Here are a few recommendations on how to set up your home office while working from home for the foreseeable future. Our resident tech expert and head of IT, Jon Taylor, shares his favorite tips to achieve maximum efficiency while working from home. Before we dive in, here’s a few best practices to get your environment ready for your daily work:
- Set up a separate workspace if possible – Do your normal morning routine, and then walk into that workspace that is separate from the rest of your true living space. Then at the end of the day, leave it once you are done. This will help you keep a necessary balance while working at home and keep the “spaces” separate intentionally.
- Get an external monitor – There are some recommendations below for ones that I like, but I find that the best way to stay productive is to have the larger screen so you can work as close to how you worked in the office as possible.
- Make sure you have fast WiFi – Nothing will slow you down faster than a slow connection.
- A headset with a mic – If you are on conference calls as much as we are and have other people sharing your space with you, a good headset with a mic will save everyone’s sanity and allow you to focus better. It will also allow for clearer communication during meetings with less feedback and echo.
Ok, let’s start with hardware. Here are my recommendations for the best affordable brands of headphones or headsets depending on your ultimate needs:
- Cordless Bose noise canceling headphones
- HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset
- COWIN SE7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones
If you need a mobile scanner for any reason, here’s my preference: https://www.camscanner.com/
And let’s not forget about the importance of the second/external monitor to help us be our most productive while working at home.
- LG 27UK850
- Samsung UN65NU6900FXZA (TV)
- LG 38WK95C
At Bottle Rocket, we know the importance of white board walls (or lots of them). If you want to mimic this set up at home, here’s a few ideas.
- The cheapest way to have a whiteboard in your house (for just under $22: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Specialty-16-oz-Gloss-White-Dry-Erase-Kit-241140/100670376
- And if you don’t have an entire wall to dedicate, here’s another more technical option: A digital sticky board experience: https://stickies.io/login
Let’s not forget the importance of time tracking while working at home. Here are a few cool tools that can help you stay on top of your projects and make sure you are logging your time appropriately. Here are two of my favorite tools for assistance.
- Toggl: https://toggl.com/
- ATracker: http://www.wonderapps.se/ATracker/home.html
We hope these tips and tricks from Jon can help maintain your productivity and sanity while working from home!