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By 16 February 2021 | Categories: feature articles

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The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures means working from home is here to stay with predictions that permanent remote workers will double in 2021.

“Businesses and individuals have adapted to new models of working which requires gearing up to work from home. It is essential that a home workspace is equipped to be both productive and comfortable,” says Matthew Hall, Rectron Product Director.

So, what’s needed to optimise a work-from-home set-up? Hall offers a list of the essentials:

The right device and accessories

To boost productivity at home, choose a device with at least an Intel Core i5 processor or AMD Ryzen 5, SSD storage of 256GB and 8GB memory for quality performance.

Opt for a monitor with higher resolution and a crisper screen. The ASUS VP247HAE Eye Care Monitor, for example, provides full HD, is flicker free, has a blue light filter and is anti-glare. Prevent eye and neck strain with a height-adjustable monitor or a VESA mountable option for the wall.

For more screen space for multitasking, an ultrawide monitor facilitates running multiple browser windows or applications. Curved monitors create an immersive visual experience and are valuable to those working with multi-media. Curved displays also reduce strain on the eyes.

Mechanical keyboards are tactile and responsive, satisfying to use for those who type all day. Wireless keyboards reduce cable clutter, and a wireless mouse that’s ergonomically designed can prevent wrist pain.

Positioning your laptop ergonomically to reduce strain from hunching over the keyboard and screen is not always easy. A laptop stand comes in handy to adjust the device for the ideal height and angle, whether sitting or standing, and prevents the computer from overheating by raising it off the surface.

Sit back and relax

You need a chair that supports long periods of sitting in front of a screen. Gaming chairs, like Corsair and CoolerMaster have features such as padding, adjustable arm rests, a reclining seat back, and neck and lumbar pillows to provide a more ergonomically comfortable experience than a conventional office chair. 

Keep noise to a minimum

Disturbed by outside noises, like loud hadedas, leaf-blowers, or kids in the house? Headsets and headphones will block out distractions. Some devices have stereo sound quality for both ears, and are padded for comfort, with others like the Logitech VC Headset H570e having a flexible microphone boom for taking calls. To cancel out background or keyboard sounds while on a call or recording, invest in supporting software, such as the Nvidia RTX Voice, an AI-powered noise-cancelling program.

Engage virtually

With limited in person engagement, video calls are important to connect with colleagues. Logitech VC Webcam C920 is full HD with autofocus and built in microphone, while the Logitech Webcam C310 has fun filters and a light setting to really look good when delivering that presentation.

For collaboration, Microsoft Teams, is ideal for meetings and, file sharing and the chat function reduces emails. In addition, Microsoft Teams has introduced Together Mode, which uses AI to place everyone in a meeting in a virtual auditorium to create a sense of face-to-face social interaction that may be missing when working in isolation at home.

Don’t be left in the dark

Load-shedding is back, and it is a major frustration. A power bank, such as RCT is an important gadget to keep devices such as notebooks and Wi-Fi routers running as well as charge phones and tablets to minimise disruption at home. For an uninterrupted larger source of power, a UPS battery trolley keeps the power on during a blackout, and, depending on the battery size, can sustain small appliances for hours. 

Maintaining a work-life balance

As the lines between office and home environments blur, so can work and personal life. MyAnalytics, a feature of Microsoft 365 Enterprise, monitors and provides insights on hours spent working, answering emails, and in meetings, to manage time better and to maintain a healthy balance between the home office and life outside it.

Ready, set, print!

We live in a digital world, but printers still have their place in handling work documents. Most printers are multifunctional, not only printing, but scanning and copying too, and with mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth capabilities adding convenience. Choosing a model depends on your needs, such as large amounts of printing (the Canon I-SENSYS MF237W, for example, can handle 250 sheets) or for kids’ projects, where you need a higher resolution, like that of the Canon i-SENSYS LBP113W.

“With the stress of the pandemic, working from home shouldn’t add pressure. Choose the right solutions to support your needs and connect to the outside world. Remote working is not only contributing to curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus but is beneficial to productivity and business continuity,” concludes Hall.

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