Home isn’t just where the heart is. For many workers, it’s also where the office is. According to recent U.S. Census figures, approximately 13 million Americans work from the comfort of their own home office at least once per week. For many people, working out of a home office has plenty of advantages, including the perks of being just footsteps away from the comforts of home.
Making any home office successful means creating a computing environment you can work efficiently in. That means having a few handy peripherals nearby to make the work day as productive as possible. The following goes through some of the must-have items needed for the modern home-based workplace:
If you have to attend to a meeting in person or if you just want to grab a cup of coffee, it pays to have a portable computing solution at hand. A lightweight laptop or even a tablet with long battery life and enough power to run the most demanding office productivity software gives you a remarkable advantage in overall versatility when compared to a desktop PC.
Companies like Lenovo offer thin and lightweight laptops for getting work done on-the-go. You can visit their homepage to find out about the company’s line of Thinkpad and Ideapad laptops, Ultrabooks and tablets.
Reaching Out with VoIP
Having your home office means staying in touch with colleagues and bosses back at the main office. You may already have a cell phone and/or a land line in place, but it’s also a good idea to have Internet-based “Voice over Internet Protocol” (VoIP) phone service. Juniper Research predicted that over the top (OTT) mobile VoIP services will see over a billion users by 2017.
In most cases, VoIP services are less expensive than most cell phone and land line phone plans and offer plenty of extras, including affordable international calling and unlimited domestic long-distance calling. Companies like Vonage offer relatively inexpensive VoIP plans, while Skype and Google Talk offer most of their Internet calling services for free.
Lending an Ear
In addition to VoIP, you might want to also invest in a mobile headset that offers good audio clarity, excellent noise cancellation and ergonomics that provide all-day comfort. If you use speech recognition or teleconferencing software on a regular basis, having a great headset can mean the difference between crystal clear and muddled communication.
Last but not least, you might want to think about ways you can back up your data. According to research from Pepperdine University, hardware failure and human error are the two leading factors behind data loss. Losing those important work files could mean losing more than just your time.
One of the many ways you can protect your data is by backing up all of your files to a network attached storage (NAS) device. Unlike a standard external hard drive that connects directly to your computer, an NAS device connects to your network, allowing you to retrieve and store data across multiple computers without constantly disconnecting and reconnecting your external hard drive.