20 gadgets for working from home

20 gadgets for working from home

Summary: So many of us work from home nowadays. Freelancer or teleworker, here are 20 gadgets you will need for your home office.

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  • Working from home often means traveling around as well; often at your own expense. The trouble is that often you need to access the Web but can't find a hotspot without either forking out money for it, or discovering one that is fast enough. And if you rely on Starbucks and their Web speedy Web connection, you might need to do some work in private. Just think what your colleagues at the CIA would think about it.

    What you need is a personal Wi-Fi hotspot. A Mi-Fi device connects to the cellular network under a pre-approved tariff, and allows you (and only you) to connect to it. It doesn't include any fiddly wires, and more often it's a case of 'plug-and-play' -- or whatever the wireless equivalent is.

    Source: Amazon.

  • With wires trailing all over your desk, you will soon be overcome with wire-madness. It's one of the many reasons why I try and keep my working-from-home office desk as clutter-free as possible by taking advantage of wireless technology. From a wireless Apple keyboard and a wireless Apple Trackpad (I use a Mac, if that didn't give the game away), and wireless headphones, it saves on a lot of hassle.

    But for the necessary wires, you can keep them fixed and out of the way. These small adhesive pads clip wires in place on your desk, and keep unsightly cables out of sight or in a fixed location. Again, it's one of those things you will probably never notice again, but something you will never be able to live without.

    Source: BlueLounge.

  • This has been an utter lifesaver. You can have as many devices as you have, and more plugs and wires trailing across your desk, and taking up valuable multi-socket space. The logical next step is to ditch all of your chargers and to replace them with one, unified device.

    It plugs in by USB -- which you should now have at least one spare -- and you can charge all of your devices. It supports BlackBerrys, iPhones, even Nokias, Samsungs and that magic European standard, micro-USB. Granted, you can't charge all of your devices at the same time, but it's a handy piece of kit to have on hand. 

    Source: USB Fever.

Topics: iPhone, Broadband, Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

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18 comments
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  • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

    Having worked from home for the past 4 years with only 5 of the items on the list I must be doing something wrong. Also what is "erroneous noise", is it anything like extraneous noise?
    MrBeck
    • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

      @MrBeck You probably don't have teenagers living next door who make ungodly amounts of noise.
      zwhittaker
  • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

    Something which I would also recommend is a second monitor for your laptop. You get quickly used to the extra working area.
    Riaanh
  • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

    How does my home office compare:
    1. No smartphone, but I do have my phone charger on my desk
    2. DVR - nothing on in the daytime in the UK that I would watch. On the other hand, I rarely watch live TV
    3. No laptop stand. I have a docking station connected to keyboard, mouse, monitor, external disk, USB hub (actually, it has one built in)
    4. See 3.
    5. Tried headphones, but I prefer to hear the world as well. But then, I am usually the only one in the house during the day so I have a decent music setup in the office
    6. Voice recorder, yes, must get one
    7. Essential, though I make do with a standard bag, pre-loaded with PSU, cables, etc.
    8. Good idea
    9. I don't print that much, so I use an all-in-one colour inkjet
    10. Yep
    11. Mains in the UK seems much less prone to surges. I know very few people here who bother
    12. I'm still on G, but seems good enough for what I need, even with son playing on the X-box
    13. Seems like a good idea. I'm usually at home or in the company office, so not much need for me
    14. I really should tidy my cables!
    15. Not sure this really gives you that much over a powered USB hub, and then you don't have useless adapters hanging around
    16. Got my Aeron as a christmas present
    17. Thinkpad from work.
    18. Agree, I much prefer having spot lighting over the desk to having the main room lights on
    19. Yes
    20. Don't drink coffee, but the kitchen is only a few steps away to get a cup of tea

    Surprised copier, scanner and even fax (not used much, but still useful) were not on the list (see 9.)
    Wireless speakerphone. In the UK, you if you call toll-free numbers you still get charged, so a standard landline is still useful.
    Filing storage is essential. Not a gadget itself, but it leads to...
    ... I would add a labeller - as you still need to file paper, having a decent label on files is surprisingly helpful

    So looks like i agree on most things
    keithc
    • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

      @keithc <br>Half of the list is bad.
      No.9: Multipurpose printer (fax, scanner, copier) in one. No monochrome printer.
      15. Powered USB hub will add cluster and junk to your home office. Most of the new laptop and PC already come with multiple USB ports.

