Essentials for the Home Office

Remaining connected and efficient are the driving factors in your effectiveness when working from a home office.  With that, there are several essential tools that ensure you are able to work to the best of your ability.  This list makes the assumption you already have a working laptop!

  1. Printer/Fax/Scanner/Copier – Mostly everything is digital now but you will still receive paper forms. It is important to file these both digitally and electronically, and for the electronic portion, you will need a scanner.  Similarly, in meetings, you may want to bring a printed copy of a document as opposed to referencing its electronic form on the screen of your phone or tablet.  All-in-one machines are the most useful in terms of saving space and giving you all the needed tools.
  2. Landline – Cellphones can have static and what is worse than dropping an important call? Keep a landline with multiple phones in your house and designate one to your home office.  Utilize your landline as a stable environment to make business phone calls.  The speaker function on these phones are excellent.  Keep yourself hands free while having a clear voice.  Make sure it has a mute button as well.
  3. Fast Internet Connection – All providers offer a business service for home offices. Whatever you chose, make sure that it is capable of reaching the speeds that your company needs.  A fast internet connection is a combination of good service, modem, and router (wireless).  Read reviews, find out what your peers have, and make an assessment of what you think you will need.  Do not cut your budget on internet service.  If you send large documents, you know you will need more speed.
  4. Data Plan/Mobile Tablet – Even with your fast connection from a provider, you can still lose power. If would be wise to invest in a tablet with 4G capabilities and a data plan to go with it; or, invest in a hotspot.  This way if the power goes out during a hurricane or blackout, you can still work (provided it is safe to do so).
  5. Stationery and Office Supplies – We live in a digital work, but supplies are still a necessity; stock your office with plenty of printing paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers and even whiteout for the rare times you might need it. Printed stationery is great for writing everything from hand-written Thank You notes to letters that need a hard signature.

Both a home office and a regular office need an office manager.  In this case, the office manager is you.  Keep this checklist handy and make sure you meet all of your office needs.

Patrick Coughlin is a Marketing Analyst at Consultants 2 Go