Needed! Tricks of the trade for a new work from home career

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Night TPH members!

I’ve been a Penny Hoarder admirer from afar, enjoyed the advice provided by the website, the members, and many links provided by both. I will be saying goodbye to my current employer in the next few weeks to dive into the tele-work market.

My request for information is about the tools needed to be successful.

I’ve read that a newer desktop computer is often more efficient than a Chromebook or mac. I have wireless monitors, keyboard, and mouse that currently work with my dell lap top and docking station (both of which will be returned upon providing notice).

Can anyone suggest what I should look for when perusing Amazon for the following:

desktop CPU (mini computer, minus screen)?

Webcam, microphone, speakers (I have wireless beats by Dre; will they suffice)?

Should I purchase any programs? Any deals out there for MS Office or Adobe?

Thanks in advance, and one more thing… does TPH have a tele-work WFH group I should join?


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Hi, Jen. Congrats on the new job!

I wrote about the most common home-office requirements, which I think will be very relevant to you as you set up your new workspace:…me-office-essentials. It includes recommendations on computers, desks, headsets and more.

What most of your Qs regarding the specs/type of equipment will boil down to is the type of work you’re doing for your new gig. Is it phone- or meeting-heavy? If that’s the case, you may want to invest in a headset with an attached microphone (this is a common WFH requirement for those types of jobs).

I’d hold off on software for now, as the free Google Suite apps should get you by. Of course, refer to your employer once you start.

Ideally, all the required equipment should be provided by your new employer, or at least reimbursed. But it’s becoming more popular to offset these costs on to you, especially if they consider you a 1099 independent contractor. I would recommend checking what your company’s polices are about that.

Hope this helps! And good luck with your new gig.


I’m Adam Hardy, a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. I write about the gig economy, entrepreneurship and work-from-home jobs. Tips? Story ideas? Send me a PM or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.