Must-buy WFH Upgrades, Tips And Tricks From The Experts

Must-buy WFH Upgrades, Tips And Tricks From The Experts

While Unbox has been working from home since our inception, the idea of actually working from home while a literal pandemic rages around you is still a hard concept to grasp for some. And even though a large swath of the population has already settled on a routine to keep themselves sane and productive during these challenging times, there’s always room for improvement in your setups. And who better to give you WFH tips and upgrades than our friends from The Modern Creatures (Kevin Bruce Francisco and Vikka Francisco), TechBroll (Marvin Gabriel), Poy Reviews (Poy Tique), and Mayverick Games (Mayverick Ong).

Have The Right Mindset

Right off the bat, one of the most important things you need to take control of is your mindset when working from home. This is the hardest part of transitioning from an office setting to a WFH setting, and it’s something that many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around. WFH upgrades don’t just involve hardware – it also involves your mindset too.

A shot of Poy Review’s workdesk

Setting boundaries on when work starts when you’re at home and putting distinct boundaries between your work time and home time also helps a lot too. For Poy Reviews, he takes the effort to dress up at the start of each workday.

“Find yourself a comfortable spot to work, para walang stress or istorbo, Get dressed yung bang parang nagwwork ka parin sa labas, parang it’s a signal na hey! it’s time to wake up and get things done,” he says.

For TechBroll, it’s all about focus. With no co-workers hovering around your shoulder or in the next cubicle glancing over your direction, the temptation to mess about and procrastinate is huge.

“If possible, pick a time of the day to work alone and without distractions, if you have no choice, try to snooze your notifications, close your social media tabs and just try to focus on your work. Then after that, you can do whatever you want,” he says.

One thing we did find out for ourselves during our first years of working from home in Unbox was how difficult it was to achieve a healthy work-life balance. This is something that Modern Creatures are aware of and reminds us to be mindful of when we go through our workday.

“Set boundaries for yourself. Set your own work hours and be strict with it. It’s easy to fall into a trap of working the entire day,” they say.

Mayverick Games also tells us to take it easy once in a while and not fall into a trap of mentally exhausting yourself working. Taking up a hobby that’s completely disconnected from your work is great way to cleanse your palate and rest your mind.

“Try to chill and rest once in a while. Have a hobby that isn’t related to work, mine is taking care plants!” she says.

Kevin from The Modern Creatures and his editing setup

Get The Right Gear

Working from home presents new challenges that can easily be solved by getting the right gear. While you can totally just work from home using a monoblock chair, your work laptop and a cheap table, that setup might not be conducive to productivity. WFH upgrades are important after all, especially if you want to be as productive at home as you are in the office.

For The Modern Creatures, buying a good, ergonomic chair has been one of their best investments during the quarantine.

“Out of all those (purchases), a good ergonomic chair made the most impact (or lack of) after working long hours,” they say.

Aside from a good gaming chair, his monitor setup is also one of the biggest upgrades he made that has the greatest benefits since the pandemic started.

“I have a 25-inch 21:9 display as the main screen for gaming and editing with a 32-inch curved monitor for writing scripts/articles and general browsing. I have a dedicated webcam and microphone for video conferences,” he adds.

Getting a good desk setup is also important so you remain comfortable while working since you no longer have the benefits of having nicely designed cubicles for your workspace. Here’s Poy Review’s best upgrade for his WFH setup so far:

“My standing desk from True Vision, sitting long hours while working is not good, kaya malaking impact to kasi while editing e nakakapagstretching and nakakagalaw galaw sa pwesto,” he says.

For TechBroll, upgrading to a better, ultrawide monitor has given him an edge when it comes to editing, and we agree. Buying an ultrawide monitor to connect to your work PC gives you a tremendous amount of additional space to work on, and is a great place to watch all the awesome movies that have been streaming lately.

“Aside from PC upgrades and Workspace redesign, probably my ultrawide monitor. It brought tremendous upside when it comes to streamlined productivity,” he says.

Mayverick Games agrees with TechBroll too, and her new upgrade also involves a monitor from ASUS.

“My new monitor from ASUS, no more eye strains and it has its own speaker so no more problems during meetings!” she says.

We missed you so, so, so much.

Future Upgrades

You should also take a look at what future WFH upgrades you can do to make your life easier. For our creators, there’s always something to upgrade to. Poy’s next upgrade is a practical one – one that we can all relate to now that we’re no longer working in an office-sponsored, climate-controlled environment.

“Aircon and better production equipment, mainit kasi dito. Although may aircon naman, medyo chismosa lang kasi at maingay, so kailangan ko magupgrade to split type siguro or window type na tahimik“, he said.

For content creators like TechBroll that take a lot of videos, his upgrade path is more cameras and a better microphone for streaming.

“More camera gear like a better microphone and another camera so that I don’t have to remove my live streaming camera anymore,” he says.

If your budget permits, an upgraded PC or laptop should also be in the cards for you, since it doesn’t look like we’re all going back to the office soon. It’s what Mayverick and The Modern Creatures are looking at to upgrade too.

“Definitely a new PC so I can edit without lagging!,” Mayverick says.

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