You don’t have to work from home to have an office/space to call your own
My current consist of a laptop desk, my king size bed and my computer. I’m definitely in need of an office space.
I adore this office by Katelyn James
Even if you have no desire to go freelance, you might be able to talk your boss into letting you work from home—at least part of the time. Working from home saves money—both for you and for your boss. Of course, before you can get any work done, you need to make sure that your home office is properly set up. Here’s how you do that:
You need to be able to communicate with clients (or coworkers). Spend some time researching the best audio conferencing solutions, the best internet connections, etc. You’ll want a working phone line (you can use VoIP technology like Skype to save money here). You might also want to set up a fax line in case your clients or boss won’t let you simply scan in and email signed documents.
Obviously you know that you need a computer. You’ll want a computer with a good sized hard drive, a back up drive, a web cam, speakers, etc—the whole shebang. You will also want a printer. You can save money by getting a machine that will print, scan and fax. If you want to save even more money and time, you’ll get a laser printer instead of an ink jet. Laser printers cost more but their toner cartridges yield more pages and the printing process is much quicker and smoother than with an inkjet.
Beyond the desk and the desk chair (look for something ergonomic so that you can be comfortable and healthy) you’ll also want a filing cabinet and a printer stand. A bookshelf is also a good idea for storing manuals and technical publications that you might want to keep handy. Beyond that it’s up to you.
The Physical Office
If you can swing it, you’ll want your office to be a completely separate room, preferably one with a door. A window is nice but not absolutely necessary. A dedicated home office with a closeable door allows you to deduct certain home expenses on your taxes and maybe even a portion of your rent and your mortgage payments. Beyond that, it provides you with a quite place in which you can work without being disturbed.
If you can’t swing an entire room that’s okay. Choose a quiet corner of your home and make sure that your family knows that it is for business purposes not personal ones. Make sure they know not to dump their own things on your desk or chair or to use your work computer without supervision.
A lot of people love the idea of working at home but they rarely think about how to actually set up their working environments correctly. The things we’ve talked about here are just the basic things you must have. Everything beyond this (including business-friendly software, IT, and other infrastructure questions) is up to you. How do you work best?