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With more of us are working from home than ever before, it is very possible that your workplace will offer you options for choosing your location during your working week. And you may have already made some changes to your work setup -- maybe a new chair, or a second monitor -- but have you thought about adopting some smart devices to improve your productivity?
London-based discount code and charity fundraiser site Savoo has suggested some of the best pieces of tech for your home office, to make sure you are getting the most out of your home working space without breaking the bank. Here they are below, complete with links to Amazon if you're interested.
One of the core components of any smart home is a smart speaker with which to control it. Options like the Amazon Echo or Google Home allow connections to many other devices, so you can control them with your voice.
The speakers themselves are also useful for scheduling reminders, adjusting your calendar, and quick questions, all of which can save you time.
Though some of the "lower end-of-the-range models" are generally affordable, you can grab a great deal by looking at other less popular smart assistants. They will still support most devices but at a lower cost.
Want to wake up to a fresh cup of coffee? Or want one made in the kitchen while you are working in the office so you don't have to lose the flow of thought? The Atomi smart coffee machine can make coffee on schedule, using Alexa, or by using the app.
Like standard coffee machines, while there are high-quality options for higher costs, simpler filter coffee machines with smart features are also available that are well within even lower budgets. Get your caffeine fix from the comfort of your own home and without splashing the cash at your favorite coffee chain.
Noise canceling earbuds and headphones are not just for when you are out and about. Smart earbuds and headphones have a range of functions -- such as playing music and answering phone calls.
When you are working from home, they can serve as wireless headphones to allow for hands-free calls, as well as block out sounds that you might find distracting. Although the most premium models offer additional features, the core basics are still available in the cheaper, lesser-known models.
It might not be immediately obvious, but pollutants like dust and other particulates can build up in the air and lower the quality, making you more tired as your body fails to get the oxygen it needs.
Smart air quality monitors range from more expensive models that not only identify but also clean the air to make sure you keep healthy and energized, to budget-friendly options that keep track and let you know when you might benefit from opening a window to get some fresh air.
Smart bulbs -- one of the most popular items in smart homes -- can turn on and off and usually adjust brightness at the touch of a button. Some, like these Peteme colour changing bulb, can provide an ever-changing color hue display.
Whether you go for the most affordable option or one with a bit more choice in functionality, a smart bulb will enable you to opt for brightness in the early morning and warmer orange colors as the afternoon draws to a close. You can even set it on a schedule so you don't need to think about it.
Besides the benefits for your own working from home life, smart bulbs are also generally more eco-friendly. In the long run, this means they could help you to keep your energy bills down as well as being a better choice for the environment.
So, while they might cost more than your standard light bulb, smart bulbs prove to be a good long-term investment and before long, you'll have made the money you spent on your smart bulb back.
While smart plugs by themselves are not anything fancy, they are used to turn any mains-powered item into a smart object and can be great money-savers if you have items like printers or heaters that tend to use a lot of power.
Use smart plugs such as Gosund to turn off all high-cost items at once without having to go around flipping switches on and off. Also, if you combine the technology with an energy tracker, you can even have them turn themselves off when they hit limits each day to make sure you don't overuse them.
In an office, the temperature is usually regulated by high-powered heating and air conditioning. But, at home, you might only have a standard thermostat -- and with the weather being what it is, regular heating schedules might not always suit the forecasts!
Compatible with Alexa, SmartThings, Google Home, and IFTTT, smart thermostats like the Honeywell Home can respond in real-time to how conditions change and adjust to keep you feeling comfortable based on predefined settings. And if you configure the settings carefully, you can use a much lighter touch on adjusting your heating up and down than you might with a standard dial, therefore reducing the amount of heat you waste and saving you money.
The best cheap smart home gadget is the Amazon Echo Dot, at just $24.99, this smart speaker can answer your questions, play music, and much more.