When you are working for an employer, he or she is required to provide you with an adequate working environment. That includes anything you need to be productive and to spend the work hours in a comfortable atmosphere without having to look for tools to perform your duties. It’s not different when you are your own boss. You need to make sure your home office is fully equipped with whatever you might need to be productive. The list of requirements can get so long, but here are the 10 must have components:
1 – A practical desk
Your online business will be conducted using your laptop, in a similar setup to that of a real office. A practical desk to use for your home office is one with enough working space, enough storage drawers, and with just the right height. Computer users need a desk that is 29 inches high. This is the height that specialists deem right for all people.
2 – A comfortable chair
One of the most important components of your home office is the chair that you sit on most of your working hours. The two critical elements of a working chair is the material it is made of and covered with, and its height. Make sure your chair is not covered with cheap fabric type, otherwise, you may get skin rashes or any other type of discomfort. More importantly, adjust the height so that you are comfortable sitting at it. As you stand in front of your chair, adjust the height so the highest point of the seat (when in the horizontal position) is just below the knee cap. When you sit down, your feet should be flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90 angle, the ideal lower body position for sitting down at a desk.
3 – A Modern Laptop
Nowadays, laptops bear enormous capabilities within them. Unless your online business involves heavy graphics and video processing requirements, you won’t need to invest in a top of the line system. A system with 4GB RAM (preferably 6 or 8GB), a 500GB Hard Disk (preferably 1 TB) and a good processing speed (1.8 GHZ or higher) is more than adequate to get you started. The average price for a PC with these features is 1000$. If your current laptop is of less specs, you can definitely still use it, but it will be highly advisable to plan for an upgrade as soon as you have enough money to do the upgrade.
4 – High Speed Internet
Internet speed vary from 1 service provider to the other. It is also normally determined by the capability of lines your telephone company has invested in. A standard start point for internet speed is 1Mbps (1 Megabyte per second). It then varies in range -and consequently price- to reach 50+Mbps, but the key with your decision here is your actual need and how affordable the plan is. Do your research, get enough information from multiple service providers before you decide on a package. Make sure you check online reviews for your service provider as the last step before purchasing a package.
5 – Printer
In the world of online business, the need for printers is very important. In many cases, you will need to print papers off different websites or resources at hand, in order to review content, save certain credentials, or simply just read a digital book that you just downloaded at your own leisure when you’re not in front of your computer. My advice with printers is that you hold a balance between performance and price. You do not need a top of the line printer with endless number of features that would cost you hundreds of dollars, but you could also benefit from a compact printer/scanner/fax with a good quality print and economic use of toner.
6 – Scanner
If you are not going to purchase a printer with built-in scanner functionality in it, you’d better invest some money in a separate scanner. As with printers, scanners vary a lot in features and capabilities as well, but the core features to look for would be scanning resolution and scanning speed. For a standard home office, a resolution of 300 – 2400 dpi (dot per inch) would be enough for most of your work needs (unless your online business involves scanning a lot of high resolution photos, then you’d be better off with higher resolution scanners. A speed of 10 pages per minute or higher would also be good for home use.
7 – Adequate light
Poor lighting conditions in your home office can cause headaches, blurred vision and upper body pains because of the incorrect posture of a poorly lit work stations. Adversely, properly installed office lighting should provide an appropriate amount of light for the comfortable and safe completion of office-based tasks. Good lighting is properly directed and free of annoying glare. Keep in mind that ambient light from computer monitors has compounded the problem of providing adequate lighting for the in-home or distant office, so do your due diligence and consider the best lighting conditions/sources for your home office area.
8 – Sound Recording Equipment
At some point in time, you will come upon an idea that you want to capture on the fly, record some text as audio content, or save an interview with a SME “Subject Matter Expert”, for transcription at a later stage, or just uploading it as a recorded webinar online. There are plenty of models available in the market, and most of them are sold for affordable prices. However, voice quality and memory length are the 2 main elements you are looking for when deciding on a specific model.
9 – Video Recording Equipment
Another multimedia capturing gadget, that will be needed at some point, is a video camera with adequate resolution. As an infopreneur, you will need to have to have a personal touch with your audience. Nothing needs to be complicated, but a brief appearance in some tutorial videos, or illustrative footage for any of the material represented on your site might come handy as a variation of your content. As with any other gadget, Quality comes first, so make sure you buy the best thing you can afford.
10 – Digital Backup Devices
The simplest form of a digital backup device is an external hard disk that you can use to store your asset files while you build your online business. Should anything happen to your computer, a hard disk will save you a huge amount of time, and also money, when you’re able to restore either free, or paid material that you use with your online presence. External hard disk are growing larger in capacity, smaller in size and cheaper in price. There was never a better time to own a remarkably large-sized hard disk. Some hard disks come with automatic backup software, and others with a one button backup. Do your homework and own an external hard disk as early as you can in the process.