I’m an entrepreneur and I work out of a home office. As much as I love being my own boss, it’s a challenge. In fact, a survey by Citrix, a company that designs technology for mobile employees, discovered that one in four people who work from home indulge in some mid-afternoon shut-eye, nearly half watch TV or play video games when there’s work to be done, and 24 percent aren’t even sober!
Fortunately, through my experiences working from home, I’ve purchased a number of effectual smart gadgets that have made my life much more productive. These are the best technologies I’ve invested in, and recommend you do the same.
1. Charging Stations
Clutter is a distraction. So instead of subjecting your home office to a tangle of cords that looks like a tumbleweed from the future, get yourself a sleek charging station that can power up your laptop, mobile phone, tablets and e-readers in the same place (simultaneously) without having to rummage through every drawer in your home.
Energizer’s Inductive Charger ($75.00) requires no cords at all, and charges two devices simultaneously upon contact. This is the charging station I have in my office and it has never let me down.
Belkin’s Conserve Valet ($39.99) is another great option that’s nearly half the price of Energizer’s model. The station charges four devices at once and will automatically shut off when all devices are fully charged, saving energy.
2. Smartphone Scan Technology
Manage, sync, update and share physical documents no matter where you are. Smartphone scan technologies turn your physical paperwork into digital files through your phone’s camera. Simply take a picture of what you want scanned and let the app provide a clear digital version of the file. You can then email, print or fax the document using the same app.
CamScanner (free) is the best scanning app on the market. The app comes with 200 MB of storage, and if you require more than that, there is a Premium version of the app for $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year. The app is available for most smartphones, including the Windows Phone.
3. Signal Boosters
Nothing sullies professionalism like a shoddy Internet or cell phone connection. Signal boosters enhance and expand your signal strength across multiple applications, to eliminate the chance of a cut off phone call, or being subject to Internet that progresses at the pace of an AMC television series. Signal boosters come in a variety of forms including desktop, wireless and universal. The last of which can connect directly to a particular device.
DB Pro 3G Directional Kit ($449.99) by Wilson Electronics is a well-known product in the marketplace. This particular item is made to boost mobile reception, and the reviews claim the device helped strengthen their mobile signal by two to three bars on average. The kit is also very easy to install.
Wifi Booster Pro (free) is an app exclusive to the Windows Phone that has proven to strengthen Wi-Fi signal strength by up to 30%, according to reviewers. All you have to do is tap the app and reap the rewards. Simple.
Now go ahead, give your office the upgrade it deserves. Subpar equipment should be the last thing hindering you from a productive and effective day at work. So just don’t let it happen. Invest in some smart technology and stay away from the Xbox – until your work is done, of course.