5 Clever Gadgets For Your Home Office


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Working from home can be amazing because you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn and go outside into the freezing cold and commute to work. There’s no traffic jams, no people trying to have deep conversations with you at 8 am, and no need to wear high heels.

You can simply roll out of bed at 7:30 am, brush your teeth, come downstairs and grab a cup of coffee and get started with the day. Working in the comfort of your own home is great, and you will probably have a beautiful desk area set up for yourself, designed with you in mind. But there are also some really great gadgets you can add to your desk and your home to help you work more productively, and just because they are really cool gadgets to have!

Wifi Extender

First of all, the practical gadget. If you have a lot of devices in your home, your router may struggle to cope with connecting to them all effectively. The Smart Future has compiled a list of the best wifi extenders around, to help you boost your connectivity in your home and allow you to work more productively throughout the day.

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DeskCycle

Sitting at a desk all day isn’t good for your health, and you need to try and keep yourself moving as much as you possibly can in the moments between being at your desk. But there is a gadget which allows you to keep your legs moving while you are hard at work during the dad. The DeskCycle is a mini exercise bike which allows you to move your legs and burn calories while sitting comfortably at your desk. Save money on going to the gym and stay home, working off those extra pounds without moving from your seat!

Flower USB Port

If you tend to use quite a lot of USB devices in your PC at once, and also want to add a splash of colour to your desk: this Flower USB Port is ideal for you. It has 4 USB ports in red, green, blue and orange, and keeps your cables organised as you work. The stems even light up when you plug in a device!

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Henry Desk Vacuum

If you like to eat breakfast at your desk, then you may have had a few stray crumbs fall into your keyboard before now. It’s frustrating because you can’t get it out without blasting the keyboard with air. However, this cute little Henry Hoover will clean up the mess for you and sit as a colourful decoration in your office. So next time you fancy some toast, go for it!

USB Mini Fridge

There isn’t much to say other than this is the best gadget you will ever buy for your office. Chill your drink or stash a cheeky lunchtime cupcake in your USB mini fridge as you work away. It’s the perfect way to keep your snacks safe and your favourite drinks cold as you work.

Stress: The Work From Home Downfall No One Tells You About

There are countless articles online which sing the praises of working from home. And, it seems they’re onto something, with one in five Americans now doing just that. The benefits of a lifestyle choice like this speak for themselves.

But, it would be naive to assume this career choice is all plain sailing. It’s not. Working from home has pitfalls, just like any other career. And, while some of us can overcome them, others may be unable. Major downsides include loneliness and, what we’re going to talk about here, stress.

You may be wondering how working from home can be stressful. Don’t most people opt for this career choice to get away from stress? Yes, they do, but it doesn’t always work. While you do eliminate the stress of a workplace, freelancing like this has a whole new set of stressors to cope with. These include increased work pressures (it’s only you now), and the inability to switch off. After all, escaping from the workplace also means kissing goodbye to 9-5. Instead, you may find that you never entirely switch off.

The good news is that there’s plenty you can do to keep the stress at bay. And, we’re going to look at a few of your options here.

Take care of admin in the morning

Admin can be a considerable source of stress. When you work in an office, the HR department take care of all that. But, when you’re going it alone, it falls to you. Worse, you don’t make any money from that part of the job. Answering emails and filing invoices is time you’d rather spend actually working. Hence, it can be difficult to fit in when you’re experiencing a busy period.

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To remove the pressure, it’s worth doing admin before you get started each day. That way, you can work without interruption the rest of the time. You could look through emails and such while you’re eating breakfast. Or, you might want to dedicate your first hour to the job. Whatever you choose, getting it out of the way is your best bet.

A plan to avoid the last minute rush of deadlines

Planning is essential in every aspect of working from home. But, never does it help you more than when you’re working to a deadline. You’ll find that your stress levels soon rocket if you leave everything until the last minute each time. Then, you’ll be facing sleepless nights, and rushed work.

To avoid that happening, it’s important to have a decent plan in place for each piece of work you accept. As a rule, attempt to have everything finished a week before it’s due. That way, you have plenty of time to tweak things if you need to. To ensure this is doable, plan first how long you think a job will take you. Then, separate the task into hour-long chunks over a set period. Just like that, you’ll have things done in no time at all.

Get out of the house

Another cause of stress is the feeling of going stir crazy. If you haven’t left the house in a few days, your stress levels are sure to skyrocket. Worse, you may fail to recognize the cause. To stop this happening, make sure to get out of the house at least once a day. Even if you just walk round the block, the fresh air and new perspective will work wonders.

