Creating the ultimate work from home setup!

Mitchell Courtney By Mitchell Courtney - August 23rd, 2021
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At the time of writing, NZ is back into Level 4 Lockdown, and that means trying to make do with either the tech you have at home or what you managed to bring back from the office. While all of this will hopefully be temporary, having a poor WFH setup can have a long-lasting effect. It can be pretty tough to know what you’re missing out on if you don't have the ability to keep up with the latest tech. So to help make sure you aren’t heading back to the office once we’re released back into the wild with fresh aches and pains, we’ve compiled a handy list of Top Tech from our resident PB experts!

Keep the blood flowing with a great standing desk

Now, most people just use the first available desk/table at home. And - shockingly - dining tables aren’t designed to have someone comfortably working on them for 8 hours. So if you're feeling like your old desk isn’t quite cutting the mustard, or you’re getting sick of clearing your work off the table for dinner, we’ve got some great solutions for you!

Locktek’s 1400x700mm standing desk option comes in a couple of colours, and will look great in a range of home aesthetics. Its height adjustment is motorised through single motor technology, for a smooth, effortless experience. The simple two-button control panel makes it easy to use, and you can be confident that it will stand steadfast with Loctek's focus on structural integrity.

Loctek has a slightly larger desk in the ET203IB if the previous models looked good, but weren’t quite big enough. Sitting at 1600x800mm, you’ll really feel that extra width and depth. Plus this premium price tag doesn't come without its benefits. You’ll get a dual motor that will easily carry a heavier setup through the 3 stage column design. A cool safety feature of this desk is that it will detect if there’s anything blocking it’s path and stop for added safety.

Finally, if you have noticed your kids struggling a bit with being stuck inside, keep them feeling healthy with Loctek’s Ergonomic Child Study Height Adjustable Desk & Chair Set. Not only will this set keep them on their toes, it will also help to develop a good posture and a multifunctional area.

Get comfortable with a nice chair

Now, only a few days in, you're still probably trying to convince yourself that your wooden chair is totally fine for a full workday. Let's be real, you know it, I know it, somethings starting to hurt. Our product experts have picked a few great, ergonomic options that look sleek and will keep you working in comfort all day. With plenty of lumbar support and a range of prices to choose from, check out the great options from Loctek and Eden below.

Loctek’s YZ101, ergonomic office chair features reliable ergonomic support, a breathable mesh back, and passover lumbar support that will release that pent-up body pressure. This chair can be fine-tuned to fit your needs and it's really affordable!

Eden has a couple of strong options at different price points to consider. Their first, the Eden Office Media Ergo Office Chair, has a huge range of adjustability options and features a modern-styled synchro mechanism.

If you're after a top-spec, premium experience, the Eden Office Cloud Ergo Chair might just be for you. Boasting what seem to be limitless adjustability options and featuring a distinct flexible backrest that consistently supports you with subtle body-responsive movement.

If you’re after something you know has been designed for long periods of sitting, by people who sit for long periods of time, a gaming chair is just for you. This gaming chair from Onex, the GX1, not only has the comfort of a gaming chair, it also has the understated black colours of a business chair. Onex knows the importance of comfort style and support in all the right places, and this chair has that in spades.

Upgrade your computing power

Now that you’re back home and using that old PC full time, those little issues you forgot about after the last lockdown might be starting to rear their ugly heads again. Getting a desktop PC gives you more power at an affordable price.

If you’re used to Apple products, or you already have a few other devices in the Apple ecosystem, one of their All-in-One PCs could be the perfect option for you! If you’re after an affordable option, grab yourself the Apple 21.5" iMac, which shows off its stunning retina display with its 1 billion colours and 500 nits of brightness!

If you're after a bit more horsepower, Apple’s new M1 Chip will give you that in spades. The Apple 24" iMac utilises this new chip to take iMac to a new level of performance that won’t disappoint. Plus, look at the pretty colours.

