With the recent shift toward mass remote work, more people are asking, “how can I improve my remote work experience?” The answer is different for everyone. Not just because everyone’s work preferences are different, but everyone’s living situations are different. It’s important to find out which hardware works best for what someone needs, what their space will allow and what they can afford. With that in mind, here are a few essential hardware components every remote worker should consider to make themselves more productive.
A comfy chair
The foundation of any remote office setup is your chair. Whether working at a countertop or a traditional work desk, where and how you sit is important both to quality of work and quality of health. Ideally, a chair should allow you to control every aspect of your sitting posture, from lumbar support, recline angle, arm rest height and more. It should be comfortable but also customizable enough to support your specific body needs. Your chair height should align with your desk so your arms rest at or about ninety degrees. Speaking of desks…
An adequate desk
Is there anything quite so conducive to work-from-home productivity than adequate desk space? Typically, desk height shouldn’t be any lower than 29 to 30 inches. This is because ideally your eyes should naturally focus about a quarter of the way down from the top of your monitor. So unless you have an adjustable monitor arm, desk height will need to be adjusted accordingly. A home office desk needs to accommodate a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and any other work essentials. While standup desks are popular, they are usually expensive. For those who feel they need one and are on a budget, there are desktop stands that do the same thing by elevating the computer, keyboard and monitor instead of the desk itself.
Whether working on a work laptop or a home PC, adding an additional monitor or simply upgrading to a bigger size can make a big difference in work-from-home productivity. You’ll have more visual space to work with, meaning more vital information is always a glance away. Those with work laptops who need more visual real estate could benefit from simply buying a monitor and connecting it to their laptop. In this scenario you could simply work on the monitor’s larger screen or use the monitor as a second (or third) screen along with your laptop. There are all sorts of options to choose from, including large curved displays (for a more immersive experience), OLED displays (for a richer picture), ultra high definition and more.
A solid webcam
Remote work means virtual meetings, and who wants to stare at thumbnail images of co-workers all day? Webcams enable us to see (and hear, in some cases) our co-workers and to be seen, which can help break up the monotony of audio-only meetings and help maintain social connections in a remote work environment. Many laptops come with webcams built-in, but those without one might want to consider taking the plunge. Modern webcams connect via USB and can be mounted on a desk or monitor, and in addition to HD video, many now offer built-in speakers and microphones.
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
Even the perfect office setup can be ruined by one thing: a power outage. Thankfully, some software applications can recall unsaved work in the event your computer unexpectedly shuts down, but many can’t. A UPS provides extra battery power in the event of an outage. A small UPS can provide a few minutes of power (enough to save your work and power down safely) while larger models can provide hours of battery power. Those who work on laptops shouldn’t bother, since they have an internal battery, but anyone working on a desktop should consider purchasing a UPS just in case.
Some less essential but helpful items include:
- Laptop stand
- Desk lamp
- Phone dock
For questions on how the right equipment can help your customers create a better remote work experience, contact the hardware experts at Ingram Micro.
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