Work From Home 101: Home Office Essentials

I'm still getting messages through various social media, in-person questions from friends as well, about how they can get out of the rat race and earn a living from their own home without huge start-up costs, sales expectations or having to self-incorporate. Basically, they all want to know how to gain employment remotely. I have decided to start a series of how-to posts, basically, to dive a bit deeper into the subject than just what I covered in my previous post Stop Commuting, Start Computing!
One of the first and biggest questions I hear is often about what is needed to start or what can be expected as needed in creating a home office. 

I live in an approximately 830 square foot duplex unit. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no bonus rooms. You may be wondering how I have space to have not one but two office areas. 
Well, my first "office" is a larger desk with drawers for filing away papers, office supplies and holds my personal computer. I used to use this one for my first job as well as for personal use but eventually it gets tough hiding everything away and pulling it all back out as many jobs that deal with customer accounts ask you not to have paper and pens out for security reasons. I now use this for my personal and household use as well as for blogging. It's against the wall in my kitchen. Yep, in my kitchen. Ya gotta work with what space ya got!
My second "office" is a smaller desk, much more minimal, in my bedroom. I chose that spot for my current job as I need to be able to close the door behind me to create a completely distraction-free environment and be sure nobody else can see the screen in which I may at any time have a customer's account information on while I'm assisting them. My dad took the arms off of my office chair so it would fit under the smaller desk better, so it's not in the way of my walking path through my small bedroom. Honestly, this works nicely for me, as I keep a throw blanket on my bed within arms reach if I get chilly and I have nice natural light during the afternoon on that side of the house preventing the need for more harsh lighting during at least the first part of my shift. The company I'm with now provided the computer I use for that one.

Every company/program is going to have different expectations/requirements! One may ask you to use your personal computer and require it to be a desktop model and also ask you to use a land line with corded headset. Another may allow laptops and the use of a VoIP. 
The common requirements I've encountered with every single position I've had are:
High-speed Internet
Hardwired (connect with Ethernet, not Wi-Fi)
Distraction-free or noise-free environment (close a door or if you have small children, you'll still need childcare)
Minimum computer requirements such as 1 GHz Intel Pentium P4 processor or better, at least 1 GB of RAM memory and an updated operating system (often at least Windows 8 or better on PC and for the ones allowing Mac, it varies but I've seen 10 and I've also seen Yosemite, so... be sure to double check if the company even allows Mac for it's program)

At the base minimum, aside from a good computer and desk, you'll need a comfortable chair because your behind will be in it a lot! I lucked out when I started and spotted a yard sale the same day I got my first job offer with a sturdy and comfortable office chair for five dollars. It's held up fabulously but I am planning on getting another soon, just to match the decor in my room a bit better. A cushion such as this one on Amazon is a great idea to make any chair more comfortable. This one is the one I'm ordering in a few weeks. I'll be sure to update and let you know how it is. 

Having wrist rests, supportive pads to rest your hands and arms on is also helpful. Something like this is an expensive version but there are many variations on these to fit your own needs. I've even used a rolled up pillow case in a pinch! Ergonomics is often covered near the beginning of most training I have encountered as it's often required by OSHA but here's a great link to read up on it.

If the job asks for you to use USB headsets for VoIP or for training and doesn't provide one, any headset with a usb plug and a mute option will probably work but the ones I use and really love are these cushy Plantronics.

If you are asked to have a land line for use, some allow you to simply add a corded headset to your existing phone but I've been using a dial pad with corded headset for each job requiring this and I would recommend it as the way to go hands down. The one I use isn't available on Amazon any longer but is almost identical to this one and has been perfect. I use a binaural headset out of preference and many of my co-workers have agreed it's best but there are single ear options available as well.

Thanks for visiting and I do hope that answered some questions about getting started in your work-from-home journey! Feel free to message me utilizing any of the social media links in the upper right sidebar or by commenting below if you have any more questions about setting up your first home office or if you have suggestions as well! (p.s. the links to the products on Amazon are in fact affiliate links meaning if you purchase from Amazon I may get a small commission from that sale but I will never link to anything I do not use or plan to purchase soon. All of the linked items are either what I use, similar to what I use or on my wish list! See my disclosure page for more on that.)


  1. A desk, for me it's all about the desk! :)
    Happy Hump Day!
    xx finja |

    1. Desks are the foundation, right?!
      Happy Hump Day! (ofcourse, for me, it's my Sunday since my work shift is Thursday-Monday! LOL)

  2. It makes sense about the desk being primrary to an office setup. It's impressive you are able to do so much with so little space.

  3. Nicely said! Thanks for sharing just how you get everything you need into your small space.

  4. Trying to find room in my tiny place for a office space this gives me hope!

  5. in the process of creating a 'space' in our master bedroom since that's really the only spare space. thanks for the inspiration to get going!

  6. The only thing I'd add is good lighting. That is hugely important to me, especially as I get older! I'm all about the desk lamps these days.

  7. I have just started getting my workspace in order, so this was super helpful!