You did it! You’ve finally quit the hustle and bustle to conquer the world from the peace of your own home as a solo entrepreneur. Whether you’re a freelancer or a private contractor, venturing out on your own is a big deal, and you need a proper workplace from which to slay remote work. Your home office is where the magic will happen; therefore, it needs to be functional to enable you to work efficiently.
Where do you start? Your mind may be a jumble of a lot of different things that you want to get. That’s why we’re here to help with a list of the home office essentials that you should get your hands on. These will not only set you on the path of solo entrepreneurship, but they will also increase productivity and inspire creativity. That being said, let’s begin!
The real first step to solo entrepreneurship is recognizing your specialty or line of business. When making a selection of your home office essentials, it’s crucial to first look at your particular needs. Here are a handful of things that you can do to get the ball rolling:
Make a list of your daily tasks and the jobs that you will be doing regularly, if not daily. Doing this will help you determine the essentials that you will need for remote work.
Think about the space that you have available to you. This is important when shopping for bigger furniture pieces like desks, chairs, and storage units. You might have your room converted into your home office or a little corner carved out in the odd space between your living and dining rooms. No matter how big or small, you can be clever when deciding on which items to purchase to make any amount of space work for you.
Be aware of your budget. Having one is not the same as sticking to one, so make a conscious effort to do both. Separate the home office essentials that you can splurge on from those that you can opt for more budget-friendly alternatives to ensure that you’re not being stingy when it comes to quality where it matters.
Find out what motivates you and make space for it in your home office. This last bit might not be the easiest thing to do, especially when you don’t have a lot of floor space to work with. But doing so will help not only motivate you but spark inspiration, increase productivity, and improve the quality of your output.
Figuring out what you need may be daunting for you that’s why we’re here to help. Below is a list of home office essentials that you might want to consider acquiring first. These are the building blocks, the foundation for a productive workspace. Get your pen and notepad ready, and let’s begin:
Your highest priority when getting your home office essentials together is to acquire a top-of-the-line computer. You might think any computer will do, and that may be correct and might suffice for some time, but if you want to increase productivity and deliver quality work, you need a computer that is up for the challenge. Here are the things that you need to look out for when buying one:
A dual-core CPU to make smooth transitions from one task to another possible
A sizeable RAM (8GB to 16GB is ideal, especially if you will be dealing with a lot of graphics)
Ample hard drive storage
Graphic cards (the processing power should depend on your tasks)
A monitor with enough screen size to allow you to see its contents better
You can choose a desktop for most of the heavy work, particularly considering you already have your workspace carved out at home. You can park your desktop there and focus on the work that needs doing. However, you might also want to consider getting a laptop as a backup.
Being a solo entrepreneur, you might be required to travel a little bit. Also, let’s face it: you might also have unsavory encounters with cabin fever over time, so you will need to get out of the house now and then. For this, you will need a laptop that you can take with you everywhere and still get work done.
Your desktop might come with a keyboard but don’t hesitate to get a new one that’s more user-friendly and easier on the wrists. The same goes for your mouse. When using both, pay attention to feelings of strain or soreness both in your fingers and wrists. When it comes to your keyboard, you should be able to splay your fingers and move your wrists freely. As for your mouse, it should fit your hand comfortably. For added support, consider getting a wrist rest and mouse pad with an attached wrist support.
You’ll be working on it for most of 8 to 9 hours per day, so your desk should be a place where work can be done, yes, but it should also be able to fit all of your supplies and work basics. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a desk:
The depth should allow for ample distance between your eyes and the computer screen
Its edges should be smooth or rounded to avoid straining your arms and wrists
It should be sturdy with steady legs to avoid wobbling over time
Even without an attached pedestal, your desk should have storage for notepads and pens or a place to stow your keyboard and mouse if needed
It should have enough leg room so you’re not banging your knees and space to allow you to stretch your legs
If you can and if you have sufficient room in your budget, consider getting a standing desk or a sit-stand desk. This way, you can work while sitting down, and you can raise the desk surface to a standing position when needed. A standing desk can help alleviate lower back pain, Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT, and other ailments.
