For many office workers, working from home in 2020 and beyond has been the first time they have had to work away from the office. The switch to remote working has taken some getting used to. Whether you’ve been juggling home commitments or adjusting to less than ideal workspaces, remote working has been a challenge for many.
Technology can help you get more from your time working at home. Here are our picks for some of the apps we use to improve our experience working from home.
Tech to work from home
1. Turn your phone into a webcam
How many video calls do you think you have every week? And how many hours do you think you’ve spent on camera over the last few months? A lot, probably. One of our favourite work from home technologies is having the ability to use a mobile phone as a webcam. This is perfect if the quality of the webcam built into your laptop isn’t quite as good as you would like. The idea is that you download an app to your phone and to your computer. Then you can connect, via Bluetooth or USB, to make the most of your mobile phone’s camera.
There are a few apps available. If you have an Android phone, we recommend DroidCam. Simply download the apps to your phone and computer, and make sure the two devices are on the same network. Most video chat apps should recognise DroidCam as a webcam, but you may need to restart your PC once installed and paired. You can upgrade to the pro version for £4.99, which gives you HD quality video, greater controls over the camera, including zoom, toggle light, focus and it removes the watermark from the camera.
For iPhone users, we recommend using EpocCam. This has much of the same functionality as DroidCam, with a free version and a pro version. The pro version costs £7.99, and we recommend getting this upgrade for full functionality, if you spend a long time on video calls. Simply pair it with a tripod and you’ll be good to go!
2. Block background noise
If your working environment is noisier than you would like, background noise can make you hard to hear on calls. An app we’re using is called Krisp, designed to mute background noise with any communication app. This isn’t just good for remote working with background noise distractions. In an open plan office with los of other calls and conversations going on, none of that will get through to your call.
The only thing Krisp can’t do is completely remove the noise – it will still be there in the background, but only you will be able to hear it! The free version of Krisp offers 120 minutes per week of microphone muting – which is perfect if you’re only making a few calls. The pro version gives you unlimited microphone muting for $5 per month.
3. Turn your iPad into a second screen
One part of remote working that has taken a bit of getting used to is not having the same tech as you would in the office. If you’re used to two monitors and a laptop screen, going down to just a laptop isn’t easy! If you don’t have a monitor at home, but you do have a tablet, you can turn it into a second screen with ease!
The app to use is Duet Display – and costs £9.99 for the basic version. The basic version needs to be plugged in to the computer via USB, and if you’d rather have a wireless setup you can upgrade to the Air version for £1.79 per month. if you would like all available features, the Pro version costs £3.49 per month.
Having an iPad as a second screen is not like for like replacement for an external monitor. But for a fraction of the price, it lets you benefit from much of the same functionality.
Working from home tech
By making a few minor tweaks to your WFH setup, you can add apps that will enhance your experience, and give you a more professional feel. Want to get more out of your time working from home? Check out our home working hub for more useful articles.