By Rachel Peck
This time last year, we wrote a blog on four PR and marketing tools we were thankful for, but so much can certainly change in 12 short (long) months. As we head into Thanksgiving week, we’re reflecting on how our personal and work lives have changed, as well as the landscape of the holiday season. More than ever, we’re relying on our technology to help keep us connected. For those still searching for ways to make your life just a little easier, we compiled a few home office tools we’re thankful for:
A Mobile Ring Light to make you look…presentable
As a PR agency in 2020, we thought we were used to a high volume of long-distance client meetings, however, we were unprepared for the influx of Zoom client calls, happy hours and daily meetings. To make matters more difficult, we were working solely from home – which often meant working in pajamas until 1 p.m. (Don’t judge. You did it too). Enter the Ring light for mobile and personal computers. While not as illuminating as the larger Ring light, this handy little device will help you look a little more put together for your 9 a.m. Monday client call – even if you’re still in your PJs.
Webcam cover to reduce risk of sneak peeks
We’re already living in a pandemic, so don’t make things worse for yourself and risk your video turning on before you’re prepared. This is where a handy webcam cover steps in to save the day. Not only is it a good idea – from a privacy standpoint – to keep your webcam covered, it’ll save you from accidentally joining a meeting where video is mandatory at the start, before you’re prepared for your onscreen debut. Easy to buy and use, simply slide the webcam cover open when you’re ready to chat and then close it when you’re done – ensuring your safety against unwanted visual sneak peeks into your life.
A desk for your lap
Due to lack of home office space, or sometimes an unwillingness to sit at a desk, many of us have been relegated to working from our couches, beds or anywhere comfortable seating can be found. If you’re in this category, consider investing in a lap desk. We can attest it’s highly preferable to balancing your laptop on your knees all day long. It also has plenty of space for a wireless mouse, if you’re not a fan of the keypad.
For when you need to cancel out the noise
Why anyone who works remotely would need noise canceling headphones is fairly self explanatory. However, if you still need to be convinced then you probably have a soundproof office in a 10 bedroom house. For those of us in one-bedroom apartments, or those with young (or older) children, pets, significant others, or roommates – noise is always something that could be canceled. These will come in handy for when your dog begins barking at the neighbors while you’re in a meeting. Or for when your significant other begins making their second lunch of the day, while you’re on deadline. Do your sanity a favor – it will thank you.
Google Calendar to stay organized
This one needs almost no explanation, but we’ll highlight some favorite features anyways. First up is the ability to share calendars with other colleagues and clients. Without the ability to pop over to the next office to double check meeting availability, clear communication on shared calendars has been key. It can also help you set daily expectations with colleagues, for example, if you’re homeschooling your kids or needing to run an important errand, you can schedule “out of office” time visible to the rest of the team. Even though you aren’t in the office, it’s even more important to not operate in a silo – Google Calendar helps with that.
Work and home life have both been in a state of upheaval for the better part of a year now, and although we’re still adjusting, these tools have made the transition just a little bit easier. For that, we’re thankful.