You can work from anywhere with the right gear: a solid internet connection, a decent laptop, and a mobile phone with essential communication apps. In this post, we’ll explore some suggestions for tech that can help you be more effective, productive, and look cool (and professional) doing it. Whether you’re working from home, the office, a coworking space, or someplace entirely different, these tools can help you get the job done in style. So, let’s dive in and look at some of the best gear for working on the go.
Sound quality can make it challenging to understand what others are saying, which can be frustrating and unproductive, making it one of the essentials for working remotely. Although your video camera might not always be on when you’re talking, your audio will be.
One common issue in video conferences is when a participant doesn’t mute their microphone, resulting in an echo that makes it hard for others to hear. Wearing headphones or a headset will eliminate the echo and make your voice clear. Many USB headsets are available that work with software that can automatically mute and unmute the microphone, which can be very convenient.
In addition to wearing a headset, it’s also vital to ensure that you have a good microphone. A microphone that picks up background noise or has a weak signal can make it difficult for others to hear you. A high-quality microphone is worth the investment for improved vocal clarity.
Finding the right headset
A good headset can help you to communicate effectively and collaborate with others, even when you’re not in the exact location. When shopping for a headset, there are a few key factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you pick the right one for your needs:
- Consider your needs: Do you need a headset for making phone calls, or will you use it primarily for video conferences? Will you be wearing it all day or just for a few hours at a time? These factors can help you narrow down your options.
- Look for a comfortable fit: If you’ll be wearing your headset for long periods, comfort is key. Look for a headset with padded ear cups and an adjustable headband.
- Consider the features: Some headsets come with noise canceling, which can be helpful if you’re working in a busy environment. Other features include a mute button, volume control, and switching between phone and computer audio.
Related: What Business Communication Services Are Essential for Your Business?
Having the right video camera is integral to any work setup, no matter where you are. If you’re participating in video conferences or creating video content as part of your role, it’s essential to have a camera that provides clear and high-quality video.
The resolution is one of the first things to consider when shopping for a video camera. If the built-in webcam on your computer has a resolution of less than 1080p, consider an external camera. An external camera can provide higher-quality video, allowing you to place the camera at eye level using a small tripod. This helps create a more professional appearance during video calls.
Another option to consider is a 4k webcam. These cameras are more expensive than standard webcams, but they offer the highest quality video, and some models can even automatically follow your movement. This can be especially useful if you’re presenting or demonstrating something during a video call.
Finding the right video camera
You’ll use your video camera a lot when working remotely, so getting the right one is important. Below are two tips to help you pick the perfect camera:
- Consider your needs: Will you be using your camera only to make video calls, or will you be using it to create professional-quality video content? Will you be using it in a well-lit environment, or will you need a camera with good low-light performance? These factors can help you narrow down your options.
- Consider portability: If you’ll be working in public spaces or on the go, it’s a good idea to choose a camera that’s portable and easy to transport. Look for a compact camera that’s lightweight and easy to carry. Some cameras even come with a carrying case or pouch to protect them while you’re on the move. This can be especially useful if you’re working in a coworking space or cafe, where you may need to pack up and move to a different location.
Related: Best Practices for Effective Video Meetings
Proper lighting is essential for creating high-quality video, whether participating in video conferences or creating video content for work. Poor lighting can make it difficult for others to see you clearly, which can be frustrating and unproductive.
One option to consider is an adjustable video conferencing light. These lights are designed specifically for use during video calls and have adjustable brightness and color temperature. This allows you to control the lighting in your workspace to ensure that you look your best on camera.
One important thing to remember is that camera sensors interpret outside light as blue and inside light as yellow. As such, the dominant light source in your workspace should be one or the other rather than a mix of both. If you have a combination of blue and yellow light, it can cause skin tones to appear unnatural and can even give you a “green hair” effect.
Another option you may want to consider is a ring light. These circular lights are popular among video creators and can provide an even, flattering glow that helps to minimize shadows. They are convenient and practical for improving the lighting on your face during video calls.