      Belkin is a very bad vendor. Anything but Belkin.
      Netteligent
      • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

        @Netteligent <br>Not so much bad, as much of it not applicable to many people and other things more useful.
        15: my laptop is in a docking station tucked away under the desk, I have a powered hub so I don't have to crawl to plug stuff in. This spider thing wouldn't help me much and just add to the number of wires hanging around, most of them useless for me.
        This is definitely a YMMV, though
        keithc
  • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

    I see missing something that is a must for me. A cordless phone that also offers speaker functionality to free up your hands for note taking.
    tiderulz
    • Spot on

      @tiderulz

      I went out an purchased a good "Hands Free" speakerphone. It has been a life saver (I have a lot of conference calls).
      rhonin
  • Good list!

    I have about 80% of the items on that list working from home the last 6 years....one thing you forgot to mention:<br><br>All of those items can be written off on your taxes at the end of the year provided you purchased them for home office use.<br><br>I have a "technology" cycle I run through yearly....I purchase a laptop and a new computer every other year...depreciate the item fully the first year, then the next year donate it to a school and write it off as a tax deductible donation, then get a new system and depreciate that item fully the same year I donate the equipment.<br><br>I keep a folder marked "Tax Deductible Items 20xx" and any time I get a receipt for anything that could be deducted as a home office expense it goes in there and then at the end of the year when I do taxes my accountant and I look it over.<br><br>You'd be surprised by what you miss throwing receipts away.
    SamWilkinson
  • What's the point of this article?

    I'm not sure what the point of this article is. I'm not sure it really even qualifies as an article. It's just a shopping list.

    Yes, if you work from home you should have a chair, phone charger, a lamp, a printer and shredder. Any other obvious observations?

    Another exercise in ZDNet mediocrity.
    lapland_lapin
  • Some musings

    a) We have a $60/yr email to fax account, of which 90% is unused. It can also handle email to SMS, which is handy for UPS fault notifications.

    b) UPS to keep desktops going if in an area where brown/blackouts occur. Laptops are their own UPS of course!

    c) Have a full-duplex (both sides) laser printer. Going to a meeting with single-sided reports looks cheap.

    d) Bought a multi-function ink printer with ADF, but don't use the printer, except for occasional colour. I use it as a mult-page to pdf scanner, and VERY much cheaper than dedicated ones. Cartridges for these are just too expensive to use them as a printer.

    However, CamScan for Android works quite well to make PDFs by taking pictures and cropping. Pages can be added and deleted from the PDF as required. If I had this app before I bought the multi-function, I probably wouldn't have bothered.

    e) Mobile plans have so many minutes on them these days, that I don't bother with the separate ATA+cordless phone. I can use the same VoIP account on the mobile anyway.

    f) Shredder needs to be crosscut, not strip. Used to be expensive, but now under $100.

    g) I like the 'shabby envelope' case!

    h) Still need on offsite data storage. Original and at least two copies at all times, with one off site.

    i) I have had wireless and powerline, but finally installed gigabit ethernet to the NAS = much speedier backups.

    j) Can use your phone as a portable hotspot, and still make calls. Well, at least on my Note.
    Patanjali
  • Skype Phone - Use your bluetooth headset

    that little thing on your ear that connects to your phone can also be connected to your computer. Most if not all laptops now come with bluetooth, so just use your ear piece when talking on skype.
    Maarek
  • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

    I can only assume the recent move to these "top XXXXX things" you have to have accompanied by "Gallery" (one page per item) is a move by IT websites to inflate their "pages visited" numbers so they can increase marketing revenue. If IT website were truley about the information, they would give a nice article on one or two pages with a click here or flyout of some sort to allow the reader to drill down into the topic more heavily. I have started to skip these sort of articles as they tend to be more fluff than value and the added clicks just don't seem to be worth it for me.
    jkohut
  • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

    Laptop docking station and monitor(s) are essential. Working just from the laptop screen/kb/touchpad is crazy unless you are on the road.
    dazzlingd
  • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

    Like jkohut, I too have started skipping articles with page after page formats instead of a text article with thumbnails. I have unsubscribed from some sources entirely. Waste of time to see 1 or 2 items out of 20 that you really are interested in.
    rollguy
  • RE: 20 gadgets for working from home

    Like jkohut, I too have started skipping articles with page after page formats instead of a text article with thumbnails. I have unsubscribed from some sources entirely. Waste of time to see 1 or 2 items out of 20 that you really are interested in.
    rollguy
  • 20 gadgets for working from home

    Interesting article, I??ve found a couple of things (voice recorder and skype to telephone) that i`m going to try
    juandeduenas@...
  • 20 gadgets for working from home

    Interesting article, I??ve found a couple of things (voice recorder and skype to telephone) that i`m going to try
    juandeduenas@...