Having a home office is a wonderful way to add flexibility into your career and work on your own terms and schedule. However, one of the biggest issues that remote employees face is technological barriers because they don’t have access to or knowledge about the devices and services they need. So, the purpose of this article is to describe the various aspects of home office technology, including how to set up a home office that meets your needs and answers to common questions like “What is a wireless router?” We’ll also cover the components of virtual office technology and explore how does a virtual office work to reduce technology barriers at home.
Home Office Basics
When you’re first looking into how to set up a home office, it’s best to start with the basics and get more technologically advanced from there. Of course, you’ll want a desk and chair, but consider installing a sit-to-stand work station and ergonomically designed chair to best support your body throughout the day. Lighting is also very important for a home office, and a mix of natural light, a desk lamp, and an overhead fixture with an LED bulb should do the trick. Your home office laptop should have a balance of portability and power and also feature a great keyboard and trackpad. But if your work often involves looking at multiple screens at the same time, consider investing in a larger desktop monitor around 27 inches in size and that has a great high-resolution display.
Connectivity and Networking Technology
Once you have your computer set up, the next step is connectivity to the internet. If you’re asking yourself “What is a wireless router, and do I need one?” the answer is probably yes. A great Wi-Fi router will secure your fast, steady, and secure internet connection and maybe even have a built-in VPN server for a secure connection when you work outside the home. You may also want to look into getting a network-attached storage device for extra storage space without the hassle of staying connected to an external drive.
Best Home Office Technology Gadgets
There are so many home office technology gadgets on the market today, but some are definitely more useful than others. For greater internet security while working on sensitive documents at home, you can invest in a CUJO Smart Internet Firewall device, for example. To conserve energy use from all the electronics you use for work, you can get a smart outlet to plug into and offset your energy consumption. Many home office employees love using the Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo to schedule meetings and look up information in a fun and easy way. Also, don’t forget about office tech basics like a high-quality printer, document scanner, paper shredder, surge protector, backup drive, and headset to block out noise distractions.
Meeting and Video Call Technologies
Staying connected with your coworkers, clients, and customers can be a challenge when you work from home, but there is a lot of excellent technology available these days to make this possible. For hardware, you’ll need a webcam, speakers, a Bluetooth headset, and perhaps a phone dock for charging without getting tangled in wires. With a good webcam, you can join and host a wide range of online meetings via Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, and other meeting sites. There are also some very useful web meeting apps that you may want to download and perhaps an audio recorder to keep track of what happened in your meetings without frantically scribbling down notes during the call. If you make a lot of calls as part of your daily work, consider adding a second phone line for your business and making sure that the new line has its own answering machine.
Useful Apps for Your Home Office
There are likely plenty of apps on your smartphone that are a distraction when you work from home, but other apps can really help boost your productivity, organizational skills, money management strategy, and overall health. For example, the TurboTax app offers software for tax filing, and the You Need a Budget app helps at-home employees keep track of their work-related spending. The FreshBooks app is a good choice for invoicing clients, and a wide variety of calendar apps make it easy to stay organized and keep up with meetings and calls. When you work at home, it’s easy to get caught up in all-day projects without moving a muscle beyond your typing fingers and shifting eyes. That’s why it’s also smart to download a couple fitness apps that encourage you to get up and stretch, do yoga, take a walk, or get in a few pushups throughout the day for better overall health.
Components of Virtual Office Technology
As you can see, setting up a home office takes a substantial amount of work and financial investment, and it can be a difficult to find the time to do the research and shopping involved in finding the best technology. This is where virtual offices come in handy for many work-at-home employees because they take away a lot of the technology burden and eliminate many tech hassles and headaches. At NYC Office Suites, our virtual office technology packages include everything from professional phone answering to a convenient voicemail-to-email service to get your messages, tech support, and access to meeting rooms when you need them.
How Does a Virtual Office Work?
Employees who work from home may wonder why they need a virtual office in addition to their home office, but the two setups actually complement each other quite perfectly. Virtual offices help you stay more connected in your industry by having a dedicated staff for answering calls and keeping track of your mail delivered to your very own prestigious NYC address. To take advantage of this virtual office technology, first choose your desired location: Graybar Building, Rockefeller Center, Citicorp Center, Love Building, Grand Central/733 3rd Avenue, or the Commerce Building. From there, select whether a general membership, business membership, executive membership, or VIP membership best fits your needs. Each type of virtual office space membership comes with its own unique perks, and you can buy your plan online or start an online chat with one of our virtual office experts to help make the right decision for your business.
How to Set Up a Home Office That Works for You
Right now is a wonderful time to set up a new home office or upgrade your current home office because of all of the excellent technology offerings available at a wide range of price points. If you start with the basics, move on to your essential tech pieces, and gradually invest in gadgets and features to make your work flow more smoothly, you’ll be well on your way to career success on your own terms. If you’re interested to learn more about how virtual office technology can help make you more productive and professional while working from home, please reach out to us at any time. We’d love to tell you more about how virtual offices work and the specific technology features that we offer to make your life easier and more efficient.