6 Essentials You Need If You Ever Work from Home
If working in an office provides camaraderie and the occasional free slice of birthday cake, working remotely means flexible hours, getting to hang out with your dog and being spared the misery of the 6 train at rush hour. But to really transform your place into a haven of productivity, make sure you have these six things.
A Dedicated Desk
Even if you're short on space, it's worth making room for a proper work area. Not only will it help keep you focused, but if you’re self-employed you can write off a percentage of your rent in your taxes. (But only if you have an area that is strictly for work, which means the couch doesn’t qualify.)
A Supportive Chair
Despite what pop culture tells you, sprawling across your bed is not an ideal posture for using your laptop. Look for a seat with back support or, if you’ve always wanted to try a stability ball or even a standing desk, now’s your chance to go for it without feeling like the office weirdo.
A Really Reliable Internet Connection
Wi-Fi that cuts out when you’re watching Hulu? Annoying. Wi-Fi that’s spotty when you have a deadline? Catastrophic. Make sure your modem and router are up to date. (Hint: If you’re using the equipment provided by Time Warner years ago, it’s probably not the fastest.)
A Pair of Headphones
These are especially important if you have a significant other/roommate/kid who's going to be home while you're working (though NYC street noise gets an honorable mention). Even if you set a do-not-disturb policy—and you should—just hearing someone clanking around in the kitchen can be mighty distracting.
Yes, we realize half the appeal of WFH is not having to deal with heels and mascara in the morning. But hear us out: Dressing in something other than sweats (but still comfortable!) helps set the tone for the day—and you never know when a colleague might request an impromptu Skype conference.