As more of us find ourself working from home as the coronavirus pandemic proves to be frustratingly stubborn the working from home transformation is revolutionising our approach to how we think about the home office.
As working in bed in our pyjamas grows quickly old the quest is on to find a flexible place to work.
Kitchen benches, coffee tables even outdoor furniture became desks. Six months on since our lives were changed by lockdown, nearly half of us are expecting to continue working from home at least a few days a week.
Here are some simple home office tech tips that can transform your work-from-home experience making your home office transition that little bit easier.
Leveraging Low Footprint Lightweight Tech
The modern design trend towards open plan living means plenty of potential distractions from other household members, pets and noisy household appliances. If you’re stuck working from home in a communal zone, you’ll find good quality noise-cancelling headphones come to the rescue.
Similarly, upgrade your WiFi and take advantage of highly portable lightweight laptops and tablets. Being able to move around your home while you work is one approach to boosting your productivity while working from home.
1. Wireless Mouse
Life is too short to work with a clunky mouse or trackpad. Wireless is definitely the way to go. Look for an ergonomically sound mouse that fits your hand comfortably. It should provide solid wrist support and the scroll button should be easy to activate without stretching your hand.
2. Wireless Keyboard
When you find yourself spending hours at home typing, a decent keyboard can make all the difference. Again, wireless is the smart option. Look for a unit providing much-needed wrist support coupled with a smooth, quiet action. High-tech options are available integrating a fingerprint scanner and the functionality to pair with multiple devices.
3. Smart Speakers Are Getting Smarter
Regardless of which brand you prefer, smart speakers are a useful and kind of fun home office tool. If you find yourself creeped out by quiet, they can play the radio or music to compensate for the absent office hum.
They can also be programmed to remind you of upcoming video meeting, your daily tasks and calls. A virtual assistant doesn’t completely replace your office assistant, but it will aid your productivity and organization, allowing you to focus and get on you’re your work.
4. Upgrade Your Home Office Monitor
Frustrated with attempting to squeeze a dozen different windows, tabs and documents onto your 13-inch laptop screen? Adding a standalone big-screen monitor to your home office is a simple way to lift your productivity when working from home.
It’s difficult and challenging to be as productive and efficient at home as you were in the office when you’re continually wading through a raft of documents and programs, on a single screen.
Happily, a quality external computer monitor is very affordable. While you’re at it, upgrade to a dual monitor layout.
5. Transfer Your Old Content
Space is the limiting factor for many home offices. Take advantage of a new generation of digital transfer technology and upgrade those old VHS tapes, 8 mm film stock and audiotapes to digital using VHS to DVD to put your archives just a mouse click away.
Similarly, if you’re looking to distribute that heritage content across a distributed team Tapes to Digital is the way to go. Not only will this service give your team easy access via the Cloud to your visual archives, but it will also save your precious content for posterity.
6. Sort Your Wi-Fi Connection
Zoom conferencing and having to continually access content stored on the Cloud is prompting many of us to rethink our existing Wi-Fi service. Upgrading to a quality Wi-Fi router is a simple way to transform your working from home experience and your colleagues will thank you as patchy Wi-Fi on one end is the bane of videoconferences!
The smartest option is a Wi-Fi system capable of covering your entire home with a fast wireless connection. If you find your Wi-Fi continually drops out in an area you prefer working from, add a signal booster to speed up your web surfing. You’ll also be free to work wherever you want when you want without being confined to any one area in your home.
7. Rethinking Desks
With our home working environments increasingly on display during videoconferences, compact, stylish writing desks are emerging as a key tech trend in home offices. Standing desks are increasingly popular, as they work with elongated rooms or lengthy wall spaces. Their length provides great working space together with lots of storage room underneath. You’ll also discover standing is far better for your back than sitting all day.
Another hot home office desk trend draws on retro-inspired designs featuring luminous brass hardware or faux leather tops.
8. Savvy Lighting
Effective room and desk lighting are emerging as a tech focal point for our nation’s home offices. Angle-poised, adjustable options are proving popular in evolving the most flattering live videoconference looks.
Better, fit-for-purpose lighting is being coupled with smart bulbs you can turn on and off from anywhere in your home. These bulbs are simple to set up, enjoy a host of features and integrate with intuitive apps and play nice with Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa.
9. Statement Walls
In a Zoom world, greater emphasis is being placed on making our home workspaces look more attractive on camera. Bookshelves, a thoughtful collection of books, artfully positioned lush indoor plants and a fresh lick of paint are vying with statement artwork to showcase our personality to colleagues during those video calls.
10. Add A Little Zen To Your Home Office With Fragrance
Blending work with home can lead to confusion and a loss of focus. Fragrance has proven to be a powerful tool for dividing work from leisure. Increasingly, people are adopting essential oil diffusers together with a change in lighting to create the right work-oriented mood.
A change in scent can change a room’s environment, helping you stay sharp and productive while separate work time from downtime, even if the visual elements of your home office remain unchanged.
If you find yourself working from home for the first time, fear not You’re not flying solo. For many of us, our home office is looking a lot more permanent, whether you wanted one or not. A new wireless mouse, monitor, or desk can transform an area of your house into a productive work environment.