As a small business owner, a personal home office is essential. If you’re setting up a home office for the first time, selecting the right items and organizing everything can be overwhelming. In order to make the home office setup process a lot easier, Ambit created a checklist of essential items.
Before finding items to put in your home office, you need to choose the right location. It’s crucial to find a room in your house that has enough space and good lighting. Also, make sure to pick a room or space that is separate from the rest of the house for best productivity. You want to minimize all distractions – TV, house chores, kids – during your work hours. A secluded room will help you focus and get work done efficiently.
One of the most important items in your home office is your chair because you’ll be sitting in it all day. Spend the time to find and invest in a comfortable chair with good support and adjustable features. Your desk is just as important. There are a lot of options for a desk from a traditional office to a more modern-style desk. This depends on your preference and what you would like in your office desk. If you prefer standing and sitting, you may want to consider an adjustable desk.
Natural light is the best light. If possible, choose a room with the most windows. But you’ll definitely need more lighting to see clearly. Don’t just depend on the light hanging from the ceiling—add other lights like standing and desk lamps to give you light from all angles. The goal of lighting is to be able to see clearly no matter what time of day or which direction you’re facing. Good lighting prevents eye strain and headaches.
Your home office needs a laptop or desktop computer. On top of that, there are other tech items you may need or want to consider adding. First, a multipurpose machine that can print, scan, fax and even make copies is a good investment. Although we are becoming a more paperless world, there are still a few important documents that need to be in hard copy. And, don’t forget about a backup drive, whether a physical one or on the cloud. It’s important to have a backup of all your work and documents.
Another item that is often overlooked is a paper shredder. This is essential for getting rid of sensitive information. And, you may want to consider getting a separate monitor if you use a laptop. There are even vertical monitors to make it easier when reading or writing long articles.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure your Internet is fast and reliable. It will be a big pain and also interfere with your work if your internet connection keeps going in and out. Also, communication is key in any business, so you may want to have a separate phone line specifically for business calls. Or, you can set up an online service, maybe even video-conferencing like Skype, or a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for communication with clients.
Get creative when making space to store paper, office supplies and more. For paper, you may want a file cabinet or even a fire-safe box for your most important business documents. Don’t forget to clean out your papers regularly to minimize clutter and create a productive home office. Group office supplies like pens, paper ink, and other items where it’s easy to find them. You can place them in bins, drawers or even in the closet. Another great idea is to store your multipurpose machine in the closet if you don’t use it too often. This helps save space in the actual office. If there is not enough space for bookcases, wall shelves and floating shelves are functional and inexpensive.
Don’t forget to purchase ecofriendly and energy-efficient office supplies when possible! Invest in energy-efficient light bulbs as well as advanced power strips for all your electronic devices. This will allow you to save energy and money over time for your business. Also, get a recycle bin so that you can recycle all your paper.
Last, but not least, add some personal touches to your office. This will help your space feel welcoming and comfortable for you to work. You can add frames, desk toys and other personalized office accessories. You can put up a whiteboard for ideas and quotes to help keep you motivated. You may even want to invest in a small coffee machine or mini fridge to keep some beverages on hand while working.
These are some of the essentials you’ll need for your home office to create a comfortable and useful space for your business. Learn more about how to organize your home office to help you run your small business more efficiently.