If you are working from home now, or you are going into a new job where you’ll be working from home, there are some things that you absolutely must have in order to be successful.
Working from home has never been easier. With the internet, you can do almost anything from anywhere. Most people think that all you really need is a computer and an internet connection.
But that’s not the whole truth.
So what tools and equipment do you need to work from home?
At the very least you need:
- quality high-speed internet service
- the best laptop you can afford
- good headphones
- A surge protector power strip
- A printer & scanner
- extra batteries & chargers
But what about a desk?
And what about organization and planning?
Keep reading – I’ve got you covered.
While working from home is great, it does require certain tools & equipment to make it happen. In this article, I’ll go over everything you need to get started and get your home office setup done the right way.
Real quick, before we get too far into it here, if you want to get more great ideas for your gaming room or home office and want to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.
What Equipment Do I Need To Work From Home?
If you’re working from home, you may be able to get by with just three items: an internet connection, a reliable power source, and a good laptop computer.
But that’s just very bare-bones minimum and really isn’t good for much more than an afternoon; and certainly not enough for a more permanent work from home arrangement.
If you’re like so many of us who permanently work from home then you’ll find yourself needing some additional equipment to set yourself up for success working remotely.
So what I’ve done is put together 3 different levels of gear you’ll need, whether it’s stuff provided by your employer or stuff you need to pick up on your own, and transform that spare bedroom or extra space into a comfortable work from home environment.
The first level of gear is pretty basic but is absolutely essential if you want to do any serious work from home.
Good High-Speed Internet Service
Nothing is more essential to a good work from home setup than a good internet connection.
This is something that a lot of people overlook when they get setup to work from home, thinking that the basic level of internet service they’re used to using will be sufficient.
However, that’s not the case.
When it comes to working from home where you’re going to be on video conference calls, the speed or your internet service makes a huge difference.
The speed at which you can manage these calls, upload and download large working files among other things is something you’ll notice very quickly if your internet service is not enough to do the job right and make or break how productive you feel as a remote worker.
Click here to learn more about how many gb of data you need to work from home.
The Best Laptop You Can Afford
At the very center of your work from home business hub is your computer. It will be your best friend, your trusted partner, and your constant companion.
It’s what you use to do your job, connect with the working world, create content, edit documents, and much more. So, it needs to be powerful enough to handle whatever tasks you throw at it.
That means you should look for a computer that has as fast a processor as you can get, plenty of RAM and storage space, processing power, and battery life.
Headphones (To Keep Hands Free While Talking) For Calls Or Remote Work
A good set of headphones is indispensable when it comes to working from home.
They allow you to keep your hands free so you can type faster, take notes, or otherwise focus on your work without getting distracted by having to hold your phone while talking.
A good set of headphones or earbuds will also have a noise-cancelling feature that’s great if you h ave roommates, or other background activity that you’d rather tune out while you’re working.
Surge Protector & Power Strip
The number of tools you will need to get power to can grow quite large depending on the amount of equipment you plan to use.
So setting up a home office means you’re going to need more power and having a high-quality surge protector is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to protecting your valuable stuff in your home office.
You don’t want to go through the hassle of losing your expensive electronics because of an electrical spike.
And for those days when you’re working at a coffee shop or a coworking space like WeWork, you’ll need a power strip that gives you the flexibility to plug in your gear without taking up all the outlets.
Extra Batteries & Charging Cables
Carrying an external battery to power your phone is essential if you are going to be working remotely where charging resources may be limited.
Also, make sure you’ve got a good car charger. And not just a phone charger, but a charger for your laptop as well. This is important because you don’t want to leave your laptop unplugged in overnight only to find out that the battery died during the night.
Having additional power for your laptop that you can carry with you while leaving the other at home means you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your charger again. I’ve got two chargers for my Macbook – one that’s permanently plugged in in my office, and the other is always in my bag that I carry with me.
Printer & Scanner
No office is complete without having a good printer.
Depending on what your business needs are, you might need a printer that’s designed for business use as opposed to the consumer version.
If you’re looking for something that’s easy to use, consider a laser printer instead of inkjet printers. Laser printers produce less heat than their inkjet counterparts, which makes them better suited for businesses where there could be frequent printing.
In addition, a scanner is a must-have part of any home office. The need to scan documents and convert them to digital files is a standard part of work life now.
Now that we’ve covered the basics for what you need to work from home, let’s dig a little deeper into some of the bigger things you need to get for your home office setup.
Most people who are working from and have left the office permanently aren’t able to bring home their gear from their office, which can put you into a bit of a bind when setting up your remote office.
But these are things you need things are vital to being productive in your work so these are the things that you may need to talk to your company about purchasing for you, or picking up yourself.
Adjustable Standing Desk
A good home office starts with a good desk, and the best standing desk for a home office is one that’s adjustable so you’re neither sitting nor standing all day.
An adjustable standing desk not only lets you adjust the height of your desk based on how tall you are but also moves enough to accommodate whether you prefer to sit or stand while working.
