Over eight million Americans worked from home last year. Home offices are becoming common workplaces for more and more Americans.
How can you ensure yours is comfortable and induces productivity?
Every office needs some key items to make it optimal for work. You want to be productive but feel comfortable because you’re in your own home.
If your current home office isn’t a great environment to work in, keep reading. Here are the nine home office must-haves to add to your checklist.
1. An Ergonomic Desk
Working on a computer can damage your body as much as a physical job like construction. You can get neck and back pain from sitting with poor body alignment. You can also develop carpal tunnel in your hands from a desk that’s too tall or short.
If you’re going to work from home, make sure your desk is ergonomic.
That means it’s at the correct height for your chair. You should be able to sit comfortably with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. The keyboard should be in line with your forearms.
Consider investing in a standing desk. It allows you to stand while you work to give your body a break from sitting.
2. An Ergonomic Chair
Along with choosing the right home office desk, choose an ergonomic chair. Ideally, it should have adjustable levers to customize it to your body.
The height of the chair matters. Your knees should bend at 90 degrees with your feet flat on the ground. The armrests should support your elbows at 90 degrees.
The back support should hold your posture straight. Not only will an ergonomic chair be comfortable, but it’ll prevent pain and strain.
3. A Screen Stand
Are you going to work from a laptop or desktop computer? Regardless of your choice, make sure the screen sits at eye level.
Many laptop users will buy an adjustable stand for it to sit on. Or, they’ll buy a small table stand for the computer monitor to sit on. That’s if the computer monitor’s height isn’t adjustable.
The goal is to have your screen at eye level in front of you. You shouldn’t have to look down or up to see the screen. Again, this will ensure your neck and back are safe from the strain.
Did you know that home office supplies are often tax-deductible? Small businesses can claim their ergonomic desk, chair, and screen stands.
4. High-Speed Internet
It’s crucial you have high-speed internet in your home office. Unreliable or slow internet makes your business seem unprofessional. It also makes online correspondence difficult.
There are many ways to improve your home internet. Start by researching different home internet providers. Most will have home-office options.
You want to look at ISP upload and download speeds. There may be a bundle deal available if you also need other services. Look into mobile WIFI hotspots if you take your work on the go with you.
5. Backup Storage
Your digital files and data should always get backed up. You likely will use a cloud-based service such as Google Drive.
But, it’s smart to have an alternative backup solution.
Considering picking up some external hard drives for safe-keeping. In the case of computer failure, you will have everything you need on the hard drive.
6. Office Supply Storage
Speaking of storage, where will you keep all your extra printer paper and paperclips? It’s best to keep your desk as clutter-free as possible.
Store your extra pens, papers, and desk supplies in a storage shelving unit. Your home office may have a closet you can build shelving in. Or, you can buy a drawer unit to place in the closet.
Stock up your office supplies every month so you’re never caught in a pinch. You may want to start an account with your local office supply store. They often offer discounts and coupons to small businesses that use their services.
7. File Storage
No matter how digital you intend your business to be, you’ll still have some paperwork. You may not need the giant filing cabinets most corporate offices have. But, a small solution will keep you organized.
Consider getting a file folder. It’ll have 5-10 file sections to keep your most important documents. Then, keep it in your office safe.
To decrease the amount of paper waste in your business, digitalize what you can. There are phone apps that transition your documents into e-form. Simply take a picture of the document in the app and download.
8. Printer and Scanner
For those crucial times you need a paper copy of a contract, where will you print it? Going to the local print shop is inconvenient.
Instead, shop now for an adjustable and multi-functional printer. Many come with built-in scanners which would also benefit your home-office.
Consider printers that don’t need to get plugged in, but use WIFI instead. Also, compare the cost of ink for different models. You want to save money where you can!
9. Task Lighting
For the sake of your eyes and the quality of your work, get task lighting. There are tons of different styles to suit your home office décor.
The key is to get lighting that is adjustable. Choose a model with a moving neck so you can focus it wherever you prefer.
Adequate lighting will reduce eye strain while working. It’ll also make the room’s environment feel more inspiring and work-inducing.
Bonus! Stationary and Home Office Décor
The way your home office feels will impact the work you do in it. You want it to feel comfortable and functional. It should also reflect the personality of your brand.
Hang any certifications or degrees you have on the wall. Place plants in vases or pots around the room. Lay a stylish rug on the floor.
Ready to Start Your Home Office Must-Haves Checklist?
To do business from home, you need some key supplies. It’s important that your body is comfortable and supported. Choose ergonomic furniture pieces.
Your home office must-haves should include things that make your work easier. That includes items that improve your environment and make you feel more productive.
Are you starting your own business? There’s a lot you need to know. Check out this business startup checklist to get started!