What You Need for a Home Office

Sep 30, 2021 | Blog

Setting up a home office seems simple until you do it. We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses and seen what works and what wastes your time and money. Here are the things that create the most productive and efficient home office.


A desk is one of those straightforward things that of course you need! You may assume any flat surface will work, but it is a vital foundation for your workspace.

  • Size: You need plenty of room to do your work and not feel constrained.
  • Storage: Nothing pulls your attention away from your work like clutter. Consider how many drawers you might need to keep things from piling up on your desk. If you are planning to use a table without drawers, think about where you will put things like printer ink, staples, pens, files, etc.
  • Flexibility: You may want an adjustable desk that allows you to easily change the height, so you can sit or stand to do your work.


A comfortable chair is another critical component. It is tough to focus on the tasks at hand if you are constantly adjusting your chair to get comfortable. The right chair for you could be a standard office chair, one that can recline, or even an exercise ball chair. The choices and price points are endless. Be assured there’s a chair out there that is perfect for you.

Dedicated Computer

A dedicated computer for your business might seem like an extra expense, but you should consider it. Besides ensuring that your computer is available whenever you need it, you must safeguard your business files and customers information from viruses and hackers.If you share a computer with your family:

  • You’re also sharing computer storage space – that means mixing your business files with their personal files which could contain viruses
  • They will probably play games on it and download apps, which could contain viruses

These activities increase the chances and ways that you could get a computer virus and provide more opportunities for a hacker to break into your network.

Wireless Firewall

A wireless firewall is an essential part of your network infrastructure – even if you are a solo business owner. We do not recommend using the firewall provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) because you will have limited configuration options.If you own your firewall, the ISP can’t access it and make changes. Other significant factors to consider are:

  • ISPs often do not ever update the ISP firmware
  • ISPs often leave the default password on it

These two factors are security risks that you don’t want to take. The benefits of a wireless firewall are:

  • It provides Wi-Fi throughout your home as well as your office
  • Some advanced firewalls will allow you to make separate networks. So you could have one dedicated to your office, and one for your general home usage

We recommend an independent wireless network for your home so you can keep vulnerable devices off of your business network.You can read more about Firewalls by clicking here.You can read more about why not to use an ISP firewall by clicking here.You can read more about why you should keep IoT devices off a network by clicking here.

Anti-virus Software

You need powerful, paid anti-virus software for all your computers. Free anti-virus programs generally provide the bare minimum for protection. The bare minimum isn’t enough for your business. You need reliable, advanced protection to keep your data safe.Paid anti-virus software usually provides additional features that you won’t get with free software. Maybe the most crucial reason to have paid anti-virus software on your computer is that these products are updated with virus definitions more frequently. That’s critical because new viruses are launched constantly.You can read more about Anti-Virus Software by clicking here.

Offsite Backup

No one wants to think about a system failure, but planning for it and having a solution in place is invaluable if that time does unfortunately come.An ideal backup solution will store your data backups offsite, away from your home office. Having your backups offsite will protect you in the event something happens to your home office like a fire, flood, storm damage, etc. A sound backup system can also come in handy in less dire scenarios, such as accidentally deleting an important file. You can rest easy knowing you can restore it to a previous version.

Professional Email Address

A professional email address is important for a multitude of reasons.

  • It is easier for customers to remember since it is the URL for your website.
  • It makes you look more professional
  • Professional email addresses are more reliable and stable than a free email address
  • You have legal ownership over a professional email address and can take control as necessary
  • Professional email providers do a lot better job of spam filtering than a free email provider

You can read more about Professional Email addresses by clicking here.


Despite the ability to do most things digitally, paper and hard copies are still neccesary. A multifunction copier is ideal because it allows you to print, scan, and fax.We recommend a laser printer for home offices instead of an inkjet printer. Inkjet printers are usually less expensive to purchase, but they cost a lot more to operate than a laser printer. Even when inkjet printers aren’t printing your documents, they may be using up ink. Most inkjets periodically go through a cleaning cycle to clean the nozzles. The process requires ink, so your cartridges are emptied faster even though you aren’t printing or copying a lot of documents. Be sure to factor in the cost of maintaining your office equipment as well as the purchase price whenever you are making a business purchase.