To learn more about why an adjustable standing desk is the best solution for your home office, click here.
An Ergonomic Office Chair
You have no idea how much an ergonomic chair makes in your life until you’ve experienced the benefits of using one.
I’m lucky enough to work from home full time, and I spend my entire working day at my desk, alternating between periods of sitting and standing.
But after years of spending hours a day hunched over my keyboard, my back started hurting.
It wasn’t until I switched to a standing desk and an ergonomic office chair that things changed.
Now I feel great every single day.
It’s worth noting that the best chairs aren’t necessarily the ones that look fancy or cost a lot of money.
Instead, they should fit your body type and offer support for your posture.
In your home office you don’t always have the convenience of having your internet connection wired right into the room. If you’re like me, your primary internet connection comes into your living room, but your office is in another room on the other side of the house.
If you can get your wireless router closer to your office and improve your signal, great!
For the rest of us though, we need more help.
This means that getting a good WiFi signal can be difficult, so getting a Wi-Fi booster or Wi-Fi range extender can really help.
While great earbuds or headphones are great some of the time, sometimes, those same earbuds can get uncomfortable or you want to hear things out loud.
That’s when you need a pair of speakers.
When you’re listening to music or watching videos, you probably already know this, but it bears repeating: You really do need to invest in quality speakers.
For example, maybe you want to listen to music often, you’ll want to invest in a set of quality desktop speakers.
Or you can get wireless Bluetooth speakers. They’re small, portable, and easy to move around the house.
Whiteboards can now be found in just. about every classroom and office world, and if you don’t have. one for your home office, you’re missing out.
Whether you’re doing brainstorming sessions, making lists, or writing down notes, a white board is essential to keeping track of everything you need to remember.
They’re fantastic for drawing diagrams, sketches, and planning out ideas and just about anything else where you need to capture ideas and illustrate concepts quickly.
A Big Screen Monitor
Laptop screens are better than they’ve ever been but as good as they are, they’re still small.
Having a big-screen extra monitor can be a huge benefit to productivity and creativity.
Getting a second display screen can help you keep up with what’s going on in multiple applications simultaneously.
Whether you just want a bigger screen to use with your laptop by using a docking station, or you want to create multiple monitor setup, having a larger display is a huge benefit for your home office.
If you’re looking for a way to make your home office more productive, check out our guide to the best monitors for your needs.
Using a voice-activated digital assistant like Siri or Alexa can make your work life easier.
With these tools, you can ask questions, find information, and control smart devices all without lifting a finger.
There are so many things you can control from a digital assistant like your AC, your lighting, etc.
You can add stuff to your to-do list, search through recipes, play music, read news headlines, and shop with the sound of your voice.
Some people prefer to use their own personal assistants, like Google Assistant, Cortana, and others.
You might also consider getting a smart speaker like Google Home or Amazon Echo Dot so you can play audio content through your device.
Your Own Wifi Hotspot When You’re Not In Your Home Office
Have you ever had to have an on-site meeting with a client, but their internet access is locked down tighter than Ft. Knox?
There’s something to be said for using your phone as a wireless hotspot, but having a dedicated portable wifi hotspot device is even better.
These devices allow you to connect to to the internet using mobile data and can power your meeting or presentation.
This is especially useful if you’re traveling or attending events that require you to stay connected to the web – you never have to worry about whether or not the free wifi service available at places like airports, and hotels, will be good enough for you to get work done (and often times, it’s not. I’ve learned that one the hard way).
You can also use them to share files, stream media, and browse the web.
The only caveat is that you’ll need to pay for the monthly internet access fee with your carrier, but these plans are usually very affordable.
If you really want to get the full office vibe while working from home here are a couple tools that will make your experience much more comfortable.
Ember Smart Coffee Mug
I got one of these as a gift a couple years ago and they are absolutely fantastic.
Never do you have to worry about your perfectly mixed coffee or tea getting cold too fast because the temperature is controlled by your smartphone.
Even better is that it has an included charging coaster so your favorite hot beverage will stay hot as long as you’d like.
An Under-desk Footrest
Being able to prop up your feet on something while you’re sitting at your desk is essential to being comfortable.
It’s important to make sure your feet are supported while sitting at your desk and using a footrest makes it easy to rest your legs and keep the blood flowing plus it gives you some extra space to spread out your legs.
To be seated at your desk in a way that’s ergonomic means you need to get your chair height, desk height and monitor height all set at the right levels and sometimes that can mean your feet and legs are in an odd position.
A good under-desk footrest takes care of that.
A Good Multiport Hub
If you’re using a laptop and want to use an external monitor, keyboard and mouse, odds are your laptop ports are going to fill up quickly.
Using a multiport hub allows you to free up those ports and give yourself more options.
You can get one that expands the USB ports you have available, provide HDMI connections, power options and more.
The best part is they’re portable so you can take them with you when you’re working at that coffee shop.
Want to connect with other remote workers, contractors, freelancers, gamers and people who work from home who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office or gaming room setup the best it can be?
Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!