Working remotely has its perks. You can travel wherever you want to. Visit your friends and family. Change environments when you’re feeling burned out, or just stay relaxed in the comfort of your own home. But while some companies do provide work laptops so you could perform your tasks efficiently, not all do.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones and you’re figuring out how to build your remote work set-up, here are things to consider buying:
If your work set-up revolves around a laptop, you need to be prepared with the following equipment:
- Cooling mat – You’ll be using the laptop for at least 6 hours for work,so it’s only ideal to keep the device from overheating with a cooling mat.
- Portable hard drive storage – Laptops already have built-in storage, but if your work involves photo editing, video production, graphics, and other power-intensive tasks, you will need additional storage for space to save your work on.
- Portable power bank – Because remote work means you can do your job virtually anywhere, you’ll need to prepare for the inevitability of laptop battery draining. A portable power bank gives you a way to charge your phone, laptop and other devices enough to get you near a plug. The battery storage will vary and affect the price. Go for 20,000 mAh or higher with a single USB-C connection and at least two USB 3.0 ports.
- Portable monitor – If you need to extend your workspace, check out Sidetrak. It’s an elegant portable monitor that fits Chromebook, Mac and most laptops. It is connected at the top and slides out when you need it, which means you’re not going to carry around two devices if you “brought” this portable monitor with you.
Working remotely won’t be complete without a laptop bag. You can find a wide range of laptop briefcase, backpacks and other types of bags designed specifically to rough it out and protect your laptop.
DESKTOP PC Must-Haves
- A new monitor – Display technologies today accommodate the work requirements of most professionals. Monitors are no longer too expensive to be upgraded every several years. And the developments (such as blue light technology, curved displays, 4HD, spectacular image accuracy, advanced contrast ratio, built-in features and more) are all worth the investment even if you already have an old monitor.
If you want an affordable option, the good news is you can decide what features you’re willing to give up. If color accuracy and quality are your top priority, choose a smaller-sized monitor. If performance
- Hardware upgrades – The upgrade you need will vary significantly. Are you working on an old computer that starts up after an hour? You’ll likely need an SSD (solid-state-drive storage). Do you need to access programs like CAD and Adobe Photoshop? You’ll need to upgrade your computer’s memory, storage and graphics card.
Of course, you’ll also need the programs to complete your job. In some cases, this is provided by your company. But if not, you’d likely have to buy licensing for them to use a particular program.
Remote Work Set-up Must-Haves
Whether you’re working on a laptop or desktop, the following items can improve your working conditions:
- Memory stick: Sometimes, moving files from your computer to your phone and another device can be frustrating when you do it all online. If you have no time to upload and download your files from the cloud, you can always rely on your handy memory stick. Go with brands like Kingston and SanDisk.
- Surge protector: Don’t overlook this, especially if you’re working on your computer. It should be a staple in any home office, since it protects your devices from being destroyed should a power surge occur.
- Wireless noise-canceling headset: Don’t let the noise of your household or the world distract you from working. Invest in a high-quality noise-canceling headset (preferably wireless), so you can retain focus at all times.
- Task light: Not all people have well-lit workstations, but this should already be a given. What’s the use of buying a modern monitor, if you’re just going to work in the dark and destroy your vision by yourself? You can decide what kind of lighting you want, or how much you can spend with it, but any additional lighting could improve your work experience and in turn, your productivity.
- Wrist rest: If your work involves a lot of typing and using the mouse, you’ll need to protect your wrist from developing computer-related RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). One way to do it is to lay your dominant mouse hand on a gel or fabric wrist.
Go for a quality movable laptop table, or a durable computer table for home use. And while you’re at it, invest in a comfortable computer chair, ergonomic keyboard and mouse, or other items that would offer you the most comfort and relief from long periods of working in front of the computer.