Five Must Have Tools For Your Home Office

San Sharma, technology editor and resident geek at Enterprise Nation, shares five must have gadgets for your home office. Whether you have a job working from home, run a home based business or a home based franchise, these tools are vital to ensure the smooth running of your home office.Five must have tools for your home based business

iPhone
Believe the hype. The iPhone is really good - and top of the list of my must-have gadgets for the home office. Naysayers will say that the battery is too weak and that it's not suitable for business. On the first point, I say there are ways to conserve battery life (turning off 3G and GPS when not in use will help); and on the second I simple blow a raspberry: the iPhone is a formidable business device. It can handle Microsoft Exchange just like BlackBerrys and Windows Mobile devices, deliver push email, calendar and contacts, as well as secure access to corporate resources and WiFi. Simply put, the iPhone is the single device that best embodies the ethos of working from home - a perfect marriage of business, lifestyle and technology.

External USB Hard Drive
An external USB hard drive makes backing up a cinch. Software that comes bundled with Windows Vista or Mac OS X Leopard lets you backup your important documents and files weekly or constantly in the background, so you don't have to burn through CDs and DVDs (nor your wallet!).

Skype Handset
A Skype account can give you a dedicated line for your home business, a way of routing your calls to your mobile when you're out and about and a streamlined process for handling all of your telecommunications. But it really comes alive when used with a decent handset. Some are cordless and compatible with your fixed line as well. Most are pretty funky looking!

USB Hub
With so peripherals cluttering your desk (USB coffee cup warmer, anyone?) you might be running out of places to plug them. At the very least, you'll be left with a computer looking like something from Robot Wars! A USB hub connects all of your devices to your computer via one USB cable. It can be tucked away neatly or proudly displayed, like this handsome devil.

Speakers
Plug in a decent pair of speakers and you'll quickly hear the difference between those that came with your computer or built into your laptop. Turn them up loud and take a break from your work, celebrate your successes or just annoy your neighbour!

San Sharma is a creative thinker, blogger and designer, as well as a writer on popular culture, technology and business. You can see more articles on Enterprise Nation or visit San at www.sansharma.com.

Photo credit: Flickr user, woodleywonderworks

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