Now that the era of freelancers has come upon us, home offices are all the rage—and you don’t even have to make excuses about working from home. It’s important to make sure that you not only have all the tools and resources that you need at your disposal, but also that you’ll be comfortable working at your desk for long bouts of time. Since you’ll be saving up on transportation costs and office wardrobe funds, why not invest in some key gadgets to make your home office a lot more ergonomic and practical?
Here are three gadgets that every freelancer should consider adding to their personal arsenal of work tools:
Image from SETA’s Kickstarter page
Since smartphones are probably the must-have gadget for today’s freelancer, keep it close by and easily accessible by mounting it on a stand next to your computer. That way, you won’t have to pick it up every time you get a new notification, plus you can use it for secondary reference. It’ll give you a more professional working experience, especially if you’re using something like RingCentral business phone service to communicate with your clients and colleagues from the comfort of your smartphone.
Choices abound in today’s market, some of them offering built-in speakers like the iLuv Mo’Beats, which is also compatible with tablets, or an integrated phone charger like Apple’s docking station, or even one with its own Bluetooth wireless handset like the Good Call iG1. If you’re looking for a minimalist option that’s also beautifully designed, check out the SETA smartphone stand, a successfully funded project on Kickstarter.
Image from Microsoft
Does the term carpal tunnel syndrome ring a bell? It’s when you get a pinched nerve in your wrist, leading to pain in your hand and arm. Some cases are so severe as to require corrective surgery. Avoid this condition by maintaining proper posture and form while working. Mayo Clinic recommends keeping your wrist at a relaxed middle position, with your keyboard at the same height of your elbow or lower.
There are many keyboards out in the market, each of them claiming to have the best ergonomic design. A recent and much buzzed-about launch is the new Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard, a sleek and sexy number from Microsoft. One of its most striking features is the split just off the middle of the keyboard, which is said to promote the relaxed positioning of the forearms and wrists while working. Of course, it also has a mouse to match—one that’s a bit bulkier than normal to reduce pressure on the wrist.
Image from The Roost’s Kickstarter page
Speaking of proper posture, one of the biggest factors that affect it is the height of your screen. Laptops are great because they offer flexibility and portability, but they aren’t exactly the ideal setup for prolonged computer use. You might notice getting a crick in your neck after some time. That’s because your screen should be approximately within your natural line of sight, eliminating the need to duck your head.
If you use your laptop as your primary computer, simulate a standard desktop setup by purchasing a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse along with a laptop stand. Again, it’s easy to find this in your local electronics or office supplies shop, though you can also opt to create a makeshift stand—just make sure that it’s durable enough. If you’re looking to buy one, The Roost is a cool stand that was also a success on Kickstarter—and it’s portable, too!
What is your home office must-have gadget? Let us know in the comment box below!