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Equipment Concerns

Technology at home is covered in the next chapter, but when it comes to equipment and gadgets, remember that you are mingling home and office. This means your equipment is exposed to certain hazards that regular on-site equipment is not. Fido or Kitty Cat jumping up and taking a nap on your keyboard. Sticky little fingers. Even your own tendency, in the home office, to relax a bit more, perhaps eat at your desk with your feet up. Also, if equipment breaks down, you now have to pay for it (or at least spend a couple of hours on the phone to technical support). There's no calling the management information systems (MIS) department and complaining that you need a replacement. Durability is important, as are good warranties. And don't forget to make sure your home or apartment insurance policy would cover the loss of equipment in the event of a robbery or flood damage … or cookies “fed” into the diskette drive (yes, this happened to Erica).

Storage of expensive or essential equipment is also all-important with children (and pets) around. You may think that you have hammered home to your kids not to touch your laptop or your diskettes. Murphy's Law applies at the home office tenfold. Locks are not a bad idea. Better to be cautious than to lose precious work to a child who means well but doesn't understand that initialing a contract in purple crayon is not what you had in mind.


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