Products to work from home
Working from home is becoming more and more popular. It offers many advantages and conveniences. Not only do you save the money and time you spend commuting to your office, but you can work from anywhere in the world.
Although it has many advantages, many are afraid to mix their personal life with work. Not setting fixed schedules and leaving your “office” all the time to do other activities is a major drawback.
To prevent this from happening, here are ten products to work from home that will make things much easier for you.
1- Clocks with stopwatch
Stopwatches divide productivity enthusiasts into two opposing camps. Some love measuring work times, others hate it. If you’re in the second group, let me tell you that I was too. Well, I still am in part, but I’ve softened my opinion.
Before David Allen published “Gettings Things Done” geared toward attention management, productivity gurus put a lot of emphasis on measuring work time. It partly makes sense. Any project or business has cycles of planning, execution and evaluation. Shouldn’t we also measure where we are wasting time to correct it?
Anyone who has tried it will have realized the difficulties. Keeping track of time all the time is exhausting and unsustainable. Its purpose is supposed to be to channel our attention towards what is productive, but it often ends up making us concentrate more on the measurement than on the work itself.
After much trial and error, I came to the conclusion that it is a tool that has its place in moderation. I use the Pomodoro technique at critical times of the week with a lot of overload, for limited periods of time, and with clear goals to achieve. This helps me to exceed my effectiveness from time to time, but it has a limit. Attention is a limited resource.
If you want you can use your smartphone for it. But deciding how to manage notifications and messages can take a lot of skill. If you want to try a specialized timer, there are excellent options on the market. Having one in your office in your work environment can even be enjoyable.
2- Ergonomic chairs
Whether you work in an office or from home, you’ll spend many hours a week in the same chair. Your body will thank you for choosing the right one. In fact, it’s not just about comfort. Remember that spending too much time sitting in the same position can be detrimental to our health.
Ergonomic chairs ensure that the pressure our body receives when sitting is balanced. They are designed to avoid bad posture and prevent back pain caused by sitting for long periods of time in the same posture.
You can search the internet for all types and prices. If you start your search, you will probably immediately find those that are under the category called “gamer chair” that is very fashionable in work environments. We are not going to lie, using them can be a delight. However, their prices can also be exorbitant. An executive or office chair can have similar comfort.
The most important thing is that it fits your size well. Your legs should be at 90º, the head on the backrest and the pc at eye level (although this may have more to do with the desk than the chair). Make sure that the backrest is firm and does not move backward.
After that, the rest is very much subject to personal taste. You should try different hardnesses and materials. Some are antiperspirant, something that people who sweat a lot will certainly appreciate.
An ergonomic chair is always a good investment. However, if you don’t have the budget to make this purchase at the moment, ergonomic cushions are also available to modify your chairs, for the lower back. It won’t be the same as buying the chair, but it’s a hell of a lot better than nothing.
3- Waterproof keyboards
I remember the slowest time I ever saw anything happen in my life. I threw a bottle right on top of the keyboard. Adrenaline did its job and my eyes, which sped up faster than my hands, still remember the slow-motion scene as spurt after spurt poured onto the keyboard.
I think it all lasted a second or two. Long enough to ruin my device. For someone working remotely, it’s almost like losing an extension of your body. But it was a mistake I decided not to make twice.
You can buy waterproof keyboards and protect your pc well if you use a desktop. For the keyboard on my Surface Pro 4, I bought a silicone cover. At the time I spent about $25. But despite the use I’ve put it through, it’s still pristine, which adds to its value if I decide to sell it at some point.
With proper precautions, it is very pleasant to have the water bottle and coffee cup in the work environment.
4- Adaptable desks
As mentioned in the section on ergonomic chairs, the computer screen should be at eye level. Also, the hands should be at a comfortable height, almost at 90º. That’s why most desks are either too low for the eyes, or too high for the arms, or both.
For this, there are two solutions. One is to use those desks that have a support underneath for the keyboard (which, being hidden, gives a very pleasant minimalist look). The other solution is to use a base or platform for the computer. Many computers such as Macs have them built-in.
Regarding size, we recommend that it be as big as your room or office allows. The number 1 rule of tidy people is not to have too many things on the desk at once (only the necessary ones), so you don’t need much. However, in design, there is talk of “White Space” to refer to the concept that a harmonious design requires that the elements have some separation to generate less stress.
