Trending February 2024 # Working From Home Office Essentials # Suggested March 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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That’s what they usually call computers in an office, isn’t it? Anyway, the best kind of computer for working at home is often one that can leave that home easily, and that means a laptop.

There are so many different options to choose from when it comes to selecting a decent laptop to work from home on, so I’m going to focus on the best of the best here, rather than waste your time with weaker machines that might not stand up to the test of time or durability due to shoddy quality.

Now, if you are looking for a machine that can handle professional-level tasks comfortably and also offer you an insane level of portability then the MacBook line of products is probably the one for you. You are going to be a bit spoiled for choice when it comes to the range of products within Apple’s flagship laptop line – but the truth is, if you are looking for a machine that can handle day to day office and professional tasks with no real specialized software running, then you are going to be just fine buying the lowest priced product in the line – the MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air is a brilliant little machine that is absolutely ideal for any professional out there looking to use a laptop for their at home-work life. It comes with a quad-core Intel i7 under the hood, which is important because it means that this machine will be capable of running all of your standard fare office-based applications without any worry whatsoever – and I’m including Microsoft Office in that statement as Mac devices have their own localized version of Microsoft’s Office suite for users to enjoy, so you never have to worry about compatibility.

You are also going to have a 13.3-inch screen capable of putting out incredibly vibrant color and images, so if a lot of your job hinges on the editing or feedback of graphic elements, then you aren’t going to be let down by the MacBook Air.

And, if up to 2tbs of internal memory isn’t enough for you, then you can always rely on the Apple iCloud as a storage network that will let you bring your work with you wherever you go, lending itself to the portability of the machine and helping you whenever you go into the office by cutting down on the number of flash drives and external HDDs that you might have to pack to go with you.

Speaking of taking it into the office, the MacBook Air also comes as standard with a Thunderbolt 3 cable, which means that if you ever need to present on a screen that doesn’t support wireless streaming, then you can always connect to displays (up to 6K) and expect a seamless and clear dual monitor setup.

The MacBook Air also has fingerprint-based security so that you can keep peace of mind if you ever lose your machine in transit and are worried about any sensitive materials kept within, and it even has an HD webcam built-in alongside 3 separate microphones to make telecommuting even easier.

Basically, the MacBook air ticks all the right boxes when it comes to working from home, and it can even support you as you travel into the office easily, performing as well at home as it does on a train or in the office itself.

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Top 12 Tips From Someone Who Has Been Working From Home For 12 Years

For employees who typically spend 40 hours a week in an office, working from home has escalated anxiety and confusion.

Due to the self-quarantine mandates during this global crisis, this anxiety and confusion intensify day-by-day.

But many have been at the working-from-home game for a long time, including me.

Besides a small stretch with a local digital marketing agency around 2024 and a few part-time hours as a UPS driver, I haven’t set foot in an office since 2008.

My reasons for leaving the office lifestyle back in 2008 were due to a lack of leadership and productivity at the Fortune 500 employer.

Sometimes work felt like a practice in dorm room politics, and this office atmosphere eventually led to the failure of that company.

My mission was to take on freelance writing full time, which forced me to learn time management skills for my new no-office work lifestyle.

After about six months of self-training in productivity habits for the stay-at-home worker, I finally felt comfortable and capable of producing quality work from home.

Yes, six months.

And now others are trying to get into a groove in a matter of days.

Working from home requires discipline in many elements, which I’ll explore below.

Once implemented into the everyday working-from-home situation, these tips will allow you to get more work quality done in less time and with less stress.

1. Set Daily Routine by Planning Week

People struggle with setting routines within office settings, and this struggle only gets worse when working from home.

A lack of routine slows progress and productivity on just about everything because the brain is in constant reactive mode.

My typical Monday through Friday schedule features blocked periods from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every single day.

But due to the current circumstances that have my pre-schooler being homeschooled and running around, my normal strict routine has been drastically altered.

With that said, try to get into a daily routine – even if it’s a loose one for a few days.

Structure your day as close to your normal days of in-office work.

Get up at the same time, and do what you typically did, whether a quick workout or breakfast with the family or a coffee and the news.

If you showered, then got dressed, stick to it.

The process itself will set you on a path of normalcy all day (though don’t worry about working in pajamas all day…)

Also, a good flow to get in while working from home is taking the first portion of your Monday and planning all your big tasks for the week.

If you’re going to work on a proposal, and need three hours, either chunk that time all for one day, or divide it between multiple days (an hour Tuesday – draft; an hour Wednesday – edit; an hour Thursday – polish).

2. Don’t Multitask

Multitasking is the world’s greatest fallacy.

Those who are great multitaskers typically create garbage work because they can’t entirely focus on the project at hand, whether that’s something as simple as answering an email or as time-consuming as writing a blog post.

When the mind is scattered, the result is sloppy work.

I’ve dealt with fellow employees who have been on meetings while texting or editing an email.

When the meeting ends, these multitaskers are a few steps behind because they have to redo everything they were working on during that meeting – all while not absorbing any knowledge from that meeting (if it was a productive one with an agenda and clear roles of who should be talking).

When working from home, it’s much easier to find yourself multitasking.

Many think they can get more done in less time, which results in additional downtime.

Hey – you’re home and have the freedom to make your hours, so why not get more done in less time?

Sadly, many think multitasking is the solution.

It isn’t.

This has been proven over and over.

