Which room in your house do you spend the most time in?
My answer has to be the kitchen. Many of my favorite memories involved sitting at the counter and helping my mom cook up delicious meals and treats; after all, it’s never too early to teach kids to cook. Not everyone enjoys their time in the kitchen, though. Some of us, especially kids, would rather laugh and play video games in the den, while others prefer to explore the backyard garden. Still others, like my dad, probably spend most of their time in the office.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic reshaping the way we work, Pew Research Center reports that nearly 59% of American employees work from home, making the at-home office something of a necessity. Adults aren’t the only ones using this space, though. Kids and teens alike can use the home office to accomplish school work, learn new skills online, and connect with friends and family all over the world—all thanks to tech for the office.
So whether you’re looking to stock the workplace, family office, or your college student’s new dorm, here are fifteen essential pieces of tech for the office that will make your family’s work life easier—or just a little more fun.
A smartphone is a valuable tool in any situation, and the office is no different. It keeps you in contact with coworkers and contractors, helps you organize your day using the calendar, and can even perform complex mathematical equations. I bet your office landline can’t do all that!
Smartphones can also help kids complete their homework, exercise their creativity, and stay connected with family and friends. If your child is ready for their first smartphone, check out Troomi! Devices from Troomi Wireless are created with your child in mind, emphasizing safety, security, and parental support. Click here to learn a bit more about what Troomi can do for your child.
2. Wireless Charger
A smartphone is an office necessity, but it’s no good when it’s out of battery. That’s where a wireless charger comes in. Gone are the days of untangling charging cords and hoping they’re long enough to reach your desk. Wireless charging is the most convenient way to keep your phone charged and ready to go: all you need to do is set the phone on the charging pad and watch that battery rise. Many newer smartphones are capable of using wireless charging technology, but make sure that your phone has the ability before you buy.
3. Charging Station
One charger is good, but two chargers are great. If you’re the proud owner of multiple office gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, investing in an office charging station is the perfect way to keep all your devices organized and charged. Check out this article from Autonomous to learn a bit more about some of the best office charging stations for 2022.
4. Solar Powered Portable Charger
Not all work takes place in the office; sometimes, we have to step out for a meeting or school field trip. When this is the case, a solar powered portable charger ensures that your phone never runs out of juice. There are many portable chargers on the market, but those powered by solar energy are among the most convenient, because you don’t have to worry about keeping them charged—the sun can do that for you. To top it off, they’re pretty good for the environment, too.
5. Monitor Stand
Monitor stands are an absolute necessity for anyone who spends hours hunched over their computer. These nifty gadgets are designed to help ease your eyes and body as you work by letting you modify your monitor’s height to fit your body, rather than the other way around. This has a ton of physical health benefits, including reduced neck pain, improved posture, and less strain on the eyes. Most monitor stands are adjustable, making it possible for you and your kids to comfortably use the same computer.
6. Standing Desk
If you or your kids spend a lot of time sitting as you work, a standing desk might be just what you need. These cool gadgets let you adjust your desk between two positions: sitting and standing. This ensures that your body and brain don’t get too stiff from staying in one position for too long. In addition to increased productivity, there are actually a ton of health benefits to standing while you work, including lower blood sugar, reduced back pain, and higher energy levels.
7. Lap Desk
Thusfar, we’ve talked about a few gadgets that make it easier to work as you stand or sit at your desk—but what about a gadget that could help you sit on the floor? Enter: the lap desk.
Working in one place for an extended amount of time is detrimental to focus and productivity, and a lap desk provides a stable surface to work from any position and location, including the couch, bed, or the floor. Personally, I’m a big proponent of working from the floor. Sitting on the floor is one of the most natural positions we humans have, and studies show that it might actually help prevent lower back pain.
