Here are 10 things you need for your VA Home Office:
1 – Reliable& Secure Internet Connection – don’t spare the expense on your internet connectivity. This is the life line of your business. Cable or Broadband are the best options. And be sure that it is a secure network that is password protected.
2 – Reliable Desktop or Laptop Computer – this is the second life line of your business. I actually have both a laptop and a desktop so I have the flexibility I need. Go with what works best for your lifestyle and business.
3 – Comfortable Desk Chair – since we sit most of the day, it is important to get a comfortable chair. Try out as many as you can to find one that works. Here is a detailed article on ergonomic chairs and how to choose one: http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/office-chair-choosing-right-ergonomic-office-chair
4 – Cell Phone and/or Landline – You will need a dedicated phone line in your office if you plan on applying for any customer service type of virtual employment. For other jobs, you can use your cell phone. There are tools like Google Voice where you can create a business number and that number can be forwarded to any phone you choose. Google Voice is only available in the US at this time.
5 – Headset with Microphone – this is a must if you are using tools like Skype or Google Hangouts. Some customer service positions will also require a headset. It will decrease the background noise and make it easier to hear each other. This is also great if you will be doing any webinars or training.
6 – All in One Scanner, Fax & Printer – an all in one makes it easy to print, scan or fax directly from your office.
7 – Task Management System – you need a tool to help you manage tasks, deadlines and clients. There are many great task management tools on the market, find one that works for you and get it setup before you get too busy. Here are a few: TeamWork, Zoho, or Asana.
8 – Office Software or similar – you need to have Office software for typing documents, creating spreadsheets or other work related tasks. Microsoft Office is a popular choice as is Google Docs and Open Office (a free alternative to Microsoft Office).
9 – Email Client – you can use Gmail or Outlook for all your email as well as your clients. Email is a big part of your daily life, find one that works for you.
10 – Cloud Storage – this is the easiest way to share documents with clients instead of email. There are several you can choose from like Amazon Cloud, Apple iCloud and Google Drive to name a few. They can also be used as a backup for important documents and any other data stored on your hard drive. Most provide storage free from 5 to 15 gigs of info. Check each to see which works best for you.