If you’re working on one task, keep the mind focused on just that task.

You’ll finish the job quicker, and the quality will be much better.

Don’t just do this at work.

Repeat in all of life, especially when talking to loved ones or friends.

Focus on the conversation at hand, not your phone, or whatever thoughts are circulating in your head.

The quality of your life will ascend – and quickly.

3. Block Time for Projects

Many workers struggle with completing multiple tasks on a timely basis because they don’t incorporate blocked time throughout the day.

This is where blocking amounts of time is crucial, whether that blocked time is a half-hour, an hour, or three hours.

Say you’re working on three major tasks for the week (e.g., creating a client proposal, editing a newsletter, and outlining a new business service).

You’ll get much more completed if you blocked periods of the day dedicated to each of those tasks and the other tasks that arrive with everyday life, like:

Emails.

Conference calls.

Lunch working out.

Periodic breaks to freshen the brain.

Many people use electronic calendars or apps for this, but I prefer my Tools for Wisdom daily planner.

It has time slots from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and allows me to see what I’m doing daily physically.

Again – that’s a personal preference, and others work much better with a digital scheduler.

Some tips I learned through others and experience include blocking the early morning hours for the most important tasks when the brain is freshest.

I spend a few days a week writing, so I block my first three hours a few days for just that.

I go as far as not checking any email before then because even if it’s something minimal, answering that email will drive me crazy.

I also find myself only to focus for a max of three hours straight – that’s with a few minutes every hour of walking around the house or bouncing on a small trampoline I have in my office.

Most of my other blocked times are for an hour or a half-hour, including the scheduled time to check and respond to emails.

Find what works for you at home. I have associates that read for a few minutes every hour or play an instrument.

Some do check their social media or the news, but that can cause some unrelaxing situations, deterring you from getting back to your focus during those more extended blocked periods.

4. Email Is the Enemy of Productivity

Frequently checking emails is productivity killer #1.

People spend endless amounts of time daily checking and responding to emails because it makes them feel busy.

Imagine having an hour blocked for that proposal, and you check your email twice. Your focus is gone for that hour.

Make sure you never check your email during blocked hours – everything can wait, and if it’s super essential to let those important people call you.

With that said, make it a practice to only check email periodically throughout the day – the less, the better.

On my “creative” days when I do much writing or thinking through business strategies, I check and respond to email twice, spending about 15-minutes of time on each period – once around noon and once around 5 p.m.

On other “non-creative” days when I’m packed with client meetings and/or client/sales work, I check and respond to email a maximum of four or five times.

And always keep the notifications off from your phone and computer.

Turn on any news channel nowadays while the bulk of the workforce is working from home.

Notice the endless notifications coming from their phones.

I witnessed a few reporters zone out on their interviewees, and lose focus.

This is disastrous to getting work done.

Keep email notifications off not just at work, but during personal hours.

Don’t be neurotic – things can wait.

And once you train people you do respond quickly, they’ll expect that.

With that said, always respond to emails within 24 hours – though I give myself 12 hours due to my blocked email checks/responses.

6. Kill Social Media

If email is productivity killer #1, social media is close behind in #2.

Follow the same principles as checking email and view your social feeds periodically throughout the day.

Above all, keep all notifications off.

This is tough to many because those Facebook or LinkedIn responses deliver a dopamine hit comparable to a potent drug.

Train yourself to periodically check your social media – especially while working at home.

Everyone gets stuck into those social media holes, but if you want to be successful as a worker from home, focus on a strategy to break this.

Kill the notifications, and block time periodically throughout the day.

7. Schedule Breaks

This tip is mentioned in the block time section above but deserves its own mention.

Fatigue sets in – especially when you’re hyperfocused for a while on a single project.

The work drains not only your brain’s energy but also your eyes due to staring at a screen.

Walking away periodically to make more sounds counterintuitive, but it helps refresh your mind and body’s energy.

Everyone has a limit on their focus time, which can grow with practice.

I can go three-hours straight with pure focus, though this only happens a few times weekly, typically when I’m writing.

Most of my days are blocked to focus on three major projects at a time, with email and meetings in between.

If I have two hours blocked for a project, say 10 to noon, I’ll get up for a 10-minute break after an hour straight.

I’ll jump on the in-office trampoline, go for a quick walk, play guitar, or daydream.

As part of my productivity, I also take every Wednesday evening to myself, away from it all by heading to the woods, riding or working on motorcycles, or enjoying some spirits with a good book.

During this time, I keep the phone off and float the mind away from everything work-related.

Thursday mornings are always fresh.

I also demand an entire day away from it all over the weekend.

This helps the mind refresh, allowing me to focus and deliver valuable work to not only my clients but also myself.

8. Comfortable & Quiet Workspace

For many who are forced into the home working lifestyle, the couch becomes the office.

That’s not a bad thing if the TV is off, and you can sit comfortably without killing your posture – but for most, that’s not the case.

Find a spot or set up an area to create a comfortable and quiet workspace.

Comfort means something different to everyone.

I once spent a year straight working from my dining room because I turned it into a comfortable workspace.

Do what works.

And quiet is needed for some, though my idea of quietness equates to cranking music, whether listening to Hendrix during a creative phase or Chopin during an editing stage.

Again, do what works, but make sure the area is set for comfort.

Ergonomics matter to energy, also.

During these COVID-19 times, my five-year-old son Enzo is home.