Some solo entrepreneurs, especially influencers, take standing desks to a whole new level by getting a walking pad, making exercise possible even while working. If you’re swamped with work and have a lot to do, you can put your walking or running shoes on along with your workout gear and get your steps in while also being productive in your home office.
As aforementioned, you will be working at your desk for at least 8 to 9 hours. This means you need a home office chair that’s comfortable, functional, and presentable. There are a lot of cost-effective choices available in the market: various seating options in several colors, fabrics, and textures. Your main objective is to get a chair that’s worth investing in, one that prevents injury, discomfort, or long-term damage to your body.
You can get a swivel or a sled chair – whatever goes with your home office aesthetic. The important things to consider when getting one as part of your home office essentials are:
Seat height: You should be able to comfortably rest your foot on the floor while sitting down (you can also opt for a footrest)
Backrest: Test for good lumbar support to avoid back pains
Armrest: Added support for positioning the chair as well as a place to rest your arms when they get weary
Finish: Consider the climate where you live. Breathable mesh fabrics work best if you expect your home office to get warm and humid in the summer
You might experience a lessening of comfortability with your chair due to normal wear and tear, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to toss it out. Add a memory foam chair cushion to your list of home office essentials and see how it improves the functionality, look, and feel of your office chair.
Because you’re expected to be on video calls now and then to clients or suppliers and even the rest of your team, obtaining top-quality audio and video equipment is a must. Your computer might come with a built-in camera, but the picture grade might not be up to par. Put your best face forward by purchasing an external camera that takes better pictures and videos.
In the same vein, you want to eliminate noise and distortions by purchasing high-standard headphones and a mic combo. Noise-canceling headphones with sound-isolating microphones work best if you do not have your home office in an enclosed space.
An alternative to these, or if you only have enough budget for regular cameras, mics, and headphones, is to lay down a carpet on your home office floor to muffle the sound bouncing off of it. You can also make your soundproofing cubicle with egg cartons or foam and plywood if you’re up for some DIY. A more time-saving solution is getting a partition or room divider to double as background for video calls aside from providing separation.
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Regardless of advancements in technology, solo entrepreneurs still have to deal with paperwork. For this, file storage needs to be made part of your list of home office essentials. You need some sort of storage system for bills, invoices, and other work-related printouts. There are a lot of more affordable options if you’re buying a new file cabinet. You can also shop second-hand and get a proper pedestal for extra room for supplies and refills.
If you don’t want the conventional storage solutions or don’t have enough room, you can make use of vertical space by going with a bookshelf instead or even those wall-mounted shelves. There are also file bins that you can mount on walls that you can buy. Whatever you go with, whether you elect to go paperless, include storage in your home office essentials. Even a little room can hold a lot of consequential bits and bobs.
Speaking of storage, think about getting your fireproof safe for your most important documents such as permits, certificates, or proofs of sale and the like. If you’re creative or if you just want more room for odds and ends, add an external hard drive for extra memory to your computer.
The optimal choice is to acquire a virtual file storage solution, which serves as a method for housing files in a virtual environment. This eliminates concerns about cumbersome cabinet units or cables. You or any collaborator can access files online or offline anytime you need to, grant special access permissions, and more! You can have peace of mind knowing that your files are safe and secure. If needed, you can also integrate your virtual drive with other tools like Office 365 and the like.
You’ll be surprised to find out that you can get a lot of use out of a printer. You might get away with not having one, depending on the nature of your business, but a printer is one of the home office essentials that’s just nice to have around. For example, you need to sign something, but you don’t have software that allows you to do so online. You can get that done with an all-in-one printer with a scanner.
Since you have a printer, it only makes sense to add a shredder to your list of home office essentials. You can reuse pieces of paper until both sides are filled, but having a shredder makes disposing of paper waste easier and more compact. Keep a wastepaper basket nearby to minimize the mess.
It would be impossible to make it in the business world as a solo entrepreneur without the proper communication tools. Whether it’s to get in touch with clients, teammates or suppliers, get a software that allows you to enjoy more than one mode of communicating with people - email, phone, or chat - to give everyone a chance to choose which manner of keeping in touch they are most comfortable with. Being able to get messages sent to the right people in record time can play a major role in getting your solo venture ahead.
