Mastering your desktop computer; create the ultimate dedicated home office experience
Your desktop is your trustworthy powerful workstation, ready to take on even the most complex of home office tasks together with you. In this article we share advice on the best tools, tips and techniques to unlock your productivity potential with your desktop!
- How do you stay connected when working remotely?
- What peripherals will enhance your desktop productivity?
- How to further improve your productivity
How to stay connected when working remotely
Working remote starts and ends with a decent internet connection. A 20Mbps (mega BITS, not bytes, per second) is often enough for your day to day emailing and browsing, but for stable remote trouble free video conferencing and online document collaboration we recommend 50Mbps or even 100 Mbps. A fast internet connection saves you time & frustration, do not underestimate the importance of this aspect.
Collaboration & virtual meeting tools
Often your employer will provide you with video conferencing, chat & online collaboration tools. If not, head over to our ‘which software do I need’ article to find out more!
What peripherals will enhance your productivity
Mouse & Keyboard
It is self evident that a quality mouse & keyboard are necessary peripherals for your home desktop workstation. We recommend to go wireless for greater flexibility & a cleaner desk. Bluetooth mice and keyboard or connectivity through a proprietary 2.4ghz dongle is all good, however further attention needs to be paid to:
- Battery life. Often you’ll need to use mouse & keyboard to work a full day, hence 8+ minimum battery life is no unnecessary luxury
- How can you recharge. Is it through a cradle in which you simply put the mouse? Or do you need to connect a charging cable? Or do your peripherals work with AAA or AA batteries that need to be separately recharged? Think about what’s easiest for you and which daily recharging routine works best. Personally we recommend plugging your peripherals into a cable at the end of the day. In the morning you then simply unplug and start your day with a fully charged keyboard & mouse, ready to take the day on.
- Do you prefer a ‘mechanical’ keyboard? Mechanical keyboards give a satisfying feedback and are widely considered to be more efficient for typing. Do research which ‘switches’ (=key types) you prefer. Loud vs silent, tactile vs non tactile etc....
Headphones / headset
When it comes to headphones, seriously consider going wireless. This will allow you to take calls from anywhere in the house without being tangled up in wires. Bluetooth connectivity is nice, but a proprietary wireless dongle does the trick just fine as well. Besides being wireless, good 'working from home' headphones have:
- a built in mute button
- noise cancelling technology to drown out crying babies, roadworks, lawnmowing neighbours...
- long battery life
Most new webcams offered on popular shopping websites are perfect for your day-to-day conference call purposes. Just double check it supports at least '1080p' resolution, has some good reviews and you'll be alright.
A chair must be ergonomic above all to allow for a proper seating position & support. One that is height adjustable with comfortable seating & headrest materials is recommended.
A working from home monitor needs to:
- be large enough. Generally somewhere between 27 inch and 34 inch, depending on your personal preferences, is perfect.
- have an optimal resolution so you can properly read everything, even the smallest details without straining. '1080p' (1920 x 1080 pixels also called 'Full HD') is suitable for basic tasks. To optimally work from home, go for '1440p' (2560 x 1440 pixels, also called 'QHD') at least. 4k (3840 x 2160 pixels) would be even better, but is overkill in most office use cases.
- Have a high enough refresh rates to ease your eyestrain. 60hertz is the standard, but try to go for at least 100hz. Your eyes will thank you for it!
Having a multiple monitor set up greatly increases your working from home productivity. Emails on one screen, open tasks on another... Avoids frustrating alt tabbing and allows you to easily multitask. Multiple large external monitors would are ideal, but 1 large screen in combination with e.g. an older smaller monitor you still have laying around is not too bad either.
How to further improve your productivity
Tips & tricks
Besides hardware & software, having the right working from home attitude, mindset & structure is crucial to increase your productivity and general effectiveness. Head on over to our ‘Working from home - tips & tricks’ article or eBooks section to find out more!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, 'So Long Office' will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.