By Uma Campbell
Whether you are working from home by choice or as a social distancing recommendation, there is no denying that working from home can be fantastic. Still, it can also present challenges not typically found in a traditional office setting. Many people enjoy working from home but struggle with productivity. Willpower alone can help you stay on task, but it is not a perfect system. While there is no magic solution to ensure you are always productive, there is a slew of gadgets that can boost your productivity while working from home. You don’t need to break the bank to get these gadgets and enjoy the added focus they provide. Take your pick from these helpful modern inventions that will help you stay productive while working remotely.
Noise Reduction And Replacement
Noises and sounds can be some of the most distracting elements of working from home. Whether you are fighting a busy street, loud neighbors, or even your housemates watching a movie in the other room, the noises around you can significantly impact your productivity and overall work. You can talk with housemates to establish quiet hours when you need to focus, but you can’t do much about a loud street or neighbors. When you can’t reduce the noise around you any further, it is time to replace it.
Grab any pair of headphones you have; wireless headphones are ideal, so you don’t have to worry about cables, but gaming headphones, earbuds, or any other headphones you have will still work. Once you have your headphones, pick something to listen to that will replace the distracting sounds around you. You can put on an audiobook, podcast, music, or listen to the audio of your favorite movie. Studies have shown that listening to music can help you focus, but not all music types are conducive to concentrating. Find what audio enables you to tune out distractions and focus on work the best, but take care that the audio running through your headphones isn’t more distracting than the sounds it is covering.
When you are not working from home, spotty phone or wifi coverage is an annoyance, but not such a big deal. However, when you are working from home, not having internet or phone service can be classed as an emergency. If you only have wifi or cell service in some areas of your house, it may be worth investing in a signal extender or repeater. Extending your wifi with a mesh setup and a signal repeater for your phone signal will help ensure you don’t lose connection mid workday.
Many people who started working from home recently only grabbed their work laptop and have been making do with the small screen ever since. Laptops and small screens are perfect for portability but are not ideal for long work sessions. Instead of hunching over your laptop, grab an upgrade bundle to reboot your entire setup to make working from home much more comfortable. Even if you swap out an old, slow laptop for a newer model, you will appreciate the faster loads times and reboots. If you don’t want to commit to a full upgrade, adding a laptop dock and a second 27” monitor can make a world of difference without making your wallet sad. Be sure to grab a webcam when you upgrade as virtual meetings are the new norm and can make collaborating on projects much less awkward.
Little Desk Additions
Sometimes increasing your productivity isn’t about bigger gadgets, but rather the little improvements that add up to a significant change. Ensuring that your desk gas all the odds and ends you need for the day will limit how many times you get up to grab something throughout the day. Adding a USB hub to your desk lets you plugin or charge many devices without creating a nest of cables. While not technically a gadget, a refillable water bottle is essential work equipment. Instead of getting up for a fresh glass of water every hour, put your refillable bottle on your so you don’t need to refill as often. Stock up on all the little gadgets you need and make sure they are at your workspace so you can sit down and focus.
Working from home can be a significant adjustment, but using modern gadgets can make the process easier. Drown out distracting sounds with audio of your choice, expand your wifi and cell signal, so you never lose connection during work, upgrade your setup with a work from home bundle, and ensure your desk has all the little things you need to stay productive while working from home.