Basic home office hacks: 8 things you need to elevate your workspace

Over the last few years, home offices have gotten a lot of attention. When offices all over the world shut down at the beginning of the Pandemic, we were reminded how important it was to have a consistent, comfortable workspace with all the tools and tech you need to work. So what’s next?

If you created your home office quickly, you may have overlooked some luxuries. If you’ve shifted to hybrid working, where you sometimes work remotely and sometimes go to an office, some home office upgrades can help ensure you’re always productive. Home offices need some fresh hacks to keep up with their changing needs.

We recommend these eight pieces of tech for elevating your workspace if you’re ready to graduate to the next level of home office-ing. General ideas are what we’re focused on today.

Your own router

Enlarge / Why lease when you can own?

It’s simpler to decide whether to rent or own when it comes to your home routers. If you have a permanent home office, it’s a good idea to buy your own computer. You’ll save money over the long term, and you’ll actually own the hardware rather than paying monthly fees to your internet service provider. You won’t be able to rely on your ISP to help with hardware issues if you purchase your own.

You take control of the features you get when you invest in your own wi-fi routers. If you want to use your home’s wi-fi network to support computers, tablets, smart bulbs, and everything else, you need a router with the bandwidth to support it.

A mesh system helps extend coverage. If you want to dive into truly powerful wi-fi setups, there are more complex enterprise-lite setups.


Network-based storage you can access from anywhere

Enlarge / For heavy-duty storage needs, consider a NAS device for accessibility, control, and data backup.

Storage caps, subscription fees, and the icky feeling of sharing your data with or giving a license to a third party are some of the things cloud storage services come with.

With a network-attached storage device that supports remote access, you can view your files on the web, whether you’re working remotely or in person at the office. You don’t need to remotely access a computer that you don’t use anymore. Only you have control over the data.

convenience to your home office can be added by a NAS that does not support remote access. As a one-stop hub for the files in your home, aNAS drive can function as a media server so every device and person connected to your network can check out the spreadsheet you made, movies you’ve purchased, or photos from the last family vacation without having to send files or You might want to avoid using your NAS for things like high-res video editing because access isn’t as fast as local storage.

If you have sensitive files that you can’t afford to lose, a NAS device with some basic redundantity can help you feel safer than using an external hard drive. You can increase the amount of storage by adding more than one hard drive to the drive bays.

It is axiomatic that “RAID is not a backup.” If your home burns down or someone breaks into it, you won’t be able to access your data if you don’t have a redundant disks. Make sure you make off-site backups of your data.

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Enlarge / This doesn’t cut it in today’s virtual work environments.

A healthy work-life balance has been promoted by hybrid work models, in which employees work in the office some days and at home other days. If you have to find a way to transfer files from your work PC to your home office PC, the approach can become inefficient.

A reliable, cloud-based file sync service that updates your files in real time across devices makes it easier to move from the home office to the corporate office. Multiple members of a team can work on the same files at the same time.

One-way file sync, in which only edits made in the source, or primary folder, will apply to destination folders, is a better way to save important edits.

For sensitive work data, use a service that complies with security protocols and compliance regulations, such as the European Union’s GDPR. Tools for managing data and user access are included in some services.

You can use web browser sync to bring over your bookmarks and settings while you’re at it. This can be a time saver for those who are willing to make a browser account.

If your IT department has strict data loss prevention policies and is monitoring when and what files get copied off of corporate devices, going willy-nilly with file sync may cause you to run afoul of them. You should check in with IT to make sure you’re not breaking any rules before setting up a sync solution. There is an advertisement

An extra or wider monitor

Enlarge / More pixels could help you be more productive.

Multiplying text, images, windows, and apps on a single PC display can leave a person hungry for more. If your home office already has a decent-sized desktop monitor, adding another monitor or opting for an ultrawide can be the ticket to greater productivity. Being able to see more windows at the same time gives you more ways to separate tasks.

It’s easy to set windows side by side with ultrawide monitors. A wraparound effect is possible if you get a curved one. You can work on a document in the center while keeping an eye on your channels, but you can also use your peripheral vision.

