If you're planning to set up an office in your home, you should take some time to figure out exactly what you need. Setting up a home office can be more complex than you might assume. You'll need more than simply a computer and monitor. A home office that empowers you to work as effectively as possible requires several pieces of equipment.
Most home offices are built around a desktop computer connected to a large monitor. Some people prefer laptops over desktops because they make it possible to work from virtually anywhere. Regardless of the type of computer you select, it should fit on your desk and leave sufficient room to spare.
The positioning of your keyboard is very important. Having your hands and wrists at awkward or uncomfortable angles for hours throughout the day can lead to soreness or carpal tunnel. Consider the placement, height, and angle of your keyboard to find the sweet spot for you. This could be either on your desk's surface or on a keyboard tray underneath.
If you opt for a desktop computer instead of a laptop, you will need a monitor. Some professionals use two monitors side by side for optimal visibility and ample room to work. Make sure the monitor you select is appropriately sized for your office space and has HDMI, USB, and audio ports.
A printer is essential to your home office's functionality. Dedicate a space of at least 18" x 24" for your printer. Keep in mind that printer doors and trays might open along the bottom, top, sides and back, so be sure to leave enough extra space in your layout so you can add ink toner or paper without having to move other items to the side.
When buying a new printer, you'll have the option of choosing one that just prints (single function) or a multifunction printer that can also scan, fax, and copy. We recommend choosing a single-function printer. Why? Because the simpler the machine and the fewer parts it has, the more reliable it will typically be; there's less that can go wrong. Learn more about this and other important aspects to consider for your home office printer in our article: How to Choose a Business Printer.
Though it is possible to connect your computer directly to the web through your internet service provider's modem with an ethernet cord, a wireless router is ideal. A Wi-Fi router lets you and others access the web with all of your computing devices, regardless of where you're positioned in the office or home.
Take a look at router reviews before committing to one, and take speed into account when shopping around. Also consider having a professional review your home network to ensure it's securely configured to keep hackers out. Some routers have built-in VPN servers that allow you to connect to your secure network when you're away from home.
Bluetooth and/or USB Headset
Those who spend most of their workday at the computer will benefit from a USB office headset, which can be comfortably worn during lengthy conference calls. Some also have mic filters that muffle background noise. Those who use the phone on and off during the day or need to make and receive calls while on the go should consider investing in a Bluetooth headset.
Every home office machine and device should be plugged into a surge protector. Do not assume your current surge protector is still functional. Surge protectors should be replaced every couple years as their circuits wear out. Unfortunately, some surge protectors will appear to still work even when these circuits are zapped. Opt for a surge protector like the Tripp Lite TLP1008TEL, and you will have no question as to whether it's functional or not. It provides protection against common electrical threats and 10 outlets for all of your home office needs.
In our next article, we will explain how to keep your equipment and data safe, so be sure to stay tuned!
Need Help? Call Dymin!
Need help setting up your home office? We offer in-home technology consultations for our customers in and around the Des Moines area. We can assess your current computer setup, review your network and wireless signal performance, and make personalized recommendations for upgrades.
If you ever experience any sort of problem with your computer or network, our experts are available to help. We also provide in-home computer repair and installation services. Reach out any time!