The transition from working in an office to working from home means switching your cubicle for your bed, kitchen table, or even your garage table. While the future of work has led to a push toward working from anywhere, optimizing your workspace is key effectively (and aesthetically!) getting work done. Giving your space some TLC goes farther than you think: a personalized space feels more ‘lived in’ and less monotonous. Here are some must-have technologies you need to elevate your setup:
- A good mic and webcam
You’re no longer on mute! Get rid of the static and cut through the background noise of your dog barking in the background and the day’s construction with a high-quality microphone. Chances are, your laptop’s internal microphone won’t be as crisp as an external one. Look for mics that deliver powerful sound without the bulky weight, such as a cardioid microphone or ones specifically designed for podcasting.
A good microphone is only half of the equation, as audio quality and video quality go hand-in-hand. Ditch the grainy video days for a high-quality webcam. If your built-in laptop camera isn’t cutting it, there are external options. A high-quality external webcam shows you’re showing up at your best. Grainy videos don’t allow for quite as much bonding. Look for webcams that can record in 1080P and that come with light-adjusting features to account for your lighting environment.
One last option to consider? If you find your phone quality to be optimal, there are ways to use your phone as a webcam with apps like Droid or Camo.
- Proper lighting
An overcast day outdoors means a dreary video. Bring colors back to life with proper lighting that will enhance your video. Opt for LED light strips, a desk lamp, or even a ring light above for the best lighting. It’s important to note that lighting should feel natural and not be too stark. Make sure you’re lighting from the right places–don’t set up your light below. This desk light has everything you need and can control brightness and color warmth.
- Standing desk
It’s hard to get up on your feet when you’re glued to a laptop. It’s easy to get lost in replying to one message and another. Before you know it, you realized you haven’t gotten up in 3 hours. Not only can a standing desk reduce back pain and improve neck pain, but it can also aid with productivity as well.
- Webcam cover
If you’re used to using a built-in camera, you may find yourself accidentally making eye contact with your camera at times of the day. Feel too invasive? A webcam cover is a perfect way to get an extra touch of privacy. Plus, it’s an improvement that won’t break the bank. Check out this webcam cover for an affordable option.
- An ultra-wide monitor
Working from home means being the creator of your own workspace. Whether you’re sifting through and scanning through lengthy spreadsheets or designing on Photoshop, it’s important to reduce eye strain.
Enter: the ultra-wide monitor. Ultra-wide monitors can range from 34” to 49”, which leaves lots of wiggle room for you to decide on the perfect specs. While an ultra-wide monitor may sound excessive compared to a 13” laptop, your eyes will thank you. An ultra-wide monitor not only allows for better visuals, but its natural curvature adheres to your natural field of view. Additionally, having two monitors with bezels in between can look disruptive, whereas an ultra-wide monitor will provide for more seamless viewing. Here’s a more affordable option while this is a pricier one.
- Laptop stand
Another day of working from home, another day of working slouched on your bed? Not so fast. A laptop stand helps elevate your laptop, so there’s less neck strain. A few hours of prolonged neck strain adds up, and it adds up quickly. The best part? Laptop stands are portable, so you can quickly fold up and adjust to wherever you decide to work next. This laptop stand comes in a multitude of colors, whether you’re looking to go minimalistic with silver or the colorful route with pink.
- Wireless headphones
Let’s face it–working remotely means sometimes getting distracted by anything from the doorbell to your dog fidgeting in the background. Wireless headphones encourage you to get up and moving, instead of staying glued to your chair for hours upon hours. Plus, less wires = less tangling and a more organized workspace!
- An ergonomic yet comfortable chair
Neck pain, eye strain, back pain—it can all compound when you’re working remotely. Since working remotely doesn’t require getting up as much as being in the office, a cushioned chair makes all of the difference. Sure, leather chairs are visually eye-catching, but you’ll come to find that most ‘leather’ chairs are faux leather. Unfortunately, this means the paint on the fake leather will peel and crumble. That’s why it’s best to opt for cushioned or breathable mesh chairs. This chair is padded for comfort, while this chair has a breathable mesh that ensures your back will stay cool.
Optimizing your workspace is a passion project, a gradual undertaking, and a learning process. Most of all, it’s what’s necessary to create a space you can be most productive and feel most at home with (pun intended).