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11 Items you need to set up a home office in your apartment
Everything you need to work at home
If you’re working from home you may be tempted to just plop down on your couch with your laptop on, well, your lap. But if you want to be successful working from home you don’t want to do that. You should set up in a space that is strictly for work where you can separate private life from home life, and minimize noise and other distractions that will keep you from doing your best. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of eleven must have items to set up a home office!
What you need for your home office
If you’ve got yourself space, some comfy (non-pajama) clothes, and a mug of your favorite beverage, you’re well on your way to setting up a home office. But here are a few items you’ll need to make your space as productive and efficient as possible.
1. Home office desk
It may be tempting to plop on your couch and put your laptop on your, well, lap, but trust us, that’s not a sustainable way to work at home. You’re going to want a good desk. There are many choices out there, including this L-shaped desk from Walker Edison that can support multiple monitors, a CPU stand, and a slide-out keyboard drawer.
Tight on space? Try this Cubiker Writing desk for around $75 on Amazon.
Stand-up adjustable desks are also popular and may even provide a few health benefits. If money is tight, however, you could get yourself a desk on Craigslist or Letgo for little (or no) money.
2. Comfy Office Chair
This is something else you might be able to snag on eBay or via Craigslist. However, many people feel more personally about their office chairs than they might about their desks, as they’ll be parking their rump on one of these for hours at a time.
Consider getting an ergonomic chair. These can sometimes be pricey, but you can find several support options for under $100.
3. Home office laptop
Depending on your job, your company may provide you with certain hardware, such as a laptop. But in many cases, such as freelance work, you’ll need to bring your own hardware to your home office.
The requirements for a good work laptop are slightly different from, say, a gaming laptop or one you might use to take notes in a college lecture hall. A lot of this comes down to personal preference.
Perhaps you prefer to use a Mac computer.
4. Office printer
When you work in an office, you might take it for granted that you can print out any work documents (or the occasional non-work document. Don’t worry. We won’t tell anyone!). But when you work from home, it’s all on you.
There may be times when you need to print or scan a document. In light of that, you may want to get an all-in-one printer to fulfill your work-from-home needs.
If you’re working from home, chances are you’ll be involved with a lot of audio and video calls and conferences. You may be working a role where you’re constantly talking to customers or you may need to keep in touch with your bosses or direct reports.
In this case, it’s a great idea to have a good headset, especially if there’s a potential for interruptions lingering around your home office (children, pets, mischievous imps, or what have you).
Here’s a more elaborate, noise-canceling option for the really noisy environments.
6. A good keyboard
Your laptop will certainly have a built-in keyboard, but that’s often not good enough, and it tethers you to your machine.
If you get a good Bluetooth keyboard, you have more flexibility.
Plus, if you choose the right one, you can link it to several different devices, getting a lot of bang for your buck.
7. A wireless mouse
If you’re anything like us, you’ve begrudgingly learned to use the touchpad on your laptop, but there are times when a mouse can be more convenient. And who uses a mouse with a tail these days, anyway?
Find yourself a good wireless mouse, and you’ll increase your productivity and decrease your frustration.
8. A monitor
Even if you were able to splurge for the big laptop, a 17” screen often isn’t enough to do your work. And, for many workers, having two screens really helps increase productivity and efficiency.
According to one New York Times study, a second monitor can increase your productivity by 20-30%. So you should think about getting an external monitor.
A nice, big, clear monitor can reduce eyestrain and help you a better worker.
9. A webcam
Let’s face it: so much of our work these days is done on video conferences. Whether it’s Zoom, Webex, Google Meet, or the whatever the latest and greatest new option, you’re going to end up staring into your webcam and asking “Dave, are you on mute? Am I frozen?” and the like.
Help make your video conferencing better by getting an external webcam.
It’ll be better than the one you have built into your laptop, and it’ll make your life easier.
10. A microphone
A good companion to your new webcam would be an external microphone.
You want to make sure your fellow conferencing participants can hear your voice, and using an external mic can go a long way toward avoiding frustration. Plus, if you ever want to start a podcasting career, you’re well on your way!
11. Comfort accessories
You’re going to be spending a ton of time in your home office. You should think about what you would want in order to spruce up your space and make it more comfortable. Maybe you’d want to splurge on a new coffee maker, a spiffy Bluetooth speaker, or even a comfy pair of slippers.
Think about what would make your life better (we would suggest getting a new pet to keep you company, but that may not be right for everyone!)
The best home office for working remotely
Maybe you LOVE the idea of working at home. Maybe you’re doing it reluctantly. Maybe it’s a temporary situation and maybe it’s long-term. No matter what your circumstances are, you’ll do right by yourself by setting up a good home office.
Make sure you have a comfortable space, the right clothes and lighting, and the right internet speeds, then take a look at this list and see what items you need to obtain (or upgrade) to make your work-from-home experience as productive and pleasant as it can be!
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