Home office? Check. Laptop? Sorted. Screen? Consider it. What other tech and apps do you envision will make your home office dream come true? For me, I didn’t realise I needed a monitor until I had so many web pages open that I couldn’t work out what was going on.
You don’t need state-of-the-art tech. For a laptop, it’s about balancing power with portability. (And speaking of going mobile, if you are going to be taking your computer with you to meetings, etc, it’s also important to invest in a bag that is both supportive and functional. My favourite bag brand is Knomo, available from the iStore.)
Along with a fast computer and screen, you need to make mindful decisions about what sort of tech comes next. Do you need headphones? Must they be noise-cancelling? What about wireless? And for a printer, will a simple scan-to-PDF machine do, or do you need an all-in-one printer-copier-scanner? There is no point shelling out money for something you’re not going to use regularly. If you print only on the odd occasion, it will be cheaper in the long run to go to a print shop.
For a small home printer, I like the Canon PIXMA G4400. It’s a 4-in-1 printer with refillable ink tanks and a LCD display. It’s also Wi-Fi-enabled, which means it will work with all of your devices (via an app) and can connect wirelessly to things such as Apple Airprint.
Background noise can be a distraction for some, but for others it helps with focus. I like over-the-ear headphones, which are more comfortable if you’re listening to something for an extended period of time – and if they’re wireless, even better. Even if you’re not an audiophile, it’s worth spending money on high-end headphones. They fit better, they last longer and sound better. Nothing beats Beats – especially the Beats Solo3 wireless on-ear headphones.
Connectivity is key, and now that fibre is becoming more readily available throughout the country, it’s definitely worth looking into. It’s expensive… but not necessarily if you share the costs with a neighbour (something many South Africans are considering). Otherwise an uncapped, 4 meg line should keep you going.
No matter what you pick, if you’re investing in good equipment for your home office, you’ll need insurance to protect your tech. Double-check what your current policy covers, for peace of mind.