By now, we’ve all largely adapted to whatever working situation we find ourselves in, whether it’s a return to the office, a hybrid arrangement, or a fully remote working environment.
If you’re one of the new remote employees, you might find that you miss some of your comforts from the office, but it’s easy to make your home office even better than the one you became accustomed to at your employer’s premises. Here are 9 things you need to get for your home office to improve your work life when you’re working from home.
1. A Computer Upgrade
Since you’re likely to be attending many online meetings and your computer is more than likely going to spend most of its time on your desk, it’s the perfect time to upgrade it, or replace it with a new one.
Your choices have been expanded now to include desktop computers too since you’re not moving from meeting room to meeting room, and for the few occasions you need to work away from your desk, your current laptop will probably be fine.
Don’t be afraid to combine your office computer and your gaming computer into one device. Have a look at what computer makers like Lenovo offer and find something that will suit your home and office needs.
2. A Tablet
Another option for those times you have to be away from your home office desk to work remotely or to attend an in-person meeting is to use a tablet instead of a laptop. Modern tablets have significant power and capability and paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and the Microsoft Office, Google Docs or Apple productivity apps make great portable devices for taking notes, joining video conferences, and even doing some document writing.
3. A High-Quality Headset
Because you’re remote, you’re no doubt going to be spending some time in video conferences and meetings, and thus a good quality and comfortable headset is a must. Look for something comfortable that won’t hurt if you have to wear it for hours and make sure the microphone is clear. You can also look for certifications from Microsoft and Zoom to ensure things like the mute button integrate into their apps for ease of use.
4. A Laptop Stand
If you’re using a laptop, you might know that in general, they don’t do your posture any favors. More often than not you sloop over to type on the keyboard and in the long term, you can end up suffering from back pain and bad posture.
A laptop stand aims to solve this by lifting your laptop off the desk and positioning it closer to eye level so you no longer have to look down at it. You’ll probably need an external keyboard and mouse if you use a laptop stand, but it’s worth it.
5. A Monitor Desk Mount
Ditching your computer monitor’s stands and opting instead for a desktop monitor mount can do much the same as a laptop stand does for your posture. It also clears up desk space by removing the bulky monitor stands in favor of mounting arms that you can position however you want.
They’re available in single monitor versions, as well as options for two or more monitors. You’ll need to make sure your monitors support VESA mounting before buying one though!
6. A Variable Height Desk
Sitting on a chair, even the most ergonomically beneficial chair, will mean that you’re spending a lot of your day sedentary and not moving around very much. If you spend all day in this position it won’t take long before it starts affecting your health.
A variable height desk is a desk with a mechanism that allows you to lower and heighten the desk surface, so you can spend some of your workday sitting and some of your day standing, which is great for your health, back and joints.
Some of these variable height desks are even motorized, so you can adjust their height using a switch, which makes it effortless to change from a sitting to a standing position and back again.
7. A Wi-Fi Mesh
If you’re moving around your house and working in different rooms, you’re likely to notice pretty quickly that your current Wi-Fi setup doesn’t cover your whole house evenly and some places suffer from Wi-Fi dead spots or very low signal.
Using a Wi-Fi mesh system can improve this by adding more than one Wi-Fi access point to your home, so you can roam around the house without losing signal or suffering from slow or disconnecting Wi-Fi. These mesh systems are designed to pass your device between access points seamlessly too, so you won’t even notice when your device changes the access point it’s using.
8. A Smart Speaker
Smart speakers might, on the surface, appear a bit of a gimmick, but they’re much more useful than you might first realize. If you sent them up properly, it can be like having a personal assistant in your home. You can ask it to remind you of things, set up meetings, and even make calls and join meetings for you.
If you connect your company email and calendar account to them, they’ll remind you of upcoming events and meetings in your calendar too. As an added benefit, you can use them as a speaker to play music while you work from your music streaming service of choice.
9. A Printer
You no longer have access to your office departmental printer, so on the occasions when you need to print something, you’re going to need a printer. You might be able to get away with using the print shop near your home, but chances are it won’t take long before you want your printer. Thankfully, an entry-level home printer is affordable, and it’ll no doubt come in handy for the kids’ school work too.
There you have it – 9 gadgets and office equipment you simply shouldn’t do without for your work-from-home office. They’ll improve your productivity and how you feel after a long day of work and they’re cost-effective enough to not break the bank.