I had to alter my schedule in the early mornings, and I began most mornings on the couch, planning my days or email.

When I’m in my office, though, I never sit.

I have a stand-up desk that I’ve used religiously for two years.

I don’t even have a desk chair in my office – though I do have a custom-built stationary bicycle that I use for around an hour every day when completing some lighter client work.

Standing keeps the energy high throughout the day, and I have fewer issues with knots in my shoulder and zero back pain.

9. Set Expectations with Team

Working from home does not mean that it’s a free-for-all for disruptive communication.

Let your co-workers know your schedule – communication is needed more than ever, but not disruptive communication.

If you develop a rough plan of your week on a Monday morning and have certain hours blocked throughout the week, send your team your schedule.

You can get more strict – such as daily away messages on emails when you’re in the zone.

The repeat disruptors will quickly realize you’re not messing around and are on a mission to get more quality work completed in much less time.

10. Socialize

But during these times, the typical during-work socialization is non-existent.

I typically got mine every evening or during lunch hours with friends and family.

With many only leaving their homes for the essentials, I’ve noticed my break-periods filled up with more social time – especially group texts.

A few of my closest friends that usually meet once a week for drinks and conversation now get together on Google Hangouts videos just to keep that social activity flowing.

That’s equally healthy now.

11. Master Technology

Many offices use technology like Trello, Slack, or Asana to keep project management and communication flowing smoothly without leaving the desk.

While working from home, this technology is more vital than ever.

Now’s a great time to revisit and master the tools you use, and get every ounce of value from them.

12. Working with Kids?

Working from home with kids provides endless challenges.

My son has been in daycare since 3 months old, and I’ve had my days super organized for a robust workflow.

Now, though, all of those dedicated hours are cut shorter, which makes my focus-hours super imperative.

If your kids are old enough, set boundaries. Let them know that you need a few moments every day for full focus and not to be bothered.

For those of you like me with younger kids, you must get a bit more creative.

My wife and I set some rewards for good behavior, and allow Enzo to split his day up between schoolwork and playtime.

Luckily for us, he can play alone for periods of up to an hour.

Others don’t have it so easy.

Try taking periodic breaks with the kids – breaks that involve exercise (preferably outside!).

My son now works out with me three times a week in our basement.

He attempts jump-roping and punches a bag, but most of the time, he’s just playing with whatever is near, from wine-making equipment to spare motorcycle parts.

Regardless, it gets him active and a bit tired, so when my wife and I get back to work, he does a different not-so-active activity (coloring, creating things with magnetic blocks, etc.).

My wife and I also “trade” hours with Enzo so we can entirely focus on our most important tasks with zero distraction.

Concluding Thoughts: Giving Back

Working from home is the new norm.

It is not a choice, but a demand due to this worldwide pandemic.

The tips above were structured for those just getting acquainted with working from home.

I hope they provide some fresh insight into the lifestyle I’ve not only lived but embraced and continually polished for the past 12 years of my life (I’ll never go back to an office lifestyle!).

I’d like to end with a quick thought on gratitude.

Now that most are in pure crisis mode, a sense of gratitude goes a long way.

Like other agency owners, I had some serious clients pause their campaigns.

From day one, I decided to provide some “incentive” work, such as free blogs, technical updates, or free consulting.

This displays that I care for their success even when my company’s not on their monthly payroll.

This also helps me pay some of my freelance staff some extra money during these times.

One thing I learned in business is always to have a few months of cash flow available for workers or if there’s a crisis.

Although a lot of my staff’s work got cut tremendously, I’m still able to give them something extra along with the government’s assistance.

This giving back not only helps my paused clients and staff but the gratitude also lifts my spirits.

And everyone can use that a few times daily.

More Resources:

Essential Gear That Makes Distance Learning And Working From Home Much Easier

Actual laptop recommendations are beyond the scope of this article as well, but if you need some assistance there, be sure to check out our guides on what to look for in a home laptop, and our expert evaluations of the best-selling laptops under $500. We also maintain buying guides for our favorite laptops overall and the best gaming notebooks.

With all that out of the way, let’s dig into the gear that can make working from home easier. We’ll start with the most helpful (and perhaps more obvious) ones, then move into more specialized scenarios. Skip ahead if you’ve got the basics covered, though we’ve also included information on how to repurpose tech you already own in some sections.

A mouse

Logitech

Logitech’s MX Master 3

Any mouse will be better than using your trackpad all day, and all you need to do is plug it into your notebook’s USB port. Amazon’s own basic mouse costs under $8 and ships in under a week, or $13 if you want a wireless model. The popular M525 sculpted ergonomic mouse from Logitech was made to fit comfortably in your hand, and it can work wirelessly for up to three years before you need to swap out the batteries. Features like that are well worth its $25 asking price.

Logitech MX Master 3

Read our review

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Mentioned in this article

Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard

Read our review

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Headphones

Rob Schultz / IDG

HyperX Cloud Alpha

Read our review

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A stellar high-capacity external drive

Seagate Backup Plus Portable

Read our review

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A second monitor

Getty Images

Multiple monitors are a must for true multi-tasking. If you have the space, connecting a second display to your desktop or laptop lets you have many more programs open and visible at once (or dedicate a screen to YouTube, Twitch, or Twitter—you know, for your mental health).

