If you work at a small start-up or a larger corporation, chances are you have the option to occasionally work from home. Working from home has many benefits, like promoting a better work/home balance, increased productivity, and not to mention an easy commute.
Some people can spend the entire day working on their couch in their pajamas, but if you are anything like me, you need just a little more structure. Here are 10 essentials to keep you focused and comfortable when working from home.
1. Designated Workspace
Setting up a specific area in your home for working remotely can help keep you on task and stay productive. Having a place other than the kitchen table, sofa, or bed to work at can be a huge help in separating your “home” from your “office”. Installing a corner desk is a quick way to update your workspace without sacrificing too much of your living space.
Working from home would basically be impossible without a reliable laptop. It’s your connection to your office, and lets you take your work on the go. Picking the right one can be challenging, so we are happy to help you select the best laptop based on your needs. Give us a call or read our guide to choosing the right laptop.
3. Secure Remote Access
There are multiple ways to remote into your office desktop or network, but not all of them are secure. We recommend using an SSL VPN to ensure that your network is not left vulnerable to security risks. A VPN (virtual private network) provides a secure data connection, and an SSL VPN takes it one step further. By using one or more VPN devices, it allows the user to connect in by using his or her Web browser.
4. Surge Protector
An often-forgotten home office accessory, a surge protector is high on our list of essentials. This inexpensive device will protect your electronic gear against damage from random power spikes
5. Laptop Bag
A sturdy laptop bag will keep your company-issued computer equipment safe and protected as you travel to and from home. Look for an option that has lots of extra pockets, since there is nothing worse than forgetting your charger at the office.
6. Communications System
Access to a phone system is usually necessary when working from home, even with all the email and chat options available. We recommend using a VoIP like CleanVoice, a cloud-based phone system. This allows you to make and receive calls anywhere with Internet access.
Because VoIP is hosted in the cloud, it can be used anywhere on any device. This mobility makes working easier and improves communications. CleanVoice allows you to do all kinds of things, such as make calls through your office computer, laptop, or tablet.
7. WiFi and WiFi Range Extender
We assume you already have to have WiFi set up in your home, but we couldn’t not include it on our list! Having a reliable WiFi connection will make a world of difference to your productivity.
A WiFi range extender is a great tool if your home WiFi isn’t as reliable as at the office. This device plugs into any outlet and will give you the freedom to set up your home office space anywhere in your home.
8. Wireless Mouse
If you are using a laptop to work from home, you have the benefit of portability. However, using just a touchpad for several hours can take its toll. Using a wireless mouse will make navigating a bit easier.
9. Coffee Maker, Teapot, or Espresso Machine
Investing in a coffee maker, teapot, or espresso machine will make your home workspace feel as cozy as your favorite coffee shop. It also eliminates the temptation to take a “quick coffee run” that turns into an hour-long event.
If your work involves contracts, receipts, or invoices, chances are you will need a printer. You can always wait to print at the office, but having the convenience of a home printer can’t be beat.