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12 Must-haves for your home office

By Rachel Wallace

Flexible working locations are becoming the norm, but have you perfected your home office set up?

Whether you’re working from a kitchen table or you’re lucky enough to have a home office space, here are some of the essential items you need to successfully work from home.

How many can you check off?

1. Reliable connection

An NBN connection is a good place to start, but it always helps to have a plan B in the event of an interruption.

Products like Optus’ Ultra WiFi Modem, available on eligible plans, comes with a 4G back-up for a more reliable connection*. This means if the NBN drops out, the Ultra WiFi Modem will step in and you will automatically be connected to the Optus 4G plus network, helping to give you uninterrupted service.

2. WiFi extenders

So, you have a WiFi connection, but what if the signal doesn’t carry to your office at the back of the house?

In this instance, consider an extender or booster. For example, the Optus Ultra WiFi Booster, included with new eligible Optus Family Home Internet Plans, extends your WiFi coverage and reduces blackspots so you can enjoy more uninterrupted, wall-to-wall WiFi coverage.

3. Back support

Most tables make for adequate desks but not all chairs make for adequate work seating.

Get yourself a decent chair to protect your spine. Picture: Unsplash

Even if you find yourself working at the kitchen bench or dining table, try to find a seating solution that supports your back and helps you stay upright for lengthy seated periods.

4. A computer monitor or riser

If you’re committed to working from home, you need to invest in an ergonomic set-up. This means a larger computer screen or, at the very least, a laptop riser to boost your screen height.

For optimal ergonomics, the top of your screen should be at eye level, with your keyboard just above waist level when sitting (elbows bent at 90 degrees).

5. A timer

This is a particularly crucial piece of equipment for anyone who works by the hour. But, even for those that don’t, it can still be useful. Particularly if you’re likely to have a client who wants a record of your hours, keep track of your different tasks or projects. Others may simply find a timer helps with time management, as well as offering a reminder to take screen breaks every now and again.

Most of us will have a timer function on our computer, tablet or smart phone. Apps like Clockify can also help separate and organise different tasks or projects.

6. Headphones

Even if you live in a quiet home or neighbourhood, if you work from home for long enough we can almost guarantee you will need headphones at some point.

You may not realise it until the neighbours decide on some very noisy renovations. Or maybe you simply want to spare the rest of your household from listening to constant Zoom calls. But trust us — these are a vital office accessory.

7. Energy-efficient lighting

Natural light is ideal for work. But, regardless of whether you need them for work or not, energy-efficient lamps and ceiling lighting are good investments for your home.

Natural light is best. Failing that, get yourself an energy-efficient lamp. Picture: Getty

According to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, LEDs use about 75% less energy than halogen bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer.

You can also try the Light Bulb Saver App to help you choose the best lighting solution and gain more precise insights into potential savings.

8. Insurance

Home contents insurance is recommended at the best of times, but especially so if you’re working from your home.

In the case of an insurable event, ensure you can claim items in your home office. Those with Apple products may also want to consider Apple Care.

9. Stationery and organising accessories

Nowadays, most office operations are computer-based. But a lot of us still thrive off more ‘analogue’ methods.

Get yourself some folders and diaries to keep your work-from-home life organised. Diaries, calendars, folders, notebooks and pens are all worthy investments for those who like visual, hard-copy records of their schedules or projects.

10. A drink bottle

Whether you’re in an office or at home, it can help to have a giant jug or water bottle around to make sure you’re staying hydrated.

The recommended intake for adults is around two litres per day and having a vessel that carries this precise amount can help keep you on track.

11. Coffee and snacks

If you’re new to working from home and are otherwise used to getting a takeaway coffee everyday, you may benefit from investing in your home brew options.

Get some quality beans from your favourite cafe or roaster and put them to the test with your own pour-over, plunger, press or espresso pot.

Similarly, stock up on healthy snacks for that 3:30-itis. Remember, sustenance helps keep you productive.

12. House plants

Purify the air in your home with a few plant friends!

House plants not only help purify the air, but they can also help with our mood.

Plus, who couldn’t use a little pop of colour in their home office?


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