There are also interesting variants. For example, standing desks can be great in work environments where you need to multitask while standing. Mathematician Stephen Wolfram explains that he has a standing desk in front of the treadmill, so he works while exercising, which works very well for him. There are also supports to work from the bed or the sofa, such as the Laptop Stand with Pillow.
5- Noise-canceling headphones
There is nothing more pleasant than working without noise. Children’s voices, pet noise, and the sound of the television on can be great distractions when working at home.
To isolate yourself from disturbing noises, you originally had to buy large headphones that covered the entire ear. These are the favorites of many people. Others, however, are bothered by the weight or temperature that the ears acquire.
Regardless of whether you prefer large or small headphones, noise cancellation technology is here to stay in both models. Although it sounds like science fiction, they receive sound waves from the environment with built-in microphones and send reverse waves to cancel them out. You won’t know how well they work until you try one.
It is also a plus if it is wireless since you don’t have to worry about the cable. You can walk around without interrupting what you are listening to or move freely. Plus, the fewer wires you see in your work environment, the better.
6- Cable organizer
Although you can dispense with many cables with wireless devices (mouse, keyboard, headphones, etc.), surely there are some that you cannot avoid. We suggest you buy a cable organizer. They cost almost nothing and give a very nice look to your work environment.
Still, it’s not just about aesthetics. The organizers serve at least two more functions. First, they sort the plugs. If you share a desk or office with a member of the household, you don’t want them to disconnect your PC or other devices because they got confused. They are also useful to have the cables always at hand. Some have an adhesive backing for the edge of the desk that allows you to keep the plug right where you want it.
7- Smart home assistant
Working at home can be a great difficulty for those who do not know how to organize their time. Also, no one is exempt from the unexpected. For these cases, smart home assistants are a very valuable tool.
Most of them are smart speakers connected to your Wi-Fi network that is operated by voice. They listen to your commands and interact with you. They can answer questions by searching the internet for answers. They play music, remind you of appointments on your calendar and even give you the weather forecast for the day.
Some more advanced devices allow you to connect it to your refrigerator or washing machine. This way you can schedule a wash or they will tell you when a food has run out.
Among the most popular are Google Home with the Ok Google voice command, Apple Homepod with the Siri assistant and Amazon with Alexa, among others.
8- Multi-Display computer
Sometimes having several windows open at the same time can save you a lot of work time, as long as the screen is big enough. Once you use a widescreen display or connect an extra monitor to your computer, you will never want to use a traditional screen again, at least not for remote work. Some studies demonstrate a significant increase in productivity using these larger displays. Of the products to work from home we have mentioned, a large workstation is probably the most game-changing.
There are different options on the market depending on the size and curvature you need. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on this, the simplest thing is to buy an extra monitor.
Unless you have a very old desktop pc or notebook, you can adapt the portable monitor to almost any device. Just check the input it has. You can even buy an input adapter if yours is not compatible with the monitor.
9- Smartphone holder
Many times I have found myself needing to use the computer and the cell phone at the same time. If I lean the cell phone against the wall, it is far away and my face is half visible. If I lay it on the computer, it covers half the screen not counting the number of times it falls on the keyboard and accidentally hits the keys.
Luckily there are holders for almost any device. In a similar way to what was discussed in the previous point, in this way you can have 2 devices in front of you simultaneously, only in this case at a very reduced price. There are models of all kinds, most of which can be adapted to the height you want. Some have hooks so you can hold them on the bed, in the car, or even while cooking.
10- WIFI signal booster
A person who works remotely from home can load hundreds of websites per day, as well as send a large number of messages. A poor internet connection can delay each of these tasks by a few seconds, and at the end of the day, they will probably accumulate more than an hour of lost time.
If the router is in your office, you can skip this step. But if the signal that reaches your workplace is insufficient or you would like to have a good signal in every corner of your home, a Wi-Fi extender or booster can get you out of trouble.
Its operation is simple, they pick up the wifi signal from the router and amplify it to reach further without losing strength. Ideally, it should be placed at an intermediate point between the router and your office. When buying it, you should do so according to your internet connection. Verify that it works with the same frequency of Mbps (megabits per second) as the source router, and not less.
The work setup is something that requires careful planning. Your productivity and comfort will be enhanced if you use the tools that technology can offer you. Now that you know these 10 products to work from home that will make your life easier, you can dedicate yourself to working better and more efficiently.
Tech lover and co-founder of Kelfast LLC, a digital marketing company.