For those of us that have the option, it’s clear that remote working is here to stay – or at least for the foreseeable future. A recent survey by Gartner found that as many as 82 percent of businesses plan to let employees work from home for some of the time, even after the threat of the coronavirus has subsided. This means we can get more comfortable in our home offices and routines, aiming to reduce the challenges and increase the comforts. It should be about time to invest in some MacBook accessories to complete your home setup.
IT systems can potentially slow down or speed up the running of a business, or even bring them to a complete standstill in the event of a disaster. It is always advisable to bring in the advice and assistance of the experts, such as London-based computing firm, Mustard IT.
Laptops that were purchased in the last few years are likely to have one or two USB-C ports, which are smaller than ordinary USB ports. This means they take up less space in the structure of a device, but they will probably need to be converted to traditional USB ports for the use of various gadgets and accessories. This is why it’s a good idea to invest in a USB-C adapter like the Belkin USB-C Hub, which has six ports, an HDMI port, an ethernet port and SD card slot, as well as passthrough charging.
Using a trackpad all of the time is not always the most comfortable, so a wireless mouse is a step towards improving the ergonomics of your home set up. The Apple Wireless Mouse 2 is simple, ambidextrous and it has an appealingly simple look, but it is rather expensive and lacking in features. The Logitech MX Wireless Mouse has an ergonomic design with customisable buttons and a scroll wheel that offers more control and comfort. It is also not the most affordable mouse, but Logitech has a range of products with lower prices.
When you are working at home on a laptop, the combination of an external mouse and keyboard means you can adjust your working position more flexibly. Probably the best of the wireless keyboards available is the Apple Magic Keyboard, with a minimalist look, quiet keys and an internal battery that charges by a USB-to-lightning cable. Apple keyboards are available with or without a numeric keypad, the larger keyboards also come with navigational keys and six function keys. There is also the Logitech G915 that has an excellent design and coloured backlighting, or the OMOTON keyboard which is slim and cheap.
The third must-have item that enables users to set the screen of their laptops in the most ergonomically agreeable position is a laptop stand or table tray. When you don’t need to use the laptop’s keyboard and trackpad, then you are free to position your screen where it is most comfortable. Looking down at our laptops for hours on end is not good for the muscles in our backs and shoulders, so raising the screen to eye level is the best idea. Sofia + Sam have a range of laptop table trays that enable comfortable laptop working while on a desk, table, in bed or on a sofa.
To avoid any potential repetitive strain injuries (RSI), we should try to develop good practices like frequently stretching and changing position. One way to keep your wrist, arm and shoulder from pain and injury is to invest in a mouse pad with a gel rest that offers support to the wrist. Some models can offer special features, such as wireless charging, but most mouse pads are affordable and effective. These include the 3M Precise Mouse Pad with Gel Wrist Rest and the Kensington ErgoSoft Wrist Rest.
Noise cancelling headphones
Sometimes we just need to turn down the volume of all extraneous noise, whether that may be colleagues, people chatting on the next table in a café, or our own family members. When it’s time to focus solely on the job in hand, a pair of noise cancelling headphones can be very useful. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 give you more control of what you hear with a mobile app for customised management. They also have a microphone system that is able to isolate your voice and cancel outside noise during important calls. These are an excellent option, but they come at a price.
With various Apple devices in use around the room, it can be nice to create a central place where everything can be charged. A wireless charging dock means there’s no need for untidy cables, and it is also able to conveniently fast-charge Apple devices like iPhones, AirPods and Apple Watches. The Morphie 3-in-1 wireless charging pad is Qi-compatible and is capable of delivering 7.5 watts of power to an iPhone and charges through most phone cases. The pad is made of soft ultra-suede fabric that will not scratch devices.
When we’re not using earphones or headphones, usually it is better to not have to rely on the built-in speakers of a laptop. While they are perfectly functional, an improved home setup calls for a decent external speaker. OontZ Angle 3 from Cambridge SoundWorks is a Bluetooth speaker that has an excellent sound quality and a durable, water-resistant exterior. It is small, light, it can play over 30 metres from your device, and for up to 14 hours on a single charge.
While we may still be getting used to working at home or other locations outside of the usual office, we should be encouraged to make our arrangements flexible and comfortable. When we are both physically and mentally content then we can be more productive and efficient in our daily work. Don’t hold back on those helpful and convenient accessories.