You finally got what you wished for. You landed enough side-gig clients to make your dream of working for yourself a full-time job, or else you negotiated with your employer to work remotely more often (or perhaps permanently). Either way, you’re ready to dig in at home. But before you do, here are the tools you'll need in order to be successful. Remember, if you're not careful, and you don’t set yourself up right, you’ll be back to the 9-to-5 corporate grind before you know it.
1. Tech for your desk
Working from home means you might be sitting in the same spot, without moving, for very long periods of time. This might lead to some unfocused hours, and perhaps some back pain. So, you need to get your desk set up for maximum productivity.
Start with an awesome standing desk with the perfect built-in technology for cords, docking stations, and chargers for your computer and phone. Options like this Varidesk can help improve your posture as well as the time you waste running back into another room to check your phone while it’s charging.
Combine your new standing desk with a tabletop charging station or a wireless charging hub with numerous ports for all of your work technology. Think about it, shouldn’t you have a wireless charging station for each and every one of your important products? Don’t let your cords slow you down.
2. Cut the cord for phone calls
There's no reason to let your wired headphones (most likely tangled up in your backpack) slow your work day down, either. There are so many options for bluetooth phone capabilities that you’ll surely find one that works well for you.
If you’re making a lot of client phone calls, these calls might be a great time for you to stand up and move your body while discussing reports with clients or coworkers. To do this, check out your options like BOSE noise canceling, bluetooth enabled headphones, Apple’s AirPods, JLad Jbuds, or any of the awesome products on this list.
Calls are a great time to keep your body moving and walk around. Moving helps your blood as well as your creative juices flow.
So you finally got your desk set up and you’re feeling good about your home office, right? Well, now it’s time to get to work. In order to work effectively and efficiently, you need to ensure that your computer and your software programs are up to speed. Start with Slack. Slack is an incredible communication tool to help you stay in touch with clients, coworkers, contractors, and everyone you need to be in touch with on a normal work day. Instead of clogging up your colleagues' email inboxes with quick questions, use Slack to instant message them. You can also set up individual channels for different projects within the company.
The best part is you can select which people join individual channels. That way, if you’re working on a project with just one or two other people, the entire company won’t be bothered by your chat and communication. Slack is an incredible way to streamline efficient communication when working from home.
4. Google Drive
Have you ever worked on a huge document with coworkers, but one person along the chain forgot to save your changes or track their own changes? Yes, we’ve all been there. Enter Google Drive.
If you’re working remotely, you need to keep track of files and you need to collaborate in real-time with people who you are not sitting next to. The best part about using Google Docs or Google Sheets is that you can work through a document, in real-time, with other remote workers without the need to save any changes. All updates are saved automatically in real-time, so that when the next person opens the file, there's not even a question that they’re viewing the most recent version. A win-win for all!
5. Innovative lighting
Lighting, especially in a home office, is hugely important for staying focused and efficient at your desk. You don’t want too much lighting to the point where you’re squinting at your monitor. But you also don’t want the atmosphere to be too dark. This could lead to some unwanted, unplanned naps!
First, access as much natural light as you can. Take a look at your space, and if there's natural light nearby, use it. Overhead lighting is key, too. Next, try out a classic desk lamp with controllable brightness options. These tried and true desk lamps can bring everything into focus for you. You can use the flexible arm to adjust height and angle to suit the project you’re working on. To avoid eyestrain, you’ll need the best lighting possible.
Finally, finish off your office with an innovative LED table lamp to add some ambient light to your office. With the Hue Beyond LED Smart Table Lamp, you can control the colors to make the vibe in your office exactly what you need it to be for any work mode that you might find yourself in.
Sam Radbil is the lead writer for ABODO Apartments, an online real estate and apartments marketplace with available apartments in cities like Chicago, Austin, New York City, and more. ABODO’s research and writing has been featured nationally in Curbed, Forbes, Realtor.com, HousingWire, and more.
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