Telecommuting equipment: screens, PCs and essential accessories for working well at home

Containment is lifted, but teleworking seems set to stay. Here is the essential equipment to work comfortably from home.

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While teleworking is no longer compulsory, the practice has become more democratic and it is important to be able to do so under good conditions. At Idroid and Numerama, we have made teleworking widespread and learned from the events of the past few months. Here are our essentials for working comfortably and efficiently from home.

The PC: the central part of teleworking

Your PC will obviously be the essential part for teleworking. If your business provides you with a laptop, that will solve the problem. If not, investing in a good machine is crucial. Working with a poorly performing PC will not only waste your time, but will also make your working at home experience unpleasant.

If you are looking for a machine, we have written several guides for all budgets:

  • The best PCs under 500 euros
  • The best ChromeBooks
  • The best PCs between 500 and 1000 euros
  • The best high-end PCs

It is in this last category that you will obviously find the most efficient machines. Everything will of course depend on your needs. For us, the MacBook Pro 13 M1 is the most balanced machine around.

9 / 10

Apple MacBook Pro 13 2020 M1

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If you absolutely need Windows, we mainly recommend the Dell XPS 13, which is still a safe bet.

9 / 10

Dell XPS 13 9310

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Regarding stationary PCs, Numerama offers a guide to gamer PC configurations. The gaming machines being above all "performance" oriented, they will also be quite usable for teleworking.

Keyboard and mouse: find the right accessory

Louise Audry for Idroid

It is also important to invest in quality accessories. We think in particular of keyboards and mice. If, in general, basic equipment is sufficient most of the time, for the long term it is better to invest in quality equipment. For office automation, we offer you a guide to the best mice. Our preference goes to the Logitech MX Master 3. Its ergonomics are perfect and its side wheel allows you to scroll at lightning speed in Excel spreadsheets.

Find the Mx Master 3 at 89 euros

As for keyboards, you have the choice between an office keyboard, membrane, which will make less noise if you are not working very far from your other half. We still think of Logitech with the Mx Keys from Logitech offered for a hundred euros. Otherwise, an ergonomic keyboard is also a good solution, we like the Microsoft keyboard, then count around 65 euros. You finally have the Logitech MK740 pack with its little mouse. The latter is however more to be considered as repair equipment.

Find the Mx Keys at 110 euros

For a wider selection, you can take a look at our selection of Bluetooth office keyboards and mice.

If you are more of a mechanical keyboard, prefer the "tactile" and "clicky" keys, which are generally more suited to typing. You can find all our suggestions in our comparison of the best mechanical keyboards to play.

The screen: see well to avoid eye fatigue

If you work at home on a laptop, especially if it has a 13-inch screen, investing in an external display is important for two reasons: first, it will give you more convenience to juggle various windows, and then so as not to tire your eyes.

Depending on how much space you have at home, a 24-inch screen with Full HD definition is the most basic option. From an office perspective, you don't need to worry about response time or color accuracy, the most important thing is to have more space. This Samsung Full HD screen is discreet and costs only 150 euros.

Your budget is higher? Go for a 2560 x 1440 pixel QHD definition and a 27-inch diagonal. This model signed IIyama will be perfect under the bar of 300 euros.

If you have room, a large diagonal coupled with a 4K definition represents the best in terms of comfort. With its 32 inches and 4K definition, the Samsung LU32J590UQUXEN monitor is a good choice for 310 euros.

Find the Samsung LU32J590UQUXEN at 310 euros

If you want to treat yourself, the Huawei Mateview is one of our favorites, with its 4K + on a 28,2-inch diagonal and a beautiful image. We just blame it for the lack of VESA mounting.

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If the price is only a detail, go for an ultra wide 21/9 or 32/9 screen. It is for us the pinnacle of what can be found for a home office. However, it will require a very large desk and a full wallet.

The stand: for a laptop at the right height

If you are using a dedicated keyboard and mouse with your laptop, you might want to raise the laptop so that it's at eye level. This will limit the fatigue of your neck.

If the “stacking books” solution is still possible, we advise you to invest in a dedicated support which will be more elegant and as a bonus will free up space on your desk. Sold for less than 30 euros and cut in aluminum, this BoYata stand accommodates all laptops from 10 to 17 inches for just under 30 euros.

If you're the type of person who works from the back of the bed or sofa, isolating the computer with a padded tablet like Belkin's Cushdesk will prevent both the computer and your thighs from overheating. For the health of your joints, however, we do not recommend that you stay in this type of position for a long time.

Find the Belkin Cushdesk for € 30

To finish our overview of supports, we will talk about screen arms. Far from being gadgets, they allow you to adjust the position of its display as desired while freeing up space on the desk.

The screens at the right height are yours!

They are available at all prices, but these models for one and for two screens caught our attention. Inexpensive they can give a second wind to a non-adjustable foot screen.

The dock: because we often lack outlets

If you have a modern laptop, chances are its connectivity is limited to a few USB-C sockets. This may be sufficient on the move, but with several devices connected you risk quickly finding yourself cramped. Fortunately, affordable hubs have mushroomed in recent years.

If you're on a budget, this Novoo USB C hub will be perfect. Compact, simple and inexpensive, it adds a pair of USB connectors, a 4K HDMI output as well as an SD and micro-SD card reader.