If you’re tight on desk space, compact desktops are often more than enough for less intensive workloads, and they don’t take up a large area. Our PB Jupiter Mini PCs are great for this, and can be grabbed at a few different price points!

If you do a lot of video conferencing, or just want something that works right out of the box, the HP ProOne G6 Business All in One PC is for you. Coming with onboard WiFi, a new keyboard and mouse, a webcam, and 12 months warranty, this is perfect if you don’t want any setup hassle.

If you work in software that requires some beefy computing, the PB Pro RTX 3080 Workstation will offer you some impressive specs. With an RTX 3080, an Intel Core i9 10900F processor, 32GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD, this big boy will keep things running smoothly.

If you want some extra specs at a lower price, an off-lease PC could be for you. This Off-Lease HP Elitedesk 800 G3 Mini offers some superb value for money, and comes with a new HP wireless keyboard and mouse!

If you’re after a PC that will be more than capable of performing your day to day work tasks, but also will allow you to have a bit of fun outside of work hours, check out a few of the great gaming PC options. These computers are great because they are so versatile, having plenty of RAM, processing power and graphical capabilities!

If you need Excel, Word, Outlook or any of the other great apps from the Microsoft Office Suite, make sure to pick it up below!

Take your work on the go with a quality laptop

Having the freedom to take your work with you is liberating. Granted at the moment, “with you” means into the garden or a different room, but sometimes that’s enough. It’s important that the quality of your work doesn’t suffer when you go portable. So if you’ve been noticing a slowdown, or have been struggling with the lack of portability afforded to you by a desktop PC, check out some of our great laptop picks below.

If you are after an affordable option that can also handle some light gaming after your work is done, check out the HP Pavilion GTX 1650 Laptop.

If you’re an Apple fan through and through, you’ll know what makes their laptops so great and easy to use. We’ve got some hot options from them below.

Keep your eyes healthy with a new monitor

If your eyes are already hurting after hours of squinting at a tiny laptop screen, or an old flickering display, you definitely need to consider a new monitor. Your eyes are important, so make sure that the thing they’re staring at for 8 hours a day isn’t going to strain them or give you a headache. Monitors can be super affordable nowadays for a pretty decent one, and it’s a sure-fire way of ensuring your WFH experience feels upgraded.

If you’re looking to take your productivity up a notch, an ultra wide monitor is a fantastic option. Often these screens are capable of having multiple programs open on the same screen, without sacrificing usability. This is huge for those of us copying information, researching while writing, using spreadsheets, and much more.

High refresh monitors are a good option for people whose eyes struggle with flickering displays or want to get maximum usage out of their monitors. Being able to look at a screen all day that won’t give you a headache, and then use that same screen for some gaming after work finishes.

If you want to add some flexibility to your screens, getting them up off your desk will not only allow you to position them exactly how you want, it will also give you a lot more desk space. How do I do this, you ask? It’s super easy, just grab yourself a standard VESA monitor mount and you can easily mount a VESA compatible monitor to the options below.

Work smoothly with a new mouse

If you’re starting to get agitated with the touchpad not quite doing what you told it, or that old mouse is not quite registering what you want it to do, a new mouse is likely in order.

The Logitech MX Master 3 is a fantastic piece of equipment. Its ergonomic design aids in minimising any hand or wrist pain you may be experiencing. It also opens up a whole new world of opportunities. The MagSpeed scrolling allows you to traverse through large web pages or spreadsheets with ease. The side scroll wheel can be customised but using it to scroll sideways in Excel or change the brush size in Photoshop makes you question how you survived without it. The thumb button allows you to map gesture controls... with your mouse. This sounds weird, I know I was sceptical, but it's very cool. The game changing feature though is its ability to cross between computers and even operating systems. You can literally copy something from your Apple home computer, and then paste it into a Windows work PC, how crazy is that!?! Though it does run into a few issues if you attempt this with one PC connected to a VPN. This mouse has to be used to understand how awesome it is though, once you try it, you won’t go back.

