The more time you have to spend working on a PC, the more value you’ll get from upgrading your computer equipment and peripherals. Three simple add-ons can help you kick your productivity into high gear without breaking a sweat or breaking the bank.
PREPARE FOR POWER FAILURE
When it comes to additions to your work computer, a good battery backup is an essential piece of equipment rather than an optional extra. Loss of power while you are in the middle of an important project can be more than an inconvenience; it can be a disaster.
An uninterrupted power supply (UPS) can keep your PC up and running long enough to save whatever you’re working on. That means a summer brown-out or tripped breaker won’t cause the loss of all your hard work. These power sources can also serve as surge protectors, safeguarding your PC from damaging electrical surges.
Models may vary in terms of the type of display, the number of power outlets, or the length of time the battery can retain power. At a minimum, a good power supply should have a loud alarm to notify you that an unusual power event has occurred as well as a simple way to test the UPS to ensure it’s still working to protect your computer.
While a failsafe power source for your PC may not be the most exciting add-on, it’s hands-down the one that will give you the most peace of mind.
HEALTHIER TYPING & CLICKING
To minimize the risk of injury from hours of continual computer drudgery, it’s a good idea to add a keyboard and mouse designed with safe office ergonomics in mind. Carpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries from prolonged computer use can add unnecessary pain to your working life while also slowing you down. When repetitive stress injuries become severe, they can even lead to missing time off of work for treatment and rest.
A wide variety of options for ergonomic keyboards and mice can be found through any office supply vendor. Ergonomic input devices like these are designed with the goal of keeping your arms, hands, and wrists in the most natural and restful position possible while you work. They may include keyboards that are flexible or split in half, and computer mice designed with a trackball or re-positioned buttons, to require less wrist movement.
You should be able to make the adjustment from traditional to ergonomic input devices with little difficulty. Once you do, you’ll be much closer to creating a workstation that supports your comfort and safety as well as your productivity.
EXPAND YOUR VIEW
It’s surprising that a single computer monitor is still the norm in many offices because adding a second one is a reasonably affordable way of making you faster and more effective at work. IT workers and design professionals may be more likely to use dual monitors, but more mundane office jobs can be made easier with an added monitor as well.
Any time a task involves referring back and forth between two documents, displaying each at full size on a separate screen makes for easier viewing than squeezing both onto one desktop. If your job requires multi-tasking, keeping two different applications open at the same time across two monitors makes switching between tasks easier and reduces the mental “re-start” that multi-tasking often entails.
Whether you work from home or in a traditional office setting, your PC setup can make your workday worse or better. Even if you or your employer can’t afford the latest and greatest high-tech equipment, a few affordable additions to your PC will make your workstation more comfortable and productive.