Working from home amidst this pandemic is probably the best thing you can do for your safety, not to mention your loved ones as well. Transitioning from a physical office setup to a home-based one can be easily done if you have the right tools. Ensuring that you have the necessities will make a huge difference, not just on your workflow, but on your overall focus and concentration.
For starters, you should have a computer and a working Internet connection. Those two should be given. If you don’t have those, shopping for a great laptop should be the first order of business. After that, you can add additional tools, both software and hardware, to make the experience much more enjoyable. In this article, we’ve collated some of the best tools you can add to make your work-at-home setup better:
An online, PDF editor
Trust us when we say that having an online PDF editor is a godsend when you’re working with documents every single day. Portable document format, or PDF, is the standard file format for most text documents, eBooks, etc. It’s also the file extension of choice for files that needs printing, like posters, guides, leaflets, among others.
You’ll need a browser-based PDF editor to quickly and seamlessly do edits and conversions like merging, splitting, password protecting, converting Excel to PDF, etc. You have lots of options on this front: A quick Google search of “PDF editors” will yield thousands of results. GogoPDF is a top choice, but it’s down to your personal preference what to add to your bookmarks.
Video conferencing software
Video conferencing can be considered as the lifeblood of any online-structured organization heavily focused on its employees working from home. Since going to a physical office is out of the question, a morning check-in among all employees makes the most sense. There are numerous video conferencing software you can download and are easily accessible to most people, but it will go down to what the organization prefers.
Zoom is the popular choice right now. It can be installed on most computers, both Windows- and Mac-based, as well as on mobile operating platforms. Zoom is perfect for companies with larger employee count, as video conferencing and meetings are seamless in it. The added feature of the meeting admin having the ability to mute people is a plus.
Skype is the stalwart amongst other software in this category. It’s been the foremost chat and video chatting app for a number of top corporations for quite some time now, and the software is updated to accommodate modern needs. It’s available on all platforms as well, but a word of caution: it can be a memory-hog on computers and laptops. It’s not friendly on computers with less than optimal specs, so you may want to watch out for that.
Cloud computing software and storage
It goes without saying that cloud computing is the standard nowadays for creating, filing, and storing documents. A simple Gmail account will give you access to free GDrive storage so take advantage of that. If you’re under a team, chances are, the company already has a system put in for cloud storage. Follow the protocol and you should be good to go.
Wireless noise-cancelling headphones
The importance of silence can’t be stressed enough when it comes to working from home. Being at home means that your body is acclimated to relax and destress. Making the transition to work efficiently in the comfort of your own home can be quite the adjustment. Enter noise-cancelling headphones. These little marvels will change the way you approach work.
Forget about your wired headsets for a bit. Getting true wireless headphones will give you the freedom to go around your home office when getting calls, have your music with you when on breaks, and just overall will make your daily life better. Add a noise-cancelling feature and you have yourself a winner. You get to concentrate and do the work that’s needed conveniently!
The best part about this is that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get one. SoundMagic’s TWS50 has a great soundstage with really nice high and lows, clear mid-tones, and crisp dynamics. It doesn’t explicitly have an active noise-cancelling feature, but since the buds are put in your ears, it provides a sort of noise-cancelling that’s perfect for working-at-home.
If you want true wireless headphones with a clear-cut active noise-cancelling feature, the AirPods Pro is your top choice. It’s not the most impressive sound-wise, but the integration on Apple devices should have a Mac and iPhone is top of the line. It also goes swimmingly great with other devices. The active noise-cancelling feature is a wonder, and the software side of it is a joy to use.
Working from home doesn’t need to be a picture of disarray. Remember that you can always make the most out of any situation – in this case, the pandemic – by taking proactive measures!