As the pandemic started affecting a wide range of operations across the globe, businesses had to prepare for a radical shift – work from home. As per a World Economic Forum survey, only about 2% of American employees making more than $20,000 a year were working from home before the pandemic hit the shores. As COVID-19 cases heightened, the figure rose to a staggering 42% of the same class of employees. 78% of business leaders surveyed by WEF for this research stated their concerns about loss of productivity.
Initially, several employees had to undergo dramatic shifts for making their relaxation place into their working space. Some of us splurged a little too much. Now that we have the perfect retrospective vision and a reasonable probability that WFH will continue for a while, here are the top gadgets most of us need for a productive and comfortable working from home experience.
The first thing you would need at your home-based workstation is a multiport adapter. You might be in need of connecting a portable hard-drive, HDMI cable, storage devices, Ethernet cables, USB-based devices, or other gadgets to your laptop. Most modern laptops would not have the functionality to do so, as the design is slick and minimalistic. Devices with Bluetooth connectivity are great, but they are often battery consumption.
A multiport adapter will let you plug in all these gadgets to one set of ports, so you can use them simultaneously even if your laptop does not have all the ports you need. Brands like Anker, TOTU, Dell, Apple, and Satechi have an excellent portfolio of multiport adapters.
If you are using a work laptop and but want to enhance the experience of working with other peripherals, you will need a dock-station. A dock-station makes the entire process of connecting your computer with the speakers, keyboard, mouse, external disk-readers, and even screens, as simple as connecting one cable. This obviously saves time. But, when you observe closely, it declutters your entire working station as you can simply plug your laptop into the peripherals with one dock-station and start working.
For graphic designers, capital markets professionals, and developers who tend to use extended or multiple screens, this can be an excellent investment in productivity. Dell, Microsoft, Kensington, Toshiba, and several other brands produce quality dock-stations that can work with a wide range of laptops.
Workstations are desk-like structures designed for specific work. Workstation CPUs are often confused with the same workstation they rest on. But, unless your company is sponsoring one, a workstation CPU can become an expensive affair and would be rendered less useful once your resume business as usual in the office.
It is easy to make the mistake of considering your workstation as an extra work-accessory. However, after working for long hours consistently across the week, smaller variables like your posture, relaxation time, and water intake will have a significant impact on your productivity. Workstations ensure you are sitting in the right posture and are able to work for long hours, without feeling tired. They also help in keeping your working area more organized.
For users who have a laptop, lap-desks are a great alternative to full-fledged workstations. Many lap-desks come with in-built cooling pads that ensure your laptops don’t get overheated. Most workstations, lap-desks, and cooling pads are offered by the off-the-shelf local brands and can serve the utility even on a shoestring budget.
Noise-cancelling headphones are probably the best investment you can make in your productivity with WFH. In an open-working environment, such headphones are the best way to zone into your work and literally cancel all the external noises & distractions. When you get home, the role they can play just gets augmented.
WFH can be a strange experience for most of us. While there is no co-working banter, many of us also get easily distracted by browsing across the internet or other surrounding noises. As this WSJ post shows, noise-cancelling headphones can help you clear the clutter and focus on what’s important. You can also get creative and use YouTube playlists like this one to have some music in the background without letting it cause a distraction.
As far as noise-cancelling headphones are concerned, you can consider Skullcandy’s Hesh ANC & Crusher ANC Wireless Headphones. These slick pair of headphones comes with an active noise cancellation system along with a ambient mode. It comes embedded with Tile to locate your headphones quickly.
You should also invest in a portable hard-disk to enhance the storage capacity of your laptop and for data backups, a WiFi router that helps you with consistent connectivity, and a webcam in case you have an older laptop in place. With these and the aforementioned gadgets at your disposal, WFH will be a soothing, comfortable, and noise-free experience! Click here to explore the Skullcandy range of headphones that are ideal for your working environment.