invoices, tax codes, employee details, and bank information. If any of this ends up in the wrong hands you could become a victim of crime.
So when you are drawing up your list of essential office equipment, always include a shredder. Being able to protect your data will give you peace of mind and avoid identity theft.
8. Filing System
If you are new to home working and more used to working in an office, you might not have experience of doing your own filing.
However, if you are setting up a home office, you are on your own. This means you will need to stay organized in order to avoid chaos and making mistakes.
Think about what sort of paperwork you need to file, and how much of it there will be. It could be that you only have small amounts of paperwork to store. In which case document wallets or box files will be enough.
However, if you generate a lot of paper you are going to need something a bit more sophisticated. Filing cabinets are a really useful way of staying on top things in the office and don’t underestimate the importance of an in-tray and an out-tray.
Tips for Entrepreneurs
So those are eight pieces of office equipment that every home worker needs. If you start with the essentials you will be up and running in no time, and it won’t have to break the bank.
If you found this guide useful, why not check out more tips for entrepreneurs right here.