Again, many people have realized this, and monitors are selling for more than they used to. Fortunately, you can still get a basic 1080p display pretty cheap. This 24-inch Spectre monitor costs $103 and ships within a week, for example, as does this $130, 24-inch ViewSonic display. If brightness and viewing angles matter to you, consider spending a bit more on a display with an IPS or VA panel rather than TN, like this $150 BenQ model. TN displays tend to be a bit duller and need to be viewed straight-on, but they’re generally cheaper (and slightly more responsive, if you’re a gamer). For basic office work anything works, though. With the speed at monitors are selling these days, you may need to shop around, but you’ll find something, somewhere.

Once you’ve got another display in hand, our guide to setting up multiple monitors can help you get squared away. In a pinch, you can even use your HDTV as a second monitor!

USB hub

Mark Hachman / IDG

The best full-featured USB-C hub

VAVA VA-UC010

USB adapters vary wildly in price and capability, so be sure to shop for what you need. If you have a relatively new laptop with a USB-C connection, be sure to check out our roundup of the best USB-C adapters for concrete, thoroughly evaluated recommendations.

On the low end, this basic $10 Sabrent hub turns one USB 3.0 port into four. I own it and love it, though it may not work for devices with heavy power draws, like external storage or blinged-out gamer keyboards. On the higher end, this $60 Anker USB-C hub transforms a single USB-C connection into another Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port with 100W power deliver, a standard USB-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card reader, and an HDMI port that can support 4K monitors at a sluggish 30Hz, or lower resolutions at higher refresh rates. A wide range of options exist between the two.

A surge protector

Belkin

Keeping all your devices charged can be tricky if you’re using them all day. And you want to keep them protected against electrical surges. Our guide to the best surge protectors can help keep your gear fully charged—and safe. Most of our favorites cost between $30 and $50, so they won’t break the bank.

Anker PowerPort Cube

A comfortable seat cushion

Whether it’s a kitchen chair or a sofa, sitting all day on any one thing can get uncomfortable too. Even if you don’t want to splurge on a pricey office or gamer chair, investing in a dedicated seat cushion is well worth it. This Plixio memory foam seat cushion costs $27 and comes highly rated by users. A wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs are available on Amazon, with most costing between $30 and $50. Keep an eye on those ship dates, though.

Laptop stand

Roost

The Roost Stand.

Using your laptop or a table or counter? Get it up to eye level to stop straining your neck all day. Ergonomics matter! That said, laptop stands work best if you’re also using an external keyboard and mouse, so you’re not lifting your arms while you’re lifting your eyes.

This aluminum desktop stand costs $33, works with any laptop with a 10-inch to 15.6-inch screen, and ships within a week. This $25 monitor stand, on the other hand, also works with laptops and includes a spacious undersection for storing paper, pens, and other materials. It’s pricier, but our Alaina Yee likes the $90 Roost stand, which works universally with almost all laptop models.

Helpful software

This guide has mostly focused on physical accessories, but certain software can help keep things running smoothly too.

The best overall antivirus suite

Norton 360 Deluxe

Read our review

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A Guide To Making Work From Home Easier

The pros and cons of working from home

You will save time and money!

Flexible work hours can be a pro and a con Social interactions reduce (but that’s not a good thing)

Casual conversations over coffee in the break room and other day-to-day office interactions go away when you work from home. You can focus on your work instead and get things done without unnecessary distractions and interruptions.

However, everyday face-to-face interactions are a great way to collaborate, bounce ideas off of colleagues, or simply take a break from the stress. If you suddenly have to work from home, this is something you’ll miss dearly. You must go out of your way to set up “meetings” when at home, and it isn’t nearly the same.

The technology can take some getting used to

Zoom. Skype. Google Meet. Microsoft Teams. These are just a handful of the apps everyone has become intensely familiar with over the past six months. Installing these apps isn’t the only thing you need to do, however.

You have to set up and make sure that the webcam and mic are working, practically before every call. You will likely need good lighting and to make sure that there isn’t any distracting background noise. There’s just a whole lot to do now that you might never have had to think about before.

Does home insurance cover work from home?

Home insurance is property insurance covering any damages to assets inside the home. The right home insurance plan can cover everything, from your furniture to your electronic gadgets.

With more and more people working from home and likely using office devices, what your home insurance covers is a little murky. Overall, most people that are working from home now will fall under one of three categories.

Working from home because of the pandemic

If your company is making you work from home because of the pandemic, things are a little more clear cut for you. Any company property you use, such as an office laptop, should be covered under their corporate insurance plan in case of any loss or damage. I would recommend checking with someone in your workplace first, just to be sure.

Working from home as an independent contractor/freelancer

Remote work as an independent contractor or freelancer has its fair share of complications. Paying taxes is difficult, but so is figuring out homeowners’ insurance. A standard home insurance policy might not provide enough cover if you work from home. You might not be allowed to claim a personal laptop that you also use for work.

Ultimately, it all comes down to your insurance provider. It’s essential to have a conversation and dive into the finer details of what is and isn’t covered by your home insurance policy. If you’ve recently made the switch to remote work but plan to do so long-term, it’s a good idea to let the insurance company know.

Running your own business from your home

Tips and tricks to make work from home easier

Working from home is still a very new idea for many. It can also quickly become challenging to manage, once the initial sheen wears off. Here are a few things you can do to make the whole experience just a little better.

