Work from home or remote work has been the the trend even before the pandemic began. Many industries, by the nature of their business, offer remote set-up for their employees. Businesses such as virtual assistants, graphic designs, advertising, etc.
With the pandemic, more industries have shifted to work from home scheme to ensure the safety of their employees.
If you are one of the employees transitioning from office to work from home, check-out these items you might need to maintain productivity. Depending on your company, some of these items will be provided for you but some of these you might purchase yourself.
1. 2nd Monitor
Laptops or desktops owned by people and utilized for personal purposes are believed to be inadequate when used with multiple programs from work simultaneously.
Pros: If you struggle with productivity or multitasking on a work from home set-up, try investing in a dual monitor. It will allow you to share one of your screen while continuing to work on the other screen, easy switching between programs, easier comparisons, adequate screen space, less time switching tabs and resizing windows.
Cons: Dual monitor has a few disadvantages. Aside from added costs, additional monitor can took up a lot of desk space.
Brand new monitors costs around Php 5,000.00 to Php 12,000.00 for a 22” or 24” size.
If you are not a business owner, buying or investing in a 2nd monitor will not bring any return of investment or money. Try buying second hand monitors from Facebook group or marketplace. They cost around Php 2,000.00 to Php 6,000.00 for a 19” size.
2. External Webcam
Unlike dual monitors, external webcam may just be an option in a work from home scheme. One of the deciding factor is the degree or frequency of meeting you will be in a day.
Pros: Although built-in cameras are sufficient enough, they don’t have additional features, high definition images and are nonadjustable. External webcams were carefully designed for corporate set-up while built-in cameras are for portability and often for personal use only.
Cons: With external webcam, you need to set-up where it should be located. For it to run, you might also need to install additional drivers or software. If apart from corporate meetings, you will be using the webcam for teaching, vlogging or medical matters, you need to purchase even more high quality webcams.
External webcam start at Php 800.00 in the stores.
3. Mouse and Mousepad
If you never imagined yourself working on a remote set-up, chances are, you never ever owned a computer mouse or mousepad. With laptops, touch pads were often sufficient enough if for personal use only.
Pros: Now that you might need to transition to work from home, a computer mouse and a laptop might be the first item you would want to purchase. A mice or a mouse is a computer pointing device which enables the user to scroll, point, drag, copy and paste to a greater degree of freedom and ease compared to touchpad.
Cons: Aside from additional equipment to carry with you, you will be needing a flat surface to accommodate the mouse and it won’t work on glass so you need to purchase a covering or a mousepad. The mouse also requires a USB port in your laptop or desktop, leaving you with fewer USB ports. Also, if you happen to choose wired mouse, the cord can get tangled. With wireless mouse, you get the risk of loosing the dongle whenever the mouse is not in the USB port.
Wired mouse are cheap and prices starts at Php 200.00.
4. External Keyboard
Another option to increase productivity is to buy an external keyboard.
Pros: Laptop built-in keyboards were designed for portability. The keys were spaced too near each other, too low that it’s kind of awkward to type at all and some of the keys won’t function when using a remote server. Hence, external keyboard are more efficient. It allows you to adjust to a proper typing position and the freedom to put your laptop anywhere you are comfortable.
Cons: Since keyboards are pretty long, it will took up desk space. Also, one of your USB ports can no longer be used while the keyboard is attached to it. Aside from additional cost, keyboards are bulky and not ideal for travel.
If you want to be frugal, second hand keyboards starts from Php 150.00.
5. Extension Wires and Adapters
Extension wires and adapters are little lifesavers.
Pros: You will never know how important extension wires are until you ran out of battery and your favorite spot by the window with natural light is too far from the electrical outlet. Or how you cannot use your newly bought monitor because you don’t have adapters and you can’t plug them directly to the source because they won’t fit.
Cons: Extension wires are messy, can cause you to trip your foot several times during the day and the need to set-up and be kept daily.
Extension wires and adapters only costs a few hundred of peso.
6. Higher Electricity Bills
‘Quennie Sanchez-Bronce, Visayan Electric reputation enhancement manager, said the average increase for March 2021 to April 2021 billing cycle was about P90 for a household that has a 200-kilowatt per hour consumption.’ Source: Philstar
A bad time to work from home, eh?
Pros: Honestly, are there really pros to electricity bills? Prior to working from home, if your household already used much of the appliances during daytime there won’t be significant changes to your electricity bills when you transition to work from home set-up.
Cons: If you work from the office prior to working from home, you might shift some of your budget to electricity bills especially with your air conditioning running 24/7 and lights are on most time of the day.
In Cebu, electricity in April 2021 rose up due to spike in generation charges as well as the increase of prices in coal and bunker in the global market.
7. Comfortable Work Clothes
No more ill-fitting uniforms. Yay!
Pros: Probably the best feat of working from home is choosing to wear anything you want as long as you are comfortable. Or at least the lower least half of yourself is comfortable. Proper meeting etiquette requires employees to wear business formal clothes at least on the upper body.
Cons: If you have none of these items prior to transitioning to work from home set-up, you might need to purchase one for yourself such as a polo or anything with collar. A blazer is also a good option as you will only need it is a cover up during meeting and toss it on the nearest chair as soon as the meeting is over.
If you are being frugal, you can either borrow or buy second hand. If you see yourself working at home for good, you may want to invest in a good quality and good fitting blazer which costs around a thousand peso or more.
8. Stable Internet Connection
Probably the most important item next to your desktop or laptop is a stable internet connection. Your productivity as well as your salary greatly depends on your internet connection.
Pros: Fast and stable internet connection are better because you can accomplish tasks without interruption.
Cons: Wired internet connection with greater data is more expensive. You may also opt for pre-paid and wireless connection but they are believed to be unstable and internet connection strength vary with location.
Wired internet connection plan starts at Php 1000.00/month while prepaid internet starts at Php 350.00 and can be reloaded anytime you want.
Who would have thought food would still be an issue with work from home set-up?
Pros: Staying at home and working from within the comfort of your own house is unarguably a privilege. So much so with food because you get to eat your preferred food, served hot or cold all day. You have access to your stash you normally can’t bring with you to the office.
Cons: Surprisingly, working from home doesn’t automatically mean more savings when it comes to food. Since you are staying in all day, you tend to want to go out at night and have non homemade food to compensate for the lack of social interaction during the day. With frequent zoom meetings, cooking is also not possible anytime of the day either.
Food expenses might just be the same as working in the office.
Working from the office and working from home doesn’t much have difference when it comes to work schedule. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Pros: Work from home set-up makes you accessible to your loved ones at home. This doesn’t mean you have more time with them due to work schedule, but you are definitely present and you can even be with them even when they want to travel.
Cons: With work from home set-up, oftentimes the work and personal time becomes blurry. You have access to your work 24/7 and you can render more time when you feel you need to compromising both your physical and mental health.
They say, time is the most precious commodity.
The items listed above can be overwhelming. However, you need not to purchase all those items especially when you are just temporarily on a work from home set-up.
Also, you might knew someone who have upgraded and does not need these items anymore which means you can purchase the items for a cheaper price or even for free!