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8 must-have tools if you work from home

Rob Enderle | Aug. 10, 2015
Working from home isn’t for everyone, and there are many factors to consider before you decide if it’s right thing for you. Columnist Rob Enderle helps you decide if it is and suggests some tools that will make your home office more efficient and successful.

Tools that can make your home office amazing

Ooma Business: This VoIP phone system has been a godsend especially when we moved and were able to take our numbers with us to another state. The nice thing about VoIP systems is they can work anyplace and our initial plan was to take this between homes while we had two of them (owning two homes became more pain than pleasure). Oh, and VoIP calls are mostly free.

Panasonic KX-TG9581: Finding the right phone system is important as well. Ooma has phones getting a key system and tying it the Ooma resulted in a more robust solution. What makes this Panasonic different is it is a tow line wireless system with a decent desk phone base station that will take a Plantronics headset. It'll also take up to four cell phones so you can have your smartphone on the charger and take the call on your office phone with that headset if you want. It will also handle up to 12 wireless remote handsets so even if you have wandered away from your office you can answer as if you are in it.

Plantronics Savi W740: Having a good wireless headset allows you to move around your office and house while still remaining on a call. You know those conference calls and meetings that you have to attend, but where the content is mostly someone who likes to hear his own voice? You don't want to put the phone down because if he suddenly asks for your input it will be really obvious you wondered off. The Plantronics Savi Pro connects to both your phone system (and it has an auto lift option for the phone handset so you can answer and hang up remotely) and your PC so you can use it for Web meetings as well.

Aver VC 520 Videoconferencing System: Up until recently videoconferencing meant using a Logitech camera off of my desktop, but monitor bounce and sound/picture quality left a lot to be desired. Recently, I started using the Aver VC 520, which is an affordable pro-level system with zoom, pan, and high-level conference microphone. Set up properly it actually looks far more professional and in line with company videoconferencing sites. It sets a far better impression (plus I can use it for TV interviews).

Fujitsu High ScanSnap iX500 Speed Scanner: You're going to still have to deal with paper and this thing is amazing. It takes stacks of paper and scans them in moments, accurately and completely. It isn't a cheap date, but it can take a massive contract or large document and ship it back in short order. I'd have thought I could do without paper by now, I don't use it as often as I did, but when I have to review and sign a large document this thing is amazing.


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