How to be ready for your CLOSE UP – HOME OFFICE in a hurry!

Thanks to work-related Zooms and virtual happy hours, we’re living on camera like never before. Try these tips from our in house design team to make sure your space is camera ready. 

You need :

1. A room with a door you can close for privacy and freedom from noise.

Sound waves carry through air and, to a lesser extent, through certain types of construction  materials such as metal and wood. The solution to a noisy room is to incorporate sound-dampening objects and materials, which will help absorb sound waves and keep them from becoming irritating or overwhelming. 

Sound proof your room: 48 Pack Acoustic Foam Panel Wedge Studio Soundproofing Wall Tiles 12″ X 12″ X1

2. A desk with ample space.

If you have a bigger space, an L-shaped desk could be a great option. This desk on Amazon is long enough to hold a second monitor or house a printer, but it won’t take up too much space in your home at just 50 inches long. You could also opt to purchase two and create a U-shaped workspace that would make for a great gaming setup.

Feel good about your desk: Mr IRONSTONE L-Shaped Desk 50.8″ Computer Corner Desk, Home Gaming Desk, Office Writing Workstation with Large Monitor Stand, Space-Saving, Easy to Assemble, Black  

3. Sufficient artificial and /or natural light

Where you place your lights is critical in avoiding glare and shadows.  For instance, an overhead spotlight situated behind you can result in glare on your computer screen.  To avoid shadows created by task lamps, place the light on the side opposite from the hand that you write with.  If it’s on the same side, your hand and arm may cast shadows.

Get good lighting: TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp, Eye-caring Table Lamps, Dimmable Office Lamp with USB Charging Port, 5 Lighting Modes with 7 Brightness Levels, Touch Control, White, 12W, Philips EnabLED Licensing Program

4. Nearby outlets where you can plug in your devices

Multiple plug outlets work with your existing grounded 3 prong receptacle to create a charging station in your home, office, bedroom, kitchen or any area with limited outlets suitable for any occasion.

Keep everything charged: Belkin 6-Outlet USB Surge Protector, Wall Mount – Ideal for Mobile Devices, Personal Electronics, Small Appliances and More (900 Joules)

5. An uncluttered area to serve as a video conferencing backdrop.

Let your creative side out and showcase your aesthetic taste by creating an appealing backdrop that not only livens up your video meetings but also exudes positive vibes to the participants.  Incorporate cheerful seasonal elements to brighten up the mood and aura of your home office space. 

Upgrade your backdrop: Emart 6 x 9 ft Photography Backdrop Background, Green Chromakey Muslin Background Screen for Photo Video Studio, 4 x Backdrop Clip

6. A desktop or laptop computer with a built-in or external webcam, microphone and speakers and/or noise-canceling headphone

We’re all on more web conferences and video meetings via Skype, Zoom, Google Meet and WebEx lately, so you may as well make a professional impression and get your point across memorably. 

Upgrade your webcam: 1080P Web Camera, HD Webcam with Microphone & Privacy Cover, 2021 NexiGo N60 USB Computer Camera, 110-degree Wide Angle, Plug and Play, for Zoom/Skype/Teams/OBS, Conferencing and Video Calling

7. Adequate internet speed (3 Mbps or better) and a WiFI router.

The presence of a router improves security. Some routers support advanced security such as VPN, which allow business customers at home to safely log in to their business networks remotely. Some routers have firewalls providing considerable protection against hacking into your network.

Ever wanted to upgrade your router? TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) – Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router for Home, Works with Alexa, VPN Server, Parental Control and QoS

8. A printer and printer paper

 Printers come in many forms. Each type has unique features and price quotes. Before you buy, it’s important to review the available options, understand how they work, and their pros and cons.

Print everything from home: HP ENVY Photo 7855 All in One Photo Printer with Wireless Printing, HP Instant Ink ready, Works with Alexa (K7R96A)

9. Online productivity tools for easy sharing and collaboration with co-workers like Google Docs

Google Docs is a free, web-based platform for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You can access it from any computer with a web browser and internet connection, and you can share documents with others to edit and work on together.

Productivity tools: Google Apps: A comprehensive guide on how to use the most powerful Google Apps: Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheet, Google Slides and Google Calendar Kindle Edition

10. No -cost video/phone conferencing services such as Skype or Google Hangouts and team project management solutions like Slack, Trello or Basecamp

 Effective management of remote employees is critical for the success of your team.  It turns out that off-site workers need to be managed much like your onsite team. It’s only the means of integrating them into the office that differs.  Click the link below to learn more.

New Rules in our Virtual World:

11. Antivirus and anti-malware software

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from cyber crime is by installing one of the best antivirus solutions on your computer, tablet PC or smartphone. A good antivirus programme will look for cyber security threats, alert you of anything that is deemed suspicious and mitigate incoming attacks, meaning you don’t have to worry about hackers.

Keep Everything Protected: McAfee Total Protection 2021, 3 Device Antivirus Internet Security Software, Password Manager, Privacy, 1 Year – Download Code

Whether you have a full time stay-at-home job or are cramming in after-hour duties, a home office is definitely nice to have. Anyone can put a desk in a room, but by following our strategies you’ll avoid common pitfalls that can sidetrack your productivity and will have you operating at top speed in no time.

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