Working from home has become increasingly common – some of the latest available statistics show that as of 2018, there were five million employees working at home at least half of the time, and likely many others, freelancers, gig workers, contractors, and the like, doing so too. Millions more were likely added to that figure just recently due to stay-at-home orders.
No matter which situation you’re in personally, perhaps you just bought one of the Little Rock houses for sale, or you’ve been in your place for a while, and want to have the right set up for productivity, these are the six must-haves for working from home.
Dedicated Work Space
If you have an extra room in your house, that’s the obvious place for a dedicated workspace, but it doesn’t have to be an entire room, you could set up a desk in the corner of your bedroom, or another room. The important thing is to avoid mixing your home and work life, creating a space where you can work without distraction.
While this is obvious, some jobs may require you to have a specific type of computer, for example, one with a Windows operating system. If you’re telecommuting, working directly for a company, rather than freelancing, you’ll want to find out the specific requirements. Otherwise, investing in a quality laptop or computer is critical. Take time to research to find the best value to suit your needs.
An Internet Connection
Most of us have an Internet connection these days, but as you’ll be working from home, it’s important to be sure that it’s fast and reliable. If you don’t have a good, consistent connection, it’s going to cause problems. If you find that you frequently can’t get work done because your Internet’s down, you’ll eventually lose clients, or be forced to return to the office if you’re an employee.
Printer and Scanner
You may not think you’ll use a printer/scanner much in your day-to-day tasks, but they’re relatively inexpensive – in fact, you can get a wireless color printer with a copier and scanner for well under $100. You’ll need it for signing forms, contracts, and more.
A High-Quality Chair
When you’re working all day at a desk, your chair is something you shouldn’t skimp on. It’s worth it to invest in a high-quality chair which you should not only be able to adjust the height, but look for something that’s shaped to match the natural contour of your spine to provide lumbar support. If it has armrests, it will help take some of the strain off your neck and shoulders. The armrests should also be adjustable so that you can position them in a way that is most comfortable for resting your arms, which means you’ll be less likely to slouch.
Antivirus software like Norton is a must. Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash are essential too, and they’re both free. While Microsoft Word is commonly used by many, Google Docs is another option and it’s free for personal use. Skype is generally the go-to-app for video calls and it’s also free – you’ll be able to video chat with multiple recipients, send instant messages and call both mobile phones and landlines in countries across the globe. You might want to consider time tracking software like Toggl too.