Get the right equipment: It’s vital to have the right equipment and setup. You might need to upgrade your internet plan to get a faster connection speed, or in case you deal with data caps. We’ll be taking a more detailed look at all the gear you might need to take your work from home experience to the next level.

Set up a home office: Having a separate workspace will help you get into the right mindset. It will also provide a place to leave and return to when you take a break, just to simulate how it would be in your office. You don’t need a separate room, of course. Even a desk tucked into a corner of your living room will do the trick. Don’t forget to check out our guide on how to set up a home office!

Decide on a fixed work schedule: Many consider the flexible hours a huge positive when working from home. However, time management can quickly get away from you, and you might find yourself struggling to meet deadlines and finish projects. You don’t have to be strict about it, but following a regular schedule makes approaching work a lot easier. It also gives you time to mentally “switch off” and be done with a workday.

Avoid distractions: There are distractions galore when working from home. The TV remote is within reach, you’d much rather spend time with family, and scrolling through Twitter and Instagram is probably more fun than work. A manager or colleagues aren’t around to look over your shoulder and make sure that you aren’t distracted either. There’s a lot you can do to stay focused when you’re working from home and get into a flow state.

Know when to disconnect: The ability to end your workday when working from home is as crucial as figuring out when to start. It will be tempting to power through to get all your work done. Not only will these long hours impact the quality of your work, but it could potentially affect your wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance becomes even more critical when you’re working from home long-term.

Getting the right gear

The sudden shift to work from home left quite a few people floundering for gear. The chair you’ll be sitting on all day needs to be as comfortable as possible. A good mic makes it much easier for everyone to hear you. A high-end webcam is useful for conference calls. A great pair of headphones ensures that you don’t miss anything during a call, and can help drown out any background noise at home. I can go on and on. Instead, let’s take a look at some of our top recommendations for work from home gear.

Picking the right laptop for the job

David Imel / Android Authority

Not everyone has or needs a high-end laptop for personal use. It doesn’t take much to browse the web and social media or watch the occasional movie or TV show online. However, if you need to run specialized software for work, you might need to upgrade your laptop. Some companies might provide a work laptop, but if you need to get a new one yourself, these are some of the best options to consider.

A solid mid-ranger: Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft’s fantastic line of 2-in-1’s gets better with every iteration. The latest in the lineup, the Surface Pro 7, is worth considering if you have a little more money to spend. It starts at around $800 for the version that comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of memory. You can upgrade the RAM and processor, with the highest-end model setting you back around $1500. Keep in mind that the Microsoft cover will cost extra, and it is quite expensive. Instead, you could consider one of the excellent keyboards we recommend below.

The best high-end laptop: MacBook Pro 13-inch

The MacBook Pro remains a crowd favorite for those in the market for a high-end laptop. Apple’s excellent craftsmanship shines through once again, and the 2023 edition also comes with the new Magic Keyboard and Touchbar. It comes with a 10th Gen Intel i5 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage. Four Thunderbolt 3 ports take care of all your connectivity needs. It’s up there in the price department, but there’s a reason why the MacBook Pro is so popular.

Unsurprisingly, the 13-inch MacBook Pro isn’t the most expensive option Apple has to offer. If you have more money to spend, you can get a larger screen, an i9 processor, and 32GB of RAM with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. It isn’t our main recommendation because it’s likely overkill for most users. If you’re a power user, though, there are not many others worth considering.

Are you looking for even more options? Check out our roundup of the best laptops you can buy!

Consider a desktop instead

You might not want to do “work stuff” on a personal laptop, especially if you’re used to having a private workstation in the office. Since you’ll probably look into creating a separate office space in your home, a desktop is an excellent way to set this area apart. The feeling of “going to” and “leaving” work when you step away from your desk helps too.

Desktop vs laptop: Which should you get to work from home?

A budget-friendly desktop to consider: Dell Inspiron Desktop 3880

Amazon

The Dell Inspiron Desktop 3880 starts at around $450. It’s an excellent affordable option to consider. If you aren’t happy with the 10th gen i3 processor, even the high-end i7 iteration is relatively inexpensive at $800. Depending on the model, it comes with up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. There’s no shortage of connectivity, with 8 USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and more.

An excellent all-in-one: HP 27 Pavilion

Amazon

The HP 27 comes with the specs and features of a far-more expensive laptop and falls in the mid-range category. You get the 10th Gen i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, 1TB of HDD storage, and a 27-inch Full HD display. There also are USB-A and USB-C ports, an SD card reader, and an ethernet port to cover all of your connectivity needs. It’s a sleek and beautifully-designed device that will look fantastic on any desk.

For Apple fans: new iMac (2024) 27-inch

Apple

Any macOS or iOS user will swear that there’s only one answer to the right desktop question — the iMac. The 2023 refresh is a major upgrade. It comes with a 27-inch 5K Retina Display, a 10th Gen i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. Connectivity includes four USB-A ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and an ethernet port. It also has one of the best built-in webcams you’ll find on a desktop. Unsurprisingly, the iMac is quite expensive but is completely worth it.

Are you a power user who has $5,000 to spare? You might want to look into the iMac Pro instead.

You need a good desk

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Staying sedentary for a long time is bad for your health. From poor posture and a stiff back to potential cardiovascular issues down the road, sitting all day is something we should all avoid. When you’re in an office, you probably get up for meetings, coffee breaks, or to simply chat with co-workers. A large part of that interaction goes away when you work from home. You’ll have to continually remind yourself to take a break and stay active, but no one wants to break their workflow either.

