Five things you need in your home office

Whether you’re a freelancer, business owner or work remotely for your company, there are five things you need to keep your home office running smoothly.

When you work in an office for someone else’s business you take for granted that you have everything you need to do your job.

Someone – maybe an office manager or PA – is responsible for identifying any equipment needed, and maintaining the supplies. And if you run out of something, all you need to do is ask for it to be replenished.

It doesn’t work quite the same way at home. There’s no company account from which you can order everything you need. And no one to anticipate your requirements and source items for you.

You need to equip and manage your office supplies yourself.

Five things you need in your home office

So, if you’re planning your home office, what supplies do you need to consider? To a large degree this will depend on the nature of your work. But there are some common elements that every home office will need.

Here are five things to consider:

  1. Technology such as computer, printer, scanner, copier.
  2. Desk supplies such as scissors, pens, tape, highlighters.
  3. Printer paper, notepads and personalised stationery.
  4. Organization supplies such as calendar, stapler, paper clips.
  5. Specialist equipment such as lamination film.

Before you go and source products for your home office, like the best lamination film, check whether you don’t already have them to hand. If not, then check out suppliers offering quality products at the best prices.

Don’t be tempted to go cheap for the sake of it. You won’t want to waste time when you’re working replacing products that don’t work properly, or being let down when you have an important deadline.

Equally, you need to ensure that you present the right impression to customers and clients, and pulling out a cheap, poor quality notebook at a meeting, or sending them a letter on flimsy company stationery won’t show you off in the best light.

Keep your office clean and organized

Think about what items you need to keep your office tidy and organized too. You want your workspace to look tidy and inviting – and clearing a mess of paperwork aside every morning won’t achieve that.

You also need to have everything you want instantly to hand. Spending 10 minutes regularly searching for something in a chaotic office quickly adds up to an expensive waste of time.

The 5S method is a great way to organise your office space. 5S stands for sort, set, shine, standardize, and sustain. Here’s how it works:

  • Sort: Go through what you have now. What is important? And what can you do without?
  • Set: Carefully tidy your items using a system that makes sense to you.
  • Shine: A clean workspace is a productive workspace, so give yours a through clean.
  • Standardize: Organize everything so it’s easy to find and reach.
  • Sustain: Once you’ve got everything organized keep it that way!

Check your supples regularly

Once you’ve equipped your office, your work doesn’t stop there. Keep a list of everything you need for work, and check your supplies are always plentiful. You don’t want to run out of printer paper or Epson ink halfway through printing an urgent report.

Maintaining your stock levels doesn’t have to be an onerous task. Just spend a few minutes every Monday morning checking your supplies, or create a system whereby you automatically re-order when something gets to a minimum level, and you’ll easily keep on top of your supplies.

Keep your home office running smoothly

Spend the time setting your office up properly in the first place, and you’ll thank yourself later.

Invest in furniture that keeps everything neat and in order, and create systems that will help you easily locate what you need – and keep your system running efficiently with regular supply checks.

Photo by Maranda Vandergriff