If you need something more complete, we point you towards this model always at Novoo, which in addition to its three USB ports and its HDMI output offers a Gigabit Ethernet socket and supports the USB-C power supply in "passthrough" mode. This therefore frees up a USB-C port that would have been occupied by the power cable.

Find the Novoo USB C 8 in 1 Hub for 40 €

For those who need multiple 4K outputs and the highest possible USB speeds (for an external SSD for example), you will need to go through a hub using a Thunderbolt 3 interface. The latter is usually found on high-end devices like Apple MacBook Pro or Dell XPS 15.

Docks of this type are much more expensive, but they also provide power for your computer. We really like the Calldigit SOHO Dock. Using 10 Gbits USB, it offers two 4K video outputs, USB type A, passthrough up to 100 W for charging and a card reader.

Find the Calldigit Soho Dock for 95 € at Amazon.

For more options, you can also take a look at our review of the best USB-C hubs.

The seat: protect your back with a good seat

Occupational medicine is very clear on the subject. Good posture is extremely important to protect your back. The basics are as follows: stand straight, arms at a right angle, with the screen at eye level, and both feet flat on the ground. If companies generally offer their employees quality seats, this is more rarely the case at home. Clément D., developer at Humanoid, and teleworking daily, bought the Epic model from Noblechairs available for around 350 euros.

Find the Epic Noblechairs at 339 euros

It is certainly an expensive model, but very precisely adjustable and particularly comfortable. If the investment is heavy, you won't regret it and it will last over time.

For those allergic to the bucket seat look, the Autonomous ErgoChair 2 is a safe value for 399 euros.

Less expensive, and also more discreet, this Mfavour armchair, with height-adjustable armrests and lumbar support is also a suitable choice and costs half the price.

Find the MFavour office chair at 1579 euros

For a complete selection of chairs for gaming or work, read our review of the best chairs for playing (or working).

Printers: even when you telecommute, you may need paper

If all offices are equipped with a printer, these are increasingly rare among private individuals. However, even when you telecommute you may need to print documents. Various invoices, archives, need for original paper documents, etc. We've put together a dedicated buying guide with a few inexpensive printers that are sufficient for one-time use and readily available in this particular time.

  • Find our comparison of the best multifunction printers

If you plan to print high volumes, choosing a laser printer can be less expensive in the long run. The HP Laser107a is great value for money if all you need is black and white.

Find the HP Laser107a at 100 euros on Cdiscount

Cut yourself off from the world with a good helmet

If you like to cut yourself off from the world or just can't stand the upstairs neighbor who plays the drill 6 hours a day, headphones are a great option. We have a complete guide to the best headphones with proposals at all prices. On the high end, we recommend the Bose Headphones 700 or the Sony WH-1000xM4, which are the best headphones around: comfortable, with very good noise reduction and excellent sound.

9 / 10

Bose Headphones 700

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On the entry level, we really like the Sennheiser HD 350 BT, it certainly does not have noise reduction, but the passive isolation is well made and the comfort is there. If you work alone and don't feel like wearing a headset all day, you can also find our PC speaker tips.

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Survive the heat in summer

For those who usually work in air-conditioned offices, working from home in the summer can be complicated to say the least. If spending the day in shorts and flip flops is a good start, a small booster fan can help inexpensively.

We particularly like this AngLink model. Powered by USB, it can be placed on the desk or attached to a screen using the integrated clamp. It will not refresh a living room, but for a little breeze on your face it will be more than enough, especially considering its price.

If you're looking for a bit more advanced models, our colleagues at Numerama have made them a selection of the best fans.

Internet connection

Having a good internet connection is essential for working from home. While it may be difficult to change your ISP at a time when the internet is so crucial, you may be able to take the opportunity to switch to a more upscale offer offering better speeds. Find our summary of fiber and ADSL offers at the moment, or use our internet subscription comparator just below.

The best Internet Boxes

Fiber, RED box Fiber Cable

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Need a mobile plan

Unlike the Internet, changing from one mobile operator to another is very generally done without interruption of service. Do not hesitate to consult the best mobile plans of the moment thanks to our comparator.

The best plans without commitment

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Beyond the hardware, some good practices for teleworking

So much for our selection of equipment, but teleworking also requires a certain discipline of life, without having to go to the office, it is quickly tempting to let go. Here are some recommendations which, from experience, allow you to work from home more efficiently.

  • Get up at regular times and dress as if you were going to the office.

This is important in order to realize that we are at work at home and not just at home.

  • As far as possible, set up a small "office" area, however small it may be.

Again, this will help you determine a workspace and a recreation area.

  • Communicate with your colleagues and use the appropriate tools depending on the nature of the problem

Computer tools allow us to communicate very easily with colleagues. Instant messaging is handy for conveying information, calls are easier to exchange ideas and find compromises, emails allow you to follow a complex project.

  • Don't hesitate to take breaks

With fewer interruptions, telecommuting is conducive to long periods of concentration. While that can be a benefit, don't forget to take breaks. Have a coffee, have a bite to eat, do a few push-ups or simply sit on the sofa… In short, treat yourself to a break!

  • When you are done working, you are done working

When your day is over, leave your office area and "come home". Also resist the temptation to look at your emails or your professional messaging. At home, we may tend to no longer separate personal time from professional time. While it can work for a while, a clean cut is healthier in the long run.

So much for our advice, do not hesitate to share yours with us in the comments.

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