Standing desks vs converter desks

The entire flat top section of a standing desk comes up and goes down with you. The more expensive options have motors and do this automatically. You can save some money by opting for a manual version, but that might be inconvenient and take too long.

On the other hand, a converter desk, or riser, is ideal for anyone that doesn’t have room for a large desk, or already has a work desk or table. These are usually easier to assemble, offer more flexibility, and aren’t as expensive.

Our recommendations

Fully Jarvis bamboo standing desk

Fully

The Fully Jarvis bamboo standing desk is a beautiful sit/stand desk that is also eco-friendly. You can customize the size, choosing from a range that starts at 30 x 24 inches and goes all the way up to 78 x 30 inches. A simple up-down toggle and programmable presets makes switching between sitting and standing quick and easy. Further options include the ability to add wire management grommets, and Fully also offers grommets with plug points and USB ports. The Fully Jarvis bamboo standing desk starts at $559.

VariDesk Basic 30

Amazon

A very well-known brand in the standing desk category, Varidesk offers an excellent range of standing desks and risers. VariDesk has a slew of high-end standing desk converters available. For most users, however, the Basic 30 will more than get the job done. It comes with a two-tier design that lets you adjust the height according to your needs, with 11 adjustable settings. It’s big, spacious, and has a 25lb weight limit. It’s also priced at just around $200.

Looking for even more options? Here are some excellent standing desks worth checking out!

Pick a good monitor

Anybody who spends all day in front of a computer screen knows the value of a good monitor. If you’re moving to a home office setup, your laptop screen may not cut it. Luckily, there are a lot of great monitors you can choose from, and most are relatively affordable as well.

Best budget-pick: LG 32QN600-B

Amazon

This 32-inch LG monitor is a great budget-friendly pick. It may not be the best for gaming with a 5ms response time, but the 2K display with HDR10 capability should be perfect for getting work done or streaming your favorite shows. You can also mount it on your wall with the VESA mount and attach peripherals with two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort option. If you were hoping for a higher resolution, LG has got you covered.

The best cheap 4K monitor: Dell U2720Q

The Dell U2720Q is a great monitor for productivity. The 27-inch IPS display comes with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, accurate color reproduction, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 5ms response time. You get only one HDMI and DisplayPort, but a USB-C port provides a solution with up 90W power delivery to keep your laptop or device charged while transferring data and video. It’s beautifully designed too, with a small, compact base and a near-borderless frame.

The best high-end monitor: BenQ PD2720U

Amazon

The BenQ PD2720U is one of the best monitors you can get. The 27-inch IPS LCD screen comes with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. Its color accuracy is its most significant selling point. It comes with professional CAD/CAM, Darkroom, and Animation display modes. It also supports HDR10 content.

It’s also not lacking in connectivity. It comes with two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports (upstream and downstream) to provide a single-cable solution for charging and data transfers. The stand lets you tilt and swivel the monitor and find the optimal angle. It’s an expensive monitor, though, but it is well worth it. If you’re looking for even more screen real estate, you can also get the 32-inch model for an additional $100.

Getting the right headphones for the job

Adam Molina / Android Authority

A good pair of headphones or earbuds is a must-have if you work from home and mainly if you attend a lot of conference calls. Using your laptop audio or other external speakers isn’t a good idea since there’s usually some kind of feedback and echo. Headphones also ensure that anything discussed on the call stays private from roommates or family.

Have noisy kids, loud roommates, or dealing with construction right outside your window? You might want to splurge on noise-canceling headphones to keep you focused on work.

The best noise-canceling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4

Adam Molina / Android Authority

The Sony WH-1000XM3 already were a fantastic pair of noise-canceling headphones, and their successor is even better. The WH-1000XM4 comes with additional features to provide an exceptional audio experience. It also offers outstanding call quality, which is more important in the work from home context. A 30-hour battery life and fast charging capabilities round out a reliable package. It’s expensive, but you get what you pay for.

An affordable alternative: AKG N60NC

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. The AKG N60NC is a quarter of the price of the Sony but it offers really good audio and call quality. It also comes with 30-hour battery life, while its foldable design makes it a good travel companion. If active noise-canceling is a requirement, this is one of the best relatively inexpensive options you can get.

A good keyboard makes all the difference

Adam Sinicki / Android Authority

Sleek and ultra-thin laptops are great for portability and they certainly look good. However, their form factor doesn’t lend to a great typing experience in most cases. If your job involves typing away on a keyboard for hours on end, you might want to get one that makes it easier.

The best ergonomic keyboard: Logitech Ergo K860

The Logitech Ergo K860 is a Bluetooth keyboard ideal for those that want full, but portable, functionality. Its unique curved design allows you to type naturally and puts less strain on your wrists. The Ergo in the name is reflected in more ergonomic design features, including the wrist support pad that makes typing that bit more comfortable. You can plug the keyboard into your laptop or PC, or use it wirelessly via Bluetooth from up to 10 meters away.

The best full-size keyboard: Microsoft Surface Keyboard

The Microsoft Surface Keyboard is meant to be used mainly with Microsoft’s lineup of Surface tablets and PCs, but won’t look out of place on any desk. It’s a full-size keyboard with a dedicated number pad on the side. The nice-looking soft gray finish falls in line with Surface aesthetics. You also get optimized key feedback for a smooth typing experience.

