2020 saw a mass migration into the remote workspace. Overnight thousands of companies found themselves working on a fully-remote basis. The situation endured for weeks and then months.
Soon some companies found that remote work was preferable. Major organizations like Facebook and Amazon began announcing that employees could plan on staying remote well into 2021.
Whether you work at a Fortune 500 company or not, there’s a good chance that your remote work status is set for the long-term. If this is the case, consider these upgrades to help make your office smarter as you labor on the homefront.
1. Iron Out Your WiFi
Inconsistent internet is one of the biggest issues that tends to plague remote workers. Of course, this makes sense if you’re in a shared space. If you’re working in a coffee shop, for instance, you can expect to deal with flaky internet from time to time. But at home, that shouldn’t be the case.
If you find that your home network isn’t dependable, it may be time to upgrade your system. The first and most obvious step in doing so is to ensure that you have a good router.
Hold on before you invest in a standard model or even a fancy mesh network, though. According to Plume.com, there are now new, even better options that have begun to arrive on the market of late. These smart routers don’t just provide a blanket of generic internet signals. They aim to deliver actual smart home solutions that are customized to your household’s internet needs.
It’s tempting to dive into flashy smart office accouterments. But starting with a smart internet connection is always a wise first move.
2. Set up a Sit and Stand Workspace
If you spend all day on your computer, there’s a good chance that you aren’t moving much. You can always take breaks, stretch, and exercise. However, there’s another smart solution to the problem: a sit and stand workspace.
By adding a standing option to your workspace, you can avoid cramped legs and a sore back. Every time you feel those muscles tightening you can stand up and keep on working.
Even better, you don’t have to invest hundreds of dollars into an expensive adjustable desk to get this fancy smart home feature. All you need to do is get a more affordable adjustable laptop stand and you’re good to go.
3. Get Voice Control Involved
When you’re deep in a workflow, stopping can be distracting, even if it’s just to check the time. That’s why, if you’re serious about a smart office, you need to integrate a hands-free device.
The best option is to get a good smart home assistant, like a Google Nest Hub Max or an All-new Echo. By investing in a top-notch model, you save yourself the need to get good speakers. These devices come with high-quality audio. This makes them ideal for playing music, taking phone calls, setting a timer, or even checking the time.
The best part is, you can do so with a simple vocal command — all without breaking your concentration.
4. Perfect Your Environment
When you work from home, you literally spend thousands of hours each year in the same space. If you’re going to continue to do so for an indefinite period of time, it’s wise to invest in your environment.
A smart way to do this is by purchasing certain office appliances with smart tech capabilities. For instance, there are many air purifiers that can work to keep harmful pathogens out of the air. Smart humidifiers have also been equipped to sense your current air quality and make adjustments accordingly.
If you are going to get an appliance for your office, always look for a smart model. These can do an excellent job as they work to perfect your environment on their own.
5. Get Eco-Friendly
You may not be working in a giant office building anymore. But that doesn’t change the fact that each home office still impacts the environment. That’s why, along with productivity, it’s also a good idea to consider your home office’s sustainability.
With that in mind, consider adding some earth-friendly efforts to your home setup. There are multiple ways to do this with smart tech.
First, install a smart thermostat. This enables you to regulate your office’s temperature from your phone even when you’re out of the house. If you get a more advanced model, it can use machine learning to know when to prepare your workspace based on your behaviors. For instance, it will notice when you’re driving home and turn on in preparation. On the flip side, if you leave, it will adjust as well.
Along with a thermostat, you can also invest in smart lighting. LED light bulbs of this nature have very low energy consumption. They can also be programmed to turn on and off at specific times of the day. That way, if you leave your office and forget to turn the lights off, they won’t stay on for hours on end.
6. Get a Smart Printer
Every office needs a printer — and a fax machine and scanner at times too. If you’re going to set up a bonafide long-term smart office, you’re going to want to get a smart printer, as well.
Smart printers act like normal printers, but they also help to manage waste and report on your printing habits. This can help to reduce your overall costs — and even help your office operate more sustainably in the process.
Working from home can be a great adventure. However, if your office isn’t set up to streamline your activities, it can take away from the experience.
With that in mind, review the list above. As you do so, consider what areas of your home office need improvement. Do you need to stabilize your internet connection? Is your office air quality poor? Do you need to get a standing workplace to help with a bad back?
By investing in a smart office now, you’ll boost your productivity, sustainability, and health for the foreseeable future.