Working from home? Here are the 5 essential things You Need
Working from home sounds like a dream. There’s no need for you to drive or commute to work; no traffic jam to worry about; no annoying officemates to get along with; and no vicious boss to tell you what to do. And with the rise of innovations in telecommunications, working remotely has never been more convenient. In fact, 1 out of 5 Americans already work from home. At least 13.4 million Americans have chosen their household as their work address. In 1997, only 9.2 million people worked from home or a meager 7 percent said the Census Bureau, based on a 2013 report from the Wall Street Journal.
For someone who’s looking for some peace and quiet, staying in a home office sounds like the best thing. That’s where the future of work is headed anyway by 2020. But turning your home into an office involves a lot of preparation and planning. It’s great to work on your couch in your pajamas but without some essential items, it would be hard to stay productive throughout the day. Here are some things you might want to consider when you’ve decided to work from home.
Communication Service (Phone and Internet)
This is the very first thing you need to invest on when working from home. Almost every home-based job relies on good Internet service to get things done and keep constant communication with clients and colleagues. And when it comes to Internet services, it’s not good enough to equip yourself with lousy Internet packages. Anticipate that your work will involve high usage of data transmission, so get a good broadband service provider or a fast over-the-air data service (preferably LTE) or higher.
Some companies also offer, a plan bundle, which has a landline phone aside from the Internet service. Of course, mobile phones are of utmost importance as well especially when it comes with urgent communication. A landline is also helpful as an alternative means of contacting you. It’s also important to choose a good phone plan that allows a lot of text messaging and calls. If you have a little extra, get a cordless or wireless phone so you can entertain calls no matter where you are in your home.
Organized Office with Good Lighting
Don’t just designate any part of your home as your office. It’s good to plan things out first by separating your office from places where you do leisurely things or hobbies. A bedroom can be your work base at the same time but it may not be efficient for those who like to doze off. The temptation of sleeping longer in bed can cut down on your productivity.
Avoid places near the kitchen, living room, or places with high levels of convergence and activity. Having a space near a garden may be ideal for focusing on work. It is also important to pick a place with large windows so a good amount of light can come in. Also choose your light bulbs well and position them in your work area strategically so working won’t be so difficult on your eyes.
Even though more people are increasingly relying on Google Apps for work productivity, scanning and printing still has a big role when working from home. Usual things like contracts, invoices, and drafts among many others still require printed copies. That is why it is good to invest in one all-in-one printer that can scan, fax, copy, and print all at the same time.
If your work involves the storage and care for sensitive and confidential data, it is good to store them in different computers or external hard drives just in case something crashes along the way. You can start backing up files through email. And designate folders as to where to dump your work. Having mirror drives and access to a cloud storage will help you secure your data. Anytime something happens, you can pull out a copy of your data and keep working.
Because you are exposed to the fluctuations of electricity in your area, keeping your computer connected to a UPS is essential. With a UPS, you get enough time to save your work or do minor edits before the computer shuts down. The time it takes for a UPS to consume its emergency power will take only a few minutes, but it is better than losing all your work at once.
So if you plan to totally work from home, it is important to designate and decorate your office starting with the essential tools. Do a canvas of all the items you need and see which ones would best fit your budget. In the end, the important thing for you is that you can remain productive even when at home.