Choosing communication software that allows you to work from multiple devices can give you great lighting from anywhere. For example, if you’re participating in a video conference from your home office and the lighting is poor, you can use your phone to join the call and take advantage of the natural light from a nearby window. This can help you look your best on camera and be easily visible to others.
Finding the right lighting
You want to be visible while on video, so getting the lighting down is important. When shopping for lighting equipment, there are a few options to consider for matching your options with your needs. Here are a couple of tips to help you pick the best lighting equipment for your workspace:
- Consider your needs: Do you need a light for video conferences, or will you use it to create professional-quality video content? Will you use it in a well-lit environment, or will you need a light with a higher output? These factors can help you narrow down your options.
- Consider the size and portability: Just as with cameras, the portability of lighting can vary dramatically. A complete lighting setup might make sense if you work exclusively from home. For more portable needs, a smaller, easily transported option is better.
In addition to the basic equipment you’ll need to get your work done, a few other items can be helpful to have on hand, depending on your location and needs.
- Charging equipment: It’s essential to keep your device charged up, especially if you’ll be working on the go. Make sure you have a small USB plug, cable, and portable battery pack to help you stay connected.
- Portable drive: A portable drive, such as a USB flash drive or external hard drive, can be helpful when working at different locations because it allows you to store and access your files and documents from anywhere easily. This can be particularly helpful if you need to work on various devices or don’t have a stable internet connection.
- Tablet: A tablet can be an excellent alternative to a laptop when you need to work from anywhere because they’re typically lighter and more portable, making it easier to take with you wherever you go. Many tablets also have long battery life, which can be helpful when working for extended periods.
- Connectivity hub: If you want to expand the number and types of ports available on your laptop, consider adding a portable hub. Laptops tend to have fewer ports than their desktop equivalents, but a hub can instantly increase the number of available ports. This can be especially useful if you have a lot of devices and peripherals that you need to connect to your laptop, such as a mouse, keyboard, printer, or external hard drive.
- VPN: Public Wi-Fi networks can be a security nightmare. A VPN, or virtual private network, can also be useful when working from places others than home because it helps to secure your internet connection and protect your data from being accessed by third parties.
- Comfortable chair: If you’ll be sitting for long periods, do yourself a favor and get a comfortable chair that supports proper posture. Look for a chair with adjustable lumbar support and armrests.
- Mouse and keyboard: A good mouse and keyboard can make a big difference in comfort and usability. Look for a mouse with a comfortable grip and a keyboard with a responsive feel.
Depending on your location, certain items may be convenient to have on hand. In this section, we’ll look at some of the gear that can be helpful when working in coworking spaces, cafes or coffee shops, public libraries, and outdoors.
- Coworking spaces: When working in a co-working space, you’ll want to make sure you have all of the necessary equipment and supplies, such as a laptop, phone, and any other tools you’ll need to get your work done.
- Cafes or coffee shops: Not all cafes and coffee shops provide the same quality of internet service. You’ll want to ensure a stable connection when working at one of these locations. Test the WiFi connection before you need to work, and bring a mobile hotspot to any location with poor connectivity. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring headphones or earplugs to help reduce distractions and improve your focus.
- Public libraries: Public libraries typically have stable internet connections as part of their service, so you should be good on connectivity. However, they do expect more quiet behavior than in other locations. If you need to use audio, bring a set of headphones that prevent sound from escaping, and keep the volume at a reasonable level. It may go without saying, but don’t expect to participate in discussions when working from a library.
- Outdoors: Depending on where you’re working, a mobile hotspot might be your option for connectivity. So be sure to bring one. If you’ll be working in a public place, it’s a good idea to bring headphones or earplugs to help reduce distractions. Protect your equipment from the elements by using a protective case or cover.
Get the Right Tools For the Job
Having the right equipment will significantly improve your ability to collaborate with others, especially when working remotely. A good headset with good sound quality is crucial for precise and reliable communication, while a good camera and lighting are essential for creating high-quality video. Additionally, keeping your device charged throughout the workday is vital, so be sure to have a small USB plug, cable, and portable battery pack on hand.
Considering these factors, you can ensure that you have the right gear to stay connected and productive no matter where you work. Phone.com is committed to helping small businesses find the best communication solutions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your employees communicate more effectively.