[Interview] We meet Kris Tucker, Global Head of Business Development at Leyline.gg and Proof of Good DAO. [Views are his own]
Remote Work Essentials: Gadgets And Gear To Increase Productivity
The transition to remote work happened overnight at the beginning of the pandemic, and the workforce had to scramble to quickly figure out the best ways to adapt. This meant getting comfortable being on a webcam, adjusting work schedules to fit with home life, and figuring out a space to make your workstation. Here we are months later, and over 41% of the workforce works remotely, and it’s here to stay.
Here is a list of our favorite remote work essentials we recommend to increase comfort and overall productivity.
An ergonomic chair is important for sitting for long periods of time and is one of the most important remote work essentials. Back pain is often caused by sitting in uncomfortable chairs with no support so it’s time to replace that extra chair you’ve been using from your kitchen table with a chair that offers support. Ergonomic chairs were designed to support the entire back and curve with your spine to keep your bones and joints in a neutral position.
A dedicated workspace is important for focus. When you sit down at your chosen location, you will have better concentration and achieve more in less time. Ideally, your dedicated workspace will be a comfortable desk with all your other remote working equipment, but sometimes space can be limiting. Even if your workspace has to be a small desk in a corner of your bedroom, having this separation of workspace versus your bed or your couch will improve your productivity.
Most of us are working from laptops these days because it comes with the convenience of portability, however; when you are constantly looking down at a laptop it causes neck and shoulder pain. A way around this is using a laptop stand that your laptop sits on making your screen eye level. This is one of the inexpensive and simple remote working tools that can drastically change your remote work experience.
Once your laptop is sitting on a stand at eye level, getting a second monitor to use for two screens will make your workflow easier. If you have multiple tabs or windows you are constantly going back and forth between, then adding a second monitor is a no-brainer for your remote work setup. Now you can lay out your view for optimum productivity and achieve more in less time because you can skip the back and forth. Plus, this is one of the remote work essentials that could even keep you more on-task.
Blue Light Glasses
Blue light glasses are a growing trend as LEDs continue to become the main light source. Your phone, tablet, computer, and gaming systems all radiate blue lights which have been proven to be harmful to sleep patterns, melatonin levels, and cause eye strain. By using blue light blocking glasses, you are protecting yourself against overexposure to blue light which can help with your sleep, focus, and reduce migraines caused by eye strain. Truthfully, blue light glasses are one of the work from home products that can make your life a whole lot easier.
Keyboard & Mouse
A keyboard and mouse may seem unnecessary if you primarily use a laptop, but once you set your laptop at eye level, you will want these tools to use. There are ergonomic keyboards you can buy that will help reduce issues that can occur like carpal tunnel syndrome. It is best to prevent these possible issues before they arise. Nowadays there is a large selection of wireless keyboards and mice for affordable prices online so you can still easily move locations if needed without a complicated wire remote work setup.
You need to charge your phone, keyboards, laptops, lights, monitors, and more so a power strip is necessary. It is also good to look for ones with surge protection so in case an electrical surge occurs, your devices will be safe and not fried. A power strip is one of the remote work essentials you can’t miss out on.
A charging station is necessary and useful to plug in your devices that require USB or other connectors. A charging station could even be combined with a power strip, offering traditional outlets with USB ports. There are also charging stations you can set your phone on to charge while it rests on a stand. Whatever method you choose is fine, but having a dedicated charging station will ensure all of your remote working equipment doesn’t die when you need them most.
The rise of remote work has quickly made the use of digital meetings the new normal, which means a WebCam is one of the critical work from home essentials. Most laptops have built-in cameras and microphones, but the quality could be outdated. There are a lot of great options for webcams that easily integrate with your devices and clip onto your monitor.
Headphones with a built-in microphone
Don’t be the guy struggling to figure out their sound for the first 10 minutes of the meeting. Instead, get yourself a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone, an essential of the work from home products on this list. A good pair of headphones with a built-in microphone is great for those Zoom meetings and phone calls. Now you can free up your hands to type notes or give a presentation. Your audio output will be better, and you can hear others talking better. There are a lot of options from small and sleek Apple AirPods to ear-encompassing noise-canceling options which are great if your home has children or other distractions.
Multifunction Gadget Dongle
In today’s digital world, everything is plug and play. You need a place to plug in those camera memory cards, USB drives, USB-C converters, HDMI cables for your monitors, etc. Save yourself the headache of needing to unplug things by purchasing a multi-port hub.
Having good lighting is important for productivity so you can see the work you are doing and you feel awake and energized. Some of us have made an office in the dark basement, but with good lighting, your new workspace can feel rejuvenated. Ideas for lighting can be a dedicated desk lamp or a rounded LED light that lights up your face for those on-camera calls. This is one of the most overlooked remote work essentials.
You don’t want to be on a call and then scramble to find a pen and paper when someone tells you something that you need to note. Prepare yourself with office necessities like pens, a notebook, sticky notes, folders, a stapler, and whatever other traditional office supplies you needed before. Sometimes something as simple as a paperclip can keep your project organized.
External Hard Drive
Laptops unfortunately do not come with an infinite amount of space and with all the applications and programs you may have downloaded, hard drive space is precious. It is best to organize files on a hard drive and to have everything backed up. If your computer crashes, you don’t want to start over with a file. Instead, always be prepared with an external hard drive.
In today’s digital work world, a printer is not a necessity for many jobs, but there are times when it can come in handy. It’s one of the most overlooked work from home essentials. A printer may not be necessary inside your home, but it is a good idea to at least know where one is that you can utilize in case you absolutely have to print something.
If you are working from home full-time, it is best to upgrade your internet service to fit accordingly. You don’t want to be the person who missed the entire meeting because your slow bandwidth couldn’t handle the video call.
Organization / Planning Method
Organization methods are different for everyone. The key is that you have one. This can mean sticky notes, a planner, a whiteboard, or a productivity app. As long as you choose a method to organize your tasks list and you stick to staying on top of your organization, whatever medium you choose can fit your personal productivity habits.
Overall, transitioning to working remotely may seem daunting at first but once you figure out your new methods for success and prepare yourself with the right remote working tools, you will enjoy working in your sweatpants. Many companies are choosing to stay remote even post-pandemic because they are finding that their employees are more productive. Remote work is the new normal, so enjoy it and set yourself up for success.
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