When I think of the term “technology” I conjure up images of my smart phone, a flat screen television, and maybe my favorite social media app. A hypocritical mix of consciously limiting my children’s use of it, while exponentially increasing my own. So I could easily conclude that technology is amusing, fun and sometimes maybe even a bit of a distraction. While there is some truth to that, most technology exists to make our everyday lives easier. Today, technology is integrated into almost every part of our day-to-day. Whether you’re online shopping for a new pair of shoes, using wi-fi enabled appliances, the navigation system in your car, or even adjusting the thermostat, you are more and more likely to be using cutting-edge technology.
The past two years have revolutionized what our private home offices can and should be. Without top-notch technology, working remotely is at best difficult, and at worst – impossible. Not dissimilar to working in-office, productivity slows without the proper tools to get the job done. The tools have simply changed a bit! In this month’s Fabulous Four, I’m going to explore some products that can make your work-from-home experience streamlined, efficient, and ultimately – productive.
Best New Item: Plantronics® HW261-DC Headset
This is one item that I wish I had purchased earlier into my work-from-home life. Online team meetings were constantly mired with a combination of bad audio and a subpar microphone that was internal to my laptop. Now, those occurrences are minimized due to the high-quality stereo sound this headset provides as well as the boom microphone that reaches comfortably to my mouth so I don’t need to shout to be heard clearly. I prefer a wired set to ensure a top-quality audio connection to my computer, so I made sure to get one with a 2.5 foot length to give myself plenty of room to move around. Comfortable, high quality, and at an economical price. A must-have if you spend any time in online meetings.
Unsung Hero: Logitech® C920S Webcam
Does anyone else cringe at the way they look on camera during an online meeting? At first, I thought my good looks had finally faded, only to quickly realize that the real issue was my technology. The camera installed in my laptop was of poor quality, couldn’t be adjusted to be at a better angle and didn’t focus very well. Logitech’s C920S webcam provides the quality and versatility to show me at my best. Adjusting to the light in your room, it will autofocus, so the viewer sees you clearly. A 1920 x 1080 video resolution and 30 fps frame rate also gives you the ability to record video and broadcast it back at a vibrant, true-to-life, high quality. So while I might be wearing pajama bottoms instead of slacks these days, from the waist up, I’m still all business and good looks.
Product Most Likely to be Found in My Home: Fellowes® Powershred 11C Cross-Cut Shredder
A home office isn’t complete without a proper shredder. In this day-and-age of identity theft, one should leave nothing to chance. Fellowes Powershred 11C is a perfect home-office shredder that won’t break the bank and is extremely reliable. It’s a workhorse too! With a shredding capability of 11 sheets at a time, you won’t have to feed it one page at a time for hours to get the job done. Your documents are stapled you say? No problem, it will eat right through those. Paper clipped? Feed it right in. You can even put an expired credit card or ID into it to prevent it from falling into nefarious hands. This will give you peace-of-mind to know that your personal information and sensitive work documents are disposed of properly.
This month’s most valuable product goes to the Brother P-Touch PTD400D label maker. After using it at home, it doesn’t surprise me that it is one of the best-selling items in W.B. Mason’s technology category. First, the technical specs: you have the option of plugging it in or going mobile by powering it with AA batteries. It has a traditional-style keyboard that makes it as easy as possible to work efficiently. Also, it’s fast! Printing at .79 inches per second, you won’t be waiting around all day for it to get the job done. Finally, the internal memory allows you to easily reprint often used labels, saving you time. Now onto the fun parts. This thing comes with dozens of fonts, frames, and symbols for you to customize and add your own personality to your labeling. I have found it useful in my home office to keep my paper files organized. Labeling other things in my home has been the real joy though. Open the pantry and you’ll see “Dad’s Chips – get your own” neatly labeled and fending off any trespassers who dare steal my late-night snack. I also recently labeled the thermostat to say “Don’t do it” in classic dad fashion. The possibilities are endless. Next, I may label the family dog to remind my teenager that it needs to be taken out for walks and fed routinely.
This concludes this month’s Fabulous Four. Technology is always evolving and used correctly, can make our lives easier. If it makes me a little more handsome on-screen, or keeps the heat set to 68 degrees…all the better.