Stationary desktop computers, paper files, fax machines and other office equipment were once required for a home office, but lightweight, portable and wireless equipment have made it much easier to set up a portable home office. A phone, laptop computer, and an internet connection are sometimes all that is required to turn the dining room table into a workspace. Some workers opt to take work on the road, and can perform all that's required of them in a wide variety of locations, from hotels to coffee shops.
Dedicating a room or even a portion of a room as permanent office space can sometimes be difficult. Files, office furniture and equipment take up often valuable space in the home, limiting other uses of the area. In many homes, where space is limited and at a premium, the fixed office is not a practical option.
By switching to a portable home office, the space can be put to other uses outside of office hours. A few light pieces of portable equipment are often all that is required to make a useful office. Even when receipts, files or other bulky documents are required, small wheeled units are available. When not in use, these pieces can be kept in a closet or similar storage area.
The laptop computer is perhaps the most useful item for a portable home office. Unlike the bulkier desktops, the laptop can be used virtually anywhere, although if used for long periods, access to an electrical outlet will be required. Depending on the user’s computing needs, small and inexpensive netbook computers be sufficient. For those with heavier demands, larger laptops with more memory and bigger hard drives are also available, as are additional batteries that can be swapped out when necessary.
Easy telephone access is often required in the home office, and the portable home office is no exception. Cordless landlines can certainly meet the needs of most home offices, but many opt for the mobile phone option. Mobiles provide texting and serve to keep home calls distinct from calls relating to the business. Smart phones also provide access to work related applications and services, making them a great portable home office tool.
Ideally, the portable home office is paperless, relying on computer documents and emails wherever possible. When this is not an option, a mobile filing system is required. In some cases, a single binder or folder can be used to hold essential documents. Wheeled caddies are also available for storing larger files.
Some office equipment may still be needed as well. In many cases, printers and scanners are used infrequently, and do not need to be kept in the workspace. Wireless connections allow these machines to be used while stored out of the way in another room. Depending on the nature of the work, other specialized equipment may be required. By identifying which items need to be at hand and which can be stored until needed, set up of the portable home office can be dramatically simplified.