This spike in working from home has caused office supplies to become a sudden breakout industry. There has been a huge increase in demand for technology and home office supplies with monitors, home printers, computer accessories cables, and standing desks being the most popular products.
Many people in different industries are trying to make working at home the new normal by setting up home workspaces. While working on your laptop at the kitchen table gets the job done and is okay for the first couple of days or weeks, many people want a more permanent setup. Having to move your computer from the kitchen table every time you need to eat and not having a space dedicated to work, doesn’t cut it in the long run.
Dedicating a workspace is the best way to bring the vibe of the office into your home and your home office supplies should be similar to the ones you’re used to using in the office. There are so many things to consider when creating your home office including everything from finding the space for an office, what office supplies you need to order, and how to work most efficiently from home. Here’s what you should keep in mind when creating a home office.
The best way to work from home is to set up an office in a spare room that has a door, but if you don’t have this option available, you can create a makeshift office with small spaces in your house. Consider every nook, corner, closet, or space under the staircase. Also, don’t forget about the attic or basement as possible options. What’s important is that your office space is air-conditioned, has good lighting, and that it’s quiet. If the space has a good view with a window, that’s an added bonus because it can give you inspiration. Make sure there are power outlets close by so you can charge all of your tech gadgets.
In order to be productive, you’ll need to invest in a desk—lounging on the couch or in bed isn’t the most inspiring way to work. The desk should have enough space for your work essentials without being too crowded and it should have room for you to be able to comfortably rest your arms and shoulder while you type. We all know the struggle of finding an office chair that’s comfortable and when we find one that’s the right fit, it’s like a match made in heaven. When buying an office chair, keep in mind that you’ll be spending at least eight long hours sitting in it, so an ergonomic desk chair is a good investment, even if it’s a bit pricy.
Desk or Floor Lamp
If your office space is in an attic or basement, you probably don’t have access to natural light. A well-lit room promotes productivity and it improves your overall mood. For office spaces that don’t have sunlight or windows, standing lights can brighten the room and if you want to brighten your desk space, get a desk lamp.
We mentioned that it’s essential to have a space with power outlets and wiring is just as important. Wiring includes network, system, and printer requirements. Outlets need to be easily accessible and wiring should be concealed. There are concealed boxes with a flap that can open to hide wires. Cable organizers can be used to provide flexibility, especially when you need to use different sides of the table.
There are many tech supplies you’ll need to buy to set up your home office and you may have to get creative when trying to recreate your work office setting as some products may be too expensive or unavailable as office supplies are in high demand right now.
- Monitor: Monitors replicate your dual-screen setup at the office. Whether you’re drafting reports, sending an email, or writing an article, a second monitor makes things much easier and more efficient. A second monitor doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, you can get a 24-inch screen for around $100.
- Webcam: To stay in touch with employees, many companies are setting up office meetings through platforms such as Zoom. If your computer doesn’t have a good webcam, we suggest purchasing one with good sound and video quality.
- Laptop Stand: Laptop stands help raise your screen to the recommended ergonomic position which decreases back and neck pain.
- Noise-Canceling Headphones: Whether you hear sounds coming from outside or your kids are making a lot of ruckus in the other room, noise-canceling headphones will tune out these unwanted distractions. Investing in a good pair will cost you just under $300, but you’ll definitely get a lot of use out of them once you own a pair.
- Power Strip Surge Protector: If you have a lot of devices to plug in or you’re sharing an office space with a family member, power strips allow you to charge more than one device at a time. Making sure your devices stay charged is important because you don’t want your computer to die when you’re working on a document or in the middle of a conference call.
- Printer: If you need to print, fax, or scan documents you’ll need to get a printer. HP printers are now offering free ink for four months if you buy before 5/5/2020.
- Mouse and Mouse Pad: A mouse that can be paired to multiple devices makes switching from different devices much easier. There are wireless mouses available that can connect to Macs, iPads, or Windows computers at the same time!
- Keyboard: Wireless keyboards are essential to any workspaces as they allow you to move around on your desk. Many keyboards also come with a mouse and batteries to charge them.
- Portable Hard Drives and Flash Drives: We can’t stress the importance of backing up all of your files, especially since you may not have the same access to all of your files that you would have working in the office.
- Headset: Headsets come in handy if you have lots of meetings and Bluetooth earpieces are great for this purpose.
It’s hard to get any work done when you’re being slowed down by a bad internet connection. A good router will make sure your connection stays strong, even when multiple people in your house are using the internet at the same time. You can also buy a Wifi hotspot, which gives you a secure internet connection wherever you have service.
Last but not least, having an office space that’s warm and welcoming is important because you’ll be spending a lot of time in it. Make the space your own with photographs, art, inspirational quotes, or your favorite books. You can even paint the office a color that inspires you and brings you joy. You’ll be spending a lot of time in this space and you want it to be a place that’s inviting. Stock up on basic office supplies like notepads, notebooks, Post-its, staplers, pens, and pencils.