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Working from home is gradually becoming the new normal. Irrespective of your profession, you can go freelance, make ends meet, and still have plenty of time to delight in the little pleasures in life, such as seeing your kids grow.
Before you take the big leap and begin working from your home, it is essential to convert your comfort-oriented space into an efficient, professional workspace. The idea is to create a calming space that cultivates productivity.
From my years of experience working from home, I have mastered the art of turning a regular home office into an enjoyable and productive space. Dive right in, and let’s go through 15 strategist-approved products for the best home office setup.
Let’s get started!
- Label Printer
Label printers are digital copiers used to print tags and label materials. Unlike regular printers, they have a range of unique features and mechanisms to handle rolled stocks.
It is crucial to consider your business needs and decide whether you need to incorporate images or unique colors on your labels and tags. Also, consider whether you need to use QR codes, barcodes, and other industry-specific characters.
- Laser Printer
If you want a printer that can produce crisp graphics and sharp texts, consider investing in a laser printer. Compared to inkjet printers, they operate more reliably and are immune to clogging even if they go unused for weeks.
For a startup business, a laser printer under 100 can suffice. One of the best models that offer unprecedented power and versatility is the HP LaserJet Pro M15w Wireless Laser Printer. It has great aesthetics, is easy to set up, and super user-friendly. For the price, you get unrivaled printing speed, paper handling, and text quality.
A computer monitor for eyes can dramatically enhance your working from home experience. While most people use them with their desktop computers, you can also plug one into your laptop to enhance your work efficiency.
Thanks to the current booming technology that has led to the production of useful tools, gadgets, and appliances, people within traditional and home offices are forced to look at screens for hours on end. To prevent the risk of eyesight problems, make sure you choose eye-friendly monitors.
- Receipt Scanner
Even for a startup business running from your garage, organizing and keeping track of your receipts can be challenging. An easy and convenient way to avoid getting lost in a sea of hard copy documents and miscellaneous papers is to invest in a receipt scanner.
Receipt scanners have evolved over the years, and some models have online tools that allow you to consolidate your receipts and access them from any location.
Moreover, you can scan to different locations such as your dedicated file folders, fax, cloud storage, USB memory storage, or even your email. Even compact models like the Brother DS-940DW is packed with feature to ensure you get high-resolution images.
- Desks for Home Office
The need to create an ergonomically correct workstation must not be underestimated. Desks for home office can help enhance your comfort, and by extension, boost your productivity levels.
You don’t have to buy a huge office table if you have limited space. It is perfectly okay to invest in minimalist desks An ideal workstation can go a long way in setting your home-based venture on the right track.
Don’t forget to get a nice desk chair mat as the last thing you want is to scuff up your floor or carpet:
- Computer Chair for Long Hours
One of the greatest hurdles of working from home is that you may no longer depend on a salary. This means that the amount of time you put into work is indicative of the kind of pay you receive each month. It is not unusual for freelance experts to work for hours on end, especially during the weekdays.
Using an ergonomically sound computer chair can reduce the risk of suffering from back pain. According to many freelancers, a comfortable chair is arguably the most vital component in any office—traditional or home-based.
Because ergonomics and comfort are a priority when choosing an office chair, take your time to find a good product to purchase. There are affordable desk chairs under 200 that can make all the good difference in your overall comfort without costing a fortune.
- Desk Lamp
Switching from a regular workplace to a home-based office does not necessarily mean you also need to move to a new apartment. In case your old home does not allow adequate natural light, there are other ways to create a calming and well-lit space.
For instance, you can invest in a desk lamp or floor lamp to increase the light around your workstation. Also, make sure that your desk is right in front of a window to make your workspace more comfortable and productive. Research shows that natural light constricts the pupils, which boosts the reading ability of your eyes.
- Under Desk Elliptical
Even home offices are not so different from their traditional counterparts in the sense that you may spend plenty of time seated in front of a computer screen. To combat the muscle strains typically associated with a lack of frequent movements, you should consider getting an under-desk elliptical.
The device keeps your legs moving even as you remain seated on the same spot. In case your budgets don’t allow you to set up a full home gym, all is not lost. Think of this device as a little bike that’s tucked under your office desk. It’s user-friendly and perfect for all people, including lazy folks like me with low resistance levels.
- L Shaped Desk
Take it from me; an L-shaped desk could offer you viable solutions for your tiny corner office. As long as it’s tucked into a corner, it hardly takes up more space than the standard rectangular desks. The additional tabletop space can be used to store other essential office accessories and generally keep your space clean, neat, and tidy.
The whole idea of investing in an L-shaped desk is to take advantage of the additional surface area and use it to keep other important things within arm’s reach. Before you make a purchase, consider the size, storage features, and construction material of different models.