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Create spaces in which to unwind

Many of those who work from home experience stress because they fail to switch off. And, it’s easy to see why. When you’re staying in the same place, you may as well carry on, right? Wrong. In fact, if you work without unwinding, you’ll soon experience severe stress. Everyone needs to kick back for at least a few hours of an evening. To ensure you get into the habit, set aside spaces which are work-free zones. Your bathroom is an obvious one, so take advantage of that. You won’t need to put the effort in to make it work free. It already will be. And, if you take time to shop for a new bathtub online, and invest in some pamper products, it can become the ideal place to unwind.

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The living room can become another work-free zone if you go about things the right way. Nothing beats watching television with the rest of your family. Just make sure you never fall into the mistake of bringing your laptop down while you do so!

Could Working from Home be Beneficial for You? Topics for Potential Startups to Consider

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Working from home involves a whole lot more than simply throwing in the towel at your employed job and undertaking the same tasks from the comfort of your own living space. After all, if it was as simple as that, surely we’d all be opting to work within our own four walls. The decision to work from home, rather, has all sorts of inherent responsibilities that you may have never even considered before when working in employed positions. So, before diving right into the deep end, do your research and decide whether working from home is the right decision for you and your lifestyle. Here’s some key information to help you form your decision.

Is Self-Employment Right for You?

Self-employment, much like everything else in the working world, has its benefits as well as its downfalls. So let’s take a look through them. The enviable perks of self-employment include being your own boss. You decide what your position entails, what hours you’re going to work each week and you will also be able to put a value on your own work through your pricing. This is an amazing amount of freedom and liberates you from the standard nine to five regime. You have more control over your own life as well as your trade. You don’t have to answer to others and have the executive hand in any decisions or changes that may occur in your working life. Perfect, right? You also don’t have to apply for holidays or have limited holiday time, as everything is down to you. If you need to take a day off for a big event, you can take it! If you want an extended holiday, you can go ahead and book it. No worries at all. However, there are also drawbacks in regards to everything being down to you. You have to completely dedicate yourself to your personal brand in order for it to succeed. It is essential that you are motivated, as you won’t have anyone on your back reminding you to complete tasks or be productive. You also have to ensure that your company is profitable, so that you are earning enough to survive and take the time off that you want. There won’t be steady payslips, holiday pay or sick pay anymore so you need to be more responsible with your cash and savings. You also have to sort your own tax out at the end of the year. So, while there are many pros to working for yourself from home, you need to ensure that you are motivated, dedicated and proactive at all times. If you believe that you are capable of this, then it’s time to start taking the next steps!

Understanding Your Finances

Setting up a business isn’t as simple as setting up a few social media pages and spreading the word about your products or services. You need to invest huge amounts of time, energy and cash to get things up and started. So you need to understand your current financial situation and decide whether you will be able to commit to this. Check out your credit score on a free credit check site. This will help you to see how creditors and lenders will view you and consequently how willing they will be to help you out when it comes to funding your self-employed work in the beginning of your venture. Loans will be necessary down the line, not only to make larger purchases that will see a return at a later date but also to improve your rating, meaning that you can lend larger sums of cash as your business grows and expands. Always use reliable lenders such as Loan Center and ensure that you make your repayments on time. This will help to improve your score, as companies and banks will be able to see that you always repay what you owe and stick to the terms and conditions of your contracts. If things are looking less than positive, remain in employment for a little while and use this time to clear old debts and improve your score, meaning that you can start out your new business on the right foot.

Getting Started

Once you’ve got your finances in order and are entirely sure that this is the right path for your life to take, you can start investing in your personal brand. Ensure that you register as self-employed. You can then start developing products or services, create your website, conduct market research and start advertising and targeting customers who could potentially form a loyal customer base for your brand. Patience is a virtue when it comes to self-employment, so don’t rush things. Take your time, be sensible with your money and focus on customer satisfaction and raising brand awareness. It won’t be too long until you start to reap the profits.

Creating The Perfect Home Office In 3 Easy Steps

A home office should ideally be a place within your humble abode that is away from the distractions of modern life. You don’t want to be busy beavering away looking through important documentation within earshot of the kids playing Xbox in the living room. At the same time, you don’t want your office to be totally devoid of human interaction otherwise you may as well be working on site. Working from home has given us the freedom to enjoy our comforts while, at the same time, allowing us to strive to be as productive as possible. Take a look at these tips to help you create the perfect home office.


