When I started freelancing, it was my intention to make some extra income while I was a student. All I had for a home office at the time was a laptop and a desk — and since I didn’t even use my desk for studying, I certainly wasn’t using it for work.
As the years passed, I discovered I enjoyed freelancing from home way more than I enjoyed commuting to an office. I also discovered that working in a reclining chair is not the best setup for productivity or for my personal health.
I get so much more accomplished when seated comfortably at a desk with the proper ergonomics. I have fewer headaches and backaches, and I feel more like a professional business owner, which translates into more confidence in myself as a service provider — not to mention more clients.
Here are some great gadgets that can make working at home a little more comfortable and a whole lot more awesome.
1. Wireless Mouse and Keyboard
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I spent several years working from home using just a laptop with no accessories. If you know anything about ergonomics, you know that your screen should be at eye level. This means it’s impossible to have a healthy setup if you are tied to a laptop’s keyboard and trackpad.
2. Proper Screen Height
For the best posture and back health, the proper screen height is directly at eye level. Use a desk mounting system for external monitors, like this one from Ergotron, or DIY by placing your laptop or monitor on a shelf, box, or stack of books on your desk that will boost it to the correct height.
3. A Reduction on Eye Strain
Fresh out of Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 is an e-ink external monitor for those of us who spend hours staring at text on our screens. This monitor uses technology that’s similar to popular e-readers and mimics the look of ink on paper.
Since there’s no backlight it’s glare free, which makes it easier on the eyes. The blue light from traditional monitors can wreck havoc on our sleep patterns, so using e-ink instead for late night sessions could also improve sleep quality. Plus, with the ability to see the screen in direct sunlight, it will also make working outdoors on beautiful days an actual option.
4. A Great Chair
Posture is important for whole body health and the types of postures we use most often are rapidly changing — as often as we change our mobile devices. The ergonomic Gesture Chair supports your body just as well when using mobile devices as it does when you are typing on your laptop.
5. A Reminder You’ve Been Sitting Too Long
I know I don’t move enough, but it is something I don’t think about during my work day. Having a reminder that I need to take a break is something that has been a lifesaver for my health. The Darma tracker tracks your inactivity — unlike the majority of the trackers on the market, which focus on your activity. It will tell you if you need to improve your posture, suggest stretches that will help, and will tell you when it is time to get up and move around for a while.
6. An Easy Way to Move More
If you have a major inactivity problem, and find it almost impossible to make it to the gym or to fit in other types of activity, products like the Cubii have you covered. Not only is this designed to be at the optimal position for elliptical motion under a desk, it doesn’t take up much space and can be used without distraction from other tasks.
Do you have a favorite gadget that has helped improve your health and productivity? Tell us in the comments! And join us on Pinterest to discover more great gadgets for the future of work.