Setup the perfect work from home office by ensuring you have the right furniture, accessories, tech and software to be productive and efficient.
The business world is rapidly moving towards virtual teams working from home. Many freelancers and entrepreneurs are already doing their work online from home.
Don’t get left behind.
There’s no reason you can’t be just as competitive and productive at home as you are at work.
1. A Good Laptop (& Important Peripherals)
Find the best, affordable laptop from our top 10 list to help start and grow your side hustle by balancing power and functionality against any budget.
To help out we’ve scoured hundreds of budget laptops with a special focus on ones that provide serious “value for money“.
HP 15.6″ Touchscreen Laptop
Comes with 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5 1035G1 and 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, AC WiFi + YZAKKA External DVD Drive.
Plenty of power, speed and storage for every day use. DDR4 memory makes light work of serious multi-tasking.
For Everyday Use
Multi-touch display, plenty of connectivity and lightweight build makes this suitable for work, streaming and gaming.
A 10th Gen Intel quad core processor delivers highly efficient eight-way processing up to 3.6 GHz.
Surface Book 2
Lenovo Flex 14
Depending on your budget, you might like to explore a list of the top-rated low cost Windows laptops for under $300.
Windows 10 Home
Everything you need to work from home with new features to make you more productive.
Office 365 Personal
Manage your small business in the cloud with email, documents and spreadsheets.
Add a Monitor
Next, you’ll need to add a good quality monitor to help protect your eyes from strain and damage over the long term.
Acer SB220QFull HD IPS Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Monitor
Sceptre E248WUltra Thin 75Hz 1080p LED Monitor
Acer R240HYIPS HDMI DVI VGA Widescreen Monitor
Acer KG241QFull HD TN 144Hz 1ms Monitor
Add a Keyboard & Mouse
A good keyboard and mouse combo will also go a long way to making your work day a lot more comfortable and efficient. Especially if, like me, you find track pads slow and cumbersome to use in comparison to a mouse.
Logitech MK550Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse
Dell KM636Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Jelly CombFull Size Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
MicrosoftWireless Ergonomic Comfort
2. Fast Home Internet
It’s vital to have a fast, cheap and reliable WiFi router that allows you to work from home seamlessly, without dropping calls or connection at inopportune moments.
This is especially important for client facing people. Don’t lose work because of a slow, unreliable Internet connection.
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router
Wireless speed up to 1900 Mbps with up to 1800 sq ft coverage. 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 3.0 USB port. Connect 30 Devices.
Home OfficeNETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router 1750 Mbps
GamingASUS Tri-Band WiFi Gaming Router
MeshNETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System
PortableRAVPower FileHub Travel Router
Consider a Modem & Router Combo
You might also want to think about saving money in the long term by buying a decent modem and router combo because this can save you from paying ongoing rental fees from your cable provider.
A modem connects to the Internet and talks directly to your Internet Service Provider. A router takes the connection provided by the modem and distributes it to your devices via Ethernet cable, Bluetooth or WiFi.
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 Modem Router Combo
Compatible with Xfinity, Cox & Spectrum. Supports cable plans up to 2 Gb with AC3200 WiFi speed and DOCSIS 3.1.
MOTOROLA MG7540Cable Modem Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router 686 Mbps
ARRIS SurfboardDocsis 3.0 Cable Modem Dual Band Wi-Fi Router 686 Mbps
NETGEAR Orbi MeshWhole Home Mesh WiFi System Up to 2.2 Gbps
Asus All In OneCable Modem + Dual-Band WiFi Gigabit Router Up to 2.5 Gbps
3. A Smart Assistant
More and more devices are picking up voice controls via smart devices that are Alexa or Google Assistant enabled.
Aside from a few nice productivity benefits, such as hands free phone, smart devices can also help you create lists, order products and supplies, manage your itinerary, meetings and calendar as well as take care of a lot of household administrative tasks that would otherwise consume a lot of your valuable work time.
Think of it like your own smart PA.
Echo Show (2nd Gen)
Stay connected and in touch with the Echo Show and use tens of thousands of skills (and growing) that Alexa has mastered.
Make video calls to clients and colleagues who have Skype, the Alexa app, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show. With Skype calling you can stay in touch with people in over 150 countries.
Alexa can control thousands of compatible smart home devices like security cameras, lights, and your coffee machine for those all important breaks.
4. A Great Desk
A great work environment leads to a better, more productive work day. Choosing the right office desk to provide the necessary space and functionality is paramount.
Finding an affordable home office computer desk to fit your existing office decor and balance the price/cost against the budget can be tricky.
Consider a good gaming desk. They’re built sturdy, with features that are super convenient for non-gamers too – like headphone and cup holders.
Choosing an affordable gaming desk for your study or office kills two birds with one stone by providing a dual-purpose work-space (during office hours) and convenient play area after hours.
VIT 47″ Ergonomic Gaming Desk
T-Shaped gaming desk with full desk mouse pad and USB gaming handle rack, stand cup holder, and headphone hook
The huge playing surface is finely textured with thousands of microscopic, high-intensity light reflecting points for highly responsive mouse tracking.