Phone System

Having a business phone number that is different from your personal phone number is highly recommended to provide a professional experience for callers. You can:

  • Tailor the experience with specific messages that play depending on the day of the week and time of day.
  • Set it to ring only during your business hours, not 24/7 so you can keep your business and personal life separate

Calendar System

A calendar system that integrates with your business suite of applications will help you keep track of deadlines and prevent you from double-booking yourself.Most calendar systems make it easy to accept and automatically add an appointment to your calendar. They can also show you meetings currently booked at that the same time or scheduled close to it.

Surge Protector and Battery Backup

A surge protector and battery backup are vital tools for protecting your electrical equipment.

  • A surge protector helps prevent power surges from damaging the equipment
  • An Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) battery backup for your computer and network equipment:
  • Allows you to work and save all of your data before shutting down your computer, ensuring that you won’t lose data after shutting down.
  • Ensures the maximum uptime for your devices
  • Prevents your equipment from restarting in the event of a minor power flicker


This category includes all of the devices that you attach to your computer. It’s essential to find devices that fit your needs and that you don’t mind using day after day. Some of the things you might consider are:

  • Computer Mouse: Multi-button or trackball mice?
  • Computer Keyboard: Traditional, specialized, or more ergonomic design?
  • Mounted webcam: Basic, high quality, or one that has additional capabilities, like taking still pictures?
  • USB headsets: Noise-canceling, high-quality microphone, or both?

Keep these questions in mind when you are deciding what peripherals you need.

White Noise Generator

A white noise generator is useful for reducing or eliminating background noise such as kids screaming in another room, and it also contributes to a more relaxing environment.

Basic Office Supplies

Here are a few of the basic supplies that you will probably need:

  • Pens
  • Note pads
  • Printer paper
  • sticky notes
  • Paper clips
  • Etc.

Business Cards and Professional Nametag

Business cards and professional nametag are essential tools for networking and promoting your business.

  • A professional nametag will help people remember your name and always looks better than a “Hello” sticker with your information hastily scribbled with a Sharpie.
  • It’s the 21st century, and people still ask for a business card when they meet you. A business card is an essential marketing tool that helps people remember you and gives them the contact information they need to do business with you.


A whiteboard can be a handy tool if you are a very visual person. You can use it to record tasks and track of projects, manage your workflow, make notes, and keep track of new ideas.

Password Manager

When it comes to storing your passwords, you need something more secure than a spiral notebook. Login information and passwords stored in an easy-to-find and read format is an unnecessary risk to your business.A digital password manager is:

  • More secure
  • Accessible from your computer and phone
  • Creates and stores more complicated passwords which are harder for hackers to crack

You can read more about Password Managers by clicking here.

Office Business Suite

Using a suite of typical business applications ensures that you will be able to create documents in formats that are easily opened by others. Most suites include universal apps and cloud storage for files and data.

Comfy Pajama Pants

This home office “must-have” is also a perk of working from home. On days when you don’t have appointments outside of your home and aren’t seeing clients at your house, there’s no need to get all dressed up!

That’s a Lot of Stuff

There are a lot of things to consider when setting up or updating your home office. Here’s a recap of what we covered.Home Office Essentials:

  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Dedicated Computer
  • Wireless Firewall
  • Anti-virus Software
  • Offsite Backup
  • Professional Email Address
  • Printer
  • Phone System
  • Calendar System
  • Surge Protector and Backup Battery
  • Peripherals
  • White Noise Generator
  • Basic Office Supplies
  • Business Cards and Professional Name Tag
  • Whiteboard
  • Password Manager
  • Office Business Suite

If you’re looking for office equipment recommendations tailored to your business, contact us!

We enjoy helping business owners like you get set up for success. Since we’ve worked with hundreds of businesses, we can help you avoid costly mistakes and offer expertise and key business insights that you won’t get at Staples!

Call (844) 448-7767 or contact us.