- Rolling Computer Bag
If your venture involves moving from one place to another, don’t let those heavy laptops and office gadgets weigh you down. While a backpack is practical when transporting a few items, a rolling computer bag is better when carrying heavy gadgets that can easily cause you back problems.
I’m sure you are wondering how about those professional-looking briefcases. Well, most models tend to be unwieldy, not to mention that they keep your hands occupied most of the time. A rolling bag carries a lot of stuff and keeps one hand free at all times. This allows you to travel in style and navigate pitfalls and tricky routes in big cities without much hassle.
- Desk Cable Management System
Even with a few machines in your home office, cables have a special way of getting wild. Investing in a desk cable management system can help you keep that mess of wires out of sight and under control for a neater and safer work environment.
Taming an insane jumble of cables is easy, irrespective of your budget. If you want to de-clutter your workspace and create a healthier and more productive area, we recommend investing in both under desk cable management tools and tabletop tools for managing short cables and wires.
- Handheld Stapler
With the best handheld stapler, you can get simple solutions to getting your wrapping, bagging, and tagging projects completed easily and quickly. Models are available in manual, electric, or pneumatic. While we have nothing against pneumatic and manual staplers, you may want to consider an electric model if you want better reliability, versatility, and efficiency.
- 3D Printer
With a 3D printer, you can take your creativity to the next level and perhaps find a surefire means of expanding your small business. One thing you are likely to appreciate is that 3D printers are today cheaper and more available.
A top-selling 3D printer under 500 is the X-Maker by QIDI Technology. This is a smart device that allows noise-free printing and real-time monitoring of the printing process. It also allows WI-FI connectivity and features a 3.5″ touch screen display for easy control of the 3D print settings.
- Personal Server or Backup Drive
Trust me; you have not lived through your worst nightmare until you lose bulk data crucial to your business. Investing in backup drives and personal servers can help you back up and protect your data from the risk of getting lost.
I prefer using cloud-based backup services that copy files automatically. Even so, having a backup drive is always a good idea. External drives are affordable and can save you from needless headaches in case of unforeseen computer failure.
- Best Laptops
We saved the most essential home office essential for last— a laptop. In a world where smartphones, smartwatches, and even tablets are commonplace, laptops have still managed to remain top of the list of the most important machines for students and professionals.
If you are on a budget and need the best laptop under 400 for your home office, check out the Acer A315-51-31GKsd. Whether you want to write endless emails, compose documents, or keep in touch with your clients, this inexpensive laptop is designed to get the job done.
Basic Principles to Improve Your Home Office Setup
Now that you have great Wi-Fi connection, an ergonomically correct chair, and even adequate lighting for your workstation, it’s time to look into the fine details that make a truly ideal home office setup. Here are a few tips for creating the perfect workspace.
- Set Aside a Separate Space for Your Workstation
Let’s face it; while you may loathe morning commutes to the office, a secondary location plays a crucial role in creating a proper work/life balance. One side of the scale balances your work life while the other holds your home life.
When working from home, your work and home life can easily get cramped on one side of your scale, making everything feel monotonous and boring.
Fortunately, there are brilliant ways to maintain balance, even when working from your residence. The secret is to create a separate space for work that is distinct from your comfort-oriented spaces. If you have a big home with a room you can convert into an office, creating the ideal workspace should be easy-peasy.
All is not lost for apartment dwellers that have no extra rooms. In this case, a bit of creativity is necessary to create a suitable setup. Consider using curtains or room dividers that mark the end of your comfort zone and the start of your workplace.
You want to trick your brain into a working mood. If using room dividers is impossible, consider leaving your home for a short walk right before settling down for work. This can help transition your brain from one part of your day to the other.
- Avoid Distractions
One of the greatest difficulties of working from home is that dodging distractions can be hard and sometimes impossible. While the nanny can keep your kids in check, there is little you can do about the all-day stomper with an apartment right above you.
On the bright side, a white noise machine can help clear sound distractions. You could also opt for sound-canceling headphones, especially if your hood has those random street musicians who sing their hearts out during the most inconvenient moments.
So, your kids are out of the way, and you even have a quiet place to work. What do you do about the urge to entertain yourself with a little Facebook and YouTube during work hours?
Use procrastination apps. I’m a fan of the Freedom distraction blocker because it blocks all apps and websites I tell it to. Also, check out the LeechBlock, which is designed to limit the time you spend on time-wasting sites.
- Let The Sunshine In!
Natural light is known to boost productivity naturally. If possible, set up your workstation in a room that gets plenty of sunshine. This should make it easy to read and help manage your sleep, mood, and overall wellness by regulating the endocrine system.
