With 3.7 million employees (2.8 percent of the workforce) now working from home at least half of the time, home offices need to be designed to nurture productivity and success. Technology should play an essential role in home office set ups. If it doesn’t, your working environment may be hampering your success.
Home Office Technology Upgrades
To ensure your home office makes the grade and helps your business remain competitive, consider these 25 home office technology upgrades.
Set Up VoIP
The chances are you’ll have more than one phone service in your home – your landline and mobile. Installing a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in a home office can make voice calling simpler, cheaper and more efficient.
As the Computer Shopper notes:
“Internet-based phone service is a great option for businesses of all sizes, as it’s typically less expensive than landline or cell-phone plans.”
Buy a Green Screen
If you shoot corporate videos, be sure to install a green screen in your home office. Green screens create a level of consistency to videos and provide a clean, professional look.
Install Sound Buffering Panels
Home offices need to be quiet working environments away from the hustle and bustle of family life. Installing sound buffering panels in home working environments help dampen sound, consequently giving you peace and quiet to work productively.
Upgrade to a High-Quality Mic/Video Camera
When you work from the luxury of your own home, your home office is your meeting room. It is therefore important that you have a high-quality video camera with a decent microphone.
Use a Phone Camera Tripod
Enhance the professionalism of your home office by shooting video content or conducting teleconferencing meetings on your phone with a phone camera tripod. A sturdy camera tripod will not only stabilize a shot but will allow you to find the right height and angle.
Install Augmented Reality Apps on Mobile Devices
The Digi-Capital ‘Augmented/Virtual Reality Report Q2 2015’, claims the AR/VR market will grow to $150 billion by 2020.
For professionals operating from a home office, installing AR apps on mobile devices can both facilitate and accelerate certain business processes. For example, project managers can monitor progress in real time with the help of AR markers.
Take Advantage of an Intelligent Personal Assistant
Make your home office more productive by getting an Intelligent Personal Assistant to perform certain tasks and services. Making an Intelligent Personal Assistant part of your home office, which has the ability to organize and maintain data and information, will free up your time to get on with running your business.
Buy Video Editing Software
Editing digital video is an important process for any business that uses video content. If you operate from home make sure you produce quality home productions by installing video editing software in your home office.
Use Graphic Design Software
If you’re involved in graphic design, installing the latest graphic design software in your home office will give your business a professionality boost. Tools such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Affinity Photo, are excellent software for design professionals.
Install a Backup App
If you work from home you need to have off-site backup as well as a local backup on an external hard drive. For as little as several dollars a month, buying a backup app, such as CrashPlan, will ensure your data is safely backed up over the internet.
Download Exercise Apps
According to Olivia Judson, writer for the New York Times:
“Irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.”
Home workers have a tendency to sit for long periods of time. To counter the negative consequences of sitting at a desk, download fitness apps onto home office devices.
Use a Wireless Mouse
Give your thumbs a rest when you’re working from home by investing in a wireless mouse. With clickable scroll wheels, and snappy left to right clicks, a quality wireless mouse can help speed up your workflow.
Invest in a Bluetooth Keyboard
If you spend all day typing at a keyboard, investing in a Bluetooth keyboard that you can easily swap between devices, can improve the productivity of your working day in the home office.
Buy an All-In-One Printer/Scanner/Copier
Whatever profession you work in, the chances are you’ll need to print, scan and copy documents. Having an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier in the home office will take care of all your printing requirements from one convenient device.
Use a NAS Device
Treat your home office set-up to additional terabytes of storage without needing to keep an external drive connected with a NAS device, a small computer with an internet connection.
Take Advantage of a Multiport USB Charger
Home offices can require a multitude of devices to be charged via a USB socket. Ensure you’re not stuck for a USB port by purchasing a multiport USB charger.
Cancel Out Noise with Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Home offices can be noisy places. Cancel out unwanted background noise by purchasing a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Download Productivity Apps
It’s easy to be distracted when working in a home office. Fortunately, help is at hand, with the many productivity apps on the market.
Downloading Fantastical, for example, will mean you can check and input calendar events and schedules from the convenience of your device.
Download To-Do Apps
Keep on Track of Finances with Financing Apps
With a zillion and one things to do, it’s easy for businesses operating from home to lose track of finances. By downloading finance apps such as TurboTax, home-ran businesses can keep on top of their income and expenses with greater ease and efficiency.
Download Web Meeting Apps
Ensure your remote meetings are conducted with professionalism from your home office by downloading web meeting software.
Zoom is hailed by the Wire Cutter as the “fastest, most painless route” to remote meetings.
Use a Surge Protector
An often-overlooked device, simply plugging in a surge protector into your home office can protect your equipment and data from the damage voltage spikes can cause.
Bundle Up Excess Cable Length
Another overlooked yet important technology upgrade for your home office is simple cord and cable wrangling. Bundling up excess cable length will not only make your home office look neater and more professional, but it will make it safer and less likely people will trip over the chord.
Use Bluetooth Trackers
With papers piled up and documents everywhere, it’s easy to lose things in a home office. Use a Bluetooth tracker to help find vital items, such as your phone, keys or tablet and save precious time hunting for lost items!
Invest in a Media Streaming Device
Media streaming devices such as an Amazon Fire Stick, Google Chromecast and Apple TV can, as Kayla Matthews, smart technology and future trends writer for Inman Technology writes, be “handy tools for work purposes.”
Do you run your business from a tech-efficient home office? If so, what gadgets, software and devices do you have in your home office? We’d love to hear our readers’ home office tech tips.