One of the biggest challenges of working remotely is setting up your home office with the right tools and technology.
Even without a lot of space or a dedicated room just for freelance, you can still have a productive and comfortable setup with just a chair, table, and a few key technologies.
With the following gadgets and software, you’ll improve your work-from-home experience.
Business and Tax Form Templates
As a business owner, you need to create, fill in and send over documents to your boss, clients, and the IRS. Whether you need a paystub maker or a purchase agreement, websites like Forms Pro gives businesses, employees, and the self-employed access to pre-made templates.
Mouse, Mouse Pad, and Keyboard
You’re likely spending most of your time staring at a computer. The right mouse, mousepad, and keyboard can make your workday less time-consuming. Here’s what we recommend:
- Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse: Ergonomic design with customizable buttons.
- Logitech MX Vertical Wireless Mouse: It has an odd design but is incredibly comfy.
- Moustache Mouse Pad XL: Fills your entire desk, so your mouse always has traction.
- 3M Precise Mouse Pad: Has a wrist rest, which helps to prevent injury.
- Durgod Taurus K310 Mechanical Keyboard: Nice to type on and isn’t loud.
- Logitech Ergo K860: Ergonomic design that elevates and protects your wrists.
Alternatively, you could purchase a pluggable Bluetooth keyboard or a micro-bead/gel mouse wrist rest if you prefer laptops. However, we do recommend a desktop for the bigger screen.
Monitor or Laptop
The benefit of using a laptop is their portability, but desktops are almost always better to work with because they’re cheaper, typically have larger screens, and are cheaper to dual screen.
Why a Laptop?
There are affordable laptops (don’t get a MacBook), but you’re paying more for portability. In the end, a desktop computer with the same specs as a laptop will normally be half the price.
However, if you’re mostly typing, meeting with clients, or sending emails, most cheap laptops will suffice. Just make sure your laptop is made with portability in mind, meaning it’s light, has a long battery life, and is of a decent size. An Acer Aspire is less than $400 and meets our criteria.
Why a Desktop?
Although you’ll likely need to build your own computer, online tutorials make this process easy. What’s more, you won’t have to throw out your laptop every few years; you just need to swap out parts with a desktop. If you’re doing graphics, a desktop is the way to go.
For your desktop, we recommend 2 screens. A 27-inch Dell FreeSync Monitor is $200. If you buy two, you’ll be able to complete work faster. Or, you could watch movies on the other screen.
Last but not least, there are plenty of tools available to freelancers that make their lives much easier. If you’re an employee, we advise bringing up the following tools at your next meeting.
- Project Management: Trello, ProofHub, and Monday.com help teams separate tasks and stay organized. With online dashboards, everyone knows what needs to be done.
- Collaboration: Google Drive and Confluent make it much easier for teams to share files and work within a document in real-time, so you don’t have to send files back and forth.
- Communication: Slack and Zoom help teams stay informed and up to date during meetings, but they also allow you to post quick messages and notes.
- Remote Access: Remote staff typically need to access documents from the on-site computer. Instead of asking, remote access lets workers pull files through the Cloud.
- Team Monitoring: Hubstaff and Officevibe allow managers to speak to their employees and make sure everyone is contributing and engaged while working.
You may also need profession-specific tools, like Photoshop, Word, or analytic software.