Whether you’re telecommuting, freelancing, or snagging a great opportunity from your employer, you’re about to live out your dream of working at home. But taper that excitement for just one moment. Is your home prepared to foster an efficient work environment?
Probably not. Odds are, you’re missing some of the office necessities that make for a seamless, productive workday. Worst of all, you may not even realize you lack home office essentials until you need them urgently.
Set yourself up for success by creating the perfect work environment at home. Here’s our home office checklist of 11 must-have office necessities.
1. Planner or Calendar
It’s true: Your phone or computer likely has a calendar application. But a variety of studies has proven that you retain information better by taking physical notes rather than digital.
It may seem like a simple change, but jotting down tasks in a physical planner or calendar can help you keep your head straight. When you get one for your office, make sure it has enough space for ample notes. And try to keep it near the desk so you’ll actually use it.
2. Filing Cabinets
Drowning in physical documents? Then you need a place to store and organize them for easy access. Don’t waste time digging through mountains of paperwork.
Purchase a filing cabinet or bookshelf. With the addition of a few manilla folders, you’ll never go searching for a sheaf of paper again.
3. External Hard Drive
If you work with large files such as photos, you’ll quickly fill your computer’s hard drive space. There’s also a chance you could lose all the data if your drive becomes corrupted.
Protect your work and storage space with the addition of a USB-connected external hard drive. It’s as easy as transferring the files from one device to the other. The extra security is worth far more than the cost of an extra drive.
4. Ergonomic Workstation
Don’t skimp on your two most important pieces of home office equipment: the desk and chair. Otherwise, you’ll be aching all day as you struggle to find a comfortable position for your back, arms, hands, and just about everything else.
Opt for an adjustable work desk, if possible, as well as ergonomic features like a keyboard tray and wheels. If you’re looking for a new workstation, check out this collection of office furniture.
5. Desk Lamp
Give your eyes a break with the help of a powerful desk lamp. Desk work requires an ample amount of lighting — something that most living spaces lack. But with a light source literally on the table, you’ll always have enough illumination for whatever task is at hand.
6. Keyboard Wrist Pads
Are you on your computer during most of the workday? Whether you’re writing reports, answering emails, or organizing an excel sheet, your hands are occupied throughout the day. They may seem fine at first, but months of overuse can cause serious medical conditions such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel.
Stave off the pain with the help of wrist pads for your keyboard and mouse. They’ll provide extra support and ergonomic contours to keep you working your best.
7. Wireless Printer
There’s still a place for physical documents in the digital age. From time to time, you may need to print off paperwork for safekeeping or create digital scans. That’s why an all-in-one printer is one of the most important home office essentials.
Go for a wireless model so you can free up space on your office desk. Set it up elsewhere in the room or in an entirely different area of your house.
8. Glassboard or Whiteboard
Glassboards and whiteboards are elegant and versatile surfaces for more notetaking, workspace, and organization. You can find these on wheels if you’re really looking for a functional space. But for normal home office needs, there’s nothing wrong with the simple boards that you affix to a nearby wall.
Now all you need to do is pick out some color-coded markers.
9. Mechanical Keyboard
There’s nothing wrong with a traditional $20 keyboard. But if your work relies on your typing skills, consider going with a mechanical version. They offer improved keystroke feedback and are associated with faster typing speeds.
Yes, they’re a bit more expensive, but they’re far more durable, too. Just be sure to give your fingers some time to adjust. The keys may be a bit more resistant than your muscles are used to.
10. Sticky Notes
Taking digital notes on your phone or PC is a great practice. But sometimes you want to look at your personal reminders without turning on the computer. When that happens, having a stack of sticky notes available is a simple solution.
Write yourself a note and stick it to the monitor so it’s always visible, no matter what you’re doing at the time.
11. Office Decor
Put the home in-home office. It should be a refreshing, comfortable space that promotes productivity. There’s no reason to keep things sterile.
You’re your own boss now, after all.
Hang a few paintings, get some plants or succulents, and slip a large mirror on the wall. It’ll do wonders for your headspace and make the day fly by with ease.
Don’t Skimp on Home Office Necessities
They’re called office necessities for a reason. The fact of the matter is you need these items to foster a productive work environment. And without them, you could experience a serious hamper to your workflow without even realizing it.
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