Whether you work primarily at home, or whether you work from home on occassions, your home office should be comfortable, functional, and enable you to reach your peak productivity levels. Many people who work from home underestimate the importance of optimizing their work environment, and therefore, they suffer from spurts of inefficiency, feelings of isolation, and overall, they don’t accomplish everything they could or should. This list is a comprehensive list of the best home office supplies for home based businesses.
- 1 Recommendations from Designer Jo Heinz on Home Office Setup and Design
- 2 Top Picks for Best Home Office Supplies for Home Based Businesses
- 3 1. Desk: Standing Desk and Traditional Desk
- 4 2. Anti Fatigue Mat
- 5 3. Office Chair
- 6 4. Filing Cabinet
- 7 5. Office Trash Can
- 8 6. Paper Shredder
- 9 7. Lighting
- 10 8. Printer, Scanner, and Fax Machine
- 11 9. Webcam for Collaboration and Video Marketing
- 12 10. Desktop Computer
- 13 11. Laptop Computer
- 14 12. Ergonomic Computer Accessories
- 15 13. A Good Cell Phone
- 16 14. External Storage
- 17 15. Stationary Supplies and Office Accessories
- 18 16. Record-keeping Supplies
- 19 17. Goal-Setting and Note-Taking Supplies
- 20 18. Legal Documents
- 21 19. A BookShelf
- 22 20. Wifi Modem
- 23 21. A Timer or Alarm
- 24 22. Calendar
- 25 23. Motivational Wall Posters
- 26 Final Words on the Best Home Office Supplies for Home Based Business
- 27 Now, it’s Your Turn…
When designer Jo Heinz of Dallas Interior Architecture and Design was asked “How does designing and effective home office differ from designing a commercial home office? and What considerations do you need to keep in mind before you get started?
He gave several great nuggets:
- Be comfortable but not too casual
Heinz said if you keep the space too comfortable, it will be difficult to get things done. He suggested making the space clearly designated for work.
- Make clear boundaries between working space and normal living space
Whether you have to set the home office up in a separate room, add a divider, or make an area with a different color variation, Heinz suggested being extra mindful about how you separate and designate the working space.
- Be clear how you’ll be using the space
Will you have clients in the space? Will you collaborate with others virtually or by invitation to your space? What type of work will you be doing? What time will you be working? Heinz suggested to clearly brainstorm how you’ll use the space so you can make sure you set it up comfortably to be productive.
Top Picks for Best Home Office Supplies for Home Based Businesses
Keeping in mind with everything Heinz suggested, we created a list of top home office supplies for home based businesses. In this day in age, it’s very important for entrepreneurs to be able to deliver equal productivity from home as they do from a corporate work environment, therefore, we’ve created a list of items that would make a home office operable comparable to a corporate office.
1. Desk: Standing Desk and Traditional Desk
Many people are finding that sitting down all day is not healthy for our bodies in large part from studies done by Dr. Levine at the Mayo Clinic. They say, “Sitting is the new smoking” because many office jobs required many hours in a cubicle which left office workers sitting for large portions of the day. Dr. Levine has said the sitting contributes to many chronic diseases and recommends more people consider diversifying their activities or using standing desks.
This VIVO standing desk is the perfect solution for your home office if you’d like to increase your productivity by walking on the treadmill while working or simply standing while working. It is very sturdy, and it adjusts from the sitting position to the standing position, so you can use it either way.
2. Anti Fatigue Mat
For those who stand working for hours on regular flooring, they typically find that regular flooring is not suited for standing for long periods of time. You can have pain in your feet from standing for prolonged periods. The anti-fatigue mat cuts down on the pain you feel and helps distribute your weight better.
3. Office Chair
While some people may enjoy working and standing for prolonged periods, most people enjoy alternating at some point. It’s important that you have an office chair that is comfortable, but also easy to navigate around your office space, and makes it manageable to maintain good posture. Here are two office chairs that have been well-known for being sturdy, having good smooth wheels to glide across different floor types, and they’re very adjustable for people of various heights: a mesh and a mid-back leather. Customer reviews say they help them maintain great posture and is balanced between comfortable but not too casual to make you unproductive.
