Nobody likes to go to work. Okay, maybe if you’re an actor making a gazillion dollars a year, or a sports star, or like, a beer taster, then you’d probably like going in to work. But for the rest of us sweaty masses, dragging ourselves out of bed only to have to sit in traffic and then sit in a boring office and then commute home again … we’re not too fond of that whole process.
Ah, but what if you were to have the opportunity to turn your home into your office? Then, the only commuter traffic would be the dog on the stairs on the way to your comfy and customized work space. And forget about office dress code, you could spend the day working in Batman pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers (which, I swear I have never done, and since there’s no video evidence, nobody can prove anything).
I covered why running a home-based business is easier than everin a previous blog, and gave you an idea of the sort of basic tech you would need to get your home office off the ground. Brad also gives you a lot of good tech advice in his Good, better and best tech solutions for your home office, as well. But once you’ve got your laptop, router, printer and storage, how can you make that work space seem like a real office? Well, I’m so glad you asked, or else this would be a very short blog. But since you did want to know, I’ve got some recommendations for five essential items every home office needs.
The Seat of Power: Your Desk
If you’re going to be working from home, even if it’s just you at first, you’ve got to have a proper desk. You can’t plop your laptop, router and printer on the kitchen counter, or take up the dining room table. Your family won’t take kindly to having to eat off of card tables while you use their living space for professional purposes. So, make sure you’ve got some dedicated space squared away, and get a good desk. It doesn’t need to be some giant mahogany thing that George Washington ate pizza off of before posing for the dollar bill. Although, that would be pretty impressive. But go for something functional that fits the space and will give you room for all your tech, as well as papers, files, and various office supplies (although I have had a stapler on my desk for a year now, and never once used it except to dangerously shoot a staple at a workmate (don’t tell HR). If you want some suggestions, check out this blog about how to Create your dream home office with Casey collection furnishings.
The Power of a Good Seat: a Good Chair
Once you’ve got the ideal desk, you’re of course going to want to have a good throne for your office kingdom. I personally like something with a high back and solid, comfy armrests, and a cushiony seat. I’m sorry, but all those standing desks and treadmill desks are not my style. I like to be seated when I’m working, not running a marathon or doing jumping jacks. And yoga ball seats? I have a hard enough time staying upright as it is, let alone trying to concentrate on writing while trying to balance my butt on an oversized beach ball. No, give me a good office chair that supports my lower back and old man posterior. I kind of like the EQ3 Lotus Mesh High Back Office Chair, because it is more contemporary, and has a lighter build than a typical office chair, so you stay cooler even when sitting for a long time. And you do tend to put in more hours in your office chair when you work at home.
Let There Be Light: Invest in Lighting
Every desk needs a good desk lamp. Good lighting helps reduce eye strain, and you don’t want to use that hula dancer lamp you got in Hawaii two years ago. It’s cute, but it just doesn’t say “successful entrepreneur,” unless of course, you’re selling Mai Tai mix. So, choose a style that fits your new desk and chair, and that gives you enough illumination even when you’re burning the midnight oil.
The Sound of Silence: Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Every office worker today knows you need to have a good set of headphones when you need to drown out the chatter, focus and get down to work. That’s just as true when you’re working from home, whether you’re the sole employee or you’ve expanded to several people sharing your work space. And why settle for ordinary headphones, when noise-cancelling headphones do twice the job of dropping you into your own veritable cone of silence wherever you may be. When I was working from home, I certainly loved using my older pair to quiet the sounds of kids, pets and dishwashers run amuck.
If I were to pick a pair up today, I’d likely try out a pair of Bose QuietComfort 25 Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones Special Edition. I trust the name, and I like the over-ear type of phones over the bud-type. I have weird-shaped ears, sue me. Also, I find the over-ear type tends to block out more of the office chatter.
The Hub: A Convenient USB Hub
A USB hub may not seem an essential item for your home office at first. However, after you have unplugged the mouse, printer, additional keyboard and other peripherals from your laptop for the millionth time, because you have to bring it to a presentation, or a client meeting, or to go help your kid research dinosaurs … you’ll thank me. These little babies save so much of your time, because you can plug every USB device into it, and then leave ‘em there while you unplug one thing from your laptop and BAM!! You’re outta there!
What do you think? Is there anything I missed? Let me know what you think of my five essential items every home office needs, and what you can’t live without in your own work space.