You want to set your team up for success. But due to the pandemic, today’s workplace landscape is changing and more people than ever are working remotely, so keeping everyone on the same page can be a really tall task. In order to ensure that your remote or in-person team is teed up for success, it is important that everyone is set up with the right tools to do their job well.
At Lazorpoint, we’ve found that there are 3 essential items our team of engineers couldn’t live without, wherever they are working from. In this insight we will share them with you. (Hint: you don’t have to be an engineer to use these tools!) These must-have technology tools will help you keep your team on the same page, while working safer, smarter, and faster.
It’s no surprise that our number one technology item is a laptop. If you get only one thing on this list then it should be this great laptop. The EliteBook is an enterprise grade piece of hardware, highly customizable to our needs, and nicely balances convenience and power. It’s like a workhorse and a luxury car combined.
- 100% customizable to your users’ needs.
- Processing power and memory are a priority since we have heavy technical users.
- High-value product at an affordable price.
- Solid 3-year warranty with on-site support so that if your laptop needs repairs, HP will come to you to fix it immediately.
- Great camera for video conferencing.
- Lightweight and portable, clocking in at 3.7 lbs.
- Fingerprint reader for quick and safe sign in.
While we consider this laptop a must-have for anyone, the big difference lies in the amount of memory you need to use applications. Most of the Lazorpoint team members are heavy technical users and need quite a bit of operating space, so we need every bit of 32 gigs of RAM. If your team is only browsing the internet and Microsoft Office, they probably don’t need the capacity that we do, as engineers. Save your money and get the HP Elitebook with 16 gigs of RAM.
Replicating your setup in your home and office can make life much easier. When your team is using the same equipment in the office or working remotely - it’s more cost effective, quicker to solve IT issues, simpler to budget for, and much easier to
After we transitioned to remote work at the beginning of the pandemic, we found the number of noise distractions were overwhelming. From kids and pets, to household sounds and trash collection, our conference calls were constantly getting interrupted and we weren’t getting as much accomplished. Even poor audio quality was distracting us from our meetings!
Realizing that concentration and focus are crucial to our work, we decided to equip our team with headsets that block out noise and vastly improve audio quality. Not only have the Jabra Evolve headsets made our meetings much better, but they’ve worked really well in our open concept office as some of the team returned to our offices.
Here’s why we picked the Jabra Evolve headset:
- Two ear cups instead of one help reduce background noise and limit distractions.
- Wireless and easily rechargeable with a USB.
- Well priced - you can spend a lot on headsets and while these aren’t cheap, they are priced fairly.
- Boom microphone helps not pick up audio around you; you can run the dishwasher while you are in your meeting and no one will know.
- Smaller than standard headsets so they can be comfortably worn all day.
- Battery life is great, you can take calls all day with one full charge.
- Wireless range of 100 ft so you can walk around and stay in the meeting.
We’ve moved our phone system to Microsoft Teams so that we can take calls right from our laptops. It has allowed us to work seamlessly whether we are at the office or at home. Also, if you already have AirPods they are a good alternative to headphones.
If your home computer does not have a quality webcam, then put it on your list as an essential item. We have moved past the days when a phone call is enough. Our world has become virtual, meetings and conferences have all gone online, and we believe many of these changes are here to stay. Video allows us to bring some of the in-person feeling to the digital space.
While we’ve used the HyperCam in the past, we mostly chose it because it was available in the early days of the pandemic. The truth is that most webcams that have 1080 resolution will provide the quality you need for digital meetings and conferences. There is no need to spend more than $50 on a webcam or splurge for 4K resolution -- unless you are producing high quality videos. The truth is that your meetings will never be in 4K because the varying speed of internet connections from the participants will bring down the video quality.
Finally, make sure to factor into your buying decision whether the webcam or microphone are compatible with the applications and phone system you are using.
Many webcams have a built-in microphone, but that feature is unnecessary if you have a great headset, like the Jabra Evolve. It’s good to remember that a dedicated device is always going to exceed the quality of a device with multiple applications.
One Final Note
It is important to note that hardware changes frequently so our recommendations may likely change by next year. Whichever equipment you decide to purchase, the one thing your business should always do is standardize your equipment across the board. By standardizing equipment across your team, you can resolve issues faster and reduce the total cost of support. This standardization should also apply to your home; if you have two monitors and a docking station in the office, then you should have the exact same setup with the same equipment at home.
Each piece of equipment that you use for your team should answer a specific question, “does this solve the problem we want fixed and is it easy to work with?” When our team evaluates technology for our business or for our clients, we look at it through a lens with two filters: functionality and convenience.
Whatever technology items you choose to make your blended workplace more effective, we always recommend testing. Try out a few items with your specific setup before you get them for your whole team.
Need more advice on the right technology for your team? Talk to a Lazorpoint Expert today about how we can help your team be more prepared and productive, wherever they are working from!