The best mechanical keyboard: Das Keyboard 4 Professional

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional offers attention to detail that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Key inscriptions are laser etched, and the aluminum top can withstand plenty of wear and tear. The keys are made to last over 50 million presses. The media buttons are convenient, and the large volume knob is very nice to have. The typing experience is top-notch, with a lot of travel and superior tactile feedback. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely among the best mechanical keyboards you can get.

A better mouse is worth buying

The best computer mouse can make a significant difference in comfort, performance, and precision. There are a lot of options available, and we’ve included two different types below. Of course, you should also check out our complete roundups via the links below.

Logitech MX Vertical

Logitech

Logitech is one of the best PC accessory makers around, so it’s no surprise that they have multiple devices featured on this list. Another great device is the Logitech MX Vertical. According to Logitech, the MX Vertical offers up to a 10-percent reduction in muscle strain due to the mouse’s tilt angle of 57 degrees. Apart from the solid ergonomics, the MX Vertical also offers several distinct features. The mouse provides up to four months of battery life and can be recharged through the USB-C port.

External storage devices are useful

You might run out of storage on your laptop or PC if you suddenly have to use it to save all your work files as well. You could upgrade the internal storage if it’s customizable, but an easier alternative for most would be an external hard drive. It’s a useful way to backup your data, and it’ll let you store work and personal files separately. You can also just take it with you once you can go back to the office.

Samsung T5

Unlike mechanical hard drives, the Samsung T5 is an external solid-state drive (SSD). That means there are no moving parts to worry about. The Samsung T5 is incredibly slim and compact, easily fitting in a shirt pocket. Thanks to its use of Samsung’s V-NAND flash memory and USB-C, the T5 provides incredible transfer speeds of up to 540Mbps. It’s expensive but worth every penny.

SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD offers super-fast read and write speeds of up to 550 and 500Mbps, respectively. Apart from being speedy, what makes this external drive stand out is that it’s rugged. The portable SSD features an IP55 rating for protection against water and dust. It can also withstand drops from up to two meters onto a concrete floor.

You’ll find plenty of other options in our complete roundup of the best external hard-drives!

A webcam is essential!

You probably have a webcam built into your laptop. But, unless it’s the feature you took particular interest in, it’s safe to say that it won’t be the best quality. Dedicated webcams can significantly improve image quality over what laptops offer. They are your only option if you own a desktop computer too. With everybody on Zoom now, a good webcam is a must.

Razer Kiyo

The Razer Kiyo might be intended for gamers, but it’s great for video calls too. The unit comes with a circular light that makes exposure more even. The definition is crisp and smooth at 1080p@30fps. It also doesn’t cost much more than the best affordable webcams you can get either.

See also: The best webcams you can buy

Make yourself heard with a good microphone

Your audio setup can make or break the experience of a work call. Not hearing someone because of a lousy laptop mic is far too familiar. But everyone will listen to what you have to say if you have a good microphone. It’s also exactly what you need to kickstart that quarantine podcast you’ve been planning. Here are some of the best microphones you can get.

The best in the game: Blue Yeti X

Chris Thomas / Android Authority

Blue makes some of the best microphones in the business, and the Yeti X is another excellent addition to the series. The Yeti X has a MicroUSB output, as well as a 3.5mm headphone monitoring output. A gain knob with LED lights shows if you are peaking or close to peaking. You can also select your recording pattern. The Yeti X also records 24-bit audio at 48kHz, so you’re afforded some wiggle room for edits in post-production. It’s expensive, but you get the best.

Frequently asked questions

How To Transfer Pokémon From Pokémon Go To Pokémon Home.

If you have a massive collection of Pokemon in Pokemon Go and would like to transfer some of them to Pokemon HOME. This article will show you how to quickly and easily move Pokemon from Pokemon Go on Android and iOS over to Pokemon HOME on Android and iOS. Pokemon HOME is a brilliant new feature that lets you store pokemon in the cloud for a bunch of different Pokemon games.

Related: How to Get Pokemon Revolution. The Best Pokemon Game You’ve Never Heard Of. ( A Pokemon MMO).

Pokemon Go has been around for a long time now and it has morphed into a fantastic Pokemon game in its own right. It’s gradually becoming an important part of the Pokemon universe rather than a stand-alone mobile game. With the introduction of Pokemon HOME, it’s now possible to transfer your Pokemon from Pokemon GO to Pokemon HOME. A cloud-based storage system for storing Pokemon from a range of different games.

If you aren’t familiar with Pokemon HOME, you can download it for Android here and iOS here. Pokemon HOME allows you to link your Pokemon Go and Nintendo accounts together via the Pokemon HOME app, giving you the ability to transfer Pokemon from selected Pokemon games, including Pokemon go to a single cloud storage location. Although there are some limitations the process is relatively easy and quite an awesome addition to the Pokemon franchise.

Before you jump in and start the steps below, make sure you have installed Pokemon HOME and completed the basic setup. It only takes a few seconds. There is also a list of limitations at the end of this guide that you should check out as well.

IMPORTANT: Once you have sent a pokemon from Pokemon GO to Pokemon HOME you can’t send it back.

How do you link your Pokémon GO and Pokémon HOME accounts?

To begin, the first thing you are going to need to do is to link your Pokemon Go account to your Nintendo Account.

Now scroll to the very bottom of the page and tap Pokemon HOME.

