If you need

  • A resource-heavy app that you may consider an Intel Core i5 or i7 (or AMD Ryzen 3, 5, or 7) and more memory or storage. Remember that you can always plug in an inexpensive external flash drive/HDD/SSD to add more capacity.
  • Software that only runs on a Mac then go Mac starting from $1699

Me, the essential things are an external monitor (or two), mechanical keyboard and a good mouse so spend there instead of the PC.

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My desk is 1.24m wide and 650mm deep! And yes, a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind!

Software

Office 365 (includes Outlook 365 mail client) is available for an annual subscription of $98 (personal) and $114 (Home for up to six users). While not strictly legal, those six users can also be your colleagues!

But the chances are that your employer has a corporate licence and can let you use that instead. Business licenses contain MS Teams.

All other software including Antivirus/VPN (to protect corporate networks) should be provided by the employer who usually can temporarily transfer the licence to your PC.

Printer/Scanner

Inkjets are cheap to buy and expensive to run. But you have no idea how handy it is to have an MFP (multi-function printer) scanner/fax/copy. We have reviews of printers here.

The fax can use the NBN phone port, and it is best for the secure transmission of credit card details etc.

The scanner will enable you to print out documents for signing, scribble your ‘John Hancock’, scan and email or fax it back.

So, the printer is really the least important part – it’s the on/off-ramp for the internet, not the page cost to print (unless you print a lot) that is important.

Cloud and collaboration

One of the most overlooked aspects of working from home is collaboration. Rudimentary collaboration via things like OneDrive, DropBox etc. to store everything so that your boss can read it. It is also a terrific backup. Ask the boss to ensure you get corporate cloud access.

GadgetGuy has started using a collaboration software called Microsoft Teams, and it comes with business versions of Office 365. There are several alternatives, but at least you can have a video conference with co-workers, share screens and documents and keep the company culture up.

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Teams works on most devices

GadgetGuy’s take – WFH does not have to be WTF

WFH or COVID-19 Convicts as we refer to it is not a punishment. In many cases, it can be a new way to prove to your boss that workplace flexibility is what work/life balance is all about. But you must keep your end of the bargain up and not reduce productivity – if anything the opposite.

Don’t panic buy and work with your boss to reduce any costs to you – after all, you are prepared to board petri-dish public transport and go to work🤢!

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