Whether you work from home every day or just some of the time, you deserve a calm, comfortable environment that promotes a sense of wellbeing. For that, you need reliable, efficient technology and equipment that will minimise frustration and help you do a great job.
So how can your home office (whether it’s a sofa or a desk) become a more positive and focused place to work? We look at home office gadgets designed to help out.
Many people who work from home don’t have a dedicated office space, so they can’t realistically invest in a monitor. The next best thing is a laptop stand.
Portable and often foldable, a laptop stand is a cheap and easy gadget that allows you to create a more ergonomic environment wherever you work, raising your laptop screen to eye level and allowing you to set it at arm’s length.
By raising the screen level to eye height, you’ll avoid hunching over so much and you’ll give your eyes a break too. Note that you’ll also then need a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, but we think you’ll notice an immediate difference in your posture and comfort levels.
Working from home means you’re free from headache-inducing fluorescent office lights, and you’ve got an opportunity to create the perfect working environment for you and your individual needs.
There’s a great range of desk and floor lamps now available from TaoTronics offering lots of colour warmth and brightness settings so that you can adjust your lighting as the day wears on. Many of them also have memory functions so you can preset your best morning/afternoon/rainy day/evening light, and they distribute light evenly through panels so that you aren’t struggling with glare. Easy on the eyes and the wallet, we think.
If you suffer from a dip in mood and motivation during the winter months – as many do – you may want to take your clever lighting one step further and invest in some light therapy.
SAD light boxes can boost your energy levels within just 30 minutes, and there are some great desk-friendly options now being produced, such as:
These days, you likely don’t have access to a printer or photocopier when you’re WFH. And with the apps now available, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. One of our favourites is Adobe Scan, an app that allows you to capture and send high quality scans of documents.
It cleverly detects borders, removes shadows and converts printed text to digital – so all that paper floating around your home office environment can be cleared away and stored digitally instead.
Distraction Prevention Apps
If you struggle to stay focused when you’re working at home on your own, consider apps that help remove distractions, such as:
- Stay Focused – allows you to block entire sites or specific pages that you know eat up your time
- Toggl – helps you track the time you’re spending on different tasks and activities throughout the day through a timer (if you’re timing yourself, you’re less likely to allow yourself to get distracted)
- Kill News Feed – replaces your Facebook news feed with a reminder to stay focused (there are lots of other news feed blockers out there too)
- Mindful Browsing – a much gentler approach that nudges you when you visit sites you’ve already confirmed are problem areas for you
Smart Notebooks and Writing Boards
If you take a lot of notes or draw a lot of diagrams, converting them into a digital format can be a real pain. All that paper can also make for a cluttered home working space.
There are plenty of tablets out there that capture and convert your scribbles as PDFs or editable digital text, saving you time converting paper notes. These tablets don’t have to be expensive, either – take a look at the DoogleBooks 12 inch writing board or the AnlanTech 21 inch writing board as examples.
If you would rather use a notebook than a tablet, check out the Moleskine smart notebooks.
The cheaper smart notebook allows you to easily capture and convert your hand-drawn notes and sketches to Adobe Creative Cloud using an app. For a bigger investment, you can get the whole writing set that includes a connected pen. This means you can watch your notes and sketches appear on screen in real time. So you can keep that pen and paper process, but you can save yourself time converting your work into a digital format. Useful for creatives working from home who want easy ways to ping ideas into the office / to clients.
We’re heading into unrealistic territory for most people here, but these Smart Desks for the home office feature everything from AI Personal Assistants to integrated treadmills!
So however you decide to set up your home office space, remember that technology is there to help.
When it comes to accounting, talk to Warr & Co about cloud bookkeeping solutions that will eliminate the need for paper receipts and time-heavy invoice management, instead allowing you to manage everything quickly and easily from your devices.