4. Filing Cabinet
Recordkeeping causes many entrepreneurs to lose thousands of dollars. Sometimes they misplace important documents. Sometimes, they don’t collect the payment they should. All kind of things go wrong when documents are not organized neatly. A file cabinet is an investment in your business organization.
As an entrepreneur, there are so many papers that are required: contracts, legal documents, finance documents, business plans, collaboration documents, etc. You need a file cabinet that can keep your paperwork secure, separate from personal paperwork, and organized so you can easily navigate it. I’d recommend using a labelmaker to create labels to make organization easy for you and getting a traditional file cabinet like this:
and, a fireproof safe for extra important documents like this:
5. Office Trash Can
In an office, there’s ongoing projects you’ll be drafting and creating: some things will work well and other things, you’ll have to discard. The last thing you want is a stockpile of things that you need to throw away on your desk. While, you may have a trash can for your house, if you want to maintain your productivity, you don’t want to make several trips further than you have to.
It’s nice to have a conveniently located trash can in your work area. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, I’d suggest something as simple as this:
6. Paper Shredder
Identity theft is at all time highs! With more advancing technology has come more hackers and people who unethically gather other people’s personal data for their own personal gain. It’s horrible, but it exists.
One key way to cut down on identity theft or the potential of someone using your personal or business information unethically is to discard of documents appropriately by shredding them. Shredding documents makes it very difficult to piece together data for unethical reasons so it minimizes the risk of identity theft. A simple shredder like this could save you thousands of dollars, lots of time, and lots of heartache:
Whether for video conferencing, working in early or late hours before the sun is up, or simply to see clearly, lighting is important. You absolutely don’t want to be stuck on a project because of something simple like bad lighting. This simple office light setup is mobile, easy to set up, and can add just enough light for optimal performance on video calls or while working during dark hours.
8. Printer, Scanner, and Fax Machine
Though everything is moving in the direction of complete digital coordination, we’re not entirely there yet. Some documents still require a “wet signature” and return to sender. Some documents arrive to the recipient best thru fax. It’s still important to have a device that can print, scan, and fax. Brother is one of the best printer brands on the planet–known for making very sturdy and reliable devices.
A device like this Brother All-in-One Printer is low-maintenance, easy to use, and provides a powerhouse of features!
9. Webcam for Collaboration and Video Marketing
Collaboration and marketing is just as important in a corporate office as it is in a home office. Unfortunately, many virtual collaborations complain about poor communications, a sense of isolation, and other challenges related to the distance. A good webcam can be a great solution for virtual collaborations to improve their communications. You can have team huddles and other coordinations with clients, vendors, and potential customers where they can still feel the personal touch that they may desire.
A webcam can also be a powerful source of new leads if you record videos and distribute them somewhere like Youtube. A webcam like this Logitech can add alot of virtual communication power to your home office.
10. Desktop Computer
While laptops are awesome, desktops still are very good supplementary devices. When you’re working from home, you don’t want to rely on one device. Whether a child gets a hold of the primary device and damages it or a dog or just a personal accident, if you only have one, it can create a work stoppage. Also, desktop computers tend to have much more storage than laptop computers.
This desktop computer is very versatile and can be hooked up to a normal television as a monitor. The setup can be used as a normal television setup or as a computer. My family uses this setup with the Apple Mac Mini and a television, and we watch Youtube, surf the web, and do other things with this “desktop” computer supplementary setup.
11. Laptop Computer
There are so many different options for laptop computers. Some are very light and portable while others are full of features and storage. There’s no one-size-fits all in the laptop computer space. I personally recommend the Acer Chromebook as a light weight alternative that’s high value and budget-friendly, and the Macbook Pro as the high feature state-of-the art, sturdy, and long-lasting alternative.
12. Ergonomic Computer Accessories
When you’re on the computer often, it effects your body. No, it’s not hard physical labor, but merely by maintaining the same positions over time, you can create all kinds of problems like carpal tunnel, injuries of the neck and back, and other painful issues. Devices like a good ergonomic mouse and an ergonomic keyboard can help you to maintain better hand positions will will lengthen the amount of time you can work.