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Space

Ensure that you have enough room to set up a desk, chair and any equipment that you might need. If all you need is a laptop and a desk lamp, the space you require will be considerably smaller than if you need to set up lots of photography equipment for your business. Make sure your designated space is light and airy, and conducive to working. A dark, dank space will not motivate you in any way and will see you retreating to the comfort of the couch. It would be ideal if you had a view and plenty of sunlight to inspire your productivity.

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Alone Time

It’s important that your home office remains solely for working purposes and doesn’t take on other uses such as a laundry room or a place to store the latest junk you’ve acquired. When the usage becomes blurred, you are less inclined to want to work in the space. Your mind will be preoccupied with cleaning up mess or organizing the room.

It’s vital that the space is private. A small area inside your living room is ok as a final resort, but if the rest of the family is chilling out watching a good movie, you’ll inevitably find yourself getting distracted. It might be a good idea to invest in a small extension to create the privacy you need. You could take a look at personalloan.co and investigate the different types of loan that are available to you to cover the costs of the renovation. Then, you’ll have the privacy you crave, and you may have added value to your home.

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Be Organized

There’s nothing worse than an untidy desk or an overflowing waste paper bin. There won’t be a magical cleaning fairy who’ll dispose of the rubbish in your bin overnight, so you must ensure that you keep on top of cleanliness. Use stationery holders and binders like the ones seen on lifehack.org to organize your equipment and documents. Every time you switch your laptop off or put your pen down to retreat back into your home, ensure you leave your office tidy ready for the next day.

Creating an office space within your home can create a great working environment. As you become more productive, you can take advantage of the emergence of agile working and utilize your home office space to its full potential.

Personal space to work at home.

I used to take for granted that I have my own work area in our old home. I designated a small space in a corner of the living room for me to work at. I have a computer table, a comfortable chair, and my own electric fan for when it comes really hot in my little corner. It was my home office and my income-earning little space.

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We now moved into a new home. Bigger than the one we used to live in but this time, I don’t have a nook where I can put my home office at. I tried taking a corner but it’s just not the same.

It finally dawned on me how important a personal space at home where I can work and not be disturbed. I can’t do as much work in our new home because I don’t have the same personal space as I used to. I really miss that corner!

I do believe that there’s a way for me ‘capture’ that ambiance of my old corner. I just don’t know exactly how.

Maybe I should start with a table and chair I’d feel comfortable using. And… any other ideas?

Ensuring That Your Home Office Is As Productive As Possible

If you work from home as a freelancer, blogger, or you run your own business; it can be a challenge to stay motivated and ensure that you’re being productive during the working week. There are plenty of distractions and potential disturbances in a home setting; from other family members to odd jobs and chores that need to be done. It can be difficult to make sure that a short break doesn’t turn into something longer, and before you know it; it’s the evening and time for dinner and bed.

However, creating a productive workspace and home-office will help to boost your work and make each day more advantageous. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time and effort making your office, studio, or work area the best it can be, and investing in changes and upgrades for a fruitful future. The following are some ideas and tip for those whose home office space, and work routine, needs a push in the right direction for added productivity.

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The Decor

Your office should be a space where you can clear your mind and separate yourself from the rest of the house; you need to feel cool, calm and collected so that you’re ready to tackle your workload. Therefore, you’ll need to invest in a fresh coat of paint for the walls and ceilings, and ensure that it’s in a light, neutral hue, or even a cool, crisp white. A non-invasive background colour will help prevent brain-fog and headaches, and your thoughts will be able to run freely so that you can boost your productivity. You’ll also be able to add decorative touches, like artwork, ornaments, and photographs with ease, and the environment won’t appear to be too cluttered; which can also stifle your thought process.

When it comes to flooring; you need to think about practicality and design. The colour doesn’t have to be a light shade to match the walls; however, the more neutral, the better. You want to be able to incorporate your office furniture with ease and ensure that any rugs or mats you want to add will fit in seamlessly. A hard-wearing floor, like wood, laminate, or tiles, will ensure that your office or work nook won’t look tired from wear and tear over the years. If you’re working full time from home; the space will be a heavy traffic area, both from you moving around the area, and your office chair rolling to and fro, so you’ll need something that withstand the test of time and usage.

There are plenty of options to suit every style and taste when it comes to desks, office chairs, and furniture. If you’ve kept your walls and floor neutral; you’ll be able to incorporate a wide variety of items, whether they are antique family heirlooms or fresh, modern pieces that you’ve treated yourself (and your new office) to.

