To help flatten the Covid-19 curve, many companies are asking employees to work from home. A lot of folks are just fine with that plan. But there are some disadvantages to working in the house, like the endless distractions.
One way to stay focused on work is by setting up a remote office. That means creating a dedicated work space that has all the equipment you need to stay focused on your job.
Here are some work from home ideas that can help you get started.
When you’re on the run, it makes sense to take calls on earbuds, but if you’re working from home, a Bluetooth wireless telephone headset, like the Logitech G Pro X, transmits sound better for all parties, it cancels background noise and lets you wander 300-feet from your phone, totally hands free. You can’t do that with earbuds.
Cool extra feature: OK, yes, these phones are marketed as a gaming headset. And it’s the best set in its price range, at that. So if you’re sharpening your multiplayer gaming skills while social distancing at home, you likely need this headset, anyway.
Printer, Scanner and Copier
Don’t put off ordering a printer until a time-sensitive contract or important form lands in your email inbox. With shipping delays around the country, it could take weeks to arrive. We suggest the HP Envy Photo 7855 printer. Its $230 price tag is a bargain when you consider all its different features and functions. The security-enabled wireless printer scans, copies and faxes in black and white and color. You can also schedule print and scan jobs from your phone.
Cool extra feature: PCMag.com says the photo quality is pretty good. Now that you’ve got some time on your hands, why not finally print all those photos you’ve been hoarding on your phone?
The safest way to dispose of confidential and sensitive business docs is to send them to the paper shredder. Shredding old documents also keeps your home office tidy and clutter-free. We suggest buying a machine with a cross-shredder, which slices pages into confetti-sized bits. But for highly confidential papers, consider a micro-cut shredder. And depending on how much paper comes across your desk, you might want a machine that can shred multiple pages at once, like the $42 AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper shredder.
Cool extra feature: You can also use this machine to shred credit cards. Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert, said that a “credit card number, even if the expiration date has passed, may still be usable.”
All of you small-house and small-apartment dwellers know the value of a good lap desk. The sturdy, LapGear Designer Lap Desk costs just $30. It promises to keep your thighs cool and won’t make your legs fall asleep. It has a phone slot and ledge to prevent gear from sliding off the surface. LapGear has lots of different styles, including extra-wide desktops with enough surface space for your laptop and mouse, and lap media trays with extended legs so that you don’t stress your neck and lower back.
Cool extra feature: You can use a lapdesk for much more than just your day-job duties.When you’re eating meals on the couch, lap desks come in really handy.
After all these years, a lot of laptop users still prefer using a mouse over their laptop’s built-in touchpad. If you feel the same way, then consider the wireless Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse, $34. It feels comfortable in the hand, it’s fast and has three levels of responsive sensitivity. If the shape concerns you, a review by Techradar said, “[it] looks weird, but it feels pretty good.” The reason it was designed this way was to reduce repetitive stress and twisting in the forearm.
Cool extra feature: Well-placed thumb buttons give PC users more control features.
Quick Charging Station
This work-from-home essential will help you keep all your devices powered up and also reduce an unsightly pileup of gadgets and their tangled cords. The Satechi Station Dock is a charger and organizer for phones, tablets and laptops. If you don’t need a space saver, then consider the compact RAVPower 60W 6-port desktop USB charging station.
Cool extra feature: The RAVPower is portable. So you can carry it around with you to coffee shops and airports—if we ever do that again.
The best way to keep your entire desktop tidy is with an organizer. The Like-it Large Desktop Station, $20, holds folders, notepads, pens, paperclips, tacks and more. The Herdzi Monitor Stand Riser has a couple drawers for stashing Post-it notes and other office supplies. Plus, it prevents neck strain by raising your desktop monitor. There’s also a nifty smartphone slot and a spot for your specs.
Cool Extra Feature: The Herdzi riser has a dedicated spot for your coffee mug. It almost guarantees a spill-free work environment.
A desk lamp is a work from home essential because bad lighting can lead to headaches and eye strain. According to the American Optometric Association, “As you age, you need more light to see as well as you used to. Brighter lights in your work area…will help make reading easier.” The Dyson Lightcycle desk lamp, $600, helps reduce eye strain by simulating natural daylight. As the day progresses, the brightness of the light adapts to the environment. Also, the light adjusts based on your age and sleep cycle. If this Dyson light seems to be priced a bit high, then consider the Torchstar Retro Banker’s Lamp, $72. It’s designed to maintain the same light quality for 60 years. Imagine all the money you’ll save on office desk lamps over the next six decades.
Cool Extra Feature: The Dyson desk lamp has tons of cool features. Such as a programmable phone app for the lamp’s various settings.
At the office, you have coworkers to chat with when you need a break. At home, these desk toys can help distract you when you’re feeling antsy. One reviewer said he “screamed for joy,” when he received this mini Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Guy, $8, in the mail. For a more tactile experience, there’s the Fidget Cube, $20. And to soothe your anxieties, just watch the YayaCat Deep Sea Moving Sand Art Picture, $17.80, shift and change sandscapes. You can also use these toys to distract bored kids who might have some different work from home ideas in mind.
Well this does not bode well for getting my work done this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/oXhCd54QQw— Jess Lifshitz (@Jess5th) February 16, 2020
How does a cat perch make the list of work from home ideas? Just check out @CatsOnLaptops on Twitter. The account has been very active since states and counties started instituting shelter-in-place orders. How is anyone supposed to get work done with a kitty napping on your laptop?
Consider giving your cat an EZ Mount Double Stack Kitty Sill, $36. Cats love this perch because they can comfortably observe what’s happening outdoors. If you have an interior office, Gabby Cat Perches, $77, attach to the wall. Or dangle the ALXDR Cat Hammock, $62, from a ceiling hook. Kitties really get a kick out of this swinging kitty bed.