Engineering 101

5 Smart Products to Keep You Productive in Your Home Office

More of us are working from home than ever before. Between juggling office hours, home-schooling, household chores, and our new post-COVID reality, we can all use a little help keeping on track and staying productive.

And if you’re into tech, you’re in luck! There are some great tools that can help boost your creativity and reduce your stress during these times. 

1. Smart speakers

Whether you prefer Amazon Echo, Google Home, or another connected home environment, having a smart speaker in your office opens the door for several helpful tools that can keep you organized, on-time, and on-task.

You can set timers, reminders, and keep your calendar with simple commands. Phone-free calls help keep you connected, and the entirety of the Internet is just a query away. 

You can effortlessly access the weather, headlines, traffic, and even correct your spelling. Booking travel is a breeze, and you can schedule your smart lights to brighten or dim at certain times of the day.

If you’re juggling work and home, you can build your shopping list, remind yourself where the spare key is, or find your phone.

2. Bluetooth headphones or earbuds

With more and more meetings happening remotely, Bluetooth headphones or earbuds are becoming more of a must. 

Cutting the cord on your headphones allows you to step away from your computer. Whether you’re just antsy or Midnight knocked your drink over, being able to step away from the desk without having to call things to a halt keeps meetings moving.

Additionally, if you’re sharing office space with your kids or partner, a set of noise-blocking earbuds can help minimize distractions. You can also turn up the volume on those sweet, sweet hairband hits.

3. Smart plugs

Smart plugs can turn any appliance into a smart appliance. Most come with their own app, but if you’ve got Alexa or Google Nest, you can connect them to your network, allowing you to control them with voice commands.

Better yet, spend the time to set up schedules through your smart home hub. Turn on your coffee machine at 7:00 a.m. and put your lights, fan, or heater on a schedule. Program a lighting or music change to signify when office hours are over, helping you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Some plugs can even track energy usage, giving you an idea of how power-hungry that printer is. A smart plug would allow you to turn it on and off with the tap of a button or a simple voice command, saving you time and energy.

Don’t want to spend money on multiple smart plugs? Smart power strips are available, with many of the same features available on plugs.

4. Smart time trackers

If you need to track time for different clients or individual tasks, there’s an easy—and smart—way to do so. 

There are many different smart time tracking devices. From slick-looking discs to polyhedral dice shapes that would make any D&D player proud, these devices can help keep you on track, boost productivity, and take less time than timesheets.

Products like Timeular, the TimeFlip2, and Tiller can also give you insight into your work habits and flow, and help you draw the line between working hours and non-working hours. 

5. Smart router

Now that we’re all working from home (or at least a lot of us are), we’ve got more devices connected within our household. Each person averages about 6 ½ connected devices each, and households average 50 connected devices. We protect our computers with antivirus programs and firewalls, but many neglect to do the same for their smartphones and smart appliances.

With those numbers, Internet reliability and security are more critical than ever. Smart routers can give you both.

Smart routers can also provide more straightforward tools for managing users and devices, parental controls with real-time alerts, and better coverage in your home.

While many people look forward to returning to the office, some experts believe that the longer we are required to work from home, the more companies will adopt the practice permanently. What are your thoughts? Are there any tools you use to help balance the new work-home balance? Are you looking forward to returning to the office? Let us know!

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