Whether you're running your own small business 24-7 or just want to keep on top of your to-do list, a home office doesn't have to be hectic. In fact, with the right technology and set-up, your home office might become a productive space to rival the one where you work! A home office can be laid out considerably more comfortably than a professional work space and yet still provide you with the mindset of concentration necessary to get your work done after hours. But once you've laid out your space, how can you be assured your home desktop can tackle the same problems you would need to at work?
Step One: Choose Your Desktop Computer
If you don't already have a computer you plan to use in your home office, it's important to choose one that will be able to meet all your processing requirements. Even if you already have your designated office PC you should still make sure it can handle what you need it to. First, consider the sorts of tasks you'll be completing with it. Will the sort of work you do in your home office be mostly surfing the web, writing reports in Word, and replying to emails? Then likely you won't need anything more than your basic budget or all-in-one desktop PC or Mac. Many of these computers can often handle regular live-streaming of video-conferencing as well, if their CPU and video card are good enough. Do you work as a videographer or graphics engineer whose work requires running heavy video, audio and image-editing programs? Then you'll need something much more powerful-- a performance PC with plenty of memory, an exceptionally fast hard-drive, and plenty of processing power.
The key to choosing the right home office computer is to pick the right one for your needs. If you're unsure what sort of machine will suit you best, remember BuzzAGeek can provide you with a custom desktop, laptop, or server that's made with reliable quality parts to the specifications you need. No guessing required, just let us know what you need!
Step Two: Picking Your Software
While Microsoft Office and its email program Outlook are by far the most popular choice when it comes to productivity software both at work and in a home office, it's hardly the only option out there. OpenOffice, an open source free-to-use software suite which is laid out similar to its Microsoft counterpart, is one example of productivity software that stands up to the competition—and for free, too. Unfortunately, while OpenOffice is capable of opening standard Microsoft files, Microsoft Office doesn't return the favor. Some productivity software is even based online—such as the presentation software Haiku Deck or Google Apps. These cloud- and browser-based software make transferring files and data from your work computer to your home office and back much easier, and can be worth the investment if you plan to switch between them constantly.
Step Three: Installing Extra Office Machinery
Once your home office computer and its software are set up, it’s time to add the extra machinery. A printer, scanner, and copier—or an all-in-one machine that perform all of these functions—are standard and quite handy for receiving and sending digital copies of hard-copy documents, and vice versa. However, depending on your office’s needs, you may need to consider extra equipment. For example, if you expect to be making and receiving business-related calls in your office yet don’t want to tie up your home or cellphone doing so, you may wish to invest in a VoIP phone number—Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP phone plans can often be less expensive than adding a new phone number to your existing plan, and in the case of Skype, Google Talk, and similar programs, your minutes are associated with a certain account and not a physical phone, meaning that it’s possible to use your business phone number from a different computer than that in your home office.