Checklist: working from home
It's easy to see why more people are choosing to work from home: a 20-second commute to the office, fewer interruptions, better coffee, and nobody looking over your shoulder while you sneak a peek at Twitter or Facebook.
The good news is that you don't need a full IT team to set up a decent home office system. Our checklist gives you the lowdown on everything you need to get up and running.
- Desktop PC: if you've got a permanent spot for your home office, an Advent desktop PC is the ideal computer. It's versatile and can handle much more than simple word processing. Check out the latest Advent desktop PCs here, you'll find even the least expensive model is more than capable of handling your home office needs.
- Laptop: why stay shackled to your desk? A laptop is an essential tool for versatile working - from the sofa to the office, or on the road somewhere in between. Click here to explore the Advent laptop range, where you can choose the best machine for your needs. Enjoy the best of both worlds with the new Advent Tacto touchscreen laptop (PC World), for example, which gives you a touchscreen, Windows 8 and small form factor for easy portability, making it the perfect travelling companion.
- Wireless Router : save time, money and office space by buying a wireless router with a built-in modem. The ASUS DSL-N55U N600 Dual-Band Wireless ADSL Modem Router (PC World) has everything you need: built-in ADSL modem, detachable Wi-Fi antenna to increase its range, four Gigabit Ethernet ports for lightning fast wired data transfers and two USB 2.0 ports for plugging in printers and other peripherals for sharing directly to your network.
- Printer: laser printers no longer break the bank, and the combination of performance, top-notch print quality and low running costs should make it an essential part of your home office setup. For a simple, fuss-free monochrome workhorse, the Brother HL-2135 (PC World) fits the bill perfectly. It’s got built-in Wi-Fi for cable-free printing, plus boasts fast printing times and a separate manual sheet feeder in addition to the 250-sheet paper tray.
- Scanner: say goodbye to dusty, space-eating paper files. A scanner can help you create a digital archive of old paperwork and correspondence. The Canon CanoScan LiDE 210 flatbed Scanner (PC World) produces effortless, high-quality image scans and searchable PDF documents.
- Backup device: your data is your business. Losing your records could have dire consequences so a backup device is essential. At just 48mm wide, the 1TB Western Digital MyBook Essential External Hard Drive 3TB (PC World) offers peace of mind and ample backup capacity without taking up valuable desk space.
- Webcam : video conferencing allows you to have face-to-face meetings without leaving the house, so you can ditch the suit and save on travel expenses at the same time. Our very own Advent AWC213 Webcam (PC World) is a popular and cost-effective choice, offering smooth, high-quality images.
- Headset : using a free internet phone service such as Skype can help keep phone bills in check. With comfortable ear pads, wireless interface and a flexible rotating microphone, the HP H8000 Wireless Headset (PC World) boasts noise-cancelling technology to reduce distractions when you're in the middle of that all-important call.
Checklist: small business
Setting up an office for your small business doesn't have to be stressful or budget-busting. Wireless technology means your team can share devices, work on projects and keep company finances in order, in a workplace free of unnecessary reams of paper and cables. Just follow our quick and easy guide to the essentials for any small business office.
- Desktop PCs: these are still the most cost-efficient way to kit out your office. And again, the latest Advent desktop PCs here reveal models to suit every budget. Hefty Intel Core processors and generous dollops of RAM and hard drive space ensure you'll enjoy years of faithful service before needing to upgrade. Don't forget to pair it with a decent display: if you're on a tight budget, look at the LG 22EN33S-B full HD 21.5-inch TFT monitor.
- Laptops: a high performance laptop can be a useful tool for your business. It means you don't have to be constrained to your desk, and it also offers the flexibility for staff to work from home. An Advent laptop will work out cheaper than a desktop PC and monitor combo but it's worth remembering that laptops are less powerful. You can cover all bases with a group laptop that staff can use, as and when required. For more oomph, check out the Core i5 model from the forthcoming Advent laptop range by checking back here.
- Tablets: these aren't essential for office use, but their weight, size and versatility makes them the perfect portable unit for meetings and work on the go. If you want the touchscreen and portability of a tablet, but want the familiar Windows 8 environment then the thin and light Advent Tacto laptop (PC World) is worthy of consideration. Otherwise, opt for an Android-powered tablet, which you can pair with a LOGIK Bluetooth keyboard (PC World Business) if you need to type more than the occasional email.
- Wireless Router : a wireless network will give your office more flexibility. Once connected, team members can share information, data storage and printers. The Buffalo AirStation Nfiniti Modem Router (PC World Business) comes with a built-in ADSL2+ modem plus powerful WPA2 encryption , Gigabit LAN and firewall protection for your network.
- Printer: their competitive running costs make laser printers an essential choice for businesses. And, there's no need to buy separate printers for each team member when the Brother HL-4150CDN (PC World Business) offers colour laser printing to any computer on your local network, complete with automatic duplex for printing both sides simultaneously.
- Copier or scanner: if you’re looking for an all-in-one scanning, copying, fax and printing device, then look at HP's LaserJet Pro 200 colour MFP M276nw (PC World Business). It combines colour laser with scanning, copying and faxing capabilities. And thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi connection, you can print to it from anywhere on your network.
- Networked hard drive: a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is a great way of sharing files between staff members while also protecting your critical information from disc failure. The WD My Book Live Duo (PC World Business) is a popular choice, with twin 2TB hard drives to ensure all your business's critical data is protected.