If you want to drive your business and keep better track of your customers or clients, you need an efficient CRM that works just as hard as you. Take charge of the leads that come in, sustain a strong connection with clients and customers by keeping them engaged, and seal more deals. With a robust CRM, you can have a more thoroughgoing view of your clients’ and customers’ wants and needs to be able to meet them with your products and/or services using surefire techniques.
Lastly, harness the power of your team and deliver first-rate projects without fail the way only a superb project management software. Running a tight ship is the basis for a successful project, and that's made possible by a project management software that allows you to do so. Keep a closer eye on deadlines, track, and balance workloads, and collaborate seamlessly to produce outstanding results that will surely please your clients.
If you already have stable enough internet access at home, you can use that in your home office. However, if you expect to be doing a lot of communicating online or multitasking using online productivity tools, researching for projects, or even videoconferencing, you might want to consider getting a dedicated ISP for your home office. Since you’ll be the only one using it, you can get a lot of juice for the subscription you will be paying for.
Emergencies can spring up at the most opportune time, but they should not hamper your workflow. Add a backup ISP to your list of home office essentials. It can be a more affordable version of your main one as long as you have another service to tap into in case your principal provider is unavailable.
While we’re on the subject of emergencies, your home office essentials should include an uninterruptible power supply or UPS, depending on where you are and how likely power interruptions are. Uninterruptible power stations help protect your equipment from damage in the event of power grid failure.
Instead of a UPS, you can go for extension cords that have individually fused outlets. For your peace of mind, it might be worth investing in a portable power station if you get a lot of storms where you are. These can be purchased with polar panels that they can be charged with to help save on energy costs. For your peace of mind, you can keep one around that you can charge up once the weather changes or if you will be traveling for more than one day at a time.
Missing an appointment is the bane of solo entrepreneurs. Very few things in this world can make someone come across as unreliable and unprofessional. It’s also highly embarrassing, and no one wants the negativity that can be attached to your brand name. Save yourself from such situations by getting organized with the use of calendars, appointment books, and even cork boards or peg boards for reminders and notes.
If you don’t have space for a board for reminders, you can get an acrylic board to stick to the side of your monitor to stick your notes to. Or you can go old school and get an actual appointment book. If you have a mobile phone dedicated to your home office, you can use the notes and reminders app. Better yet, get software that not only enables you to keep track of your tasks but also delivers reminders as well. If you’re operating with a team of other remote workers, you can snap up online and shared calendars to streamline your team coordination, workflow and increase productivity.
A productive workspace does not have to be all about work. That will get the doldrums going in no time. Now that you have your home office essentials in place, you need inspiration, motivation, and drive, and these can be achieved by filling your home office with items that make you smile, give you that warm feeling, and keep you going.
There’s no set list for these items. You can get them depending on your personality. Décor or design pieces to add a little life to your home office may include:
Photos of family, friends, and pets
Plants that are easy to care for and help clean the air
Stationery supplies that add color and character to your desk
Pens, highlighters, and pencils that you will use
Desk and drawer organizers that keep your space clutter-free
Lamps or lighting fixtures that provide ample or ambient lighting
When you go to an office supply store for your home office essentials, it might be tempting to go crazy and just buy everything because you never really know what you’re going to need, right? Hmm, not really. There are the non-negotiables, the must-haves. These are the things that you will be using for a long time to come, so it’s safe to say you shouldn’t scrimp on the budget. Don’t be afraid to buy the best – you deserve it! Plus, you will be getting so much use out of everything you purchase.On the topic of home office essentials, Bitrix24 has a host of solutions to help emerging solo entrepreneurs make their mark and carve their niche in the market. From communications and task management tools to a powerful CRM, multiple calendars, as well as file storage, Bitrix24 has got you covered. Visit our website and take a look at what we can offer you. Better yet, sign up today and observe an increase in productivity with Bitrix24!
The essentials for a home office are:
Improve productivity at home by:
What solo entrepreneurs need for their workspace may depend on their chosen field or specialty. For example, for writers, a computer, steady internet, a comfortable keyboard, powerful software, and a proper chair might be considered important, while for artists or draftsmen, it might be a drafting table, stenciling paper, and mechanical pens.