You don’t want to stop working earlier in life than you have to do to poor health choices. You should take a look at ergonomic accessories and evaluate how they can alleviate pressure or pain your may be having.
13. A Good Cell Phone
In my previous article, Best Cell Phones for Business, I talked about several leading cell phone models across various different budgets and features. It’s important to choose a cell phone that enables you to perform tasks you need to perform on the go like taking pictures, placing phone calls, possibly video calling, creating and sending invoices, and downloading necessary apps. Check that article out for top things to consider when choosing a cell phone for business and cell phone recommendations.
14. External Storage
While the cloud is great to have and use, it’s always best to back your data up in more than one location. You don’t want to keep all of your files in one place. The documents in the file cabinet can be uploaded and stored on the external hard drive. The documents on the computer can be downloaded and stored on the external hard drive, therefore, if something happens to one, there can be a back up.
15. Stationary Supplies and Office Accessories
It’s always nice to have stamps, envelopes, pens, cards, sticky notes, and stationary supplies in a home office. It can be used for marketing, to send out “thank you” notes, or simply to mail off important documents. Regardless of the use, I recommend staying stocked with:
- Blank cards (for use on multiple occasions)
- Sticky notes
- A Stapler with staples
- Rubber bands
16. Record-keeping Supplies
I can’t overemphasize the importance of organization in business. There’s alot of documents and coordination that needs to be maintained. You can use digital CRM to help like Trello and the Google Suite, but you should also have:
and Expanding Files for on-the-go or other occasions
17. Goal-Setting and Note-Taking Supplies
The business will continually require goal-setting for its growth. The most successful entrepreneurs are very disciplined goal-setters. In our article on Bullet Journals for Productivity, we gave ideas for how to create good goal-setting layouts inside a bullet journal. You can track your goals however, you like, but you should definitely take a look at that article for ideas!
18. Legal Documents
Business is a compilation of commitments. The best commitments are documented somewhere. It’s good to have software or copies of blank legal documents so you can quickly draft agreements that are valid. A software like MyAttorney can help draft simple nondisclosure agreements, payment agreements, and other basic things quickly.
19. A BookShelf
Learning is a nonstop business discipline. Books by successful entrepreneurs are the best mentors, but you have to have somewhere to keep them. A book shelf like this can keep a few books arranged in your home office for quick referencing.
20. Wifi Modem
Wifi is pretty much mandatory in this day in age, so you want to have a sound wifi network setup at home. A reputable internet company, a good modem, and connected devices. The wifi network will enable your computer to seamlessly print from your printer, the scanner can upload documents to connected devices, you can fax by scanning, and so on. The wifi network will be the basis of your technology home office set up. A modem like this can enable many devices to connect to your home internet, it stops you from paying monthly device rental fees to the cable company, and it operates with good speed and download/upload power.
21. A Timer or Alarm
Often times, you can be more efficient and productive simply by placing yourself in a self-inflicted scarcity. Timers and alarm clocks work perfectly for making us feel the pressure we need to crank out work. If you have a timer in your home office, you can challenge yourself to produce a certain amount of work within time constraints, you can make sure you attend appointments on time by setting the alarm clock to remind you, and you can reinforce good habits like timely eating or work/life balance by setting times and sticking to them. Something no-frills and straight-to-the point like this can work perfectly:
Whether you’d like a visual for appointments or you just need to keep track of the day of the week, a calendar is a traditional home office accessory that comes in handy. You can get one that is motivational or one that is very simple, it’s up to you, but a calendar is a nice addition to other home office supplies.
23. Motivational Wall Posters
Everyone loses motivation and needs a reminder at times. While motivational posts are not traditionally considered home office supplies, there are great decals, wall posters, paintings, and other awesome things to hang in your home office to remind you that your work is worthwhile. Motivational wall hangings can be the perfect icing on the cake in your home office.
Final Words on the Best Home Office Supplies for Home Based Business
The goal of this article was to give you a list of the best home office supplies for home based businesses so you can improve your productivity while working from home. Hopefully this was helpful for you!
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Now, it’s Your Turn…
What do you think are the most important home office supplies for home based businesses? Did I leave anything out? Please leave your comments, questions, and feedback below.