Out-of-office work in 2020 has now become the new daily routine; the problem is that it started so suddenly, for most, that many households were unable to prepare properly.
It’s time to turn a temporary solution into a future permanence; most of the time, one of the most important decisions a company’s IT department has to make is whether employees will have a laptop or a fully equipped desktop computer. In many cases workers have a say in this decision, or can also provide their own equipment. In terms of performance, modern laptops can easily keep up with desktops on many levels and become a fully functional alternative when used in conjunction with a fully equipped monitor.
Of course, laptops also have the advantage of portability; especially in work models where employees move from office to home, to company office, laptops have a significant advantage, since you always have your work environment with you. On the other hand, when you need to “run” demanding applications, desktops still have the advantage and are also the right choice if you are going to be working from home.
Processor, graphics card, memory
There is no significant difference between the basic features for the technical internal operation of a desktop computer and a laptop. This of course depends on the use that each one is going to make. Using more demanding software makes it more important, of course, to have a powerful processor and high-performance graphics card.
The following key data can be used as a guide:
- An AMD Ryzen 3 or Intel Core i3 processor and above
- A random access memory (RAM) of at least 6 GB (preferably 8 GB)
- An SSD with storage of at least 64 GB or even better 128 GB
If you’re going to buy a laptop, it’s best to opt for one with an anti-glare screen so it doesn’t bother you in your video calls.
With the right monitor everything is clear
One of the most important elements for efficiency and ergonomics in the workstation at home is the right screen selection; there are many reasons why the wrong screen can have a negative impact:
- the resolution is too low
- the screen flickers
- color temperature is unhealthy
- or you’re sitting in the “wrong” position
In the worst case, this will result in eye strain, back pain and general fatigue, which you will not initially associate with the screen.
Therefore, the most important criteria for a good monitor for the home office are a modern panel with the most uniform color reproduction and several options for adjusting the position. A good monitor will allow you to adjust its height, tilt and rotation. State-of-the-art PANELS with “IPS” technology are soft on the eyes and have a special setting for their operating hours, so that, for example, the amount of blue light decreases as the day progresses.
The choice of screen size and resolution varies greatly depending on the use you make. People who often have to work with multiple program windows open at the same time, will naturally benefit from a larger desktop and widescreen features.
As a more basic screen for the necessary tasks that will cover most of you, we generally recommend a screen with a 23-inch diagonal and Full HD resolution (1920×1080 pixels).
Design your workspace correctly
If the space in your home allows, it is ideal to have a separate room that will house your home office, at least during the day. On the one hand, this creates a separation from the rest of the house and helps to “disconnect” from work, once the workday is over, on the other hand, it helps a lot in concentration.
Obviously in this case too, it is important for the office furniture to include a work desk with sufficient space for technical equipment and documents, as well as a chair with the best possible ergonomics.
The keyboard and mouse are obviously necessary. The key word is “ergonomics” in this case too. With a little extra money, you can also equip yourself with the appropriate “headset” as well as a “webcam” with “HD” resolution so you can meet several needs in one accessory. You will be able to easily communicate with your partners with clear sound and image but also –with the appropriate microphone– others will hear you clearly. Proper acoustic shielding provides better concentration; we recommend models with “noise-cancelling” functions to isolate unnecessary sounds.
The shopping list should also include a printer that ideally combines a scanner. Extremely practical: Most modern printers operate via “Wi-Fi” and do not clutter up cables.
Strong data line
When we prepare the “set up” of the home office, we usually omit the Internet connection from our planning. When the office has gaps in “Wi-Fi” coverage, teleconferencing quickly begins to test your patience, and any attempt to access the company’s server via a “VPN” turns into an extended coffee break. In households, this problem gets worse especially in the afternoon, when more and more devices use all the “bandwidth” at the same time.
Modern network solutions help solve these problems; German pioneers in the field of “Powerline” in “devolo” and specifically with the new series “Magic Powerlines”, turn the existing power line into a data “highway”. This is done simply by plugging in an adapter near the “router” and connecting it to the “Ethernet” cable. Then more adapters can be used wherever you need strong “Wi-Fi”, or even a wired connection. This means you can turn any outlet in your home into a high-speed Internet access point. For an apartment, it is usually enough to have a set of two adapters while for a larger house, there are sets with more adapters. The products also provide state-of-the-art “Mesh Wi-Fi” functionality, for a particularly stable wireless connection in all rooms.
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