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With COVID-19 causing shutdowns all over the world, many workers are able to experience the holy grail of our modern age: working from home. There are hundreds of books and podcasts devoted to how to achieve this bliss-filled, ascended state of work, and each one promises that you can work from a beach with your cares left behind. The unfortunate reality, even under non-lockdown conditions, is that working from home, while great for a pajama-based dress code, has its own set of frustrations.

Fortunately, I’m an experienced hermit with years of working from home under his belt, and the vast inventory of Newegg at my disposal. I’m here to help. Let’s look at a list of common frustrations that may be plaguing you and see how we tech can help soothe the pain.

Visit Newegg’s Work From Home Portal for a full selection of hardware and more tips.

#1 A good webcam for video conferencing

or…My current webcam makes me look like a missing persons photo

Video conferencing is a miracle of technology and convenience, but your laptop’s built-in camera’s most amazing feature is the ability to make your video feed look like the first few seconds of the VHS tape in The Ring. We may have thrown on a nice shirt while hiding that we’re wearing basketball shorts out of frame, but we still want to make ourselves look as presentable as possible. Getting a dedicated webcam meant for video conferencing can dramatically change the quality of how you show up on Zoom or Hangouts thanks to larger and better optics. Add a better onboard microphone than what your daily-driver is packing and you are already a few steps ahead of your coworkers.

Anivia 1080p HD Webcam W8 for working from home

Anivia W8 1080p HD Webcam

 

Creative Labs 3D Camera BlasterX Senz3DCreative Labs BlasterX Senz3D Camera

Logitech C930e WebcamLogitech C930e Webcam

 

#2 A mouse is better than a trackpad

or…This laptop trackpad just isn’t gonna cut it

Sometimes you don’t realize just how bad your laptop’s trackpad is until you’re trying to relax on your couch, cranking out a work email, and suddenly you have to do the complicated maneuver of switching from the web browser to Slack. You valiantly try to accomplish this, but your trackpad fights you every step of the way. Jerky scrolling, mushy buttons, and “palm detection” that is more of a dream than reality are curses that many home-workers, including myself, have fought against. The best weapon in that fight is a killer mouse.

I really love using gaming mice for work because all of the extra buttons and wheels they add to help your Fortnite skills are handy for assigning specialized work macros, shortcuts, or commands to. Plus, RBG is a nice way to give your home office some mood lighting.

Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse

Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse

Logitech G502 SE HEROLogitech G502 SE HERO

 

Logitech MX ANYWHERE 2S for working from home

Logitech MX ANYWHERE 2S

 

And for those trackball fans (great for couch working):

Logitech MX ERGO Advanced Wireless Trackball Mouse

Logitech MX ERGO Advanced Wireless Trackball Mouse

 

#3 Mechanical keyboards feel better than laptop keys

or…My keybrd is hardf to tyoe on

I have something I need to get off my chest, and it will definitely make you look at me differently, but if I don’t say something you might not know the depth of my struggle. You see, I’m typing this article on a… Macbook keyboard. I know, I know! My kind aren’t welcome here, but I only tell you this so you understand that my keyboard pain is honest. I was looking forward to plugging in one of my many, many dongles and hooking up a wonderfully clicky mechanical Logitech keyboard, but I can’t find the dongle I need.

Spare yourself the mushy keys, uncertain keypresses, and frequent mistakes by picking up a satisfying gaming keyboard. There are so many different switches to choose from, whether you want a smooth keypress or a tactile bump when the switch activates, that you can find your perfect typing experience.

Devastator 3 Gaming Combo with RGB Keyboard and Mouse

Devastator 3 Gaming Combo with RGB Keyboard and Mouse

Logitech G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Logitech G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Cooler Master MK730 Tenkeyless Gaming Mechanical Keyboard

Cooler Master MK730 Tenkeyless Gaming Mechanical Keyboard

Logitech G815 LIGHTSYNC RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard With Linear Switches for working from home

Logitech G815 LIGHTSYNC RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard With Linear Switches

#4 Noise-canceling headphones for working from home

or…Was my apartment really this noisy all along?

I asked myself that very question just this morning when the Marine drill team that I assume lives upstairs from me started practicing their most stomp-heavy routines just feet above my head. Their stamina was impressive because I was asking myself the same question an hour later as I desperately searched for a decent set of noise-canceling headphones to block out the rapid booming coming from my ceiling. I grabbed my trusty gaming headset and pumped music through it at a “safe” volume, and my mind became blissfully focused.

I love gaming headsets for working from home because they have built-in mics for video conferencing that swivel out of the way so you don’t have a USB mic taking up precious desktop space, and their sound settings are often adjustable through software. Plus, when the workday is done, you can switch to gaming mode without moving an inch!

Rosewill 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset, RGB Noise Isolation HeadphonesRosewill 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming RGB Noise Isolation Headphones

Corsair HS60 PRO SURROUND

Corsair HS60 PRO SURROUND

Corsair VOID ELITE SURROUND Circumaural Premium Gaming Headset for working from home

Corsair VOID ELITE SURROUND Circumaural Premium Gaming Headset

 

With those tech problems solved, you’ll be on your way to a more productive, less maddening work from home routine. There are a few other things to squeeze into your day that don’t have obvious tech solutions, but will make you feel human even after long days in front of a screen and evenings trapped inside.

Life tips for working from home

Stay hydrated

This is easy to overlook, and with my french press so close, I’d be happy to keep making pots of coffee. Well, a person can not live on coffee alone. Making sure to drink a few glasses of water at your desk will keep you clear-headed and bright.

Open a window

Do you have a window near your desk or couch? Can you throw the blinds open and luxuriate in some sunshine and fresh air? Do it! Staying inside definitely isn’t great for getting our vitamin D, and no fresh air can really knock down the ‘ol mental wellbeing.

Don’t eat like it’s your last day on earth

You know what is lame? Boredom. You know what isn’t boring? Making a bunch of cookies and eating them! That’s how my brain sounds, and I’d bet good money that yours is telling you something similar. Eating like the world is ending will only cure your boredom for a few moments, and the carb crash will hit you like ten tons of bricks.

Get up, stand up

You aren’t glued into that chair, so don’t act like it. Stand up, stretch, walk around your kitchen, pet the dog, and then sit back down. Getting the blood flowing while working out that computer hunch will go a long way toward a positive attitude when the workday ends.

We hope these tips will help you make your work from home situation closer to the paradise you imagined before it was mandatory for so many of us. Stay safe and healthy out there!

Visit Newegg’s Work From Home Portal for a full selection of hardware and more tips.

Kyle Winters

Author Kyle Winters

More posts by Kyle Winters

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Allen Blum says:

    your emphasis on gaming is getting really old and frustrating. i am an smb developer, and i use several vms, including sql server mirrors. why is it you cater only to gamers while excluding anyone else?

  • Kat says:

    quite a few “gaming” keyboards/mice/headsets are equally useful for work. for example, just because it’s a “gaming” mouse, that does not mean you cannot program those extra buttons to execute core program tasks for work. i am a bit disappointed, however, to see that most products being pushed are higher-end in terms of price, especially right now. at a time when the government is handing out money to help people get through, it is not logical to expect that they can afford a $240 keyboard. just my two cents.

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