Having the right home office can make a huge difference when it comes to productivity, these cost-conscious tips will help!
Once you decide to take the plunge and launch your law practice from home, the first step is to set up your new home-based workspace. But that can be a tricky and expensive question to tackle!
While it may be easy to flop down on the couch in your sweatpants and decide it’s your new office, curating the space you work from is essential to your productivity and state of mind. As a remote worker, taking the time to thoughtfully choose the right setup is a worthy investment of your time.
You are the boss, which means you don’t have to ask anyone to upgrade your home workspace. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to do that. Here are five ways to upgrade your home law office that won’t cost a fortune
Improve your setup with a simple external monitor
Tired of staring at your small laptop screen all day? Of course, you are! External monitors can be very expensive though, but I’d be willing to be that you have a monitor already without you even knowing it. Your TV can work as a monitor as well. All you need is an HDMI cable and a wireless keyboard, and possibly an HDMI adapter. While some laptops have HDMI ports built-in, many newer PC models require either a Mini DisplayPort or USB-C adapter. For Macs, it’s typically either a Lighting to HDMI or Apple DisplayPort adapter. A quick google search will tell you what you need!
You can also use your TV as a second monitor if you want to have some extra workspace. For example, you can have emails up on your laptop and then all your larger documents can be put up on the larger monitor. Using this option really comes in handy when you’re creating content or working on a complicated project as you can have all of your files open and viewable in the same place.
Inexpensive standing desk
You don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a fancy standing desk. There are some DIY options using items around our home, like an ironing board for example. While it’s not as sturdy or quite as adjustable as a standing desk is, it is something that you could consider. Essentially anything that is tall enough that you can stand next to will work as a temporary standing desk, just takes a little imagination.
You can also purchase an adjustable laptop stand that sits on your desk and can be raised and lowered to customizable heights. This can be quite useful and while they are more expensive than things already have around your house, they are still a cheaper option than a full standing desk.
Consider a Virtual Office in an executive suite as a second work location.
Your home office may be perfectly adequate to roll up your sleeves and do the “dirty work” of a legal practice (drafting, legal research, telephone negotiations), but meeting clients, employees, or adversaries in your home may not be practical.
Or, you may find it helpful from time-to-time to get out of your office and work somewhere else.
Coffee shops can be one alternative, but they can be loud, and the use of public Wi-Fi may present confidentiality concerns. Libraries are quiet, but offer very little privacy and are not great places for meeting.
Get a good pair of headphones
You don’t have to shell out a ton of money for a pair of decent noise-canceling headphones, Bose and Beats are not the only options when it comes to nice options. There are plenty of less-expensive options that will still get the job done. You may have to deal with lower sound quality with the cheaper pair, but remember the main purpose is to block out external sound. And by blocking out those sounds, you will be avoiding unnecessary distractions, helping you to focus more of your attention on the tasks at hand.
Use the right chair
If you’re going to splurge, then it should probably be on a comfortable work chair. Think about how much of your day is spent sitting, that alone should give your reason enough to get a good work chair. You want something that will be supportive yet comfortable. Adjustable chairs are always a good idea, as are ones with at least a small amount of padding. If you have the option, go to an office supply store and actually sit on a few chairs to get a feel for what you find the most comfortable. If online is your only option, be sure to check the reviews and see if the responses match what you’re looking for as well.
A more economical option is to simply add a cushion to your existing chair, several companies such as Purple make a seat cushion for this exact purpose. Again, some of these cushions are not cheap, but most are cheaper than buying a new chair altogether.