It’s possible to get more screens and create a multi-monitor setup if you’re happy with the monitor you have. To keep the look natural, you’ll need to consider factors such as the size of the screen and the desk space. It can be difficult to make certain aspects of image quality look the same on different models.

If you don’t need a larger screen, a portable monitor is a better option. The portable monitors guide shows you how to add a screen to a system. They’re a good companion for workers who want to keep using their laptop display but also have a secondary screen for monitoring emails.

If the display has the required ports, a portable monitor can be used in your home office.

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Enlarge / With a digital picture frame, your home office décor won’t become stale.

There are some displays in your home office that are not about work. A digital photo frame hanging on the wall or on a bookshelf can make your home workspace a comfortable place to work.

A digital picture frame doesn’t have to have any commitments. It’s as easy to change an image as it is to open an app. You can provide art to display, use photo apps to display your latest shots, or generate a Collage for you. For shared home offices, there are products that make it easy for multiple users to add pictures, and for a digital frame, that supports image slideshows.

Some of the digital photo frames look clunky. Digital photo frames are smaller than a large frame and can also be used as smart speakers. There is an advertisement for something.

Multi-device-friendly peripherals

Enlarge / Quickly navigating multiple systems is much easier than this.

If you have more than one system in your home office, you can waste a lot of time plugging in and unpairing your peripherals. It’s time to build peripherals for people who need to control many devices.

Over the years, wireless options have become more reliable in the mouse and keyboard category. It’s rare to see a connection drop with a quality wireless mouse or keyboard. A lot of wireless peripherals are starting to offer multi- device connectivity.

It’s possible toggling through two or more devices by pressing a button or two. If you want to keep the peripheral connected to one system, like a port-free tablet, and leave it in another system, like a desktop, you can use a dongle connection.

There are monitors with a keyboard, video, and mouse in them. If you want to control more than one computer with one keyboard, mouse, and monitor, they have integrated KVM switches.

It is possible to leave your work and personal system plugged in. The keyboard and mouse are connected to the computer. After you set the monitor’s settings to display your personal PC on the monitor, the keyboard and mouse will work just fine.

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This part of the home office has a lot of power.
Enlarge / This part of the home office has a lot of power.

If your home office has a lot of devices that need to be charged, you might want to consider a GaN charger.

GaN chargers are more compact than alternatives because they’re made of Gallium nitride. GaN chargers with more than one port can fit neatly atop a desk or plugged into an outlet. They’re easy for the hybrid or frequently traveling worker to transport because they’re less bulky than a typical laptop charge.

You can create a one-stop spot in the home office where you can power a laptop, phone, mouse, and headset with the right GaN charger.

You might not be able to charge every electronic at the same time. Depending on the number of other products plugged in, the max power a GaN charger can provide to a port will vary. If you want to charge multiple products at the same time, make sure the charger has enough power to do the job. Wattage is spread across ports and not always equally. The new 2.1 spec doesn’t support up to 240 W of charging, but it can deliver up to 120 W across all the ports.

The small area that you can count on for multiple charging options may soon become a favorite spot in your home office. There is an ad for

A power supply that can survive a blackout

Enlarge / Don’t be left completely in the dark.

You can lose power in the home office and wreak havoc on your electronics. If there is an unexpected power loss, it can wipe out all the progress you have made on a project, or even a game. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is worth adding to your home office if these are risks you can’t afford.

Even if your home loses power, you can keep equipment on for a certain amount of time with the help of aUPS. It’s possible to keep your wi-fi network running for long enough to let your coworkers know that you’re dealing with an issue, check on family members, or get important news.

Electronics will be protected from being damaged or fried with the help of aUPS. Surge protectors work to guard your devices from abnormal voltages.

If you confirm that the sustained power delivery spec fits your needs and has all the features you might want, you will be in good shape.

Look for offerings that have a simulation of the output. An approximated stepped waveform is used for a UPS with a simulation output. Some power supplies, like those found in powerful desktops, won’t work well if they detect a simulation of a sine-wave output and shut off. It is more expensive to have a true sine- wave output.