The Best Work From Home Tools 2021
Published November 2021
by Linus Tan
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped many things about our lives - from our businesses and home lives, to how we interact with others. Most of all, the pandemic has seen a dramatic shift to working from home as compared to traditional offices.
While we move towards living with the virus, it appears that working from home will not be disappearing anytime soon, with many companies opting to re-scale operations to involve a hybrid work environment.
We put together a list of the best tools to make your work-from-home environment a little more effective. Let's dive in!
#1: Jabra Evolve2 30 Headphones
#2: Asus ZenWifi AX (XT8) Mesh Wi-Fi Router
#3: Rain Design iLevel 2 Laptop Stand
#4: Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair
#5: Logitech MX Master 3
#1 Jabra Evolve2 30 Headphones
The first thing on our list would be a good pair of headphones. We've all felt the pain of crackling audio, poor microphone quality, or just the simple discomfort of having to wear a headset for hours on end. Online meetings are an essential part of working from home - thus, you simply cannot go without a good headset.
This is where the Jabra Evolve2 30 comes in.
The Jabra Evolve2 30 is a lightweight, comfortable pair of office headphones that can be used both at work or for music. Users have noted that the ear cups and underside of the headband (often a point of discomfort for headphone users), are all very well-cushioned to ensure that even in the longest of meetings, you will not have to worry about aches and pains. Furthermore, despite how generous Jabra is with the cushioning, the Jabra Evolve2 30 remains extremely lightweight and portable - you'll barely even notice it's there! Additionally, the Jabra Evolve2 30 has a subtle, but very useful feature - an LED on the right earcup that lights up when you're on a call so that you won't risk family members unknowingly interrupting you.
The audio quality offered by the Jabra Evolve2 30 is also exceptional. The Jabra Evolve2 30 is a stereo headset, meaning that it can also be used to listen to music. Furthermore, it performs extremely well, with a very well-balanced, rich sound. While perhaps the specifics of the Jabra Evolve 2 30's sound signature may be more of a point of concern for those interested in the musical aspect, this also means that you can say goodbye to having to strain to hear what your colleague is saying, or having to repeatedly ask your boss to repeat themselves. There simply is no better than the Jabra Evolve2 30's crisp, balanced audio.
The Jabra Evolve2 30 also shines when it comes to microphone quality. Users have raved about the Jabra Evolve 2 30's impeccable sound isolation, as the Evolve 2 30 does a spectacular job of muffling out environmental noise. This means that every word you say will be heard with extreme clarity so that you no longer have to worry about your message coming across muffled or unintelligible, or suffer through the embarrassing moment of having a background scream cut you off halfway. Furthermore, the boom mic can be easily rotated to suit your personal convenience.
However, something of note would be that the Jabra Evolve2 30 is a wired headset - for those looking for a pair of Bluetooth headphones, the Jabra Evolve2 30 unfortunately does not offer that.
Priced affordably, and with an array of features that seek to make your meeting experience as comfortable as possible, this is the best pair of headphones to use when working from home. Does this sound up your alley? Shop the Jabra Evolve2 30 here.
#2 Asus ZenWifi AX (XT8) Mesh Wi-Fi Router
When it comes to working from home, a good wi-fi connection becomes an absolute necessity. From receiving emails and completing online tasks to attending meeting after meeting, once your wi-fi connection is lost you are metaphorically stranded at sea and a loss. Hence, we recommend the Asus ZenWifi AX (XT8) Mesh Wi-Fi Router as a good upgrade for your home - even when not working from home, this will ensure that you can optimise your internet experience for leisure.
The Asus ZenWifi AX XT8 system comprises two devices that can cover up to 5500 square feet in your home - pretty impressive! These devices also feature a minimalistic white design, ensuring that they will fit in nicely with any modern home. Furthermore, the mesh system has an easy way of identifying the quality of your connection through an LED indicator on the front. The indicator will turn white or yellow when the signal is strong or weak respectively and will turn red when the signal is lost.
Connectivity-wise, the Asus ZenWifi AX XT8 system makes use of 802.11ax technology, which is faster than the regular mesh systems which make use of 802.11ac technology. Thus, you can rest assured that you won't have to suffer any annoying buffering in your meetings or wait for ages for that one email to load.
However, what truly makes the Asus ZenWifi AX XT8 system stand out is its anti-malware technology. With your purchase comes a lifetime subscription to AIProtection Pro, Asus's custom array of protective features as well as parental control tools. These features can be accessed through the mobile app. Not only does this ensure that your sensitive work information will not be compromised, but it also means that you can set restrictions on your family members' internet activity should you wish to do so.
All in all, the Asus ZenWifi AX XT8 system is an extremely user-friendly, relatively affordable upgrade for your home wi-fi that will optimise both your home and work experience. If this sounds like what you need, you can shop the Asus ZenWifi AX (XT8) Mesh Wi-Fi Router here.
#3 Rain Design iLevel 2 Laptop Stand
When it comes to working from home, we cannot escape using a laptop. With that, comes endless days of hunching over your keyboard for hours on end, squinting at the screen and feeling your back crack ominously when you finally get up to stretch at the end of your shift. Not only does this compromise your neck and back, but it also implies frightening long-lasting consequences, especially as working from home becomes the norm. Thus, we highly recommend the use of a laptop stand - and there is simply no better than the Rain Design iLevel 2.
