For many, having a home office has become a new normal and it’s never been more important to have that WFH space work well for you. Enter smart home products – devices such as smart lights, smart plugs, smart speakers and wireless printers – which, with an effective WiFi router, boost your productivity and efficiency, while also offering greater convenience and increased power and safety. Set up a smart home office and start controlling your devices with your voice or your phone, know your schedule with a reminder from a smart speaker, and set the lighting to help you focus, then program it to turn off automatically at the end of your work day.
Use Your Voice: Smart Speakers
Smart speakers are already enormously popular in our homes but they’re also a clever addition to any home office. Use them to boost the audio quality of your hands-free calls and, when paired via Bluetooth to your computer, to enhance the sound for your video meeting. Rely on them to provide and store information through voice command. A smart speaker like the Google Nest Hub also has a display, so you can see – and not just hear – your search results, as well as details from your calendar and your to-do list. The Echo Studio also provides excellent audio quality and acts as a hub to control a range of compatible smart home products in your office, such as lights and plugs, which can be turned on and off with your voice.
What To Try
- Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen Smart Display Chalk
- Amazon Echo Studio Black
- Google Nest Mini Smart Speaker Charcoal
- Amazon Echo Dot Clock and Alexa 4th Gen Glacier White
SEE ALSO: Real Review: Google Nest Audio
Get Switched on with Smart Power and Light
All home offices need power but with the addition of smart plugs like the Brilliant Smart Double Adaptor and Brilliant Smart 4-Port Powerboard, you can do so much more. They can be set up so you can control the multiple devices you need for work – such as lights, lamps, air purifiers and fans – with your voice through a smart speaker or with an app on your smartphone, for use in the office or remotely. The onboard USB ports of the smart power boards also provide a handy way to charge other devices so they are always ready to use and you won’t be caught lacking charge just before an important meeting.
You can set the smart power devices to turn on or off connected lights or a lamp in your home office at pre-programmed times, a handy way to save power or improve home security. Or cut out the middleman, the smart plug, and just use smart lighting instead, such as the Philips Hue Smart Candle, which, when connected to the Philips Hue Bridge or your smart home hub, can offer complete lighting control in your work space. It makes it easy to adjust the brightness to best focus on your work or change the colour of the light to suit energy levels throughout the work day.
What To Try
- Brilliant Smart Double Adaptor with Dual USB
- Brilliant Smart 4 Port Powerboard 4 USB
- Philips Hue Smart Candle B39 E14 White Colour Ambience
- Philips Hue Bridge
Simply Connected: Smart Printers
There’s no need to connect a cable from your computer to your phone, or email an image or a doc from your mobile device to the computer, before printing anymore. Smart printers such as the HP Envy and Canon Pixma are affordable wireless choices that mean anyone on the WiFi network can print their documents from anywhere in your home. But if you’re doing a lot of printing, not only does the Epson EcoTank have Apple AirPrint and WIFi Direct connectivity, it comes with enough ink in the box to print more than around 11,000 colour pages or 14,000 mono pages.
What To Try
- HP Envy 6020e All-in-One Printer
- Canon Pixma All-In-One Home Office Printer Value Pack TR8660
- Epson EcoTank Colour MFC Printer ET-3700
Stay Connected With Mesh WiFi
One of the most critical things in a smart home office is your internet connection. Products like the Netgear Orbi and the TP-Link Deco ensure you’re getting fast and consistent WiFi even if your home office is at the opposite side of the house from the modem. Having reliable internet means a solid and stable connection for video meetings – no more dropping out, freezing or losing sound while giving a presentation!