When the government encouraged people to return to work, the home-based workforce felt betrayed and misunderstood.
After all, we’ve all been working hard from home during the pandemic. In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), more than a third of the workforce continues to work from home and would not change their routine for anything in the world.
Many workers are seeking positions that protect their flexibility. Whether you made the most of lockdown by transforming your spare bedroom into a home office, or you already had a work space at home, it’s time to elevate your work space with tech-friendly decor.
Indeed, many of us have considered inspiring and motivating interior styles for the private office.
However, if we are going to work from home permanently, it’s crucial to think about technology. We can’t afford to compromise on technology anymore.
If businesses are to be convinced to let their team work remotely, the home office must be fit for purpose.
Essential Tech Focused Tips for the Home Office
Shutters can add a new dimension to your decor that ensures you can manage natural light. Most home offices have a window that can let the light through.
Depending on the orientation of the room, the light could affect screen work during the day. It could cause screen glare, making it hard to focus.
While blinds or curtains can provide a suitable solution against direct sunlight, they tend to block all the light.
Nobody likes to work in a dark room! Unfortunately, when the choice is darkness or sun glare, your options are limited! On the other hand, shutters can prevent direct interference from the sunlight without preventing it from entering the room.
Shutters will also be a useful addition to the space for video calls. Direct light exposure can distort the image quality, making everything appear too bright.
When you choose to work permanently from home, you can’t afford to turn up to digital meetings with a low-quality image.
A modulable ring light
Ring lights have been popular among photographers long before the pandemic. Then, when everyone was stuck at home for an extensive period of time, social media activities surged dramatically.
People created social media profiles to reach out to their audience, interact, and even replace their income. The ring light rapidly became a favourite among Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok creatives.
What does a ring light do? Essentially, the ring light is a circular light that can be fitted around a camera.
It can ensure that the subject of the photo or video is suitably lit with as little shadow as possible. Professional photographers rely on ring lights to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, and makeup powder.
As a professional working from home, the ring light can be the magic tool that makes you look refreshed, polished, and alert on every video call.
Indeed, the Zoom effect has driven a surge in cosmetic procedures, as poor lighting and camera angles have made people hyper-aware of their appearance.
But quality lighting can completely transform your image during video calls.
Quality phone reception
Working from home means you are likely to spend more time on your mobile, reaching out to clients, partners, and coworkers who can’t be on the screen.
Ultimately, depending on your line of work, the people you interact with may not necessarily have constant access to an `Internet connection.
This could be the case with delivery logistics, warehouse management, or even the FM workforce. However, you need to be able to get in touch with them.
Phone coverage in the UK can vary greatly. Many Britons did not realise how little coverage their phone contract provided at home until the pandemic.
So, if you have been struggling with coverage, it may be a good idea to consider switching to a new supplier. It is worth checking network suppliers that also offer unlimited data sim plans, so you’ve got a backup solution in case of broadband connection problems.
Being able to hotspot from your phone with no speed caps when your connection is down means you can safely work from home with no interferences.
Broadband outages don’t happen frequently. But when they do, they can take you offline for several hours. According to Uswitch, 11 million UK consumers experience at least 3 hours of broadband outage between summer 2021 and summer 2022.
When you work from home, the consequences can be serious. It makes it hard to justify working remotely when your broadband connection is unstable.
Therefore, it can be helpful to invest in a phone plan that can act as your plan B.
A wireless charger for the phone
How long does your phone battery last? The answer varies depending on how many apps you use, your phone’s age, battery health, and how often you need to use the phone.
Working from home with tools such as Zoom calls can make you less likely to rely on the phone and consider your battery percentage.
However, as mentioned above, not all your interlocutors will be able to access a laptop, depending on the line of work. Additionally, security checks, such as two-factor authentication, can also contribute to using your battery percentage.
Unfortunately, modern laptops may not have enough USB sockets to charge your phone.
Some of the best ideas to top up your battery during the day without interrupting phone use include:
- A wireless charger, which you can keep by your desk
- A USB and socket cube, which enables you to plug multiple devices
Both solutions can look stylish in your home office decor while improving its functionality.
A data storage solution
Working from home makes you more likely to create digital data. Indeed, the days of taking notes on paper are long gone.
Nowadays, the typical home-based worker generates digital data every day that needs to be stored safely:
- Recording of video calls
- Digital projects
- Media creation for social media and content
- Templates for emails, newsletters, blog articles, etc.
- Strategic planning
- Number crunching for clients
- Digital notes from meetings
What would have been written down in a paper notebook at the office is likely to be recorded digitally at home.
So, you need to find a secure location to keep everything. Cloud storage solutions can be a helpful addition to the typical home office settings. In some cases, businesses are happy to provide solutions for their teams.
But if you need to create a portfolio for your own reference, you may want to invest in a separate solution.
Some of the best cloud storage solutions for personal use include Google Drive, Dropbox, IDrive, and Microsoft OneDrive.
Alternatively, you can also choose a physical storage location, such as an external hard drive, if you are concerned about cyber security.
Improving laptop usage with external accessories
The majority of the UK workforce uses a laptop, which means they have a device that comes with a keyboard and a touchpad. Yet, these can rapidly become problematic when you work from home.
Touchpads can lack accuracy, making it hard to manoeuver the mouse while you work. From double clicks to zooming, touchpads can cost you precious time and effort with little results.
Investing in a bluetooth mouse instead will save you many hassles!
Similarly, while there is nothing inherently wrong with your laptop keyboard, your work setup could make it uncomfortable to use.
It is not uncommon for workers to place the laptop on an inclined stand. As a result, using the laptop keyboard becomes unpleasant and could even lead to wrist pain. Besides, laptop keyboards can be on the small side for obvious reasons.
So, if you need to compile numbers as part of your day-to-day job, you may prefer a numeric keypad. For these reasons, adding a bluetooth or wired functional keyboard and number pad can help with your setup and comfort.
But what other accessories can you include to improve your laptop? Surprisingly, British workers have already solved the issue and selected their favourite add-ons for laptops. Many mention a USB cup warmer as the number one addition to the desk setup. Starting the day with a cup of tea is part of the British mantra.
Yet, how many of us get so engrossed in a task that we forget about the cuppa? By the time you remember, it is cold and unpleasant.
So, the cup warmer can save you many unnecessary trips to the kitchen!
Second on the list of accessories is the USB desk fan, which makes summer days a breeze.
Third on the list is a microphone, which can improve the quality of your video calls.
For those who spend a lot of time in calls or online workshops, an external microphone with added background noise cancelling features can make a huge difference.
Finally, the USB laptop stand with fans to cool down your hardware deserves a spot on the list too. Older devices can struggle with temperature regulation.
But the addition of a smart ventilation system can significantly prolong your laptop’s life!
Are you ready to bring your home office to the next level with these tech-friendly inspirations?
Creating a functional home office that improves day-to-day performance will be crucial in the years to come.