If you are not a member of a â€œcriticalâ€ support team, you are most likely to be working from home at this time due to the coronavirus. For some of you, this will be a rude awakening. Suddenly, you are in charge of your own productivity. But how can you do something while slouched at the dinner table with your laptop and a crying baby behind you?
The support staff are ready to advise you on how to optimize your home office and get significant work done during this already stressful time.
We also have a YouTube channel where we publish content that complements the content on the site. Check out this YouTube video for the best tools you can use when working from home. Let us know what you think in the comments so we can improve our YouTube content too!
Now let’s move on to the settings of the workspace of our employees and their recommendations. Please note that we have affiliate links for anything that we think the reader might be interested in buying for themselves. You can help us by using the links below, as the price will be the same for you, but we receive a small commission from Amazon.
Let’s start with me. Here’s what I recommend for creating the perfect home work environment.
I recently ditched a Windows desktop and now my only work machine is a Macbook Air laptop. I love the mobility it offers – I can move from the office to the living room at any time. My other devices are iPhone 11 and iPad Pro with Apple Pencil Yes, I’m an Apple fan. What can I say? Guilty on the charge.
If you have kids (which I don’t have, but I’ve heard they can be quite noisy), get a Netflix subscription (or another streaming service such as Prime or Hulu
While they’re watching Frozen for the fiftieth time, buy yourself a pair of matching headphones to block out the noise. I personally love the Sennheiser headphones – the sound is great and they block outside noise well too. Unless you have superhuman abilities to naturally block out all background noise, you need headphones if you’re going to be doing any meaningful work. If you are using a laptop, then the stand is the next thing you need. If you look at the screen, you will develop neck pain very soon. So bring your laptop to your natural eye level. Use Nexstand for this. Or, if you don’t want to pay money, I think a stack of books will do. It’s just not very elegant. Since your laptop is now lifted from the table, you will need a keyboard and mouse. Try getting a keyboard and mouse without a Bluetooth cable (Apple keyboard is a natural choice for Macbooks). The fewer cables you have on your desk, the better. And if you’re the type of person who loves more than one monitor, consider buying Duet Display, which turns your iPad into a different monitor. For phone and video conferencing, I prefer Zoom over Skype, and for chatting, nothing beats Slack and WhatsApp Skype works well for transferring files to colleagues, but so does cloud storage like Dropbox and WeTransfer All work here is done through Google Drive, which can be easily shared with colleagues.
While they’re watching Frozen for the fiftieth time, buy yourself a pair of matching headphones to block out the noise. I personally love the Sennheiser headphones – the sound is great and they block outside noise well too. Unless you have superhuman abilities to naturally block out all background noise, you need headphones if you’re going to be doing any meaningful work.
If you are using a laptop, then the stand is the next thing you need. If you look at the screen, you will develop neck pain very soon. So bring your laptop to your natural eye level. Use Nexstand for this. Or, if you don’t want to pay money, I think a stack of books will do. It’s just not very elegant.
Since your laptop is now lifted from the table, you will need a keyboard and mouse. Try getting a keyboard and mouse without a Bluetooth cable (Apple keyboard is a natural choice for Macbooks). The fewer cables you have on your desk, the better. And if you’re the type of person who loves more than one monitor, consider buying Duet Display, which turns your iPad into a different monitor.
For phone and video conferencing, I prefer Zoom over Skype, and for chatting, nothing beats Slack and WhatsApp Skype works well for transferring files to colleagues, but so does cloud storage like Dropbox and WeTransfer All work here is done through Google Drive, which can be easily shared with colleagues.
I have two â€œwork from homeâ€ installations: a tabletop installation and a sofa installation. My desktop setup uses a mini-ITX desktop computer running Windows. I am using a LG 29 ” ultra wide screen mounted on a gas lift monitor arm. This leaves the entire desk space open under my monitor and means that I can adjust the screen to my exact eye level.
I am using the Logi Ergonomic Wireless Keyboard (K540) with the Logi MX Master Mouse 2s. It is undoubtedly the world’s best mouse for performance and is incredibly comfortable. One of the key features of this mouse is that this mouse has a switcher with three presets. This way, I can switch between my desktop, laptop and tablet at the touch of a button.
My couch uses the Table Mate II – a cheap solution but surprisingly versatile and comfortable to write from the couch. I am using iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) and MacBook Pro (2019) as my mobile workstation. The iPad can act as an extended monitor for the MacBook using Sidecar.
Slack is my main team communication app. Google Drive and the rest of the suite is where I do most of my work as a writer.
My work from home includes a MacBook Pro, Windows laptop, iPhone, and Android device. My main machine is a MacBook, which I have been using for the last 5-6 years.
I prefer to use web or extension apps over standalone desktop apps. So the only thing I need to launch when I boot my computer is Chrome (my default browser). I use email and Slack to communicate, Trello to manage work, and services like PayPal to send and receive money.
