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Fourteen devices and hack that make it easier to work from home

It’s been almost a year since many of us started working from home due to the pandemic, and if you have not yet adjusted your work area to meet your needs, it’s probably time to get to it. Whether you are sitting in the guest bedroom, on the sofa in the living room or in a closet, you may need a little extra to make it possible to write comfortably, meet online or just concentrate. Sometimes it means buying a new desk, lamp or monitor; Sometimes it just means finding a household item that will make life a little easier.

We asked the staff The Verge what they have used to make homework situations more practical, pleasant or simply more possible. Here are some of the answers we got.

Technical products

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

I basically live in AirPods Pro during the day. They let me listen to music, catch Slack-pings and make calls, all with the added benefit of some noise cancellation to drown out noise. Their selection is also good for my apartment – I can be anywhere in the house without losing the connection to my computer, which is very nice if I need to walk away from my desk, such as to microwave my second cookie in the afternoon. –Jay Peters

Apple AirPods Pro

Phone as webcam

Nexus 6p

Making my phone a fully functional webcam was surprisingly easy and cost effective. I already had a Nexus 6P sitting around, and with these steps working on most Android and iOS devices, I now have a phone-meeting webcam. It has video quality that is roughly on par with a standalone webcam that would probably cost $ 200 right now. What makes it even better is that my iOttie car mount connects perfectly to my glass table, so I do not have to arrange the phone difficult to get a good angle on my face. –Cameron Faulkner

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

While working on a MacBook, this Satechi hub has been a lifesaver for connecting podcasting microphones and other equipment I suddenly use on my own. –Adi Robertson

Satechi Multi-Port Adapter V2 in aluminum

I go through lots of batteries with my flash when I shoot at home, and I find that these rechargeable batteries last so much longer than regular disposable batteries. Not only do they save me trips to the store and keep more batteries out of the landfills, but they also save me money in the end. –Amelia Holowaty Krales

Panasonic AA NiMH 2.550mAh rechargeable batteries

Photo: CalDigit

This Thunderbolt 3 dock allows me to switch the entire desktop layout (keyboard, mouse, speakers, Ethernet, monitor, external storage drives and microphone) from one computer to another by simply moving a cable. I connect all external devices to the dock, using only one Thunderbolt cable to connect to my Mac or any Windows machine I currently need to test. It also has a very useful SD card slot with high speed in front, which fits perfectly when I need to dump photos from the camera to my computer. –Dan Seifert

CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 dock

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Last year I installed a Google Nest Wifi router with a mesh point. I have had a lot of networking equipment over the years and this was immediately the best. And it was extremely easy to set up. –TC Sottek

Google Nest Wifi Router

Ultrawide screen

Photo: LG

An ultrawide screen is the best purchase I have ever made to work from home. It’s so big I have to lean physically from side to side to see it all. I can have three full size windows up at the same time or countless overlapping windows. (Right now I have nine different windows open, and it does not feel cramped at all.) Mine is an old LG 34UM94-P that they no longer make – it looks like it is an updated version, LG 34BL850- W However, any screen that is at least 34 inches in size with 1440p or better resolution is what I recommend. –Dan Seifert

LG 34BL850-W 34-inch QHD screen

Home office helpers

Completely Jarvis bamboo standing desk

Photo: Jarvis

We heard from three employees about this desk:

Jarvis from Fully was recommended to me by my colleague Christian Mazza, and it has been far from my best work from home purchase in several years. It is quite expensive by desktop standards, but inexpensive with standing desktop standards.

Assembly was far less cumbersome than I thought it would be. Just having the opportunity to sit or stand, when you are cooped up in your room or home office all day, makes a big difference. In addition, it looks good and has some nice customization options for color and desktop materials. –Nick Statt

I love my Jarvis desk for all the same reasons Nick does. If you are considering one, I highly recommend spending the extra $ 20 for the extended height, so that the desktop is lower for sitting and higher for standing, and the extra $ 35 for the programmable height switch, which allows you to preset the heights you can switch back and forth to at the touch of a button.

I also ran for the $ 29 reels so I could roll the desk around my apartment, allowing my wife and I to use it as a mobile entertainment system. When we are done with the day, we can roll the desk over to the comfortable chairs and watch Netflix or play Animal transition on the desktop screen. –Jay Peters

I also have Jarvis, only in larger size. It has served me well for about four years now. It is a comfortable, stable and spacious desk that has more versatility than typical desk options. –Dan Seifert

LapGear Designer Lap Desk

Photo courtesy of LapGear

I should work more at a desk, but I spend a lot of time working from a sofa. It’s bad for me, but also very comfortable. Using a lap desk like this at least helps me pretend to be a little more conscientious with my attitude; plus it’s useful for writing on physical paper (or when my laptop gets too hot). –Chaim Gartenberg

LapGear Designer Lap Desk

Huanuo monitor mounting stand

Photo: Huanuo

This screen mount brings my screen to a nice height so that I do not bend over, and it is the highest I have found. Other screen arms I tried were just not high enough for me when I stood while I worked – and I’m not that tall at five feet, 11 inches. The mounting also allows me to adjust the screen to exactly the right height for movies or Animal transition when I use my desk as a mobile entertainment center. –Jay Peters

Huanuo monitor mounting stand

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine

Photo: De’Longhi

I’m hopelessly addicted to iced lattes, and finally I invested in this espresso machine with my stimulation check. It makes waking up in the morning a little more exciting when I do not have to French press the coffee. And it came with a milk frother! –Makena Kelly

Ello Devon Glass Tumbler

Photo: Ello Products

I never drink enough water. I just seem to forget it and get a headache from dehydration, but something with this bottle helps me remind myself. Maybe it’s designed? I love it! –Amelia Holowaty Krales

Ello Devon Glass Tumbler

Herman Miller Sayl chair

Herman Miller Sayl is a regular manager – Vox Media’s NYC office has hundreds of them. I bought one without arms, though, because it works a little better for my posture. I’m tall and it’s hard to find chairs that do not encourage me to relax. Also, I like the red. –Sam Byford

Herman Miller Sayl chair

Notebook and pen


While all my work and most of the writing is done on my computer, it’s sometimes easier (especially for sudden phone calls or when I do not want to switch from a video) to just turn on the laptop I have next to the laptop and write down a note or two. And I have found that using a stylish pen is not only good for my morale, but makes me much less likely to run out of ink (or with hand cramps) when I need to write something important quickly. At the moment I use a True Writer ballpoint pen from Levenger that I received as a birthday present, but any pen that makes you feel good will do so. –Barbara Krasnoff

Updated February 4, 2021, 14:37 ET: This article was originally published on April 28, 2020, and has been updated with changes in prices and circumstances.

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