Running an office from home is hugely rewarding in many ways. You set your own timetable (most of the time, anyway!), you can work around your life, and as your own boss you can keep your office exactly how you like it.
There are plenty of things to make the process easier though, ensuring that you’re totally self-sufficient when you’re working, and can enjoy the benefits of a fully-equipped office without the distractions that come with it.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered up some of the essentials to ensure your office is as well-prepared as a commercial workplace, so you can work smoothly and efficiently!
A laptop may soon become the most important feature of your office, even if you’ve never really felt the need for it before.
It has a huge advantage over a PC in that you can take it out to meetings and give presentations with it, and if you’re managing business in different locations you can travel without worrying about keeping track of all your information. It’s the ideal way to stay organised, and its size will ensure it doesn’t take too much room in a small office.
Home printers can seem like a lot of fuss, but if you own a business it’s an essential piece of equipment for correspondence and record-keeping. Even if you don’t use it very often, it’s a pain to be interrupted from a task to find a place to print documents, and having the ability in your office will make it far easier to maintain a good workflow and keep any secure documents within the confines of your workspace.
In an age where many of us deal with bank transactions and customer records on a daily basis, a shredder is the ideal way to maintain security in a home office. They’re inexpensive – online sites like Ebuyer offer shredders in their office supplies range – and promise peace of mind when it comes to important paperwork. Many even shred cards, too, so you don’t have to worry about where your information goes when something expires.
A separate office phone allows you to create a barrier between your home life and your work, and gives you more control over when you choose to take business calls. Make sure you get one with a wireless handset, as these will allow you to move around the room if necessary so you can refer to paperwork and ensure you have all relevant information while you talk. In a small office a speakerphone may also be a convenient way of carrying out meetings and phone conversations while working.
A lockable cabinet can provide peace of mind, even in a home office where you don’t handle cash. Certain documents and files are much better off locked away at the end of the night, so that you can forget about them until the next day, and will give you a much better sense of security within your office. You’ll also be able to keep customer information far more confidential if you carry out meetings inside your office.