I use Google Drive as storage, Google Docs as my office suite, and sometimes I use WeTransfer to transfer files
I use FTP, WeTransfer, Google Drive, AirDrop and AirDroid to transfer files To back up my phone battery, I have a Lenovo 10,000mAh battery (which doesn’t seem to be on Amazon).
For me, working from home couldn’t be the same without music, so I have a DT 1990 Pro, but the rest of my setup is really pretty simple. My computer is custom made, but I have an AOC 24G2 24 144Hz monitor and a cheap and cheerful Acer KA220HQ as an add-on, which is a must for me.
I work with a regular Ikea desk, but it is very large – the workplace is everything to me and helps me not to feel too cramped. My keyboard is (almost) the cheapest Logitech office keyboard on the planet, the MK120 A good mouse is very important to me and I am currently using the Coolermaster MM711, but this is constantly changing. I also record video content and make calls from time to time, so I use a Blue Snowball Ice microphone, a Logitech C920 webcam, and an affordable NEUMA microphone stand.
My workflow is almost entirely done from Google Drive in the Chrome browser, but I use Windows 10. I also use Photoshop a lot, I use it almost every day and have been doing it for years.
My office consists of an L-shaped desk with a 13-inch MacBook Pro on one side and a personalized PC on the other. I also have Amazon Echo Show and Nest Home Hub under my computer monitor. I use both for productivity, smart home control, testing, and sometimes music. My MacBook is my primary work machine, although I use my PC as a secondary display from time to time, depending on what I’m working on.
I am using two browsers: Google Chrome and Safari Slack and Trello are my most used apps, although Outlook comes in third. I prefer Chrome because of the many extensions. Some of my must-have extensions are AdBlocker, Grammarly and Honey (it’s amazing how much money this extension saved me on lunchtime pizza orders)
I also have the Evernote extension installed, although I’m considering switching to Google Keep. Google Docs is perfect for collaboration, so the integration with Google Keep will make my workflow even easier.
I use Microsoft Word for any writing work I do before migrating to another platform. I always have Spotify, whether it’s a smart speaker or a computer. Instrumental music and foreign lyrics are required so as not to be distracted. I almost always have a cup of coffee or tea somewhere on the table.
Sometimes I will dictate my work, not print. I have a HyperX Cloud headset in addition to a Samsung Q2U podcasting microphone that are great for this purpose. It is installed next to my MacBook Pro. For research and time away from the desktop, I use a 2018 iPad with a Logitech Crayon note-taking pencil.
I am using a Lenovo laptop (with Windows 10), Samsung S8 +, Tecno Droipad, HP Z-Display, Google Chromecast 3, JBL Bluetooth speaker, and JBL wireless headphones
When it comes to storage, my go-to cloud solutions are Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox I also have a 1TB portable hard drive.
Project management is done through Trello and Basecamp. Communication is via Slack, email, Skype and WhatsApp I enjoy entertainment from Netflix, Soundcloud and YouTube.
My company developed the infrastructure to enable people to work from home a few years ago. This was mainly targeted at the Canadian blizzards keeping us home, but it worked for Covid-19 as well. Most of our users connect to cloud-hosted servers using HP Thin Clients. However, using Citrix allows them to log in from any computer.
Our desk phones are IP based VoIP (Voice over IP) phones. We can connect them to the Internet anywhere, and we will follow us on our landline phone. The service we use also has an application that we can install on our mobile phones so that we can receive calls to desk phones from our mobile phones.
I am pumping 2 HP 21 ? monitors connected to my personal Acer laptop. The keyboard is normal, but I use the Anker ergonomic mouse. Everything is set on our kitchen table. On the software side, we’ve just completed our migration to Office 365, so we’re heavily using Teams for communication and file sharing. It worked well.
The pen is a Platinum Preppy fine nib and obsidian Chesterfield ink. That’s right, fountain pen. It is an environmentally friendly choice that is much easier to use ergonomically. The notebook is from Cambridge, and I believe the paper quality is on par with Moleskine or Leuchtturm.
I am currently using a 16 ” Macbook Pro with Twelve South Stand and Pro XDR Display with Pro Stand. I also got a pair of Audioengine A5 Plus speakers This was all a relatively recent update to a custom PC that I built with CyberPC.com. A 25-inch Acer 1440p monitor was attached to the previous computer.
I use the standard Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard (with numeric keypad) as input devices.
What is not shown is a 4TB WD NAS, which I am also connected to, but located elsewhere in the house. Finally, the circle just above my mouse is the RavPower Wireless Charger for my 256GB iPhone XS Max and Apple AirPods
On the software side, I currently use Brave as my default browser due to privacy concerns. I use Adobe Creative Cloud for video editing, photo editing, PDF manipulation, and a variety of other tasks. For cloud storage, I use Google Drive, AWS for cold storage backups, and iCloud to ensure all my Apple devices are properly backed up.
Let us know in the comments what your ideal office is.