Posted: Mar 25, 2020 6:22 PM CDT
You’re getting the chance to work from home. Now what?
If you’re invited, asked or ordered to stay home to help flatten the curve but are still expected to be as productive as you would be in the office, you may need a few gadgets to get it done.
If your boss wants you to do video meetings, you’ll need a microphone and a web camera. Your desktop computer may not have one. Fortunately, webcams, like the Microsoft LifeCam, have microphones built-in. It’s plug and play and costs about $65.
Laptops have mics and cameras built into the display. I’d suggest getting a privacy cover for it. These don’t cost very much and connect with a little adhesive. Slide the cover to block the camera when you’re not chatting and just sitting in your PJs.
You probably never worry about outlets at work, but it can be a different story at the kitchen table. The ChargeHub PowerStation 360 has 6 electrical outlets and 4 USB charging ports.
The design is meant to keep the cords from getting tangled. You can mount it to a wall for a more permanent placement and to get it away from your feet.
A smart assistant like the Google Home or Amazon Echo can keep you company and help with some tasks. My favorite Alexa device for the home office is the Echo Input because it is slimmer than other devices.
It has no speaker but connects to a Bluetooth speaker or a home stereo system. I use the Amazon Echo Input connected to my stereo system through a mini-plug to play music from Spotify. Alexa will listen and respond through the speakers connected to the stereo.
Spotify and Amazon Music sound much better this way rather than through the small speaker in an Echo Dot.
Rather than keeping your phone plugged into a charger all day, now’s the time to take a look at wireless charging pads. Just put the phone down on the pad or lean it against the stand.
It doesn’t work with older iPhones but if you have an iPhone 8 or newer, or an Android phone that’s less than 3 years old, it’ll charge without being plugged in.
If you’re spending a lot more time on the computer, your eyes are going to need a break. Computer or blue-light blocking glasses reduce eyestrain and fatigue. If you don’t wear glasses you can get them with no magnification and they’re available with prescription lenses or readers.
While there’s debate on whether these glasses will save your eyes over time, they will block the blue light that can lead to headaches and sleepless nights.
People are finding that technology has reached the point where many people can do their jobs at home. These gadgets and devices make it easier to be just as productive as you’d be in your office or cubicle