As I mentioned earlier, try setting your work desk right in front of a window. This is good for your soul because it allows you to connect a little with the world, making you feel less trapped in your work life. Placing your desk facing the window instead of the opposite direction also helps avoid glares that can harm your vision.
In case your apartment does not get plenty of natural light, you can always depend on a full-spectrum of light bulbs. The idea is to mimic natural daylight temperature (6,500 Kelvin).
- Bring In the Outdoors
Allowing the sunshine and natural light into your home office is good. It is even better to breathe life into your space by adding some green. A plant in the room will look pretty, give you a calm feeling, and clean the air.
- Keep It Tidy
Here’s the oldest trick in the book— the organization is the key to productivity.
If you are like most people, your brain naturally feels overwhelmed when there is too much stuff around your workplace. Clutter causes a sensory overload that makes the brain want to turn off and relax. Nobody works well in cluttered or messy space. Make it a trend to clean, declutter, and organize your workspace each day after your working hours.
Here are a few areas simple ideas to help you tidy up your workspace:-
- Install printers, computers and other equipment where it’s easy to conceal cords from view
- Hide cables by tucking them into wiring tubing or hooking them behind furniture pieces. Using a desk cable management system would also be ideal
- Create an efficient organizing and filing system for your documents, binders, and folders
- Keep it clean and welcoming, but not overly cozy lest you are tempted to take a nap
- Throw away items you don’t use and empty the trash
- Wipe down and disinfect surfaces to give your space a professional-looking ambiance
- Create an Inspiring Home Office Setup
Simply because you love a minimalist theme does not mean that everything in your home office should have a practical use. It is perfectly okay to place objects on your desk and shelves that make the space lively. Anything that keeps your mind positive and productive is essential to the success of your home-based operations.
Dive right in and check out these basic ideas on how to decorate your workspace. Hopefully, these tips will turn your boring space into a livelier, more inspiring space.
- Hang several photos of your loved ones
- Ensure office furniture pieces and equipment are placed strategically to improve your comfort and the appearance of your space
- Get artsy and decorate with images that make a statement about your taste
- Place a sentimental item on your desk (try using items that evoke priceless memories)
- On one of your shelves, place an absolutely dumb item that brightens your mood
- Decorate your space with objects/items/ pictures that give your life meaning
- Use rugs to add color to your space and make it more vibrant
- Mind Your Comfort
An achy and restless body is a recipe for disaster, whether you are working from home or in a regular office. The key to a productive mind is ensuring that your body feels comfortable and charged enough to handle the tasks at hand.
Two important pieces of furniture make an office: a desk and chair. Make sure your desk of choice is of practical height. It must also be wide enough to fit a few home office essentials.
As for the chair, affirm that it provides adequate lumbar support. Models that allow height adjustment are ideal because they make it easier to get to a comfortable seating position. Anytime your chair and desk’s height are not appropriate for your body height and size, you risk straining your back when working.
- Stock Up
When your mind is fully charged to clear the day’s workload, the worst thing that could happen is to run out of essential office supplies. I suggest keeping track of essential supplies to figure out the ideal time to stock up.
You obviously don’t want to waste hours on end waiting for supplies to be delivered, and you also don’t want to leave your workstation to run to the store. If a specific item is running low, set a reminder that goes off a few minutes after your regular working hours. This will give you adequate time to source the items you need before the next workday.
- Do I need a laptop stand to work from home efficiently?
If you often work on your computer, then yes, you need a laptop stand. Anything that offers better ergonomics also boosts work efficiency by promoting your comfort. Using a laptop stand can help reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury. The adjustable angle also aids in preventing glares that can cause vision problems.
- Can I listen to music when working?
If you love music, here is great news for you. According to a recent study, almost 79% of people benefit from increased productivity, increased focus, improved moods, and reduced stress by listening to music while working. If you are an audiophile, investing in a quality sound system is essential for your overall work performance at home.
We recommend the Audioengine HD6 150W wireless speakers. They offer studio-quality sound and are the very best in the current markets.
- How do I create a functional home office set up in a small space?
If you have limited space, you can still create a unique and functional workspace where you can handle office tasks efficiently. Start by choosing an out of the way location and strategically place office essentials to avoid making your area look cramped up.
Another excellent tip is to go tall. Use shelving systems to stuck up different essentials. Also, choose a minimalist design and ensure your place has proper lighting. Color schemes can also help make tiny office spaces look cozy, welcoming, and professional at the same time.
Your freelancing endeavors’ success is highly at the mercy of your ability to maximize your space and create an area that inspires productivity and creativity. We have shared all the information needed to set up a winning home office and boost your work morale and efficiency without spending a fortune.
Did I leave out any vital home office setup essentials or tips?
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