We are living in a world where staying at home may be the best thing that we can do to prevent the spread of the virus and keep our loved ones safe. This global pandemic really shone a light on alternative ways to do things, and as a society, we realize that working remotely is possible with the right infrastructure.
If you are planning to have a work-at-home set-up, chances are you’ll use it for quite some time. With more and more people being retrenched, online work becomes more attractive; that’s why being proactive with setting it up will positively affect your life during the quarantine. In this article, we’ve collated some of the most obvious hardware and software tools for you:
Browser-based PDF editor
Any experienced home-based employee will tell you that having a browser-based PDF editor and converter will save you a lot of time for quick edits on PDF files. Gone are the days when you need a separate, third-party PDF editor to do all PDF-related tasks. These days, browser-based PDF editors like PDFBear will take care of that for you.
So what can you exactly do with an online PDF editor? There are lots. You can do the merging, splitting, and password-protection in a jiffy, plus with converter tools, you can convert most MS Office-based files without learning anything – you just have to upload the file in question and do your due diligence of checking the file after conversion! You can even do HTML to PDF conversions with it!
These small yet significant edits and conversions can take up your time when you use the alternative, and if you’re working from a laptop or computer with limited resources, a dedicated PDF editor can hog both your working memory and storage. Online PDF editors are more convenient not to mention the fact that it’s also accessible from any device with a browser.
A trusty laptop
You can’t do any job from the comfort of your own home without a laptop or a desktop computer. That’s just a given. If you rely on your company-issued hardware to work, investing in one will save you a lot of trouble in the future. It’s a preference for what to choose – a laptop or a desktop, but we’ll save you the decision fatigue and say that a laptop is a much more recommendable and easier option.
This is because a laptop is more mobile. That means you can carry it anywhere without a problem, plus it has a built-in battery to give you more power when you’re not connected to a source. You can opt for a desktop, provided that you never change locations when working. A desktop option will give you more computing power and provisions for upgrades. But overall, a laptop should do the job.
If you’re an iPhone user and just want a laptop that’s powerful enough for word processing, video rendering, and heavy browsing, a MacBook is a top choice. The question now is if you want to go the Air or Pro route. Getting a MacBook Pro will give you more leeway in terms of computer processes – it’s more powerful in more ways than one, while when you get a MacBook Air, expect to compromise on some key features such as RAM.
For people with an affinity for Windows machines, the best Windows laptop you can buy right now is the Dell XPS 2020. It’s the right size, lightweight enough for a quick haul to your nearest coffee shop, and powerful enough to breeze through resource-heavy computing demands. If you’re on a budget, the Acer Aspire 5 is an excellent alternative.
True wireless stereo headphones
Another hardware essential for a peaceful work-at-home setup, true wireless stereo headphones will keep you motivated, focused, and relaxed while going through your day’s load. Blasting off music for concentration is scientifically proven to be effective in boosting productivity, and those cans that have active noise cancellation technology are the bomb for sealing off the world around you.
The top choice for this hardware is the Sony WF-1000XM3. These earbuds from audio giant Sony is way ahead of the competition in terms of comfort, features, and ultimately, sound. Your ears will thank you profusely for this purchase, but fair warning, it’s a bit pricey. The AirPods Pro is a solid second, although, if you’re looking for a truly excellent sound, get away from these as much as possible.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the excellent TWS50 from SoundMagic is a thrifty audiophile’s choice. Sound is crisp and detailed, and while there isn’t an active noise canceling feature, high and low are remarkably better in quality when compared to TWS earbuds of higher pricing. Consider Huawei’s Free Buds Lite as well – they’re robust sounding and have a really good price point for the quality you are getting.
A Gmail account
An email account is your gateway to anything on the Internet. A Gmail account, specifically, will give you access to a wide suite of Google applications that can help you set up a mini virtual office. With a Gmail account, you automatically have GDrive access, which means you get cloud storage where you can store all your files.
It will also give you access to Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which are three basic office suites that you’ll need. Consider having a Gmail account as the root of all your online processes and proceedings – it will not only send and receive emails for you, you can use it to log in to many websites, microsites, social media sites, etc.
Project management software
Another necessary software to have, a project management app lets you be on top of your projects. Whether you work as a lone wolf or for a team, a project management app will streamline your processes and tasks and will save you time to monitor. There are many options for this: Trello is an excellent choice, although Wrike will give you more room for improvement.
Working from home can be convenient depending on how you approach it. Always remember to have a schedule so you can create a working environment that’s healthy and conducive.