We’re all adjusting to life as telecommuters, working from home offices that up until a week ago might have been bedrooms, basements or even corners of the kitchen.
How to make working from home easier
Trying to get comfortable and be productive in new space can be a challenge but there are a few ways you can add or repurpose technology to help create a smart and functional home office.
Make sure you have good lighting
Lighting can energize a space, and even adding a desk lamp can make a space feel more purposeful. Simply adding a smart light bulb, like Philips Hue can give you easy voice control too and the ability to change colours to make the space feel more alive and interesting, especially during prolonged periods in the home office. I wrote a whole article about ways you can improve your lighting on your workspace; check out that blog here.
Create a functional laptop workspace & add a second screen
Some of us are used to working from laptops, others are not. Either way, having a second screen can make computer multitasking easier.
I use an Apple MacBook, and have for about the last eight years, since switching from a PC. Moving to a MacBook has been amazing, and has allowed me to operate seamlessly across my phone, tablet, and laptop thanks to features like the Cloud, and AirDrop.
I love my laptop, and now my iPad has become part of my desktop set up thanks to the new Apple feature called Sidecar which allows you to use an iPad as a second screen for your laptop (as long as it running Catalina operating system). I do my key work on the main laptop screen and keep Twitter running on the iPad so I don;’t miss important news and updates. You can read more about how to set up Apple Sidecar in your home office here.
Choose a smarter mouse
Even if you work on a laptop, having a mouse can ease wrist strain. I’ve been using the Evoluent Vertical Mouse for years and I fully believe that it’s prevented me from developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The Mouse is essentially turned on its side, which is a more natural wrist position. It takes some getting used to, but it’s been a lifesaver.
Podcasting or video? Don’t forget access to your microphone!
I record voiceovers for my YouTube videos every week, and I need access to my microphone constantly. I used to hide it in a drawer, but in my mini makeover I added an articulating mic stand arm. This is genius because it lets me display my mic and keep it close, but lets me easily push it out of the way when I need the space for other work. I found mine for a few bucks on Amazon.
Get a virtual digital assistant like Google or Alexa
Need an extra set of brains around the office? A Google Home or Amazon Alexa device can be handy. They can control your lighting for you, adjust the temperature on your smart thermostat, do quick calculations, answer questions, translate or even get you the latest news updates. Not to mention you can set timers and alarms for your virtual meetings, manage your calendar and schedules, and listen to ambient music. even make phone calls on speaker!
Read more about Google Nest Home Hub Max or Amazon Echo Show 5.
Clean air in the home office
If you’re going to spend a lot of time in any indoor environment, you’ll want to give some thought to the air. Particularly during these trying times when there are virus concerns, keeping an air purifier running in your home might give you some peace of mind. I use the Dyson Pure Cool Me fan and purifier. It’s small enough so that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in the room, but it’s highly effective as both a fan and a purifier, and importantly for a work environment, it’s ultra quiet! Check out the full review of the Dyson Pure Cool Me fan and purifier here.
Have you found a way to add technology to your home office space? What’s made the difference for you? Share in comments, below.