With 2023 upon us, you have to ask yourself, are you going to spend another year huddled over the dining room table while working from home? The correct answer is no, no you shouldn’t. Instead of committing to sudden life-changing decisions, taking small steps to make your everyday spaces a little more comfortable can be much more impactful. This list will make your work from home more productive, convenient and peaceful. Most of these items have been personally tested to ensure you can get the most out of each one, whether you’re in a hybrid work environment or a completely remote position.
First of all, a small visual upgrade can go a long way in elevating your work experience. If you’ve been looking for a budget-friendly 4K monitor, the AOC U27 monitor is a good choice. The U27 comes packed with ports, including DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 1.4. And even though it’s locked at 60hz, this 16:9 LED display offers a crisp picture that won’t disappoint, especially for $239.99. I watched AOC U27 as a good (and cheap) way to experience 4K, and has not been disappointed. This monitor is also VESA compatible, which means it fits perfectly with our next recommendation.
Clutter may seem like a minor issue, but during a busy work day, it’s the last thing you’ll want to deal with. Clear up some desk space by mounting your monitors! The Hanuo Dual Monitor Stand will hold up even the heaviest of displays, with a weight limit of 26.4 lbs and accepting sizes ranging from 13” to 35”. The gas spring arms reduce monitor wobble while retaining swivel, tilt, and rotate capabilities. My favorite feature? The dual USB passthrough ports built into the base of the monitor stand! If you’re concerned about heavier, or even curved monitors, I’ve put my MSI Optix MAG341CQ 34″ on this bad boy without breaking a sweat. Get this for $139.99.
This head-shaped lamp is both a conversation piece and a pretty cool way to store certain accessories, reducing even more clutter. I use it to store my VR headset, but this LED light can also be a convenient home for your over-ear headphones. The LED light source can cycle through different shades, or be set to a specific color. Ikea has a lifespan of around 25,000 hours. Grab an Iskarna lamp for $35.99.
For those with hybrid work arrangements, or who absolutely do NOT take a working holiday that their boss doesn’t know about, Seagate Portable 2TB external hard drive is as reliable as it is portable. The sleek and stylish external drive comes with a USB 3.0 cable for fast transfers. Users can also schedule automatic backups, which is extremely useful when you are away from your main computer. Secure your most important files for $147.99.
The crown jewel of my remote work is the WORKLOUDER Creator Board. This eye-catching ‘keeb’ has five rotating knobs, perfect for the creative in your life. The card itself is compatible with a variety of software suites and has 236 programmable keys spread over 4 separate key stores. Like the look of the keyboard, but not its 60% layout? WORKLOUDER offers a XL version which includes all these features, along with a full Numpad!
If you want to save a lot and test the waters, WORKLOUDER also has one macro Pad on the road for $129.00. This is definitely a statement piece and the first thing most people ask about when they see my desk. But not only that, it’s an indispensable tool that I don’t think I can work without. When I try to use other cards, I find myself reaching for faces that just aren’t there. I have been spoiled by this.
The NZXT Capsule Mic is a stylish choice for anyone looking to improve their microphone quality, a must have for important work calls or late night streaming. The capsule features high-resolution voice recording while eliminating background noise and those annoying noises that can ruin the quality of any recording or streaming you do. And with the pop filter built in, that’s just one less thing to worry about. With this USB-C microphone, you get a smooth plug-and-play experience. Although this mic is advertised for gamers, its tailored design would make it fit in any environment. And hey, you might be able to jumpstart your Twitch career. Grab one NZXT capsule for $116.49.
Now that your audio quality is taken care of, it’s time for a new camera. Anything that will make this annual review smoother. Logitech Brio Webcam offers 4K resolution with up to 90 frames per second. Logitech’s RightLight 3 technology helps manage low light and backlighting. Brio has 3 FoV presets including 90°, 78° or 65°. The best feature, in my opinion, is the Windows Hello integration. This allows you to log in with facial recognition, so users are ready to go as soon as they sit down. Try the Brio for yourself for $132.94.
It is important to prioritize accessories and technology that can help you manage or defeat stress. The Ember Mug² can help you do just that. This smart mug keeps your hot drink, such as tea or coffee, at the perfect temperature. It has an LED that lets you know when your drink is safe to sip and can last all day when paired with a charging pad. Even if you don’t take advantage of any of the other smart features, making your coffee or tea last longer is worth every penny. If you are anything like me and only you forget that your coffee is there because you are so engrossed in your work, you can grab the perfect cup for $129.95.
While many have gravitated to the tried-and-true Ikea combination of desks and drawers, motorized desks offer a number of advantages in their own right. Being able to change your working position can relieve stress on your back or help your creative juices flow. And while you can buy an all-in-one motorized desk, buy the legs and table top separately can give the best results. If you go this route, you can find the desk surface that suits your style, and something like butcher block can be much more durable than the chipboard used in most desks. Fezibo adjustable legs can hold up to 176 pounds and accommodate desktops from 27.2″ to 44.5″. If you combine these legs with a kitchen bench from IKEA, for example Karlby, you have a high-quality work surface that lasts.
Whether you’re editing video at your desk, enjoying some YouTube videos on your lunch break, or bumping into some lo-fi beats to get you through your work, speaker quality is extremely important. The Kanto YU2s are a solid pair of speakers that will last you quite a while. They have 3″ composite drivers that provide distortion-free sound while 3/4″ silk dome tweeters provide increased clarity. Even at just under 6 inches tall, they pack more power than you could ever ask to sit at your desk. The premium build quality and understated design ensure these will serve you for years to come, all for just $269.99.
And there it is! A range of items that are sure to turn your work from home into a paradise like no otherind clocks in every day. To maintain comfort and productivity, it is important to install a suitable workstation for working from home with appropriate technology. Don’t let a substandard setup stop you from working from home effectively. And definitely don’t let 2023 be another year where you work from home uncomfortably.
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