Four Tools for Hybrid Workers
While the number of people who have returned to the office is close to the highest it has been since the start of the pandemic, a large number of workers are still either telecommuting or participating in a hybrid model.
The Kastle Back to Work Barometer, which measures office occupancy, finds the average occupancy for 10 major cities now stands at 46.9%. For those working from home, however, there’s an increasing need to have equipment and tools that make the home office as convenient and functional as the workplace.
The days of working from the couch in sweatpants, in other words, are largely over.
Fortunately, there are a variety of tech tools that make it easier to get the job done from home. Here are a few that have come out recently that could be of great benefit to telecommuters.
1. Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad 4K docking station
Getting work done on a single laptop screen can be a challenge for some people (especially extreme multitaskers), but there haven’t been a lot of alternatives. Plugable’s Quad 4K docking station will let you run up to four monitors from your laptop with no slowdown in processing power. Using a Thunderbolt connection, the station dramatically expands your workspace and lets you quickly view multiple browser tabs or spreadsheets, speeding up your work day. It also offers four extra USB ports (two of which are 10 Gbps), an additional USB-C port, an ethernet port, a slot for Micro SD cards and more. (Price: $299)
2. Geneverse HomePower PRO Plus
Deadlines don’t slow down if the power goes out at your house. And not all bosses are sympathetic, since the office has redundant backups to ensure work goes on. Generators help, but largely have to be kept outdoors, meaning you’ll need an extra-long extension to keep the juice flowing to your workstation.
Geneverse’s HomePower line is an exception. Safe to use indoors, as it is battery operated, the HomePower PRO Plus has a capacity of 4838Wh, 4400W of rated power and a surge power of 8800W. With 18 outlets and wheels to make it easy to move around, the system uses solar power to charge, so when you’ve tapped its extensive charge, just move it outside and it will be ready to go again in 2-4 hours. It even gives you an idea of how long the battery will last running different technology (laptops to refrigerators). (Price: TBD, available Q2 2023)
3. Lenovo Yoga Book 9i
Returning to the theme of multiple screens, Lenovo unveiled this dual screen laptop at CES and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It offers a pair of OLED displays that can be configured in several ways—stacked vertically, side by side horizontally and more. The keyboard is detachable, and if you don’t need two monitors, just open the Yoga Book 9i like a traditional laptop and the second screen will automatically display an on-screen one with haptic feedback. (Price: $2,100)
4. Logitech Brio 300 webcam series and Zone True Wireless earbuds
If you work at home, you likely have a steady stream of teleconferences, so you’ll want a camera that is clear and easy to use. The Brio 300 webcams use USB-C to ensure you can be seen and heard clearly, with proprietary light correction, which erases worries about appearing to be in a dark room. The Brio 305 is also environmentally friendly, made of 48% recycled plastic. To double up on the advantages, consider investing in a pair of Logitech’s Zone True Wireless earbuds ($299), which let you simultaneously connect to your computer and smartphone and are equipped with a noise cancelling microphone. (Price: $70)
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