According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly a quarter of all employees spend at least some of their time working from home. With telecommuting and flexible work schedules becoming more popular, that number will continue to rise. If you’re bringing work home, you’ll need the right setup. Here are seven essentials of a fully functioning home office:
- Set office hours.
The key to successfully working from home is having friends and family recognize that, even though you’re at home, you’re still at work. Call display on your phone can help screen out personal calls.
- Dedicate a space.
Trying to get work done at the dining table is a recipe for disaster. There are too many distractions and you’ll waste time packing up at the end of each day. You need to have a dedicated work space, ideally with a door you can close.
- Furnish well.
Invest in a good-sized desk, the most comfortable chair you can afford and a desk lamp that offers bright, clear task lighting. If you need to host client meetings, make sure you have a seating area for guests.
- Store it.
Have key resources readily at hand on bookshelves and in filing cabinets. But you don’t have to settle for institutional-looking steel storage units. You can find stylish storage that works hard while still looking good.
- Support your tech.
Protect your computer and other sensitive electronics with a surge-protection power outlet. A universal power source will provide short-term power to your computer so you can save files and shut down in a blackout. Also, consider online cloud storage, which lets you access your files anywhere.
- Go all in.
An all-in-one printer, scanner and fax machine is an affordable, compact hub for most business needs. And buy a shredder to destroy confidential info.
- Keep the line free.
If your job requires you to spend a lot of time on the phone, invest in a headset or a good-quality speakerphone to free up your hands while chatting. You also don’t want to be fighting your family for phone access or be interrupted in the middle of an important call, so consider installing a separate phone line. If you’re self-employed, the monthly bill is tax-deductible.
Help protect your business with a BOP: a business owner’s policy available through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Get a quote today.
Do you have a home office? Tell us about it below.
By Allan Britnell