Both my wife and I work from home. And like many who work from home, we are completely disrupted during the holiday season.
The kids are out of school and we have a steady stream of visitors and overnight guests. Because of the number of visitors, both our home offices become guest bedrooms. This makes us somewhat nomadic and in search of quiet places to work. We often end up in our bedroom, or in the back yard if the weather is nice.
Our visitors also bring their work with them. They expect us to provide Internet access and pretty much everything they need to be productive while staying in our house. Since they know we work from home, they have pretty high support expectations.
I get complaints if the Internet is too slow, the printers are low on ink or if we don't have the right office supplies. Printing and copying often cause problems. Last year one guest was unhappy because her copying task required a trip to Kinkos.
In anticipation of the holidays I've installed a new printer/copier. It is the Epson WorkForce 600 and it is sitting in a corner in our family room. I chose this printer because:
- It's sleek design does not look out of place in our family room.
- It is fast. The Macworld review gives it high marks for print speed.
- It has an automatic document loader for larger copying jobs.
- It can be connected via WiFi so I don't need cables.
- It has better photo printing capabilities than our existing printers.
This will be our default guest printer. Our guests tend to show up with notebooks of various kinds. I'm going to ask them to install the software (easy and quick to do) and use this printer. It is centrally located in a room that no one sleeps in. Because of this, it is always available.
This also gives us a printer that we can use regardless of where we are in the house. And it is a major upgrade to the printers attached to our PCs.
With the cost of office equipment continuing to fall - the Epson WorkForce 600 retails for $149 - I may one day be able to fully meet the computing infrastructure requirements of my guests.
Disclosure: Epson provided us the WorkForce 600 for review purposes. We like the printer and are keeping it. As per our policy, we are donating $150 to DonorsChoose.