Setting up a new home office? Here is our list of must have tech.
Working from a home office offers a lot of advantages compared to working from your place of business. You have greater flexibility but you also miss out on access to the technologies that you regularly use at work.
10 Must-have Tech Gadgets for a New Home Office
When setting up a home office, there are a few essential items that you will need, starting with this list of the 10 must-have technologies.
1. Desktop Computer or Laptop
A computer is perhaps the most important item in your new home office unless you plan to stick to a typewriter or a calculator. When purchasing a computer for your home office, consider your specific needs.
For example, if you spend just as much time out of the office as you do behind the desk, you may prefer a laptop. You can easily take your work with you when meeting clients or working away from home.
Having a desktop computer also has its advantages. If your business requires you to use resource-intensive software, such as video or sound editing software, you may need the power provided by the latest generation of desktop computers.
When choosing a computer, it is more cost-effective to spend a little extra for a faster machine. Getting a high-end desktop computer or laptop ensures that you can continue using the same machine for several years.
2. Adjustable Standing Computer Desk
A computer desk is not typically considered a piece of technology. However, the latest standing desks feature innovative designs that blend the line between technology and furniture.
These desks are adjustable, allowing you to choose between sitting and standing. If you plan to spend all day in your home office, you need to get up and stretch your legs occasionally. The standing desk allows you to type and work from a standing position, which is better for your lower back and blood circulation.
Here’s our roundup of some good standing desks for your office.
Don’t forget the accessories, like a quality desk lamp.
3. Wireless Laser Printer
While most people have gone almost completely digital, there is still occasionally a need for printed documents. Whether you are printing hard copies of invoices or sending out letters, a printer can be an essential technology.
When selecting a printer, consider getting a laser printer. You can produce higher-quality letters with ink that does not run when the paper gets wet. The inks appear cleaner and crisper, which gives your correspondence a more professional appearance.
4. Wireless Repeater
Depending on the layout of your house and the location of your home office, you may not have your WiFi router set up in the same room. This can decrease the strength of the WiFi signal to the devices in your home office.
If you need to maintain a high-speed Internet connection, invest in a wireless repeater. These devices are also called wireless range extenders or WiFi expanders. With a wireless repeater, you can easily boost your local WiFi signal. They establish what’s called a wireless mesh network between multiple base stations to improve coverage.
The repeater is set up in your home office and connects to your WiFi router. It then rebroadcasts your WiFi signal to eliminate weak spots in your home. All your devices can maintain strong WiFi connections, reducing long loading times and other Internet connectivity issues.
The Google WiFi System 3 Pack is a great way to make sure you have WiFi coverage in every room of your house.
5. Portable Hard Drive
A portable hard drive allows you to back up your important work documents. If you store all your files on your laptop or desktop computer, there is always a risk of data loss. The hard drive can crash at any time or your computer may pick up a virus.
Adding a portable hard drive to your home office is a simple solution for protecting your data. Many of these devices connect to your desktop or laptop via a USB cable. You can then install backup software, which is often included with the hard drive, to automatically back up the folders that you select.
With some portable hard drives, you can even sync files from your phone or tablet. Just look for portable hard drives with WiFi or NAS connectivity.
6. Multi-Port USB Charger
There is a good chance that every portable device that you own includes a rechargeable battery that can be charged via a USB charger. Instead of dealing with a tangled mess of cables, you can add a multi-port USB charger to your home office.
These compact chargers plug directly into a standard electrical outlet or power strip and include three to four charging ports. You can charge multiple devices while only using a single outlet.
7. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
One of the challenges of working from a home office is dealing with distractions. The sounds of neighbors mowing or cars driving down the street may disrupt you from your work.
How do they work?
The noise-canceling headphones cancel out specific noise frequencies such as the sounds of engines, motors, and air conditioners. The headphones produce a natural sound to help cancel out these distracting noises, letting you remain focused.
8. Desktop Home Automation Assistant
Google and Amazon each have their own desktop assistants that are essentially just Internet-connected speakers and microphones. However, they are connected to a home automation service that allows you to use voice commands to perform a variety of functions.
With one of these devices, you can use voice commands to hear your most recent emails, check the forecast, or schedule a reminder. You can also set timers, search the Internet, and place phone calls.
You can think of these devices are electronic receptionists or assistants. They can handle a lot of the light work with just voice commands, which helps streamline your workday.
Read more about the Amazon Echo Dot smart home speaker.
9. 1080p High-Definition Webcam
Most laptops, smartphones, and tablets are equipped with cameras and microphones. You can place phone calls and video calls through a variety of popular apps and services. However, mobile devices rarely offer clear, crisp video and audio for these Internet calls.
With an HD webcam connected to your desktop computer or laptop, you can enjoy high-definition video conferencing with your clients or business partners. As the webcam connects to your desktop or laptop, you also less likely to experience dropped calls or interference.
A solid choice is the Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam
Trying to go paperless in your home office? A smart pen that connects to your smartphone or tablet can help.
A smartpen digitizes your notes and drawings as you write and transfers them as digital files to your tablet or computer. It allows you to write in a natural way on paper, although some models require a special paper, the experience is the same.
Your handwritten notes can be converted to text and stored in the cloud for access anywhere. They’re also searchable. Try that with paper.
A popular model to check out is the Livescribe 3 smartpen
Read our full roundup of digital pens here.
Keep in mind that these are just a few of the must-have items for your home office. Consider the types of tasks that you complete throughout the day to determine which technologies may help improve your productivity.