The digital revolution has been fully underway since the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to re-evaluate how we work and use tech. Today, more people than ever before are working from home, needing to keep the full versatility of an ‘office’ in their private domestic environments. Building a home office setup that works for you, providing all the technical versatility you need to work productively and effectively, is critical to being happy and healthy and keep delivering on your deadlines as required. Here are some tech essentials you need to help you make the most of your at-home work setup.
Most of us still work in teams, even if those teams are now dotted around the country or the globe. Staying in contact with each other, conducting efficient meetings, and simply keeping the sense of ‘teamwork’ you need to work well is critical. Most organizations are embracing video chat and online meetings over traditional formats.
While most laptops and mobiles can double as a webcam when needed, they don’t present the most professional look and are not always comfortable to use. Invest in yourself and your work environment, and look for an excellent freestanding webcam with high picture quality so you can always present your best face to your coworkers and management team.
Similarly, while you can make do with onboard microphones or phone speakers, they’re rarely of the best quality. Additionally, some laptops suffer from reverberation and audio feedback loops. You don’t want to be remembered as ‘that person who can’t fix their mic,’ or worse, ‘that person who blasts our eardrums when they connect.’
Whether a high-quality headset or a stand-alone microphone suits you best depends on your work and home setup, but ensuring you can present crisp, quality audio to your team is a must.
We’ve grouped a couple of office essentials under one heading here because it’s more about the overall feel of your office. At the break of the pandemic, we were forced to make do with what we had, even if that was just the kitchen table! However, you can’t work well if you’re hunched over and can’t access your tools. Whether you need to update your home setup with a new desk or just need to buy a good chair and rethink how you’ve laid out your desk, make sure you can work comfortably, reach everything you use a lot easier, and don’t hurt your back, neck, or hips as you work. You can even consider a stand-up desk or non-traditional chair (like a yoga ball chair) if that’s what you need to thrive!
This might overlap if you’re using a headset for your Zoom calls. However, most of us aren’t alone in our homes. Whether it’s the kids or the dog that keeps distracting you from work, you need to be able to step outside of the ‘home’ environment into your work – and that requires focus. Noise-canceling headphones work for many people. However, there are also more gadget-like options to explore, from white noise generators that could cancel out traffic and street noise, right through to a comfortable pair of earplugs. Use whatever works for you.
Working from home should create a safe, supportive environment that lets you work without interruption, fuss, or inconvenience. There are plenty of helpful gadgets and tools you can use to assist you, so take the time to create an office setup that works for you.