Chances are good—given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—you may find yourself working from home for the first time. Working remotely can be rewarding, but you may be having trouble getting settled into your new-found environment. To be your most productive self, you probably need to take another look at your office setup for telework.
Your work from home office setup can be just as conducive to work as your regular office. To achieve this, you should take advantage of the available technology. To help you get started, here are 11 of the best tech tools we recommend for upgrading your remote office.
The key to making a great home office setup is making a smart home office. If you’re going to make a smart office, you’re going to need an AI assistant to run everything. You’ll find that Amazon Alexa is your best option in that pursuit.
You’ll also need a versatile smart speaker to serve as the hub for your digital assistant. The Bose Portable Home Speaker is one of the most versatile options you can find. It’s water-resistant, has a 12-hour battery and offers support for both Alexa and Google Assistant.
A secure Wi-Fi connection is essential to working from home. You can use the eero Mesh Wi-Fi Router to improve your signal for work and all your devices. The eero can be purchased singly to work as a standalone router, but for best results you’ll want to get a multi-pack to eliminate those pesky dead spots that seem to appear when you are on that important Zoom call.
To make your telecommuting office setup a distraction-free zone, you’ll need to block out noise. Noise-canceling earbuds like the Apple AirPods Pro can help you stay focused. The AirPods Pro may be pricey, but they’re comfortable, offer excellent noise cancellation, and you can use them with non-Apple products.
A wireless printer allows you to integrate this cornerstone of office tech into your smart home. The Canon Pixma TR8550 offers a four-in-one home office solution with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. It’s a printer, a copier, a scanner, and a fax machine all in one, and it comes with a smartphone app too.
6. Logitech Ergo K860 Wireless Keyboard
Comfort is essential to using a home office for any amount of time. An ergonomic keyboard like the Logitech Ergo K860 will help you reduce joint pain and work more comfortably. The K860 is a split keyboard, which feels more natural to type on, and it’s wireless, which helps keep things tidy.
Logitech makes this list once again with the C922 Pro Stream, an HD webcam. When you’re video-conferencing all day, your laptop’s built-in webcam may not cut it. The C922 is a streaming webcam, but its exceptional audio and video make it ideal for meetings, too.
You may not have enough storage space at home to hold all your work documents. The Samsung Portable SSD T5 is an external solid state drive, so it offers vast storage space and fast speeds. The T5 is available in sizes ranging from 500 GB up to two terabytes and is almost five times faster than external hard disk drives (HDDs).
Samsung T5 500GB Portable Solid State Drive (Blue)
Temperature control isn’t just essential to a comfortable work environment—it’s also critical for your health. Keeping your home between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit will help stop allergen buildup. The ecobee SmartThermostat makes this precise temperature control a lot easier.
The SmartThermostat is energy-efficient and accurate. It also offers full Alexa support so you can integrate it into your smart home.
With all of these electronics, you’re going to need to regulate your electricity usage. The TP-Link Kasa HS300 gives you the control of a smart plug with six different outlets. You can control each outlet with Alexa or Google Assistant and monitor the energy consumption of each one, too.
In your home office setup, you should use as much natural lighting as possible to improve productivity. When you can’t get natural light, you can replicate it with the Phillips Hue line of smart light lighting. The Hue line offers a vast range of color and dimming options, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant support.
With a connected telecommuting office setup, you can be as productive as ever. With the right tech, you can create a cohesive smart home office that will improve productivity and reduce energy waste. You have the tools available. It’s time to upgrade your home office.
Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist and productivity blogger. She is a senior writer for MakeUseOf and the owner and editor of her tech productivity blog, Productivity Bytes. You can read more by Kayla at Inc.com, VentureBeat, DMN, and more.