Create a Home Office that Works
lthough a growing number of businesses are reopening their in-person office spaces , many are maintaining remote workforces or implementing hybrid schedules . While the shift signals steps toward more traditional , familiar work environments , it also presents some challenges .
If your temporary remote work schedule is headed for a more permanent status , or if you ’ ll be straddling both worlds indefinitely , it may be time to make some changes to ensure your home office is up to the task .
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before making any significant purchases , do some digging to learn all you can about the devices and equipment you ’ re considering , especially if you ’ re planning to create an efficient setup using smart technology . While many devices work well together , that ’ s not always the case . You should also be aware of the controls and how you ’ ll manage smart functions ; choose the setup that ’ s most intuitive for you and fits best with your workflow .
IDENTIFY UNIQUE REQUIREMENTS
A successful home office needs to reflect the needs of your particular job , so you may need special equipment or tools specific to your role . For example , 63 % of desk-based workers said having to collaborate with colleagues virtually is either a challenge or major barrier to working remotely , with 24 % saying it is a major barrier , according to a survey by HP . If your job typically relies heavily on collaboration , you ’ ll probably need a video conference setup .
Another common challenge : access to a printer . More than one-fourth of desk-based workers ranked having access to the office printer among the top three things they miss about the in-office experience .
If your home office isn ’ t already equipped with a printer or you need to upgrade , you may be wondering where to start . Convenience is more important than everything else in a home printer , according to survey participants . You may also agree with the 52 % of remote workers who indicated that if they were considering buying a new home printer in the future , it must be easy to use , and a simple set-up process was a leading demand .
One convenient and simple option is the HP + smart printing system , which is powered by a cloud-based ecosystem with enhanced security , productivity and sustainability features . Paired with an optional Instant Ink automated supplies replenishment subscription , an environmentally friendly solution to ensure you never run out of ink or toner , the system offers a perfect solution for hybrid workers and small businesses .
Establishing a well-equipped home office takes time and money . Identify the equipment and essentials you need to get started then create a wish list with other items you can add over time . As you ’ re setting priorities , remember it can pay to invest in quality products from the get-go . If you have to make repairs , or upgrade or replacement equipment , you may actually spend more in the long run .
GET A STRONG NETWORK
At the office , you probably had an IT department responsible for keeping your network up and running . At home , you may still have some level of tech support , but your home connectivity is likely your own concern . A good network starts with a quality router . You ’ ll also want to shop for an internet provider with the best speeds at a rate you can afford . Just be conscious of any restrictions on volume or speed that could hinder your ability to do your job .
KEEP SECURITY IN MIND
Smart devices collect a lot of information and because much of the technology is still so new , it ’ s relatively vulnerable to hackers . Get familiar with privacy settings on all your devices and adjust accordingly so you ’ re not divulging proprietary data or other information that could be used inappropriately .
TIPS FOR FINDING THE RIGHT PRINTER
Features : A basic printer simply prints documents , but if you need to also copy , scan and fax , there are many all-in-one models that offer those capabilities , as well .
Inkjet vs . Laser : If you normally print text with few images , opt for a laser printer . If your work involves a lot of graphics and photos , an inkjet printer may be a better choice .
Supplies : Depending on how much you print , you may go through a lot of ink , and the cost can add up . Comparison shop to find the best ink prices , which brands offer features like recycling for used cartridges and whether you can access a subscription to ensure you never run out of ink or paper before a big deadline .
Cord Connections : Some printers require a wired connection to your computer while others can connect to your computer using Wi-Fi or an app like HP Smart App . Aside from personal preference , your decision may hinge on the space you have available . n
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