Even though we have a vaccine available for COVID-19, it seems unlikely that you would be returning to your office in 2021. For practical work from home environment, it is recommended that you create a home office area where you can focus on work without distractions. If you feel like you need to boost your productivity, here is a roundup of our must-have products for your home office setup.
Adjustable Laptop Stand: If you primarily use a laptop for work and spend long hours on it, then you should get an adjustable laptop stand immediately. There are options from Portronics (My Buddy Hexa 22), Amkette (Ergo View), or Amazon Basics, all under Rs 1,000. These laptop stands help you adjust the height of the screen for comfort and even have a ventilated base to prevent your laptop from heating up during long hours of usage.
Monitor Riser – If you use a desktop or use a monitor with your laptop for a large screen comfort, a monitor riser is recommended. It provides a similar function as the laptop stand – you can raise your monitor screen height using the monitor riser to make it a comfortable eye level. You also benefit from free space below the monitor riser that can store any item like books, headphones, diary, etc.
Wireless Mouse: Just switching over to any wireless mouse will not help with productivity. Instead, opt for a wireless mouse that gives you multiple buttons to work with and has an ergonomic design. We recommend the Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse (Rs 8,995). It works on any surface, has dual scroll wheels for function and multiple customizable buttons. Moreover, it can work seamlessly between three computers (Mac and Windows) to transfer cursor or files using the Logitech software.
Multi-device keyboard: Most of us today use a computer and a phone to work, while some also have a third device like another computer or a tablet. In this situation, switching between typing devices leads to a waste of time and decreased productivity. To solve this issue, you should get a multi-device keyboard that will enable you to switch to and type on any device quickly. We recommend the Logitech K480 (Rs 2,495) as it features an ergonomic design with an easy switch dial to move from one device to another for typing. It also has an integrated cradle to hold the phone or tablet at a comfortable typing angle, making it easier to use multiple devices.
Wireless Headphones: Avoiding distractions at home is possible up to an extent if you close yourself in a separate room. However, to block out all distractions, it is best to get a pair of wireless headphones with excellent noise cancellation. There are several options available from various brands across the price range, and if the price is not an issue, you should go for the Sony 1000 XM3/XM4, Jabra Elite 85H, or the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – these are above Rs 20,000. However, if you don’t want to spend that much, then you should consider the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BT (Rs 14,990), Sony CH 710N (Rs 8,990), or the JBL Live 650BTNC (Rs 8,499).
Multi-device fast charger: With all these different gadgets around you, you would end up fiddling with different chargers during the day. Instead of doing that, it’s better to invest in one multi-device charger that can take care of all your devices and provide fast charge support to you as well. AMX offers the XP60 charger for Rs 1,699, a 62W charger with support for 45W USC C power delivery. This means that it can charge a Macbook Air/Pro, and it even comes with 17W USB ports for fast charging your smartphones and tablets. With this in your home office, you won’t have to worry about looking for chargers here and there.
High-quality Webcam: Let’s face it, the webcam built-in to most laptops offers sub-par picture quality. Considering that video calls have become standard for everyone at work, you should consider buying a webcam that delivers good picture quality. The trouble is that most budget webcams do not offer any better quality than the one on your laptop, and that is why you would need to invest in a slightly expensive option. Logitech has the C270HD webcam for Rs 2,595 if you are restricted on a budget. If you don’t mind spending, then go for the Logitech C615 webcam that offers 1080p resolution and autofocus for Rs 6,299.
Fitness Watch/band – One big issue with working from home is that your movements are restricted, which takes a toll on your health. This is why a fitness watch/band is an investment that you should make immediately. With a fitness band or watch, you can set a daily goal for activity and track it easily. Some bands also offer you the option for guided breathing to relieve stress, while a few others can give you a notification to move if you are sitting for too long at a location. You can opt for premium options such as Fitbit Charge bands or Apple/Samsung watch as per your budget or stick to an entry-level option such as the Mi band or the OnePlus band.
Dedicated microphone: Like webcams, most laptops do not offer the best microphones for audio/video calls. If you have to do regular calls, it would be good to get a dedicated microphone for your home office. We would recommend staying away from the generic options available and instead go for either the AKG Lyra (Rs 8,999), Blue Yeti (Rs 10,999), or the Blue Snowball (Rs 5,995).