The topic of this post will be work from home gadgets but in a different way. I will try to find out how designers answer to such a design brief. Which additional values: functional, aesthetic they add to the products they design. How such products improve the quality of work from home, comfort and joy of the user?
Work from home
The work environment is permanently changing. Today every place can be a workplace: cafe, hotel room, train…At the moment, more and more people are working from home. The COVID-19 crisis is causing companies to decide this direction. Even those companies that until recently though that their business is not for this mode of work.
Generally, we spend the majority of our time at work, that means in front of our monitors. With such a situation, it is necessary to consider the tools and gadgets which can improve comfort, health and joy when working from the home office. The work condition needs to ensure that the user can work comfortably, meet online, or concentrate.
Extremely simplified speaking, we need furniture and technology items for work from the home office.
The elementary furniture items are a desk and chair. Some users prefer to use monitor riser stand as an ergonomic upgrade to existing desks characteristic. A well-chosen writing desk should enable a proper ergonomic position of the user during the work with the information technology. I wrote several posts about home office desks. One of them is 11 Desirable Home Office Writing Desks.
Remote work is impossible without a computer. The choice of the device type depends on the nature of the work you perform. For instance, if you an architect and work with CAD files which require lots of computing power and lots of hard drive space, you will choose desktop solution instead of a laptop. Additional monitors, the tablet may be options for some activities.
High-speed internet connection and smartphone are also vital. The machines like scanners and (3D) printers may be required for your work. For your safety, it is recommended to have computer backup. Combining a physical backup on external drive with cloud storage provides the best assurance for your work.
Then follow a long list of gadgets which are for some workers necessary, while for others, they are completely unnecessary: webcam, headphones, speaker, different types of chargers, outlet power strip and many, many others. Nowadays, even phone sanitizer become an important item.
Sometimes just a small adjustment of your homework environment or adding necessary gadgets can improve personal comfort. It can be an improvement of visual privacy, sound reduction, task lighting, desktop power or enhancement of organization on your desk. Personal satisfaction than contributes to your motivation, efficiency, and success at work.
Below is my choice of designed gadgets for a home office. I hope they can make work-at-home more practical, more pleasant and will bring you more happiness and joy.
The wireless charging pad
Woodie-Milano recognized the necessity of the new product function. They created Woodie Hub as a product that satisfies the changing needs of the contemporary user. It is small item (13,5 x 13,5 x 3,5 cm) but useful accessories.
Woodie Hub combines the innovative Qi wireless charging pad with 2 universal AC sockets and 2 USB ports. It is possible to charge 5 devices, all at the same time.
Woodie Hub is easy to handle. It is necessary to place Qi-compatible smartphone on top of the W logo for wireless charging. Also, it is possible to charge a camera or headphones with the USB ports and any other device with universal AC sockets. Thanks to its smart IC technology, the Woodie Hub ensures safe, high-speed charging up to 3.2A. Furthermore, thanks to its micro-suction bottom pad, the Woodie Hub adheres to any flat surface allowing you to plug and unplug with one-hand.
The producer offers the variety of the materials for Woodie Hub (wood, marble and aluminium frames) so that it can fit any ambient. Woodie Hub is designed with style and elegance First of all, it is a functional and then a likable product.
The wireless optical mouse
The mouse is an integral part of our necessary equipment for work, so we all need one. Nendo designed 'opposed', a wireless optical mouse for ELECOM. This mous is aesthetically specific. The name derives from the design itself. The USB receiver was designed to take the shape of different animal tails and ‘oppo’ means ‘tail’ in Japanese. To transport the mouse, users plug the tail into the body. When in use, the mouse takes on a simple discrete shape, and the tail plugs into the computer.
The product designed in this way will bring the mood into the working atmosphere.
It is with sophisticated form and with its 2mm aluminum exterior. The functional characteristic is that Its embedded USB cable wraps comfortably inside the drive, helping it to be as inventive and practical as it is portable.
If you are often trying to find the connector somewhere in your working surrounding Bendle is a solution for you. Bundle is a ‘clever’ cable with an integrated loop for neatly gathering the cord for storage. When not in use, you will easily find Bundle which docks on the Bundle Base. The Kevlar-reinforced cable offers a robust defense against splitting and abrasions. Plus, an extended flexible TPU coating around Bundle’s connection points means no more frayed ends or edges.
Bundle makes it easier for you to create order in the work environment. The design solution and material research enhance the design of an ordinary product.
If you, for your work, need headphones I recommend on-ear headphones Beoplay H8i by Bang & Olufsen.They are luxurious, ergonomics headphones, nicely shaped with performances on a high level.
Used materials are a combination of the anodized aluminium and natural leather. They contribute to the appearance of these headphones. The attention attracts the details and high quality of the production. The materials ensure the beauty of the product but the comfort of the user. The product is very light, giving the user optimal comfort even with hours of use.
When it comes to characteristics it is a product with smart features. In the first place is the quality of sound.
The headphones produce a warm, balanced sound with high clarity. The sound quality holds up even when used wirelessly over Bluetooth.
Beoplay H8i now features new mode, allowing the user to filter in the sounds around him when necessary. Two microphones bring top-notch voice quality to user’s calls.
