Your job has decided to convert to a permanent work-from-home setup. As much as you love the idea of working from your own office, it’s left you with a hard decision.
You’re going to have to start browsing for work from home computers. Your boss isn’t going to provide one for you, so it’s something that you have to buy.
With all the makes and models out there, it can be hard to decide on a PC that can take care of all your work-related needs. We might be able to help you with that. Check out this guide to learn what to look for in a computer.
Talk to Your Company’s IT Department
Before you start shopping around, it’s time to stop by your company’s IT department, or at least give them a call. You want to make sure that whatever machine you grab fits all the work from home computer requirements put in place by the business.
It’s possible that your boss may prefer for you to use a specific operating system. Your machine may have to have certain specs to run the software that you need to do your job.
Choose Your OS
You can’t pick a computer without choosing what operating system you want to use. The primary options for business professionals are Windows and Mac.
Windows will give you the most choices because it’s so popular. It offers a wide range in terms of models and price. It’s pretty much an allrounder.
Macs are great for working professionals, but there aren’t as many options available. If you want to use your computer for play at the end of a long day, you’ll be limited. Macs aren’t the best choice for gaming.
Once you’ve gotten the specifics from the IT department and you’ve picked your OS, you can start your search for remote work computers. You’ll have a choice between laptops or desktops.
Out of the two, most people go with laptops because you can pack them up and take them anywhere you want. As long as you have an internet connection, you’re good to go.
If a freak storm knocks out your power, you’ll be able to continue on with work until your battery dies or your lights come back on. Besides your standard Lenovo laptop, you’ve got a few more models to choose from.
If your job isn’t too demanding, a Chromebook should be powerful enough to handle the job. They use the Google Chrome OS, and they’re pretty inexpensive.
They can’t tackle photo manipulation work, but you’ll be able to type up spreadsheets and check emails. They don’t have much storage space to speak of, so you’ll need to get comfortable with the idea of storing some of your work-related documents online.
These computers get confused with standard laptops a lot, but the two can’t be more different. For one, 2-in-1s are a lot lighter than most regular PCs.
They have a keyboard that, depending on the model you have, will detach from the device. In other cases, you can swivel the screen around and bend it to touch the back of the keyboard. Either way, you’ll be able to turn your laptop into a tablet in a matter of seconds.
They’re a little cheaper than standard laptops, with the downside that they don’t pack near as much power. They come with a stylus and touch screen, which makes them ideal for drawing and taking notes. They’re also lightweight enough to slip into your bag and take anywhere you need to go.
Yes, gaming computers are best suited for well, gaming, but hear us out. These laptops have some of the most advanced hardware that you can get. It makes them ideal for heavy graphic work.
They come at a price point that will make you want to cry and they’re a little bulkier than the other options available to you, but if you don’t plan to take it out of your office that often, that won’t matter.
There is some merit to going with a desktop instead of a laptop. Most desktops come with more processing power. You can’t move them around your home or take them to a friend’s house without a great deal of effort, but they’re fine for office use.
You also have to take into account that most desktops only come with the computer part. You’ll have to supply your own monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
These additional accessories shouldn’t hurt your wallet too much, but when you’re already spending a lot of money on a desktop, you may not want to dish out anymore on additional supplies.
Full-sized desktops are the bulkiest model that you can get. You’re going to need to set aside plenty of room under or on top of your desk. They may not be suitable for someone with a tiny office.
This being said, they’re inexpensive. If you want to buy parts and upgrade the machine later on, having a full-sized computer tower makes this easier.
If you don’t have room in your budget for a display, we would recommend buying an all-in-one desktop. They combine all the computer components with the monitor.
The main reason why people go this route is that all-in-ones save space. They don’t use as many cables, which makes them more aesthetically pleasing, and it cuts down your risk of having an unfortunate tripping accident.
We’ll warn you that these aren’t the computers to get if you ever want to upgrade your work from home computer set up. They’re tightly packed, meaning it will be harder for you to remove parts and put in new ones.
Like laptops, gaming computers provide the ultimate in performance. They have fast processors and top-of-the-line graphics cards that make doing photo manipulation work a breeze.
If you want to throw in an additional stick of RAM at some point or upgrade your graphics card, gaming computers make this easy. The main downside of these computers is the price. It will make your bank account sad.
If you’re only using this computer for work, your standard LCD monitor should do the trick. You don’t need to worry about the refresh rate or any complicated specs.
Some working professionals will grab a refurbished, second-hand monitor. You might even be able to use an old flat-screen TV. It’s not ideal, but it works in a pinch.
The processor or CPU is the heart of your machine. It keeps it running, so the more powerful, the better. Well, the more powerful the better, if you’re going to be running a lot of complicated programs.
You don’t want to buy more CPU than you’re ever going to need. If you’re only going to be using the computer to work on spreadsheets and type up simple documents, all that power will be wasted on you.
If the processor is the heart of the machine, the RAM is the brain. It’s needed for your work applications to function. If you don’t have enough of it, you’ll find that your computer will freeze up more often than you would like.
The general rule of thumb is to shoot for 8GB of RAM. You can go up to 16 if you want. It will make the price of the computer shoot up, but if you’re doing complicated image manipulation or animation, you’ll need the extra memory boost.
The last thing to look at is storage. You’ll need a place to hold all your files and applications. You can choose to go with a standard hard drive or an SSD.
The hard drive can hold a lot, but it doesn’t have speed on its side. An SSD has both. It can hold about as many files as a hard drive, and your computer will be running on hyperspeed. The drawback is that getting a computer with a solid-state drive will cost you a pretty penny.
Choosing the Best Work from Home Computers for Your Office Setup
If you’re going to work from home, you’re going to need a powerful computer that can handle whatever applications you throw at it. In some cases, your employer may have some spec requirements, but for the most part, you’ll be able to choose what you want.
There is a lot of work from home computers to pick from. We hope that you’re able to use these tips to buy one that packs the right amount of power for the job. For more computer buying tricks to live by, visit the Technology section.