Being stuck at home since the pandemic started has had me searching for anything that will make things easier for my family. It’s been pretty challenging now that both my husband and I are working from home – we’re often both in zoom calls, sometimes at the same time, add to that the few weeks when the kids also had to do home-based learning. We had to convert any available space in our small flat into additional desk/study areas, and figured out ways to make it possible for all 4 of us to take calls if necessary. (And believe me, it was often necessary).
Singapore climate being what it is, there are also months when you have to deal with the dust and dander blowing in from outside, or when there is no breeze, you have the heat and humidity. Thankfully, we did find ways to make lockdown life easier and more bearable!
WFH Essentials that got us through:
- Having high speed internet is a must. We have two broadband connections: Starhub (which we use for tv viewing & gaming), and Singtel, which we use for pretty much everything else. We’ve only had good experiences with both, and it does help to separate the connection for the tv viewing so Netflix doesn’t interfere with zoom calls.
2. Filtech Aero Air Purifier – this has been a real life- saver. My sons and I suffer from chronic allergies. It’s usually tolerable unless the trees outside the windows are in full bloom (which they are right now). We feel really claustrophobic if all the windows are closed all day, so the air purifier is a must-have. We’ve tried other brands, and this has been the best by far! It’s amazingly quiet, it monitors the air quality constantly, and best of all, the HEPA filter effectively filters out dust, smoke, pollen, dander, and large dust particles. We’ve been using it for several days now, and we haven’t sneezed once. Note that we also have Dyson fans with air filtering capabilities, and those work almost as well too, but they are noisier than the Filtech. Oh, and my son loves the night light feature!
3. Twelve South HiRise adjustable stand – it’s beautifully designed, adjustable, and saves my back and neck from pain while working. What else can I say? Oh, it came in a really nice box too, and has obviously learned about packaging design from Apple. I use a bluetooth keyboard and have a huge external monitor, so this really helps. Plus, I can adjust the height so that on zoom calls the camera is at a flattering angle!
4. I cannot say enough good things about this mouse pad. Yes, it’s just a mouse pad, I know. But for whatever reason, it made my mouse more accurate, the smooth surface prevents mistakes when creating graphics, the large size (13″ x 11″) makes it easier to work, and it’s really thin so it doesn’t affect the angle of your wrist. The 3M precise mouse pad has actually prevented my carpal tunnel syndrome from returning. If I could write a poem for it, I would.
5. Another fabulous find! The Satechi Foldable Aluminium Stand, which I found on the Apple Store, has helped me with calls & meetings when I couldn’t have access to my desk (long story). It’s sleek, sturdy, and can be folded away when not in use. I have used this for Facetime calls with family, late night zoom calls with clients in the US, propped my iPad on it for workout videos when the kids are watching tv. The genius thing about this is that you have access to the port at the bottom of the device in case you need to charge it, or attach earphones. It’s also heavy enough to provide stability to the device.
6. Last year my husband gifted me with a De’Longhi fully automatic coffee machine for Valentine’s Day, a month before Singapore declared a circuit breaker. It was prescient, I tell you! I use it several times a day – at least I can still get really good coffee any time.
There are a few more things on my wishlist though: a water purifier to avoid clogging my coffee machine, perhaps a standing desk to lessen the amount of time sitting down in front of the computer, and better noise canceling headphones for when all 4 of us are in calls.
What has made WFM easier for you? Do share in the comments!