Most people are looking for ways to save money and extend their income. This is especially true if you’re a home-based worker who may not be able to rely on a steady paycheck. However, there are certain investments that home workers can make to increase productivity and earn more in the future.
In This Post:
No matter what work you do, you probably rely on a computer for some or all of your income. You should choose one that meets your needs and technical skills. For instance, a freelance programmer will have greater computing needs than a writer.
The various websites and interfaces you use regularly may impact your choice of screens. You don’t want to be leaning over the keyboard and squinting at small print all day or it could damage your eyes.
You should also pay attention to disk usage. Someone who works with video or extensive data files might need a lot of space, such as a one terabyte hard drive or more. SSDs, or solid state drives, can provide faster performance if that’s what you need to be efficient.
Even design and graphic displays can be critical, as you’re going to be working on your computer eight hours each day, if not more. Don’t buy something that doesn’t feel comfortable or seems ugly to you. If you’d be more comfortable on a full-size desktop, don’t buy a laptop unless you plan on working from the road.
It’s better to spend your money now on a computer you’ll actually enjoy using, especially a quality model that will last longer and need fewer upgrades over time. A computer that fits you personally will help you to get more done and earn more money.
If you do any work away from the office, you might want to splurge on a smartphone. You can use them almost anywhere and find a variety of apps to improve your productivity. Before choosing one, however, you need to evaluate the speed and storage capacity you’re getting for your money.
Some additional gadgets that might be of help are device chargers, travel adaptors, power banks, and battery backups, to name a few.
2. A Designated Work-Space
As a home-based worker, you should have your own office where you can work without distractions. A den or spare bedroom would be ideal, but if you don’t have the space, you can claim a corner of the living room or bedroom. Having your own office to organize and decorate any way you like will improve your concentration and motivation.
The basics that any home office should have start with a chair that you’ll be able to sit in for hours at a time. It should be comfortable. This will reduce your mental and physical fatigue and improve your focus and productivity. When selecting a chair, take into account things like degree of recline, stability, armrests, height, lower back support, and capacity for adjustment.
Your work surface should be large enough to accommodate your computer, keyboard, and mouse comfortably, along with any cabling, but still allow you enough room to make notes or set a mug of coffee down safely. You might also need extra drawers for the usual office supplies like staplers, post-it notes, rubber bands, and paper clips.
Dim lighting, especially when staring at a computer screen all day, can make you sleepy. A large window admitting plenty of natural sunlight is best, but that won’t do you much good at night or during dark winter days. You may want additional lighting around your workstation.
When selecting desk lamps, look for simple, easy to clean fixtures that have adjustable arms, so you can adjust the light source. Try LED bulbs to reduce heat and conserve energy.
Everybody needs a healthy work-life balance to de-stress, but this is a little harder working from home. You may be tempted to sit down at the computer when you should be having dinner with your partner or spending time with the kids. This workaholic mindset will only add to your stress.
To stay effective, you need to be able to relax here and there to clear your thoughts and start fresh. Allow yourself to take a break when your mind and body are telling you that you need one. Put some exercise equipment nearby, or do a few squats and pushups to burn off tension and help refocus.
Like any worker, you also need a day off now and then, if not a real vacation. A night at the movies, a nice restaurant, or a weekend road trip to see the sights are all affordable ways to unwind. You could change up your routine and set aside an afternoon or a full day to just focus on networking and looking for new opportunities.
Finally, don’t be afraid to buy those cute pajamas, even if they are a bit on the expensive side. After all, they are your work attire and you should enjoy them.
Not Rich Enough to Buy Cheap Things
In summary, home-based workers can increase their productivity by being prepared. Create a dedicated workspace with the right technology, furnishings, and adequate lighting to stay comfortable and focused. But allow yourself some time to relax or even take a little vacation now and then.
You may spend more money upfront than you planned on, but you’re investing in yourself. A productive working environment will help you to stay motivated and earn more money.