A sleek design in red trim offsets the Carbon fiber black to deliver a solid, powerful presence that compliments the solid steel frame.
ConverterVIVO Black 36″ height adjustable stand up desk converter
StandingSeville Classics S3 Airlift Electric Standing Desk
Space SavingAtlantic Pro
LargeTribesigns Modern 63″ Large Computer Desk
Top Corner Gaming Desks
Explore the best L-shaped desks for gaming for under $200.
L-ShapeBenefit from a larger gaming surface to store a wide array of monitors, PCs and gaming accessories.
SpaceEnjoy plenty of space for multiple monitors or even a dual gaming and office workstation.
5. A Good Office Chair
The humble office chair is a constantly evolving thing. There is a big swing towards ergonomic designs that support the back and help to avoid aches, pains and long term weakness.
Moving away from ergonomic design, a lot of people prefer to stand (at least some of the time) or exercise while they work.
StandardGabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair
KneelingDRAGONN Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
GamingOFM Essentials Gaming Chair
ComfortHerman Miller Embody Chair
6. A Fast Home Printer
Find a fast and reliable printer. The faster the better. It’s amazing how much time you can waste waiting for something to print out – especially when you need to be on a conference call.
No home office setup would be complete without an efficient high quality printer, but deciding on the right one for your home office can be tricky. Do you need a laser or inkjet printer?
- Require high quality color printing (i.e. for photos & pictures)
- Frequent use
- Low volume
- Expensive cartridge refills (consider a supertank inkjet)
- High volume
- Infrequent printing (laser is better because there is no ink to dry and clog the print heads)
- Black and white
- Medium-high quality color printing
HP Color LaserJet Pro
Multi-function wireless laser printer with 1 year next-business day onsite warranty. Works with Linux, Mac, Windows, iOS and Android.
InkjetHP OfficeJet Pro 8025 All-in-One Wireless Printer
SupertankEpson EcoTank Wireless All-in-One Printer
LaserBrother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer
PhotoPolaroid Wireless Mobile Photo Printer
7. A Quality Desk Lamp
Good lighting is important!
Even if you’re home office is well lit it is probably still a good idea to get a nice desk lamp that can help regulate light so that there’s not too much or too little (at night) and reduce glare, or unpleasant reflections from open windows.
It’s worth considering a lamp with adjustable lighting to cater for different requirements – i.e. reading hard-copy instead of typing or watching a video.
- TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp
- Phive LED Eye-Care Desk Lamp
- TaoTronics LED Lamp with Wireless Charger
- Fugetek 27″ LED Desk Office Lamp
8. Smart Power Supply
Power failures don’t happen often, but when they do…
I have lost months of work due to a power failure. The sudden loss of power damaged the PC and it wasn’t able to open a whole bunch of documents. They were scrambled.
It’s not that I hadn’t made a backup either. Unfortunately, the ensuing power surge, when power resumed, fried the backup hard drive.
Use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) with power surge protection. Trust me, a day will come when you’re grateful.
- CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS System
- Tripp Lite 1500VA 900W UPS Battery Back Up
- APC 1350VA Sine Wave UPS Battery Backup Surge Protector
- APC UPS 1500VA Smart UPS with SmartConnect
9. Office & Family Privacy
Most people aren’t too bothered about using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect their online privacy. After all, who cares if you’ve got nothing to hide, right?
You might end up paying more for products and services because your Internet Service Provider is selling your home, business and family data to marketers and retailers who then push advertising targeted perfectly to encourage you to spend more than you need.
That’s just one example.
Personally, a VPN is important because I hate the thought of companies (and possibly governments or hackers) tracking and using my data for profit. Their profit, not mine.
Keep Your Home Office Network Private
Ensure companies aren’t using your personal, business and family data to charge you more.
Peace of Mind
Stop your Internet Provider (ISP) selling your home business and family data for profit.
Enjoy blazing fast speeds and protected browsing for up to 6 devices at a time.
10. Rock Solid Antivirus
While a VPN keeps your Internet usage private, preventing other people from monitoring your activity for their own profit (and possibly political agendas), it won’t prevent you from inadvertently visiting a dangerous site.
Antivirus software monitors your computer to help avoid malware, ransomware, viruses and other undesirable code from being installed or executed on your machine.
Safeguard Against Catastrophic Attacks
Avast antivirus prevents over 100 million attacks across 400 million devices every single day.
Super easy to install and has minimal impact on performance for up to 100 devices.
Stop cyber-criminals using vulnerabilities in out-of-date software, and keep your computers, emails, and network safe.
So that’s our ultimate roundup of what it takes to setup a safe and secure home office environment that will allow you to work seamlessly from home, as if you were sitting at your desk at the office.
Hopefully it will help you choose the perfect combination of furniture, tech and software to help save you time and money in the long run.
In case you’re wondering how on Earth I could put together an entire office roundup without mentioning coffee, I’ve put together a guide of the best coffee makers for the home and office separately. Enjoy!