We recently posted an article about five key items that any freelancer or small business owner needs for their home office, but we soon realised that we weren’t painting the full picture!
On the surface of it you might think all you need is a printer and a stapler, but in reality there’s more to a home office than meets the eye. Before you take the plunge to becoming a full-time freelancer, here are a few more bits and pieces you should invest in to make the most of having your own workspace.
Of course, these two blogs aren’t meant to be a comprehensive list of everything a home office space needs, but we think it’s a good start.
1. A second monitor
While some people might find a second monitor a bit distracting, for most professions and tasks it can really make a big difference and improve productivity. This extra screen allows you to multitask, gain a clearer picture of your work, and keep many important windows open at once. Once you use two monitors (we even know people who use three), you’ll never go back to one.
2. A comfortable place to sit (or stand)
A good chair can make all the difference in the world. With the correct support, you can prevent and address problems with your posture, shoulder pain, back spasms and sciatica.
Some people are even deciding to eschew chairs or balance balls altogether in favour of stand up desks that allow them to do their work on their feet. No matter what you choose, when you feel more comfortable at your desk, your work will improve, your productivity will pick up and you’ll see a difference in your health.
3. Attractive decor
Have you ever noticed that when you enter a space that you find attractively decorated, your shoulders sort of drop, you breathing deepens, and your overall attitude improves? Studies show that when we spend time in attractive surroundings our productivity can actually improve.
Everyone has different taste when it comes to interior design, but consider adding some houseplants, essential oil diffusers, artwork and other decorative touches. Ideally they’ll help you to reduce stress and think more creatively – and calmly.
4. A reliable printer and scanner combo
It’s a common joke that the printer never seems to work when you need it to the most. When you work in a big office, at least you can call on the IT person to come and have a look, but when you work from a home office it’s all on you. Even if you mostly conduct a paperless business, it’s always a good idea to have a reliable printer/scanner combination on hand for clients and suppliers who don’t.
5. A ‘get outside’ strategy
When you work from home, the temptation to stay indoors 24/7 for days at a time can be strong. After all, why should you even change out of your pyjamas for another day at the home office? This is a sneaky – but detrimental – instinct. Getting dressed, getting outside and getting some fresh air and human contact will help boost your mood and your productivity.
What’s your staple equipment in your home office? Leave a comment below or get in touch over on Twitter.