The Rain Design iLevel 2 is an easily adjustable laptop stand and can raise your laptop stand above your desk surface by about 15 to 20 centimetres. However, what's really cool about this laptop stand is just how easy it is to adjust. Compared to another commercial model, which may require you to manually fiddle about to adjust the stand to a select few pre-set levels, you can adjust the Rain Design iLevel 2 simply by shifting a knob, ensuring that your experience is perfectly tailored for your personal comfort.
The Rain Design iLevel 2 also has an aluminium base, which ensures that heat is conducted away from your laptop to cool it off. After all, we've all heard the terrifying stories of devices exploding without warning, and with how much time we spend on our laptops working from home, it is essential to prevent our laptops from overheating. For those who make use of additional keyboards, the Rain Design iLevel 2 is also designed such that your keyboard can be neatly stashed underneath the main base, allowing you to optimise your space.
There is simply no compromise for your personal health when it comes down to it, and it is paramount to allow yourself to practice good posture before it is too late. The Rain Design iLevel 2 offers great relief in this respect, and if you find that this is a problem you would like fixed, you can shop the Rain Design iLevel 2 here.
#4 Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair
On the topic of posture, we simply cannot avoid discussing office chairs. While some of us may migrate to our couches or even our beds for comfort or a change in scenery, at the end of the day, a good office chair is an irreplaceable part of our working from home experience. Hence, we recommend the Herman Miller Aeron office chair.
When it comes to an ergonomic office chair that really delivers on support, the Herman Miller Aeron does it all.
This is largely due to Herman Miller Aeron's PostureFit SL mechanism. Made of high-density foam, this follows the natural curve of your back to ensure that you receive good support while you're typing out your reports. Furthermore, the Aeron also features a leaf spring mechanism which also allows for better support when it comes to the tilt of the chair, as it provides better stability overall.
Another concern that many people have when it comes to sitting for extended periods of time is poor circulation - especially for those who have to work extended hours in front of the laptop, this can pose a real health risk. Thankfully, the Herman Miller Aeron also takes this into account, featuring a waterfall design that allows for increased circulation. This is not only a boon to your long-term health but also improves your productivity by ensuring that your brain is getting the right amount of nutrients and oxygen needed.
Finally, the Herman Miller Aeron is made of a highly breathable woven pellicle material. Our bodies naturally radiate heat, and with a poorly constructed office chair, this heat may be trapped and result in a lot of discomforts. However, the use of pellicle material ensures that this heat is dispersed effectively, allowing for a smooth and comfortable experience.
Overall, while the Herman Miller Aeron definitely lies on the expensive end of the spectrum, it is an extremely worthwhile investment that will last you a very long time. If this sounds like what you need, shop the Herman Miller Aeron here.
#5 Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse
Finally, we can't talk about working from home without discussing an essential part of the experience - a computer mouse. Should you add them up, we're sure that the number of clicks made by a computer mouse would easily add up to the hundreds in a day alone. Thus, spending hours on end with your fingers cramped in the same position is both physically uncomfortable and also paves the way for potential long-term health effects. As such, we recommend investing in the Logitech MX Master 3 computer mouse.
When it comes to ergonomic design, the Logitech MX Master 3 blows it out of the water. The Master 3 comes with a bump at the palm rest to provide support to your hand, and also features a thumb wing so that your fingers may rest in a comfortable position. Additionally, the palm and side grips are rubberised, preventing those pesky instances where a build-up of palm sweat causes your hand to slide around on your computer mouse.
The Logitech MX Master 3 comes with eight buttons. The "main" buttons featured would be the regular two-click panels, scroll wheel, and an additional button below the scroll wheel to allow you to toggle between precision scrolling and free-wheeling. The side has two macro buttons, an additional scroll wheel, and a final button that acts somewhat like a keyboard's function key. Despite all this, the Master 3 does not compromise on user-friendliness, with all the buttons within easy reach. Furthermore, the Logitech MX Master 3 only weighs in at 0.14 kg and is an exceptionally sleek and lightweight mouse.
Finally, the Logitech MX Master 3 also has some additional features to further optimise your user experience. One of these features would be the implementation of an electromagnetic scroll wheel. This introduces magnetic resistance to your scrolling so that the resistance you experience while scrolling is adjusted automatically based on your scrolling speed. This means that you no longer have to fear over-scrolling. Additionally, the Master 3 is also said to be capable of scrolling up to 1000 lines per second. Furthermore, the Logitech MX Master 3 is also said to be optimised to work on any surface - even glass! Hence, no matter where you're working from, you can count on the Master 3 has your back.
Overall, the Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the best choices out there for a better work-from-home experience. Although it does lean slightly pricier, it definitely is worth every penny. If this sounds like it's a good fit for you, you can shop the Logitech MX Master 3 here.
Adapting to the pandemic has been difficult on all of us, particularly as we have been catapulted into a completely different system of living. We hope that with the recommendations above, we may provide some comfort to your work-from-home experience. After all, we're all in this together, and we at Synced are sure that we will emerge stronger from this.
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