Although people worked from home before the Internet, the world wide web and other technological advances have made working from home easier. If you’re serious about working at home, there are a few must-have tech tools you need.
1. Computer – Computers are essential for communication, gathering and sorting data, creating resources and much more.
2. High Speed Internet – Dial-up and satellite are too slow and unreliable. Many jobs state you need to have DSL or Cable, and specifically preclude dial-up and satellite access.
3. Professional Email – That cutesy email works fine in your personal life, but when you’re working in the professional world, firstname.lastname@example.org will make you seem unprofessional. You can set up a professional email through your Internet provider (most allow up to 5 emails on an account) or through Gmail.
4. Phone – At one time, landlines were preferred and for some jobs, such as customer service, they are still required. But you might be able to get away with a cell phone if the quality and reliability are good.
Not usually required, but recommended:
4. VoIP and a quality headset – Skype is the most well-known voice over Internet protocol, but it’s not the only option. It allows you to make phone and video calls using the Internet. On occasion, VoIP is required, but not very often. It’s possible the job source will ask to interview you through Skype or to attend conference calls through a VoIP system.
5. Backup Storage – No one plans for computer failure, but when it happens, you wish you had. Having backup storage allows you restore your data if your computer goes kaput. You can never have too much backup when it comes to working from home. You can save your information to a backup hard-drive or to an online service. Many entrepreneurs do both. Most data back up can be scheduled, so its automatically saved at regular intervals.
6. Smartphone – This is your traveling computer. A smartphone helps you stay connected to your job or home business. Some jobs require a cell phone, but even if they don’t, these little devices come in very handy when you’re traveling or the power goes out.
7. Mobile Hotspot – Although it’s fairly easy to find free wi-fi these days, a mobile hotspot allows you to work on your laptop anywhere you are, even in places where there is no wi-fi. Mobile hotspots are available through your cell phone service carrier and allow you to go online anywhere as long as cell service is available.
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