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Supplying Your Home Office

Aug 17, 2007
When you're serious about working as a freelancer, you need a great home office. It needs to be well supplied to help your productivity. Whether your home office is nothing more than a desk in the family room or it's a room away from all the noise, a good home office makes a big difference.

Pretty much anyone working as a freelancer these days will need a good computer. You probably have one already, but if you need to get a separate one for your business you will want to consider your needs before you make a purchase. How much power do you need? What programs are important?

One of my own favorite questions is "how many monitors?" Most home computers really only need one monitor, but many freelancers get by better with two or even three monitors. It really can increase your productivity. With the popularity of flat screen monitors you don't have to worry so much about how much space your monitors will take.

If you haven't yet invested in high speed internet, do so. You can get by with dialup, but it will slow you down quite a bit at times. I recommend cable internet if it is available in your area, but some prefer DSL. DSL is more widely available than it used to be, but is generally not as fast. It may be cheaper than cable, however. Watch out for contract terms so that you don't get stuck with something you can't live with.

A telephone line separate from your home's main line is a must to keep things professional. This can be either a land line or a cell phone, depending on your preferences. Make sure you have an answering machine or voice mail that sounds professional to handle those calls you can't take.

If you are going to need to send faxes, a fax machine is one option. However, if you already own a computer scanner you can use it and hook your computer up to your phone line to send faxes, so long as your computer comes with a fax modem. Consider which will work best for your circumstances.

Office supplies such as pens and paper will depend on what you are doing and how you prefer to work. If you're a freelance writer, you may prefer jotting ideas down on paper or you might keep all your notes on your computer, for example.

Pretty much everyone will need a file cabinet. There are plenty of things you will need to keep filed; check stubs, tax records, legal paperwork and so forth.

Think ergonomic when you go for your desk and chair. Suffering from carpal tunnel can ruin your abilities as a freelancer. Get a good desk and a good chair with armrests. Read up on ergonomics.

Depending on what you do and your personal work style, there may be more that you need for your ideal home office. Especially when you're starting out it can be a balancing act between your needs and your budget. Make sure that your needs are a priority and that everything helps you to be more productive and build your freelance career.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster offers resources for people interested in freelancing at her site. You can learn about freelance writing as well as other freelancing advice at http://www.find-freelance.com/general/.
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