Are you planning on working from home?
Due to the recent pandemic, over 71% of Americans run a home office now. It comes as no surprise that you might want to do the same. However, you can’t achieve this without a few home office essentials first.
That said, what does an office need? What are the first things to buy and focus on so you can get the job done even when you’re at home?
Fortunately, we’ve got a list of home office ideas right here to get you started. Continue reading our guide below to learn about the most important office essentials to get:
Good PC or Laptop
Start with a decent desktop PC or laptop. Working from home means you’ll handle the bulk of your tasks online. You’ll remotely communicate with co-workers, staff, and clients.
Do you have to invest in a $2,000 premium laptop? This depends on the type of work you do. For many office workers, a mid-range laptop or PC will suffice.
For people who have to work on 3D graphics, video editing, or other high-end tasks, a more powerful unit will become mandatory. Look for a laptop that has a powerful enough processor, GPU, and enough RAM for multitasking.
Not sure where to look? Check out this overview from lenovo.com to find laptops that are both powerful and affordable.
Desktop or Mobile?
Should you buy a desktop PC or a laptop?
Desktops cost less and you’ll get a lot more utility out of them. They can last longer and you have the freedom to replace parts or upgrade the whole build. For this reason, a PC is a long-term investment.
Laptops for offices are still a great option, however. Keep in mind that you might not always work in the comfort of your home. You might have to bring your work with you, especially if you aim to travel a lot.
A laptop, in this regard, will become an essential tool. You’ll be able to continue working no matter where you go. You’ll also be able to keep working even when you’re in another room in your home!
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
Do you need a wireless keyboard and mouse even if you use a laptop? The answer is a definitive yes. Keep your laptop elevated using the standing desk but use a separate keyboard and mouse to maintain proper arm and hand posture.
At the same time, this ensures you don’t overuse the keyboard built into the laptop. This ensures you won’t break the board and end up carrying an extra keyboard and mouse with you when you travel.
Tablet For Mobile Work
You won’t always be able to bring your PC or laptop with you. Even a small laptop can seem bulky and inconvenient at times. After all, it’s a heavy device with a heavy charger.
For this reason, consider getting a tablet. These devices offer more real estate compared to a phone, allowing you to easily get work done while on the go. They can’t do everything a laptop or PC can, but they’re great alternatives for short-term travel.
If you do need a keyboard and mouse instead of relying solely on a touchscreen, there are Bluetooth ones that work with Android devices. Got an iOS device, like an iPad. Bluetooth keyboards still work with iPads but unfortunately, you won’t be able to use the mouse.
Your home office design won’t feel complete until you get a premium desk. Of course, you need a desk that fits your room space but still provides enough real estate for all your needs. You need enough space for your PC or laptop, extra space for an additional monitor, your tablet, documents, and accessories.
Prioritize an office desk that comes with shelves and drawers. These offer vertical space to store things like documents and other office essentials.
Don’t forget to check the length and height of your office desk. Depending on your height, you may need to adjust the position of your monitor or laptop while sitting down. Try to add a stand for your monitor or laptop to make sure you keep it level with your eyes.
At the same time, you need to make sure that you sit comfortably. If the desk is too small, you might not be able to slide your legs and office chair underneath it.
One good accessory for your home office is a standing desk.
The most expensive type of standing desk is the type where the whole desk can elevate. You’ll also find smaller types, which resemble laptop stands. You can crank these to lift your laptop.
The point of a standing desk isn’t simply to level your monitor with your eyes. A standing desk or platform will also allow you to get off your chair and continue working while standing. This helps maintain good blood flow and will ensure you keep a good posture while working.
While not always necessary, it will be a big benefit for you to use multiple monitors in your home office. You can use one monitor for the main bulk of your tasks and then utilize the second one to monitor your Discord or Slack servers. You can use the other monitor to watch videos or read documents while you run your main app on the other one.
This is why it’s important to check the ports of your PC or laptop. You’ll need at least one more HDMI-out port to be able to use multiple monitors simultaneously.
If you can’t run two or three monitors at once, a tablet could serve as an alternative. Use a stand or a cover with a stand to keep your tablet propped up and facing you.
Don’t ignore the importance of office ergonomics. You’ll spend hours in front of your computer, after all. You need a chair that helps you maintain good posture and comfort.
Most office chairs utilize “breathable fabric.” This is often a type of mesh that keeps your skin cool and comfortable even after long hours of sitting down. Others come with added pillows for neck and lumbar support.
Gaming chairs are a great alternative. They offer many of the same ergonomic designs and features found in great office chairs. You may even enjoy these more because of the bonus accessories, such as built-in Bluetooth speakers, charging ports, and cup holders.
Working from home or on the go means you’ll need to entertain yourself to stay motivated and awake. This is why a lot of people who work from home also use a noise-canceling headset to enjoy music or watch videos during their breaks. Some people keep the music playing even while working since this gets them in the mood.
Regular headsets or earphones can get the job done. However, they might not be enough to keep you from getting distracted by outside noises.
Whether you get a wired or Bluetooth headset is up to you. To enjoy the benefit of both types, get a wireless headset that has a port for a 3.5mm jack or a USB-C cable.
Does your work require you to voice chat or call clients or co-workers? A headset with a built-in microphone can work well but it’s a better option to buy a dedicated microphone. Blue Yeti and HypercastX microphones are some of the best options to consider.
A dedicated microphone is a good start but you shouldn’t stop there. Get a moveable microphone arm you can attach to your office desk. Get a pop filter for your microphone too.
There are two types of microphones to consider. The first is a dynamic microphone, which isn’t a good option for office workers. These pick up a wide range of sounds from all directions and are better for musicians recording off a drum set, for example.
Condenser microphones are the other option and these are the ones you should focus on. They amplify the sound captured right in front of them and provide better clarity for work and gaming purposes.
One of the absolute necessities for an office is a high-speed internet connection. Don’t settle for anything below a wired fiber connection since you don’t want your net to drop in and out during the middle of work. This is especially necessary when transferring large work files or when multitasking.
Get These Home Office Essentials Today
Now you know the different home office essentials you should prioritize before working from home. Set up the right PC, monitors, and accessories. At the same time, focus on getting a good office desk, chair, and stable internet.
Of course, getting the right home office essentials is only the beginning. For more business tips, we invite you to continue reading more of our in-depth lists and posts. We also have guides covering topics from real estate and auto too!