Setting up a home office, Handyman magazine,

Due to an abundance of technology in the market, setting up a productive home workspace has never been easier but the number of products on offer makes it hard to discern between the must-haves and luxury items.

The first step to designing a home office that is both budget-friendly and efficient, is to think through what type of storage, technology and furniture you will need.

We live in an age of hi-tech equipment and mobile connectivity but even the most up-to-date home office still needs a desk and chair, storage boxes and folders.

A clear workspace facilitates a clear mind. When your workspace is flooded with documents, stationery and knick-knacks it’s harder to concentrate and work effectively.

STORAGE cupboards conceal office paraphernalia and streamline a workspace. Boxes are another way to combat clutter while adding decorative value. Go for sturdy materials like hard plastics and metal.

LIGHTING is essential to good working conditions so buy at least one desk or floor lamp to keep things bright.

CHAIR needs to allow you to maintain good posture and be comfortable. Products described as ergonomic usually cost more but are not always what they claim to be. To find out if a chair is ergonomic, ask if it meets Australian standards and read online product reviews before committing to a purchase.

DESK should be chosen to suit the space while being able to fit a computer and stationery. Ideally it should have enough room for you to spread things out as you work. A corner desk or one with built-in storage is a good option for small spaces.

Decide on technology

Thanks to compact technology and wi-fi you only need a few pieces of tech to get the home office on track.

COMPUTERS are the most important investment you will make so do the research and choose wisely. Notebooks and laptops are ideal for working from home. You can get a decent product for about $500 but you’re better off spending the big bucks, $1000 or more, on an item that’s fast, has a long battery life and is made with reputable hardware.

MULTI-FUNCTION PRINTERS can print, photocopy and scan and are a must for every home office. Some models also fax, if you require it. Buy one with wi-fi capabilities to avoid messy cable connections.

EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES are essential for backing up your system. Choose the capacity of the hard drive based on the size of the files you need to store, selecting a larger drive if you have a lot of multimedia content.

TIP Copy files to your external drive often so that you always have a backup of important data.