Your home office may not be going away even when the pandemic comes to an end. A recent study from Stanford University found that 42% of the U.S. labor force is now working from home full-time. Many people have found that fitting out a home office is a lot more convenient than commuting.
But to make the most of working remotely, you might want to consider upgrading your home office with smart technology. Many gadgets can enhance your productivity and make working from home, whether in a spare room or at the dining room table, all the more pleasant.
New trends in home office tech
New office technologies can make your work hours from home more efficient. Virtual reality is fast becoming an intriguing option as a way to connect with co-workers. And now that it seems like every meeting is on Zoom, upgrading your computer’s microphone and camera is a smart move.
More coverage through better routers
The latest high-speed Wi-Fi routers can extend your coverage to corners that might have been dead spots before. For example, Amazon’s Eero and Google’s Nest router offer top-of-the-line mesh networking to improve the Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home. Of course, a strong internet connection is essential for any home office setup. Fiber, if you can get it, is a highly recommended upgrade.
Comfort for productivity
Comfort is critical when it comes to setting up your home office for the long term. One way to stay comfortable at home, especially in the dry winter months, is with a smart humidifier. For example, VOCOlinc’s MistFlow Smart Humidifier works with an app that’s available on iOS and Android via Wi-Fi, as well as with the Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Smart speakers that listen
Smart speakers are another great way to boost your productivity at home. The big names in this area are Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest smart speakers, both of which can respond to voice commands, play music and more. For home office workers, the higher-end models can do video conferencing with colleagues or handle phone calls. They’re also a handy way to set reminders for online meetings and other work events.
Smart lighting enlivens your space
Working from home may be convenient, but it can also be monotonous to be in a relatively small space without moving to different offices or conference rooms. One way to change things up is with smart lighting that automatically shifts its hues throughout the day. Most intelligent lighting fixtures are easy enough to install yourself, and they can be controlled via an app. There are various smart bulbs and lighting setups ranging in price from less than $50 up to thousands for those who want every possible option. Philips is one standout name in this area with its Hue lighting series of LED strips, bulbs and more.
Smart plugs keep you going
If you don’t want to interrupt your workflow, installing smart plugs is another way to be efficient. These gadgets will let you control any electric appliance just by using voice commands. You can use most smart speakers to activate these plugs, and they’re easy to install by yourself. The ConnectSense CS-SO-2 Smart Outlet² Plug allows you to control your lights and appliances from your smartphone and by voice through the Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Monitor size matters
Many people tend to gravitate toward laptops when working at home to save on space. Keep in mind that while laptops are convenient, they can be hard on your posture. Consider upgrading to a large monitor, which is usually easy to attach to a computer or laptop just by plugging in a cable. While not a smart tech device, the latest monitors feature technology upgrades that keep pace with customer needs. Look for a high-resolution, 27-inch monitor in your price range. ViewSonic’s Elite XG270 boasts an adjustable ergonomic stand and Full HD 1080p resolution.
Smart earphones block noise
Don’t neglect your ears when working from home. Whether it’s your kids playing or practicing the piano, home offices can be noisy, and finding peace and quiet is vital. Smart earphones can help with noise-canceling features that can block out most sounds. Look for earbuds or headphones with active noise canceling, which can be more effective at stopping noise. These headphones can come either in wired or wireless options and even with a microphone for a video call solution. Opt for a wireless Bluetooth model for more comfort and convenience when walking around your home, but don’t forget you will need to charge them!
Investing in your home office is always a solid business decision. With the right equipment, you can be more productive and more comfortable.
Product features may have changed and are subject to change.