The battery performance is improved so that newBeoplay H8i will deliverup to 30 hoursof wireless playtime (with both Bluetooth and ANC continuously activated).
If performances of Beoplay H8i are in line to your needs, you will have quality, comfortable and durable product with attractive design.
The portable speaker
CecilieManz designed Beosound A1 for Bang & Olufsen 2020. It is a technological update and sensible refinement of the portable speaker Beoplay A1 from 2016. Now it is slightly slimmer and lighter and updated with improvements of the battery, buttons, speakerphone, dust and waterproof features. Longer playtime means that the ultra-portable speaker delivers up to 18 hours of playtime at typical listening volumes Beoplay A1 is with crystal clear voice calls thanks to the superior speakerphone performance. Bluetooth 5.1 and three internal microphones enable the best connections for those online meetings and hands-free calls.
The materials used are Pearl Blasted Aluminum, Polymer, Waterproof Leather. The upgraded Beosound A1 is with a refined, compact design but durable. It is beautiful but delivers great sound.
The headset and tablet stand
Gustav Carlberg designed headset and tablet stand MÖJLIGHET for Ikea. It is made of steel with rounded edges and that way safe for the user. It is with an interesting sculptural form in attractive colors. Mojlighet is a useful item on the desk or bookcase. This stand combined functions of headset and tablet stand in one product. It helps the user to keep technological equipment organized.
The task lamp
Fernando Pardo, Pablo Pardo(Pablo Designs) designed Pixo Plus Task Lamp for Pablo Designs. The lamp is with a simple and elegant form. The arm is made of formed aluminium, shade and base of a steel base with polycarbonate cover. With such materials, Pixo Plus is 97% recyclable product.
One of lamp’s characteristic is a rotating arm and head for 360°. It allows the user to direct a warm and bright light source wherever needed. Its LED light is with possibility of full-range dimming via an optical switch. The lamp base is at the same time wireless charging base for mobile devices.
Pixo Plus fulfils its basic function as innovative lighting but with other characteristic contributes to the comfort of the user. This way it becomes necessary accessories and desirable item for home office. Pixo Plus supports a modern lifestyle.
Cristian Zuzunaga designed Individuate Pixel A5 Notebook for Zuzunaga which is part of the Pixel Collection.
All of us need a notebook, even though we use technology to work. e Pixel A5 Notebook is full of colors and interesting detailsBut it is sustainable accessorise too. The covers are 100% Trevira CS fabric, printed by Kvadrat in Denmark for Zuzunaga. The fabric is printed for pillow production and during this process appears a lot of leftover material. The designer decided to repurpose this discardedfabric and transform it into a new product.
The production process of each book is performed individually and by hand. The binding of such small booklets is intricate work and it requires precision, an eye for detail and a lot of patience.
An inventive idea of the designer, production skills contributes to the fact that each booklet has small differences, ensuring each one is unique.
Design Group Italia designed Tratto Pen for Fila (1975). It is created to fulfil its basic function. Tratto has an uncrushable synthetic tip that uses water-based ink. It is with a simple form, without decorative details. All of us need pen and this one is affordable to everyone.This unique, distinctive pen becomean integral part of our everyday life.
Design Group Italia confirmed that even an ordinary object, as the pan is, can be a product with good design, a product that becomes a design classic.
Espresso cup is one of the obligatory parts of the work environment. For the home office, I recommend a cup designed by Matteo Thun 2003. This cup has an interesting story.
Matteo Thun designed the first espresso cup for illy long time ago (1990). The initial model was white, ceramic cup with an elegant, simple form and illy red logo on it.
Exactly this cup becomes a blank canvas for contemporary artists from all over the globe. They graphically decorated this iconic cup, then signed and numbered it. This way the cups become d’art objects and illycup Art Collection was born. Since 1991 more than 500 artists decorated Matteo Thun classic cup. Some of the contemporary masters who have taken part in the creation of the collection are Ron Arad, Emilio Pucci, Jeff Koons, James Rosenquist, Julian Schnabel and many others. The last edition was from 2019. Ralph Rogoff, the curator of the Biennale art, invited four special and quite different artists: Cameron Jamie, AD Minoliti, Ulrike Müller and Slavs & Tatars to decorate the cups.
The Illy art collection is specific. Each cup combines Matteo Thun’ design with a graphic character of other designers. The result are highly creative and attractive products.
The cup I recommend for your home office line Nude. Its name is adequate to the model. It is the same form from of the cup from 1990 but transparent. Transparency emphasizes design and form. This every day, necessary object with the pure design will increase your joy in the coffee during your work break.
We spend so much time at work.Building our workplace well-being has a big impact on our overall well-being.
Ryosuke Fukused designed an innovative pillow that allows you to rest comfortably on a desk!!!
The grove in the pillow leaves space for your ears and earphones. This means you can lay with your head in the cushion while listening to music and blocking out other noises. This way ordinary pillow become functional product for all hardworking persons and enable them to take a short nap.
Ototone pillow saves your time and helps you to have needed rest in your work environment.It can make you feel more refreshed and clear your mind.