If you’re planning to work from home or just establish a space for you to use when you don’t feel like going to the office, you’re essentially setting up a virtual office. You shouldn’t think of a home office as a space where you recreate your actual work space at company headquarters. Think of it as a set of tools that you have put together so you can get things done away from the office in an easier way.

So if you’re just setting up your home office, here are the things you need to cover all your basic work functions:

1. Laptop

It’s better to have more portable work station than a desktop. This way, you don’t have to allot an actual space for your home office. You can work anywhere you can park your laptop and sit or lie in a comfortable manner. You can also bring the laptop to the office and continue working there on the same device. Depending on what your actual job is, you can get a cheap netbook or something more advanced if you’re a digital artist.

2 Internet connection

The reason why working from home is an acceptable practice today is because of the internet. You can connect with your company headquarters or your clients easily, cheaply and in real time. Even if you don’t have a landline phone, people can still contact you reliably through various applications and hardware than run using an internet service. If you’re going to be working from home a lot, you need a stable internet connection. Most of your services and functions are going to run online so you have to be able to support the data load your home office needs.

3. VoIP phone services

Acquiring another landline just for your home office may be too expensive, but having a dedicated line for work is never a bad thing. You can maximize the use of your internet connection by doubling up with an internet telephone. Using your internet services and special hardware, you can make and receive calls through your computer as if you had another landline. VoIP phone services are cheaper to maintain than landline subscriptions. Since it operates on your computers, you get other great features like voice mail, online fax, called ID, call waiting and call filtering. Another great thing about VoIP phone services is that it isn’t tied to hardware or location. As long as the device you’re using can support the software and the data load the calls create, then you can be reached on the same number wherever you are.

4. Cloud-based file storage and sharing

Email is convenient but it can become clunky if the turnover and waiting time for mail to arrive and get sent is too long. When you have online file storage and sharing system, all important work files are available at all times and can be updated quite easily on the cloud itself. Services like DropBox, SugarSync and Box.com have free storage services you can try out before purchasing space.

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