Make working from home pleasant
The new academic year is starting soon, but what that will look like exactly remains to be seen. Many employees are still required to work from home a large chunk of the week. The Covid pandemic has caused a lot of turmoil, and working and studying from home will be part of our day-to-day life for probably the next year. Some people love it, others prefer the vibe of a lively office or faculty. Whatever floats your boat, we’ll have to make it workable for ourselves in the current situation.
Of course, working from home does not mean that you have to work on the couch with your computer on your lap. Most of us have by now created an office at home, in a dedicated office space or in a quiet corner of the bedroom. You can create a professional, pleasant workplace, even if you don’t own a mansion. We may not have solutions to keep the kids out of your hair (but wait till we tell you about the noise-cancelling headphones!), but we sure can share the best gadgets for working from home. Here we go.
1. A Docking station
All those cables, all those connections… it quickly becomes a mess on your desk and the floor. A docking station makes connecting your laptop to your home office workplace a piece of cake. With a docking station, you only need one cable to connect everything to your laptop. You connect monitors, keyboard, mouse, headphones, network access and other things to the docking station permanently and plug your laptop into it when you need to.
2. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Lovely and peaceful, working from home, right? Cup of coffee, silence, no colleagues disturbing you. Or is it? How about the neighbour who decides to remodel his house while you’re working on your deadline? Or the kids whose school requires another home quarantine and remote learning for a week or two? You get the picture. A good pair of headphones is, therefore, one of the best investments you’ll be making to get stuff done in peace.
3. Airbar: turn your screen into a touchscreen
Do you know that feeling? You have just been scrolling on your phone or working on a tablet and then go back to the laptop. That’s not a touchscreen! Wouldn’t it be handy if it was? An Airbar is a magnetic strip that you attach to the bottom of the laptop screen, which turns it into a touchscreen. The small magnets serve to click the strip easily on and off the screen. You plug the USB plug into one of the USB ports.
4. Headset and webcam
With all those video meetings, suitable technical accessories are essential. The camera and microphone of a laptop will suffice, but with frequent use of video conferencing it is advisable to go up a level and invest in a better headset and webcam. Game products are great for this.
Not so much a necessity at your home office, but if you want a change of scenery for a day, escape the house and decide to work in a coffee shop, then a powerbank is a welcome gadget. There is not always a socket available and if the battery of your mobile runs out, you can connect it to your powerbank.
6. Wireless charging station
A wireless charging pad is a desk gadget that serves as a drop zone for your electronics. Place your mobile on this gadget and it will automatically charge. A charging station with space for stationery items and other loose things keeps the desk neat and tidy. It is a handy gadget for at home, but also if you share the space with a few colleagues and you need a central place to charge devices.
7. Wireless keyboard and mouse
Using a wireless mouse and keyboard helps to keep the desk clear and not get more cables tangles up. You do have to recharge them or provide them with batteries now and then. Fortunately, there are various manufacturers who have come up with something for this, such as fast-charging keyboards or keyboards that have long-lasting batteries.