Much of the UK – in fact much of the planet – has been WFH during the covid pandemic. WFH – for those who have been living under a rock! – is an acronym for Working From Home. As the world locked down and workplaces sent staff away from the workplace, a huge number of employees learned to cope with a new set-up for going about earning their living. For employers this shift meant sourcing a good supply of appropriate tech to help WFH employees.
A huge number of companies have recognised that the WFH set-up offers employees a massive boost to their work / life balance, without productivity being adversely affected. Any issues centred around communication have been ‘blown out of the water’, too, with many different platforms available for conference calling or for quick chats – think Microsoft Teams, Zoom and more.
But the question remains. What tech do you actually need, to be able to successfully WFH? In this article we’ll be offering a reminder of the key bits and pieces you should consider getting or upgrading, as a huge part of the UK’s workforce continues to work from home.
PC or Laptop?
It’s possible that you have a whole ‘dedicated area’ at home for your computer tasks. Perhaps it’s a desk on which you have a full-sized desktop PC. Desktop PCs are generally very powerful machines but lack portability. For most working from home purposes a laptop is sufficient. There are many available these days which have specification as good as some desktop PCs, and even better than older models. There are other things you should think about when considering getting a laptop.
Because some of your working life will involve communicating and perhaps even collaborating with your colleagues, an inbuilt webcam for video calls and meetings is really important.
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So that you can work effortlessly and play movies and games without hassle, you should go for a laptop with a screen of 14-inches or more. You’ll also want a computer with good battery life. Nowadays you can easily find a laptop with over 10 hours of charge so that’s over a full working day taken care of before you need to ‘plug back in’ to a wall socket. A good laptop will also have a decent amount of memory and extra USB ports for connecting to different storage options such as memory sticks.
There are different spec laptops available for users who have different needs. There are known-brand laptops which are more suitable for heavy-processing tasks (digital imaging, video editing, sound editing). There are laptops capable of handling tasks such as word-processing and spreadsheets and presentations. Chromebooks are also worth considering. If your work doesn’t require much storage (ie. if you don’t need to constantly save documents, files and other data) then these net-based task machines can be a good buy.
There’s absolutely no doubt that this is the digital age, and so most of our personal and professional lives are lived through our devices. This shift in the last thirty years or so also means that the need to print out vast amounts of documents has diminished somewhat.
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But there’s a simple truth – paper will never die. Although digital is highly convenient and can even be much more efficient, there’s no substitute for printing out a document on paper and reading it. The information seems to ‘go in’ more easily and you can write on the paper too, of course – so jot down any notes or amends or ideas. A printer is useful device to have as part of your home office set-up. Ebuyer also stocks refill ink and toner, too, so you’ll be able to keep control of your supply!
It makes a great deal of sense to back up your data whether you are working in the office or at home, to be honest. So, because that’s the case we’re going to talk here about ways you can store your data, files, and documents (and even do back-ups of your PC).
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An external hard drive will enable you to keep copies of everything on a device which is distinct from your main laptop or PC (so you’re covered in the event of anything going wrong with them). This device is connected via a cable so can be disconnected and then plugged into another device – therefore meaning that transporting work between different machines is extremely easy. Useful to know if you are hybrid working (ie. spending some time in the office and most working from home).
Sometimes the important bits of tech around the home are not positioned in the most efficient place. Your router, for instance, is sometimes bunged in a corner or on a bookshelf, and has the potential task of getting a Wi-Fi all the way up to the back bedroom where you’ve got your desk or work area set up.
If this is the case for you then a Wi-Fi extender is the perfect solution. A Wi-Fi extender will ensure that you can work from any room in your house, even where the signal is very poor, without having to move your router.
Browse the Ebuyer store for powerline adapters and more
You could also try a powerline adapter. This is, basically, a way of extending your Wi-Fi but using the power cables embedded within the walls of your house. You plug in an ethernet cable to your router and then into one of these powerline adapters, and then in the room where your desktop PC is (or where you work on your laptop), plug in another and take an ethernet line out of it and into the computer. Brilliant!
So, there you go. A few bits of tech to make working from home so much easier for you. As the country continues to cope with the pandemic – and also sees a generation of smart employers and employees shift into new modes of working – then this handy guide to these bits of tech is a valuable way to make sure you’re ahead of the game! Check out Ebuyer for our WFH stock – and of course for all those other bits of tech you need to live a fulfilling life!