Top 10 Home-Office Essentials
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As home computing and networking technologies have rapidly advanced, so has growth in the setup and use of home offices — both for small businesses and, increasingly, for larger companies that offer their employees more flexible work arrangements.
Here’s a list of top 10 must-haves for any home office.
One of the major advantages of working from home is not being tied to a single desk or room. A portable laptop or ultrabook computer with WiFi makes the most of this flexibility by allowing you to work where it’s most convenient or comfortable at any given time.
- Wireless router
Of course, regardless of which room you’re working in, you’ll always want to stay connected to email and the Web. Today’s fast and easy wireless routers will keep you connected to the Internet — as well as essential accessories like a wireless printer — whether you’re in the office, the living room or at the kitchen table.
- Wireless all-in-one printer
Any well-equipped office needs a printer, scanner and fax. Of course, many of today’s printers can function as all three — all with the convenience of wireless capability, for easy access from anywhere in the home.
- Wireless keyboard/mouse
A full-size wireless keyboard and mouse will maximize your productivity and comfort while you’re working in the home office.
- External monitor
A large external monitor can also be extremely helpful — especially when you’re working with multiple files and applications simultaneously (like email, a word processor and a spreadsheet).
- External hard drive
The axiom “always back up your work” is doubly true for home-office work. The anguish of losing an important file (or files) can sting a lot more when it also hits your company’s bottom line. So be sure to have a hard drive for backup (and extra storage).
- Mobile phone
A distinct phone number for your business makes it a lot easier to separate work from personal use, which is important for organizing both your communications and your business taxes. A mobile phone makes it easy — and allows you to conduct business on the go.
- Tax software
Speaking of taxes, they tend to be a little more complex when you’re running a business. So it’s a good idea to keep a handle on your finances with some good bookkeeping and tax software.
- Ergonomic desk/chair
As with any office, it’s important that your home work station is both functional and comfortable. Fortunately, there are many furniture options available that fit the bill, while also complementing your home’s decor.
To maintain the privacy of your business and accounts (and keep identity thieves at bay), it’s best to shred documents you no longer need before recycling them.
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