But in my home, I don't want to join the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Domain
So, you have a work laptop, or a nicely running non-domain based home network. But alas, you have no home server options anymore...
You are left with the option of installing a Windows Server 2012 Essentials machine (which whilst expensive, really is a great home server option). The problem is, you don't want the machines in your home in a domain, you want them to remain totally independant for many a reason.
Here is a nugget of information that you will love then. When you run the Connect computer wizard (http://nameofserver/connect) you can avoid the domain join bit by simply running this command in an elevated command prompt beforehand:
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1
....then, run the wizard and you will get all the good backup and home features without the domain join.