One of the most important requirements for employee productivity is a good working environment. If you work from home, you have the advantage of setting up a flexible home office that fits your idea of ideal working space.

This gives you a lot of creative freedom to direct your space according to your degree of comfort. However, efficiency must be the primary goal. With this in mind, you can prioritize the most important pieces before you indulge in ornamentation.

If you don’t know where to begin, start with this basic checklist of staple home-office pieces.

A Computer

Unquestionably, the weapon of choice of the modern working man, a computer is the most important piece of your home office. From sending email updates to your client to managing your online shops in real-time, almost everything a small-business owner or freelancer does requires computing power.

Be sure to choose a computer that fits your needs. The graphic and processing requirements of a freelancer who does animation and graphic design are fairly greater than those of one who manages social media. Do your research before picking a model.

You may also want to consider purchasing a secondhand laptop if you want to save some bucks.

High-Speed Internet

In a nutshell, the internet is basically what makes it possible for you to work at home instead of somewhere you need to commute to. Given that much of your work and productivity rely on a good internet connection, you need to secure a reliable one. This is most urgent for those who are planning to open their very own online shop since managing an online business requires a stable internet connection.

Get your internet from a source with great reviews, and make sure you have a backup in case of emergencies.

Here’s a rundown of the most reliable internet service providers in the US to date.

Cables and Network Switches

For when you need to connect your devices to each other with fast connectivity and reliable performance, you need network switches and cables to do the job.

Of course, you can always choose to opt for wireless networks. However, if you don’t want to change some of your gear or don’t want to sacrifice connection speed, then a wired option is definitely the better one.

Here’s a quick comparison of the pros and cons of wired and wireless networks.

Home Office

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A Printer

Although digitalization has crept into almost all aspects of modern life, going paperless is still not viable. Keeping physical copies of important documents such as contracts, deeds, and proposals are a core part of any business.

A printer that comes with a scanner is common these days. These are handy for sending documents electronically or when you need some files signed.

You don’t need gargantuan printers, scanners, or copy machines. Most of the new multi-feature models these days come adequately sized.

Here’s a list of well-reviewed printer models for 2019.

Adequate Lighting

Bad lighting can cause migraines and eye problems. If your home office is poorly lit, you may also have the tendency to lean forward and squint on the screen. This may result in muscle soreness and back pain.

If you have the space for it, set up in a place with natural light. This way, you can save on utilities, and the light will be easy on your eyes. 

Backup Storage

Cloud services like Google Drive or DropBox are undoubtedly reliable when it comes to backing up your files. It’s also the preferred storage option for companies with multiple remote employees. However, in case of emergencies when the internet is down, you may have to use physical storage or backup. This ensures you still have access to and can update your files despite the lack of connection.

It is undoubtedly convenient to store and back up critical work files when you have USB flash drives. These portable devices go straight to your laptop or desktop for fast data transfer. There can be more efficient USB solutions for workstations, such as using hubs to multiply ports so more USB peripherals, like flash drives, can be accommodated. That way, more work gets done.

Final Word

For a home office to achieve its purpose, it needs to be efficient and project a sense of peace. Design your home office with minimal equipment, and set it up somewhere with great natural lighting conditions. This will help you work with as little distraction as possible and with maximum focus.