Ideal for those looking to make working remotely work for them.

Whilst almost every aspect of our lives has changed in recent months, our professional responsibilities remain. That’s not to say roles and duties haven’t shapeshifted and adapted – and will continue to evolve – at a fast pace. Nope, this is a period of cosmic change, and those who adapt, survive. 

What’s definitely clear is that our hastily assembled home offices, now we’ve had a moment to recalibrate, have prompted us to explore new software, devices and organisational skills that promise to save us time and improve overall efficiency. Of course, this is no easy task and some explorations have led us to dead ends.

Nevertheless, there’s no need to be disheartened – trial and error, and all that – as there are a number of gadgets that can, and have, proved a huge benefit for personal productivity and increased efficiency in the home office environment. If you’re not sure where to start, then check out these; our 5 gadgets to help you work better from home, IDEAL for those looking to make working remotely work for them.

A SMARTWATCH

Smartwatches have been on the market for a while now, but often they aren’t marketed to professional industries, rather to tech geeks and competitive exercisers. But in our opinion, they can add real value to the working day, too.

Research has found that prominent distraction for many workers is, predictably, their smartphones, first and foremost. With one small device, we can access news from around the world, communicate with our loved ones and explore never-ending social media feeds. Simply put, we can ignore our work for hours on end and decrease our productivity and efficiency, even when unintentionally, because of the distraction of smartphones.

Modern smartwatches can similarly provide us with some of those features, but they also tend to minimise the risk of distraction. Home workers can keep an eye on any important notifications that may warrant a quick break, but lessen the frequency of non-urgent breaks as the smartwatch interface isn’t so immediately addictive. In fact, they tend to have a clinical feel more conducive to concentration. So, put your phone in the other room, and delegate to your wrist instead.

NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES 

If your household has multiple people working in the same space, or if you have any children or dependent loved ones at home, it can be difficult to concentrate without distraction. Over time, this can prove a disaster for maintaining our work-life balance and structure – especially when making those all-important client calls which don’t benefit from interruption (yep, we’ve all laughed at the videos of kids crashing their parent’s Zoom meetings, but we perhaps wouldn’t want the same fate for ours).  

In this instance, it’s a good idea to consider noise-cancelling headphones which can allow you to focus your attention on the one task at hand, without interruption. Of course, make sure someone’s keeping an eye on the kids before you put the headphones on!

A QUALITY DESK LAMP

Now, working in your kitchen, living room or spare room can be an all-round tricky task, and more often than not this is due to the physical conditions – whether this is a crowded setup, noisy environment or an uncomfortable chair. Yet, whilst some of these elements can be difficult to fix, ensuring a good quality light source is relatively simple.

Dim or generally dark lighting can prove counterproductive to home working as it causes our brain to produce more melatonin which leaves us feeling sleepy. Of course, it can be difficult, if not near impossible, to complete our work to a high standard when we feel this way. So whilst we’re not suggesting that you re-do your lighting fixtures, it’s a good idea to purchase a desk lamp at the very least.

AN ALARM CLOCK OR SMART SPEAKER

Taking too many breaks can severely decrease our productivity, but we all know what it’s like when working from home; the washing needs hanging up, the fridge is calling your name, you need to go get milk…

On the flipside, a common pitfall when working from home is forgetting that we should still allocate ourselves usual breaks or lunch periods – and whilst motoring on and working without one might feel productive, it can be harmful to our mental and physical wellbeing if we neglect a regular stretch of the legs and rest of the eyes. 

By introducing a regular alarm, either via a digital clock or smart speaker, you’ll be able to ensure that a healthy schedule is maintained through reminders to take a break from the screen from time to time. Bear in mind the 20-20-20 rule here, which recommends that you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, to prevent overexposure to your screen without pause, as well as medical advice that getting up every 30 minutes may cut your risk of death, too. A smart speaker which reminds you to do so sounds absolutely perfect here!

SLEEP TRACKERS

Managing a healthy, balanced attitude to sleep hygiene is important for all aspects of our lives and it’s not hard to understand why. A consistent sleep schedule allows us to wake up with more energy and a subsequent positive outlook, whilst a poor one can leave us feeling run-down and unmotivated. Yep, they say that waking up at the same time each day is the quickest path to all sorts of benefits, like improved concentration and stronger immunity. 

To ensure that you’re reaping those benefits, it’s important to take an active role in your resting habits. Now, if you heed our prior advice on investing in a smartwatch then you’ll likely be able to enjoy the device’s built-in sleep tracking software, however, if a smartwatch isn’t to your taste, then there are some great alternatives available.

For example, sleep monitors are electronic mats that sit under your mattress and investigate your sleeping patterns. As morning rolls around, they’ll be able to provide you with an analysis of how you slept, an overall health report and inform you as to whether any sleep apnea was detected. When synced with apps like Sleep Cycle, you can ensure you wake up at exactly the right time to maximise the potential of that all-important REM sleep, ensuring you’re at your most well rested and ready to take on the day when you wake.

Creating a professional space in our homes will never be simple. However, by investing in a few choice gadgets we can begin to see some clear structures take root. Of course, to ensure that this thriving working environment is maintained, and your investment is protected, it’s vital that you consider a quality insurance policy.