Smart tools to make working from home more efficient during self-isolation

(PHOTO: Getty Images)

Many employees are being advised to work from home for the foreseeable future. Truth be told, we’ve all dreamt of working from home; picture our mornings - first making a cup of coffee, having an extra hour to lie in the morning, sitting at the desk working away - but little did we think how challenging it is to actually do it when the opportunity came up.

It’s become a challenge, the distractions - mopping, hoovering, dusting - all of a sudden you’re putting on more washes than what you usually do. Sitting at your desk for long periods of time also strangely feels more tedious compared to the office, especially when you begin to feel fidgety and can’t quite focus your attention on your work.

If you have enough discipline and adopt the right tools to help you, you can make working from home easier. Here’s what we think you’ll need.

Smart digital alarm LED clock with light sensor

Tip: The first thing to do when you wake up is to make sure you don’t hit snooze. A little hack I figure out at university was: buy an alarm clock instead of using your phone, and place the alarm clock the other side of the room, so that way you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Using your phone as an alarm clock leaves you with all the temptations to press snooze.

Foldable laptop stand with mouse stand & cooling fan

You may not have the space for a desk and might resort to sitting on the couch or in bed but did you know, you can buy a stand and work from those spaces just as if you were at a desk?

If you do have a desk, you can also use this laptop stand to elevate your laptop so you can stand whilst working. This is a technique many engineers have turned to so they can have breaks between sitting at their desk all day.

Laptop stand with universal detachable holder

Alternatively, if you want a smaller stand which you can use when sitting at your desk, this is a great way to get better vision and manage your posture. You wouldn’t want to be slouching at your dining chair.

SAD Therapy Light 3 modes lamp

As you’ll be working mainly indoors, you’re likely not getting enough vitamin D, especially if you’re in a lowlight apartment. A SAD lamp acts as a substitute for the sun, which means you’re much less likely to stock up on vitamin D with this being plugged in as you work away.

Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee Machine + free 14pcs capsules

Most commuters, on their way to work, stop to get a coffee. But, just because you’ve changed your working environment, it doesn’t mean you don’t need your supply. The first thing I do once I’ve switched off my alarm clock (from the other side of the room) is to make coffee. Using a coffee machine is a great substitute as opposed to going to a coffee shop, and much cheaper in the long term too!

Logitech Web Camera

If you rely on your laptop’s built-in camera when making professional video calls, then you may be due an upgrade. Whether you’re using a MacBook or Windows computer, the webcam will still look grainy and unprofessional. If you invest in a new external camera that can be unplugged when not in use, you’ll come across professional and prepared to whom you’re on a call with.

USB wired call center noise-cancelling headphones

Speaking to someone and them not being able to understand your muffled voice, is a pet peeve to anyone that is trying to conduct a meeting online. This is best avoided by buying a designated microphone headset. Simply plug the device into the USB port and you’re ready to go.

2020 colourful diary with monthly plan + notes

Being productive, as mentioned before, is much more difficult to replicate at home. To execute productiveness in an at-home setting, you need to take notes and block your calendar with your plans for the day. For example, dedicate an hour of your time to one project, and stop trying to juggle multiple projects at once; you’ll find you’re spending more time switching between them then you do the actual work. Writing this in a physical diary or planner helps you stay on track to accomplish your goals for the day or week.