They say the best things in life are often the simplest. In my home office, where I spend the majority of my time, you’ll find simple tools and technology. Not much cutting edge equipment here. In fact, for years I got by with just my laptop and a cell phone. Yes, technology enhances the teleworking experience and makes you more effective, but truth be told, I’m cheap. I don’t like to spend money. However, there are a couple of simple things I can’t live without.
1. A second monitor. Plugging an old, yet large, monitor into my laptop gives me dual screen capability so I can multitask or manage online training sessions easily. For example, notes or slides to myself on one screen while sharing the other screen with online participants.
2. A good headset. Since I’m on the phone a good portion of the day a headset is a necessity. I use a Plantronics headset wired directly into my IP phone. (The sound quality is better than my old Bluetooth headset). I find the headset is also better than a speaker phone because it cuts out a lot of background noise (barking dogs, screaming kids, or my wife yelling at the barking dogs or screaming kids). If you do a lot of online presenting then a good quality headset is a must.
3. Powerline adapter. If you have multiple computers at home and have trouble with your wireless network and need to be wired in, there’s no need to string Ethernet cable throughout your house. Powerline adapters plug into your wall outlet and use the wiring in your home as if it were a Ethernet cable. I have used a Linksys Powerline AV Bridge Kit PLK300 (about $100) for the past couple of years with no issues, the speed is great, and it took about 2 minutes to set up out of the box.
What are the things in your home office you can’t live without?