The internet allows us to work from home, so a comfortable home office is now more important than ever.
Some 20 years ago, few people had a home office. Only a few professionals worked from home, like a surveyor, a real estate agent, an insurance agent, and maybe a civil engineer. Others, who sometimes took work home, had no more than a niche in the kitchen or in the bedroom.
Today, even those who retire, want some kind of a home office. AND, the amount of people who just work from home, is amazing. Especially those who decide to move to Costa Rica.
It is quite important to know that you are legally allowed to set-up your office at home, without being in a commercial location, as long as the office is not larger than 30 m2. The size is regulated when planning to set up a home office as a formal business, where you need a business license.
So which are the essential items needed to set up the ultimate home office in Costa Rica?
1. Internet connection
No one can run a home office without a fast internet connection anymore. I remember the days we were running the office on dial-up with a 56 kps. Now 10 MB upload is nothing.
You can either sign up for a residential connection or you can get a commercial set-up. This will depend a lot on the location you choose to install your home office.
2. Location, location, location
Most locations in Costa Rica have a cable provider and some even fiber optics. Check with your real estate agent on the internet connection before you sign your lease or option to purchase agreement.
Do you want to know more about the companies that service the different areas? Then check this link where you will find all the internet providers in Costa Rica.
I’m still a desktop guy and only use a laptop when I’m traveling. If you choose to purchase a computer in Costa Rica, be aware that Office comes in Spanish. I’m not sure what Mac includes, but it’s probably the same thing. Make sure you check the language before you buy a computer for your home office.
You also have an option to migrate your PC to Azure cloud with Azure Windows Virtual Desktop from a hosted desktop as a service provider for accessing your apps and data remotely from anywhere on any device.
You will find any additional hardware more expensive in Costa Rica than you can purchase in the States. If you are looking for good computer stuff, look at specialty stores like Cococo in Sabana Sur
4. Office furniture
If you’re going to doing a lot of daily work in your home office, you want comfortable office furniture. You can buy office furniture everywhere in Costa Rica but you’d be shopping until you drop. That’s because few offer a good inventory. Your best chances are in Office Depot or Mugui.
5. Adequate lighting
Adequate lighting for your home office is another thing that you could shop for until you drop. You’ll have a good chance of finding what you’re looking for at EPA or look for Technolite products in many stores.
Of course, you’d want good communication in your home office. Personally, I prefer to use Magic Jack, which you can buy in Best Buy or other stores in the States. I have not been able to find it in Costa Rica. Skype is also a good solution and the best is a voip phone system.
WhatsApp on your cell phone works well on a person-to-person basis but is not very professional. But have a look at a voip phone system available online.
7. Design and décor
Don’t stick yourself in a little corner of the bedroom. Others have it in the kitchen. That’s okay if you need a workstation for your hobbies or family finances.
Often Costa Rican homes have a TV room that separates the bedrooms from each other. I’ve seen many people use that as a home office. That will only work if you can concentrate well, especially if you have kids.
Make sure you pick the right home to buy or rent if you need a home office. Hire an agent who is familiar with Costa Rica and your needs. Contact the experts now.