This year, many workers are in the home office. Some have been doing this for a long time, others had to go into the home office relatively spontaneously. But what hardware or software do you need to work effectively in a home office?
In order to be reachable in the home office, many companies rely on cell phones. There are different approaches: Some employers provide a business cell phone, others let employees work from their personal cell/phone (and may contribute to the cell phone bill).
In both cases, however, a favorable cell phone contract makes a lot of sense. In the best case one has telephony flat rates in its cell phone contract, so that no additional costs can arise with increased telephoning. It is important for outgoing calls that you suppress your own phone number if you use your private phone or cell phone.
There is also the possibility that the employer redirects the telephone line via VOIP, e.g. to the notebook of the employees. This way you can also use the employer’s phone line (and the phone number to the outside world) to make calls. In order to not only be reachable, but also to be able to work productively, employees need an appropriate notebook or a fixed PC. Of course, the familiar software must be installed on the notebooks / PCs in order to actually be able to work.
There are different approaches. The simplest method is to access the PC in the office via Teamviewer. To do this, however, the PC in the office must be permanently on and, in principle, you work from the home office directly on the PC in the office.
It is also possible to access the network in the office via VPN tunnels. One of the best VPN providers on the market is express VPN. This can be solved via hardware, but also via software. The home office PC / laptop is then in the network in the office and you have access to the network drives, etc.. Optionally, you can of course use other hardware in the home office. For example, printers, additional monitors, headsets, cameras for video conferencing and much more. However, this depends strongly on the actual activity and will be different for all employees in the home office.
Tips for the perfect home office equipment
In 2021, we’ll still be working from our home office on a regular basis. With no end to home offices in sight due to the current Corona situation, it’s even more important that we can work well at home and feel comfortable at our home office. We show ten products that are part of a good home office.
For a good home office equipment you need various components, including technology equipment, office furniture and a few individual accessories. We’ve put together an overview of the most important products that will help you work well from home. Besides the laptop, which is usually provided by your employer, you need a lot more to work efficiently from your home office. We show practical examples for the perfect home office equipment:
While in some offices you have the luxury of being able to use two monitors, at home you sometimes have to make do with your laptop. Are you thinking about buying a monitor for your home office? We recommend a BenQ monitor, one of the best tested monitors by Stiftung Warentest at 24 inches and the cheapest among the first place winners.
This monitor from BenQ received the overall rating “good (2.3)” in the “test” issue 8/2019. The environmental properties, picture quality, and versatility were particularly praised in this model. To protect your neck when working at the screen, a monitor stand like the one from Bontec is also a good idea: The screen is raised to a comfortable height by the stand, which improves your overall posture. At the same time, it provides additional space for your desk utensils.
Noise-canceling headphones for concentrated work
Need to concentrate, but your kids are playing catch behind you? Especially for those who don’t have a separate study, working in a home office is a challenge when the rest of the family is also at home. Headphones with noise-canceling function provide a remedy here.
- Once again, we recommend a product that Stiftung Warentest found to be good: the Skullcandy Venue headphones. These headphones are among the best headphones with active noise reduction, but they do not cost around 300 euros like the other models, but much less.
- The Skullcandy Venue headphones received the “test” quality rating “good (2.0)” in the September 2020 issue of Stiftung Warentest. Particularly noteworthy are its good test results in the areas of durability, sound as well as interference.
- Conclusion: A pair of headphones with quality, but more than 100 euros cheaper than comparable models.
The multifunction printer as a personal assistant
For a perfect home office, a printer should not be missing from this list. But it should not only be able to print, but also scan and copy. We recommend a multifunction printer for this, namely the Canon Pixma G7050. In the last test of such devices by Stiftung Warentest, Canon’s multifunction printer received the “test” quality rating “good (2.3)” and was thus the clear test winner. It stood out positively above all due to its economy: Printing costs are just 0.3 cents per page of text.
Thanks to the WiFi function, wireless printing is also possible. In addition, the model has a copy and scan function and thus offers everything you need in modern office life. To get started as quickly as possible, don’t forget to order the printer or copy paper right away.
Office desk or small laptop desk?
Which desk is the right one depends on your living situation. If you have a separate study, for example, a compact office table with plenty of storage space is worthwhile. A modern model is the Flexispot table, which is height-adjustable simply at the touch of a button. However, if the desk is to be placed in the living room or bedroom, then you should choose a discreet, minimalist model, which will match your room furniture. Our tip for this is the desk Gava from My Home, which is available in three different colors and offers a good complement with its minimalist-modern design.
Our tip: desks should be located near the window because of the daylight. The desk height is right for you if you can rest your arms comfortably on the tabletop.
Do you need an office chair?
Anyone who regularly works from home should attach importance to a chair with high seating comfort. After all, the wrong chair leads to incorrect posture and thus back pain. The choice of office chair also depends on the rest of your furniture. For example, this popular height-adjustable desk chair from SixBros. is also well suited for the living room, costs relatively little and comes in a classic design.
Another recommended model is the Nowy Styl Net Motion office chair, which was named “Practical Test Winner” by Stiftung Warentest. With the “test” quality rating “good (1.9)” this model received above all the best mark in the handling category (“very good”): the chair is easy to adjust and has very durable castors that are gentle on the floor.
- A seat ball offers a good alternative to the office chair. It actively tenses the back muscles and thus improves posture when sitting.
- Popular balls include the gymnastics ball from Trideer or the Yoba100 seat ball from Sportstech, whose removable cover makes it easy to clean and also gives it a classy look.
- However, since the strain on the muscles can become exhausting in the long run, we recommend using the seat ball rather as a relieving change for the moment. It is also ideal for relaxing gymnastic exercises in between.