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Home Office Checklist

17 Items You May Need to Set Up an Efficient Home Office

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When you begin to set up your home office, one of two things tend to happen. Either you are unable to tune in to the equipment and technology that you truly use every day so you underestimate what you will need to get your office up and running, and quickly find yourself struggling. Or, you clearly see each individual item you may need and are overwhelmed by the thought of meeting every one of those needs down to the last staple.

In either of these cases, it wouldn't be a surprise to find yourself running around in circles before you're able to focus your efforts and create an office that will help you work productively.

Use this checklist to develop a well-rounded yet streamlined list of what you need in your home office. Check the items you absolutely need, and circle the items you may eventually want to add to create a prioritized list of your home office essentials.

Computer

computer
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This will apply to most of us, since very few small business owners who have the ability to work from home can complete their work without a computer. Do your research so you can select a computer that meets your specific needs.

Monitor

monitor
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You clearly need a monitor if you have a desktop computer, but it can also be useful (and better for your neck) to have a monitor you plug into your laptop. Depending on the work you do, you may also consider dual monitors.

High-Speed Internet Access

internet access
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The days of being able to work with a dial-up connection are long gone. To work efficiently online, a broadband connection is essential.

Desk

desk
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Ideally, you will have space for a traditional desk where you create an ergonomically correct workstation. But, if you need to get creative, you can make a table, counter or other flat surface work.

Chair

chair
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Take time to select and invest in a comfortable chair; it is one of the most important parts of an efficient home office. Again, ergonomics and comfort count when it comes to sitting, so make sure you test out a chair before making a purchase.

Adequate Lighting

lighting
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Just as a good chair is important for an ergonomic home office, so is having adequate lighting levels. You don't want to deal with headaches and eye strain from squinting or using lighting that makes it hard to read.

Telephone and/or VoIP

telephone
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With VoIP technology, Internet-based phone services, and even mobile phones, you may not need a traditional landline telephone, but access to a phone service is usually necessary when working from home.

Software

microsoft office
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Some small business owners simply need access to word processing, spreadsheet and email management applications, while others need additional software that is specific to their needs. Make a list of the software you will need to run your home office.

Network Router

router
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Not always required, a network router can be necessary if you have more than one computer that needs Internet access. Consider a wireless router if you have a laptop and computers located in different parts of your home.

Surge Protector

surge protector
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Often overlooked, a surge protector should be a staple in any home office that uses computer equipment.

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