One of the benefits of working from home (or anywhere) is the ability to choose the devices you will use. Unfortunately, the client or office won’t always pay for what remote workers want.
And although these things could help with productivity, they are not always something a remote worker would buy for themselves. So, if you have a friend, family member, or significant other based online, these are some tech gifts they’ll love and appreciate.
1. An Ultrawide Monitor
Spending many hours in a day focused on a small screen can cause headaches and eyestrain. That’s because a small display tends to make people squint, especially if they need to focus on small icons on an already small screen.
Furthermore, a small screen means it’s challenging to have multiple open windows simultaneously. Users must frequently use ALT + tab or Command + tab to switch between the apps they use. So, if they need to look at the office messaging board, project management system, or another browser window, they must hide the current app they’re working on.
Getting an ultrawide 21:9 monitor will reduce user eyestrain while increasing productivity. That’s because the larger screen will let users have bigger icons, thus reducing the need to squint frequently to see on-screen elements. It also provides extra desktop real estate, allowing two or more apps to open side by side.
But if you have the budget and the recipient has enough space, a multi-monitor setup is even more advisable, especially if they use or monitor multiple apps.
2. A Mechanical Keyboard
A keyboard is the primary tool any user will use to interact with a computer. Whatever the role is, keyboards are used to input textual data—like usernames and passwords. But this peripheral is doubly important if the user is a programmer or writer.
While keyboard preferences will vary between persons, a great keyboard generally has a tactile feel, giving feedback to the user when a key is pressed. That’s why mechanical keyboards are highly recommended. Although they’re more expensive than most membrane keyboards, they’re mostly worth it in terms of feel and feedback.
There are other keyboard sizes aside from the standard full-sized keyboard. If your significant other has a small desk or frequently travels, consider getting them a smaller-sized keyboard for portability.
3. A Sit-Stand Desk
Staying seated for hours and hours on end is bad for the body. It can cause pains and aches and even have long-term medical effects. One worst-case scenario is that the worker develops a blood clot that leads to a stroke because they keep their knees bent for a long time.
A sit-stand desk is highly recommended for remote workers to avoid this situation. By letting them adjust the height of their desk, they can work while seated or standing. This helps with blood flow without distracting from work. And once they get tired, they simply need to press a button, and the desk will return to the seated position, allowing them to continue working instantly.
4. An Ergonomic Chair
If there’s one thing every remote worker should have, it’s this—an ergonomic chair. Whether they have a sit-stand desk or not, they’ll eventually need to sit in front of their computer. And if they’re working a full day (or even a half day), the chair they use significantly impacts productivity.
That’s because an uncomfortable chair means they can’t focus on what they’re doing. The user must adjust their seating position constantly to get the right feel. And if the chair they’re using doesn’t promote correct and comfortable posture, it could cause long-term physical and medical problems.
However, giving an ergonomic chair can also be tricky. That’s because bodies are unique—so a comfortable chair for one user might not fit well with another. If you’re intent on giving the best ergonomic chair, it’s best to bring them to a place or store where they can try them. It’s not that different from fitting clothes at the store before making a purchase.
5. Noise-Canceling Earbuds/Headphones
Whether or not the remote worker is one to listen to music while working, a good pair of noise-canceling earbuds/headphones is an excellent gift for remote workers. This is especially true if they frequently have virtual meetings or want to isolate themselves while working.
Good earbuds or headphones will have excellent sound pick-up while offering passive sound isolation. This helps them be heard during meetings while ensuring they can clearly hear the people they’re talking to. And with the active noise-canceling feature, they can reduce ambient noise, even without music. This could allow them to drown out environmental sounds and focus on the task at hand.
6. An Ergonomic Mouse
Computer mice are essential for using computers today. Even if touchscreen devices and monitors already exist, they’re still not as precise and accurate as mice. Furthermore, they’re easier to use, especially with an OS designed for keyboards and mice.
However, not all mice are created the same. An ergonomic mouse takes your hand’s natural position in its body shape and button placement. You’ll also find that other ergonomic mice have extra buttons, allowing you to execute commonly used tasks with the press of a finger.
7. A High-Definition Webcam
Most laptops have a built-in 720p or 1080p webcam. However, they’re generally not high-quality due to the limited space around the monitor bezels. This is especially true as the industry trends towards thinner devices with larger screens. So, if you want your friend or partner to stand out during meetings, you should give them a high-quality webcam.
Webcams designed for gamers and streamers are a great option, even if they don’t play or stream. That’s because these devices capture great images and are also great at adjusting for the ambient lighting around the user. Furthermore, some of these webcams have great autofocus and built-in lights, ensuring the user is always focused and can be clearly seen by their viewers.
A Gift for Productivity
While these things may seem unessential, they go a long way in helping online freelancers, and remote workers, increase their productivity. More than that, you can avoid long-term physical and medical problems with some of these ergonomic options, making them an excellent investment.