If you’re after a multitalented mouse, going for the gaming option might just be for you. With such a huge range of options, from wired to wireless, from ambidextrous to right-handed, from only a few buttons to many, there's a lot to choose from, and many consider the Logitech G502 to be the cream of the crop. This iconic mouse has been the go-to choice for many of the top eSports competitors for years, and is even better wireless. Some say they don’t trust wireless, go look at what the pros are using, Logitech’s LIGHTSPEED tech is actually faster than a wire!

If you’re really struggling with hand and wrist pain, going for an all-out ergonomic mouse may be your best bet. These are designed for comfort and productivity at the fore.

A great option for people who might like to move around their bubble while they work are smaller, portable Bluetooth mice. These pair fantastically with laptops, as they can just be chucked straight into the pocket of a laptop bag, or even just your jacket.

Type at your best

Have you been struggling with the soft, soggy key feeling you can get with laptops or old keyboards? Or just struggling with only having a laptop in general? If this sounds like you, grabbing yourself a keyboard and mouse combo is an affordable way of ensuring you can work more efficiently with a better setup.

If you’re doing a lot of typing, or you are finding discomfort while you work, ergonomic keyboards are a great solution. They are designed to get not just your hands, but also your wrists and shoulders, into a better position for typing and general wellbeing.

If you’re after the most satisfying typing experience, gaming/mechanical keyboards are for you. The mechanical clicking noise and the clear point of actuation make the keyboards wonderful to work with. RGB makes it easy to see the keys in darker environments, and ten keyless options (TKL) take up far less space on your desk.

Drown out the bubble with a great pair of headphones

Chances are pretty high that you’re going to need to hear audio at work. Rather than letting anyone in your house listen in to what may be sensitive information, or just disturb them with your sound, make sure you’ve got a reliable pair of headphones.

Working from home can often be an even louder and more tumultuous experience than working in an office, a solid pair of noise-cancelling headphones will keep you focussed, and remove those little distractions. Maybe a neighbour has decided lockdown is a great time to catch up with their housework, drown them out with the Bose NC700s. These are absolutely top-spec noise-cancellation, and will not only dampen the extra noise out for you, it’ll make for a better experience for those you’re on call with.

If you’re after a slightly more affordable option, but one that's no less premium, the Sony XM4s are a great choice. These headphones come so highly recommended for good reason too!

Maybe you’ve left your good headphones at work and you just need to get by, or don’t have it in the budget to splurge all out on headphones, an affordable pair can make a world of difference. The Sennheiser HD 400S Over-Ear Headphones are a reliable pair that are more than capable of handling all of your listening and calling needs.

If you want a USB headset purpose-built for taking calls, the Logitech H340 USB Headset is just what you need. Your calls will be heard crystal clear, and the simple USB plug-and-play nature of these means you can’t really go wrong!

Gaming headsets make for a great option for those looking to close teams and open Discord as soon as the workday is done (maybe even a little sooner). Plus the wireless models often involve far less setup than other wireless options. If you’re after a versatile wireless gaming headset, the Razer Barracuda X is great. Designed for seamless use across PC, PS4/PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Android, there is so much to love with this headset.

Once again, if you are in the Apple ecosystem, they have great options that will work beautifully with your devices. The standard Apple AirPods are a great piece of tech by themselves and then the Pro option adds noise-cancellation to the mix, and is well worth the price!

Wrapping things up

So there you have it, hopefully, you gleaned some useful information that will aid your Work From Home setup! Remember, any life-changing devices or accessories you grab during this lockdown can always be taken into work to improve your experience there too.

If you need any help at all while getting WFH ready, PB Tech is currently offering free tech support to help NZ get up and running.

Written By

Mitchell Courtney

Hoping to add a bit of insight in a sea of opinions.

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