8. Fidget Toy
I don’t know about you but when I’ve spent hours working or writing a research report, I get fidgety. If I’m not careful, it doesn’t take much for me to tap on my phone and start scrolling through TikTok when I should be working. This is where fidget toys come in. These gadgets, like fidget spinners or fidget cubes, give your hands something to do when your body starts to get antsy. This helps your mind maintain focus, perpetuating your productivity.
Fidget toys are helpful in the classroom, as well. Back when I taught first grade, one of my students had a hard time sitting still and focusing on the lessons. Mentally and physically, he was everywhere. As soon as we gave him a fidget ring, however, he was able to participate in class. If your kiddo has trouble focusing, give the fidget toy a try!
9. Kitchen Timer
The other day I read about something called the Pomodoro Technique. In a nutshell, it’s a method of time management that uses a kitchen timer to help you focus. It works by breaking up work into short, 25-minute intervals called pomodoros, after the Italian word for tomato. After each interval, you take a brief break. Once you’ve completed three intervals, it’s time for a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes before the cycle begins again.
If this sounds like something you or your kiddos might benefit from, bring a timer into the office and give it a try!
10. Washable Keyboard
Parents are no strangers to spills. It seems like juice finds its way everywhere, from the kitchen to the kid’s bedroom and back again. Even the office isn’t safe from spills; a fact which makes a washable keyboard an absolute necessity.
While most tech should be kept as far away from water as possible, washable keyboards are—you guessed it—totally washable. They’re made with technology that makes it possible to run a wet rag over the keys without frying the electronic components inside, so you can keep your keyboard spill and stick free. Some keyboards can even be completely dunked!
11. Wireless Mouse
Whether your time in the office is spent scrolling through an Excel spreadsheet or fighting villains in an online esports tournament, a wireless mouse is an invaluable tool. Unlike traditional mice, wireless mice aren’t bound to your computer by a cord, making it possible for you to work from wherever you feel most comfortable. They’re perfect for travel, easy to use, and help you save time by reducing cable clutter.
12. Smart Tablet and Pen
Smartphones and keyboards are great for texting and writing reports, but when it comes to drawing and taking notes, nothing matches good, ol’ fashioned pencil and paper—except maybe a tablet.
Writing on a tablet gives you all the benefits of taking notes with pen and paper while simultaneously letting you save digital files, send notes to classmates or coworkers via email, and even turn handwritten notes into text files. They also conserve paper, lessening your family’s environmental impact one note at a time. Check out this article from the Hollywood Reporter to get the lowdown on the best tablets for school and work.
13. Cable Organizers
There’s one negative aspect to bringing all these cool pieces of tech into your family’s office space: the chaos of cords. They snake over every surface, wrapping together and making it nearly impossible to get anything plugged in. Only one weapon can conquer this beast: cable organizers!
Cable organizers like these ones help you maintain an organized office free of cable clutter. Just stick them onto the wall or desk, then slide the cord into the holder. Make sure it’s safe and secure, then take a second to revel in the harmony of a well-organized space—you’ve earned it.
14. Noise-Canceling Headphones
Between kids running around and parents chasing after them, it’s no secret that the family home can get loud. Protect your little workers and yourself from succumbing to noise distraction with a pair of noise-canceling headphones. I invested in a pair of noise-canceling headphones a few years ago and have never looked back. These nifty devices make it easy to tune out outside noise, helping your attention remain on the task at hand—and that focus is worth a lot.
15. Smart Speaker
Smart speakers are some of the coolest inventions of the past few years. They’re easy to use, keep the office organized, and make it possible to hold impromptu dance parties at the drop of a hat. When you need a little break from work, they can even lead you in a guided meditation session or play white noise to help your mind regain focus.
Wondering which smart speaker is safest for kids? Check out this article to learn more!
Tech for the Office? Flawless!
Whether you’re a working parent or school-bound student, the home office has a little something for everyone: it’s a cozy cubicle, a digital artist’s studio, and a pro-gamer’s place of operation. No matter the function, these fifteen fantastic pieces of tech for the office are a total necessity to make the office a place where work and play can be productive, purposeful, and pleasant.