Today's Home Office
Today's home office is no longer just a quiet corner where you pay bills and maintain files. As technology has evolved, the modern family has come up with 101 uses for the home office. Here we'll recommend ways to get more out of your space, furniture, computer and peripherals. Let's start by looking at some trends that are changing the way we use our home offices.

 

The Multifunction Family
How do you connect? Wireless computer networks, Bluetooth®-enabled peripherals and cellular telephones are helping us become less dependent on wires, cords and outlets. This means less clutter in our home offices and better computing options throughout the house — a real benefit for those of us that get our best work done from the comfort of the couch.                                                                                                       

  • Planning family vacations, finding cheap plane tickets and printing boarding passes
  • Running a home business or using a work laptop to telecommute
  • Uploading, touching up, printing and storing digital photographs
  • Participating in online communities, IM’ing and playing online games with friends

Family Safety
Our home office activities increasingly revolve around what we can get done on the internet — from online bill pay and shopping to school research and gaming. We also use the computer to communicate with loved ones and friends. In this environment, it's increasingly important that parents teach kids to use the internet safely. Here are some tips to help improve family safety in the home office:

  • Locate your home office in a central part of your house, and keep an "open door policy." This will help you keep track of your kids' online activities.
  • Set up Windows Vista® user accounts for each member of your family. Then turn on Windows Vista Parental Controls to set web restrictions, time limits and game restrictions. Set up activity reports to see what sites your kids are visiting.
  • Teach your kids to keep personal facts private, especially when it comes to chatting, social networks and blogging.

Green Computing
At Dell, we know that sustainable living and environmental consciousness aren't simply good ideas — they're essential. We work hard to ensure that your home office is an environmentally friendly one. From free shipping on printer cartridges to recycling programs for all home PCs, we're helping you reduce your environmental footprint. And with available ENERGY STAR®-rated desktops, we can help you save energy as well.

Bottom Line
There's a lot to think about when setting up and using a home office. With this reference guide, you can get your home office set up and make it more productive for you and your family.