It’s worth adding plenty of storage and seating into your space, without making it feel cluttered. An armchair or small sofa makes the perfect addition to a home office; you can sit and use your laptop or tablet on there, or take a coffee break without having to back into your living area where there’ll be plenty of distractions. It’s always great to have multiple seating options; it’ll give you flexibility and comfort in your workspace, and you can figure how you like to work best. Make sure that your storage, like your shelving and drawers, are all easy to access and fill them with items that you’ll utilise each day. Don’t overcrowd your storage or give yourself too much to look at when you’re at your desk; keep everything as minimal as possible, so your mind will have room for all the work ahead.

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The Layout

When it comes to the layout of your office environment; You need to focus on the feeling of openness, space, and how easy it is to maneuver around the room. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t buy a desk, or any other furniture, that would overwhelm the office. Place your shelving and storage in nooks and corners of the room: if they’re not a feature of your workspace, you don’t need them to be in your line of sight, and you can tidy things away so that you have a clear and productive room to work in. You could consider putting your desk facing towards a window; natural light is a great boost for the brain and will allow you to think clearly, and you’ll get a boost to your mood.

Although you don’t want it too big; make sure that your desk can house your computer, laptop, and all of your stationery comfortably. You’ll want to have everything close by, without it feeling claustrophobic or untidy. Take away any heavy curtains or blinds, and fill the room with natural light and fresh air when possible; the sunlight should bounce off the light wall colours and fill the space with a lively feeling that will boost your ability to produce quality work. If you do decide to bring in comfy seating and a rug or two; pop them in corners and nooks too. You want your desk space to feel open and vibrant; however, you might want you chill-out zone to feel separate and cosy.

A large wall mirror can open up your office room; put it in sight of where you sit at your desk so that you can always catch a glimpse and get the feeling of a larger work environment. Keep you filing and paperwork in the storage you popped in the corners and along the walls; these are things you don’t need to look at every day, but you’ll know where to find them should you need to. Again, it’s not about over-filling the room, but carefully placing your items and furniture so that they’re accessible and make the most of the size you have to work with. Your layout should boost the feeling of space and function in your office so it can increase your motivation and the momentum of the work you’re producing.

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The Organisation

Maintaining a productive office is key to the success of the work you produce at home. Make sure you have your lists and calendar not only digitally, but somewhere written down, and insight too. Writing down notes and putting them where you can see them is a great way to keep on top of tasks and work that needs to be completed. Keep your vital contact details, like mobile computer repairs, clients, and stockists written down physically too; you’ll be grateful you did so if anything happens to your computer, phone, or laptop. Backing your work up on more than one USB is another great way to ensure everything you’ve worked on is safe, and nothing gets lost. Back-up regularly to avoid a month’s work disappearing due to a computer crashing.

It’s worth investing in a safe, lockable drawers or a cabinet, to ensure that your expensive items are at risk of family life, or theft. Put any cameras, laptops, tablets, and USBs that you purely use for work, in the secure, lockable storage and give yourself some peace of mind when you close the door to the office each day. Clever storage solutions and an organised approach to your space will ensure that your focus will be on your work, so put some time and effort in now to reap the rewards in the future.

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The Personality

Now that you’ve painted, decorated, added the right furniture and put it in a great place, and you’ve organised everything you need for a productive day of work; you can focus on the fun stuff. You’ve decorated the interior of your home office with neutral and plain shades; therefore you can bring in pops of colour and inspiration in the form of books, your favourite artwork, interior accessories, and photographs of your loved ones and places you’ve enjoyed. Brightly coloured and patterned cushions and throws are a great addition for your chill out zone, or to make your office chair a little more comfortable. Soft furnishings are always a great way to switch up a room’s style without spending too much money, so as your tastes change; so will your office.

House plants and fresh flowers in your favourite pots and vases are another way to add colour, and you’ll be bringing in a natural element which is great for calming the mind and helping your thought process. Treat yourself to an office mug, or cup and saucer from a ceramic designer you admire; you want the room to feel personal and special so that you can be creative with your ideas and comfortable enough to sit and work hard. Coasters, stationery holders, and photo frames will all add interest and characterful design additions to your desk space. Remember not to over-clutter the space, but don’t leave it soulless and free of your personality.

The more effort you put into each detail of your home-based office, the more you’ll be comfortable, organised and inspired, and your productivity will increase immediately.

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