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April 4, 2020

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How to create a home workstation

When employees begin working from home, setting up effective workstations for them can be a daunting task. Laptops are key to enabling remote workstations because they offer users the option to work virtually anywhere, but using a laptop alone comes with its limitations.

To help, StarTech has compiled a list of solutions to four common problems that professionals may run into while working from home on a laptop. Tese tips will help you create productive and comfortable home office workstations for you and your team.

How do I stay connected to all of the productivity tools I used in my office?

When transitioning to a work from home environment, it can be difficult to ensure you maintain access to all of your productivity tools.

While laptops are great for offering flexibility in the workplace, as they get thinner and are designed for more mobility, port availability is often sacrificed. A docking station or multiport adapter can help combat this problem by allowing users to optimize the limited ports available on their laptop. With these accessories, a laptop can connect to a mouse, keyboard, additional USB devices, as well as Gigabit Ethernet and multiple monitors all through a single cable. These connectivity tools provide users with the ability to turn their laptop into a highly efficient workstation.

The economical solution

Multiport adapters offer a solution that can be as powerful as a docking station, in a more compact form. These small but mighty products provide users with access to their essential peripherals and technologies.

  • Additional monitor output options
  • Add USB and other ports
  • Facilitate device charging
  • Gigabit Ethernet

Another solution for users who simply need additional USB port access is a USB hub. Hubs offer plenty of extra ports to keep users connected to the tools they need most, whether it’s their smartphone, tablet, SD card reader, or other essential peripheral.

The premium solution

Laptop docking stations enable the productivity of a full-scale workstation, with the portability of a laptop. They provide users with an easy way to work with multiple monitors, reliable Gigabit Ethernet, and other essential peripherals through one simple connection to their laptop.

  • Multiple Monitors
  • Laptop Charging
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Plenty of additional USB ports
  • Additional ports to connect a wired headset for virtual work and meetings

Buying Tip: When looking for a docking station it is beneficial to find an option that offers wide device compatibility. This will ensure that regardless of the laptop brand or operating system various members of your team or (if you’re working from home) your family use, it will be a solution that suits all of you.

Thunderbolt 3

For users who are looking for high-performance technology, use resource-demanding applications, require multiple HD monitors and need fast transfer speeds, StarTech says Thunderbolt 3 is your answer. Whether it’s transferring a 4K video in under 30 seconds or enhancing your laptop’s graphics with an external GPU, Thunderbolt 3 and its capabilities are said to provide you with the levels of productivity you depend on.

 

How do I reduce eye fatigue?

Eye strain, headaches, and a lack of productivity can all result from working long hours on a small laptop screen. Connecting to multiple and larger displays allows users to reduce eye fatigue and boost productivity up to 44%. A docking station or video adapter can transform a 13-inch workspace into a dual or triple monitor workstation.

The economical solution

A simple video adapter provides employees with plug-and-play access to an additional display.

There are video adapters to support a wide variety of laptop ports including USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, and Mini DisplayPort, so you’re sure to find a solution that suits your needs.

The premium solution

Docking stations offer users the flexibility they require when building their home workstation. Depending on space, users can create anything from a single to a triple monitor workstation that keeps them productive and offers visibility to all of their essential applications.

Interesting Fact: a study conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology showed that working with dual-monitors can help to reduce task-time and workload.

Buying Tip: Don’t forget the cables! A multi-monitor workstation is only as good as the connectivity tools used to enable it. When purchasing a display cable, it’s important to ensure it is tested to meet industry standards. Some cables also carry a certification which helps guarantee the reliability and quality of the cable.

How do I ensure a fast and secure network?

When telecommuting, remaining connected to your team and office network is critical. This means ensuring device network connections are fast and secure. Speed is critical to minimize lag which can be frustrating and negatively impact productivity, especially when participating in video conference meetings that require high bandwidth. Security is essential to ensure that the sensitive information you access from your company’s network or intranet remains protected.

The economical solution

USB-C and USB Ethernet adapters make it easy to add a wired network connection to your device. As long as there is a USB or Thunderbolt 3 port available, a compact network adapter provides a quick and simple solution to accessing better network speeds and security.

The premium solution

A direct Gigabit Ethernet connection is just one of the many productivity benefits a quality docking station can provide users. It offers a single source of access when building an efficient workstation.

How do I stay comfortable?

While this may be the most overlooked of the obstacles, the negative effects of an uncomfortable workstation shouldn’t be ignored. Creating a space that’s comfortable can help you stay focused and eliminate the health concerns that come with sitting hunched over a laptop for several hours a day.

The economical solution

Monitor Mount: A basic monitor mount can help save space and provide height adjustments and display rotation for comfortable viewing.

Laptop Riser: A simple laptop stand can provide easy angle adjustments for more comfortable viewing and typing. To keep you comfortable wherever you’re working from, consider a lightweight and portable solution.

User Tip: If you don’t have a spare monitor in your home, remember that with a simple adapter, any small TV can usually be converted to function as an additional display. As a bonus, these TVs often have VESA mounting patterns on the back that make them compatible with a number of quality monitor mounts.

The premium solution

Monitor Mount: For more viewing options and easier adjustments, a full motion articulating monitor mount is perfect. It allows you to tilt, pan, and rotate your monitor to fit your needs while also saving space with a small footprint. If you prefer to use multiple monitors, there are a variety of mounts available that support anywhere from dual to quad monitor workstations.

Laptop Riser: For an ergonomic solution, a premium laptop riser will raise your laptop off of the desk and include tilted angle adjustments for comfortable viewing. These products offer a more robust solution with greater comfort.

Tablet Mount: A tablet mount is another way users can comfortably incorporate all of their devices into their ergonomic workstation.

Sit-Stand Workstation: If you have a low sitting desk or tend to get uncomfortable after sitting for extended hours, consider a sit-stand workstation and anti-fatigue mat. An ergonomic solution like this can keep individuals productive and comfortable for extended hours.

Every home office is unique, and while the needs or challenges of individuals on your team may vary, one thing remains the same: optimizing productivity and comfort is critical. With a variety of diverse solutions available, prioritizing your team’s wellness and ensuring they remain efficient and connected is easy, whether they’re in the office or working from home

Click here for more workstation connectivity essentials.

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