Here you will see the option to Sign-in using your Nintendo account. Tap this then sign in to your account.

Now that you have linked your accounts you will be able to start sending pokemon from Pokemon Go to Pokemon HOME.

How do you send Pokémon from Pokémon GO to Pokémon HOME?

Now that you have linked Pokemon Go with Pokemon Home, you can start sending Pokemon.

Now scroll to the very bottom of the page and tap Pokemon HOME

You will now be able to see all the Pokemon in your Pokemon GO inventory. Simply pick one then tap Next,

If you have enough GO Transporter Energy you can tap Transport to send your Pokemon to Pokemon HOME. However, you will want to read the disclaimer first, as there is important information regarding other Pokemon games.

How do you receive a Pokémon in Pokémon HOME?

Now that you have sent a Pokemon from Pokemon Go to Pokemon HOME you’ll need to receive it.

Once you have sent a Pokemon from Pokemon GO to Pokemon HOME open the Pokemon HOME app.

As soon as you open the app you will see a message saying “One or more Pokémon have been transferred from Pokemon Go” Do you want to receive them? Obviously, you are going to want to tap Yes.

To view your Pokemon just change to the Pokemon tab at the top of the Pokemon HOME app.

Rules and restrictions of Pokémon GO to Pokémon HOME transfers.

As always there are some limitations when it comes to transferring Pokémon. In order to transfer Pokémon, you must use the GO Transporter, which uses transfer Energy. Each Pokémon uses different amounts of energy, the rarer the Pokémon, the more energy it will need. This will limit how many pokemon and what Pokemon you transfer. This energy recharges automatically after a few days, but you can use PokeCoins to charge it instantly.

Some special Pokémon, such as Shadow Pokémon and Special Event Pokémon (Celebratory Attire, etc), cannot be transferred. Favourites and buddy Pokemon also can’t be transferred so you will have to unfavourite and un-buddy them to transfer them.

The Pokémon GO and Pokémon HOME account link is not permanent and you can have more than one Pokémon GO account linked to the same Pokémon HOME account. This means you can send Pokémon from two or more different Pokémon GO accounts.

This Map Shows How Food Travels From Farms To Your Home

My team at the University of Illinois just developed the first high-resolution map of the U.S. food supply chain.

Our map is a comprehensive snapshot of all food flows between counties in the US—grains, fruits and vegetables, animal feed, and processed food items.

To build the map, we brought together information from eight databases, including the Freight Analysis Framework from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which tracks where items are shipped around the country, and Port Trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which shows the international ports through which goods are traded.

We also released this information in a publicly available database.

What does this map reveal?

1. Where your food comes from

Now, residents in each county can see how they are connected to all other counties in the country via food transfers. Overall, there are 9.5 million links between counties on our map.

All Americans, from urban to rural are connected through the food system. Consumers all rely on distant producers, agricultural processing plants, food storage like grain silos and grocery stores, and food transportation systems.

For example, the map shows how a shipment of corn starts at a farm in Illinois and travels to a grain elevator in Iowa before heading to a feedlot in Kansas, and then travels in animal products being sent to grocery stores in Chicago.

2. Where the food hubs are

At 22 million tons of food, Los Angeles County received more food than any other county in 2012, our study year. It also shipped out the most of any county: almost 17 million tons.

California’s Fresno County and Stanislaus County are the next largest, respectively. In fact, many of the counties that shipped and received the most food were located in California. This is due to the several large urban centers, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the productive Central Valley in California.

We also looked for the core counties—the places that are most central to the overall structure of the food supply network. A disruption to any of these counties may have ripple effects for the food supply chain of the entire country.

We did this by looking for counties with the largest number of connections to others, as well as those that score highly in a factor called “betweenness centrality,” a measurement of the places with the largest fraction of the shortest paths.

San Bernardino County led the list, followed again by a number of other California transit hubs. Also on the list are Maricopa County, Arizona, Shelby County, Tennessee, and Harris County, Texas.

However, our estimates are for 2012, an extreme drought year in the Cornbelt. So, in another year, the network may look different. It’s possible that counties within the Cornbelt would show up as more critical in non-drought years. This is something that we hope to dig into in future work.

3. How food travels from place to place

We also looked at how much food is transported between one county and another.

Many of the largest food transport links were within California. This indicates that there is a lot of internal food movement within the state.

One of the largest links is from Niagara County to Erie County in New York. That’s due to the flow of food through an important international overland port with Canada.

Some of the other largest links were inside the counties themselves. This is because of moving food items around for manufacturing within a county—for example, milk gets off a truck at a large depot and is then shipped to a yogurt facility, then the yogurt is moved to a grocery distribution warehouse, all within the same county.

The food supply chain relies on a complex web of interconnected infrastructure. For example, a lot of grain produced throughout the Midwest is transported to the Port of New Orleans for export. This primarily occurs via the waterways of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

The infrastructure along these waterways—such as locks 52 and 53—are critical, but have not been overhauled since their construction in 1929. They represent a serious bottleneck, slowing down innumerable supply chains nationwide, including that of grain. If they were to fail entirely, then commodity transport and supply chains would be completely disrupted.

In future work, we hope to evaluate the specific infrastructure that is critical to the U.S. food supply chain.

Correction: Los Angeles County received 22 millions tons of food and shipped 17 million tons, not vice versa.

Megan Konar is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This story originally featured on The Conversation.

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