Working from home can be hard for those who aren't used to the experience. With the COVID19 pandemic taking over the world and disrupting daily routines, millions find themselves pushed into working remotely without too much warning, preparation, or experience.
Nonetheless, we have no choice but to adapt. To make things easier for those who aren’t used to working this way, we have a few tips and tricks to get you up and running in no time. Even though you’re not in an office, it's critical that working remotely doesn’t affect your long-term health.
One of the first things you should do is set aside a workspace and make sure you have a proper desk and chair. Trust me, it might seem like a good idea to laze around with a laptop as you work from wherever you please, but it's terrible for your body and increases long-term health risks.
Not only is an ergonomic work setup great for your body, but it also enhances productivity by reducing muscle fatigue even if you’re working long hours.
PC/Laptop Setup: Work from Home the Way You Want
Before deciding on a setup, you have to pick between a desktop or a laptop for your work. While both types of systems have their pros and cons, the choice often comes down to personal preferences, work requirements, hardware requirements, budget, and so on.
Creating a stunning workstation area with even a laptop is just about finding the right peripherals for the job. If you’re using a laptop, you can keep your monitor as an additional screen, or close it to use only an external monitor to re-create a desktop PC experience more closely.
Workstation PC Setup: MSI Desktop + Ultrawide Monitor
If you're not into building your PC and need something that delivers power and style in one neat package, MSI's Trident X Plus is a convenient way to create a workstation setup at home. Compromising on power may not be an option for certain types of work. What's more, after a long day of work, you might want to play a few of the latest games to unwind too.
The Desktop comes equipped with an Intel Core i9 processor and top-end graphics cards to ensure that you’re covered for both compute-heavy as well as graphics-heavy workloads and tasks.
With a desktop setup, you're free to use a single ultrawide display to make sure that you don’t lack screen real estate. Of course, you can go for a multi-monitor setup instead as well. But not having any bezel at all and having a workspace that wide is a truly surreal experience.
Laptop Workstation Setup: Extend your Workspace
If you just cannot do without a laptop or you already own a laptop that you want to use for work, adding another monitor to the mix and setting it up can do wonders for productivity, posture, and comfort. It’s not very hard to re-create a proper workstation setup with your laptop.
MSI Prestige 14/ MSI GP65 Leopard
With sleek designs that successfully hide powerful hardware, MSI's Prestige 14 and GP65 are excellent computing companions that balance portability and power.
The laptop display can be paired with other monitors easily to re-create a workstation at home. Of course, it won’t be as convenient as an actual PC with a multi-monitor setup, but I’d say it's pretty close.
While a laptop screen is good enough when you need portability, I’d recommend connecting it to a monitor when working from home. I find using a laptop for long sessions quite uncomfortable and prefer a more traditional workstation setup if possible.
Now, to recreate a workstation setup, you'll need a monitor. However, what type of monitor you need depends on what sort of work you do and the configuration you prefer.
The Optix MAG161V Monitor is lightweight and won’t require too much space to set up. If you’re limited by space or a lack of a dedicated space, the Optix MAG161V monitor melds perfectly with a laptop to create a truly remarkable workstation setup that's easy to move around or fold up, if need be.
The MSI Optix MAG161V Monitor's 15.6" size syncs up with a laptop display size to give you a natural dual monitor setup. Moreover, it allows for a vertical screen orientation that can be used to scroll through long documents/web pages without ever needing to switch between applications.
MSI Optix MAG322CQR Monitor
If you're looking for more screen real estate and a larger screen, MSI’s Optix MAG322CQR UWQHD Curved monitor is a great option.
It offers a 1440p resolution as well as an adjustable stand that grants you the flexibility you’ll need to extend your laptop display. What's more, it has a near-zero bezel design that’ll make your multi-screen setup seamless.
Just connecting your laptop to a monitor and setting up a dual-screen workspace is just the start. To ensure that your arms and legs are as comfortable as possible, it's better if you connect a full-size keyboard and mouse to your laptop.
Since you might need to connect several other USB peripherals and storage devices, a USB hub is indispensable.
If you have high-speed storage drives, make sure your hub supports newer USB standards to ensure that you aren’t stuck with a slow experience when using a device.
MSI's USB-C Docking Station would be an ideal choice for newer laptops as it comes equipped with support for HDMI and Display Port outputs, an Ethernet port, a combo audio jack, and high-speed USB ports. Not only does it support up to 3 simultaneous display outputs, but it's also sleek enough to tuck away into the corner neatly.
Connectivity can pose a significant bottleneck when working from home, especially if you have a spotty Wi-Fi connection. Now, in some cases, these connection drops and time-outs are caused by your Internet Service Provider, and no router in the world can fix this for you.
However, many common issues do stem from your own home wireless network. Of course, you can just switch to a wired connection to make sure that you experience absolutely zero hiccups. But since this isn’t always possible, grabbing a wireless router that supports the fastest wi-fi standards does help with connectivity and packet drops.
Note – You have to make sure that the wireless receiver (on your laptop/desktop) also support these standards to make full use of their advantages.
Software to Complete your Remote Workspace
Building out a dedicated workspace for working remotely is just the first step in being able to work from home. It’s great to have access to an assortment of essential applications and software that will improve your experience many times over. Of course, many of these tools might vary according to what software your organization prefers using as well as internal organizational policies.
Video Conferencing & Meetings: Microsoft Teams/Hangouts Meet/Zoom
When working from an office, having a meeting, and talking to your team/superiors face-to-face is a straightforward task. However, when working from home, that changes. These applications allow you to set up virtual meetings where you and your team can see each other. Nothing needs to change just because you’re working from home.
Organized Communication & Collaboration: Slack
Slack streamlines collaboration and communication – allowing users to send files, chat, and manage work within a single program. Think of it as a feature-rich email that’s easier to organize, collaborate on tasks, and track.