More and more people are switching to working from home. I’m so glad I did! Between the blog and a bustling wedding business, there’s never a dull moment around our house. If you’re looking to make the switch to telecommuting or running a home-based business, you’ll need a few essentials.
Here are my must-haves for working from home.
A computer, laptop, tablet, whatever you have that connects with the internet and runs the programs or apps you need. Your clients will need to hear from you, your website will need updating, and you’ll need to post to social, so a computer of some sort is an absolute necessity!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll need the ability to reply to client messages at a moment’s notice. It’s not convenient to run to the home office every time you get an email.
We live in the country. Getting internet was a feat in itself. Getting reliable Wi-Fi that worked throughout the entire house? Impossible. That is until we got the TP-Link Deco M5 Whole-Home Wi-Fi System. Now I can work from any room, any time of day. I can even work from my porch. It’s awesome! No more running to my desktop just to answer an email.
One of my favorite features has to be the incredibly easy set up with the TP-Link Deco app. I’m not the most technically savvy, so easy-to-use is critical for me. We were up and running within minutes! My husband and I can both be working and streaming music at the same time now, and it’s wonderful.
When switching from an 8 to 5 to working from home, you need a game plan for your day. You won’t have the built-in structure you had at the office, so building a framework for your day is vital to staying on track.
I recommend time blocking. It’s exactly like it sounds, setting aside blocks of your day to do particular tasks. If you’re most energetic in the mornings, you may set those aside for communicating with clients and creative projects and block out afternoons for clerical (less-energetic) tasks. For more productivity hacks, check out this post.
Notebook & Pens
Yes, in a mostly digital world, it’s still good to have a few analog tools handy. You never know when inspiration is going to strike. It’s important to write those things down. Actually write them. Don’t believe me? This study actually shows a correlation between writing things down longhand and remembering them.
There are distractions aplenty when working from home. By designating a space- no matter how small- helps to stay focused. If you don’t have a spare room to devote to office space, choose a wall, a corner, or just someplace quiet where you can set up a workstation. Of course, you can work from anywhere in the house. The key is just to avoid interruptions while working on projects.
Calendar & Task Management System
You need to know what you have to do and when it’s due by. My Google Calendar and Asana app definitely get a workout! If paper calendars and to-do lists is your thing, go for it! Just make sure you’re consistent with whatever system you choose.
Both digital and physical storage is necessary. Whether you use a cloud-based storage system or an external hard drive, it’s important to back up your important files. While most of what we do as entrepreneurs these days is online, we still have items like cameras, cords, tablets, and notebooks that need a home. I have a handy little shelf that stores my tangible tools.