Remote workforces may be enjoying the balance that comes with working from home, but they are inevitably putting in longer hours, which means they need to equip their workspaces with all the tools needed to make their work hours more comfortable and productive.

This is according to First Distribution Dell Technologies brand executive Andre Human, who says: “People are definitely working longer hours in front of their PCs these days. In the past, they might have travelled between meetings and had breaks from screen time in face-to-face meetings, but now they might put in over 12 hours a day at the PC, with back-to-back video conference calls, daily tasks and admin. With so many people remote bound and working longer hours than they did before, they have to consider the accessories and peripherals that allow them to be productive and comfortable.”

International research has found that employees who transitioned to working from home due to the pandemic now regularly work longer than an eight-hour day, as well as on weekends. In some cases, employees were working two-and-a-half hours longer per day, on average.

This puts them at risk of stress, fatigue and burnout; and unless their workstations are comfortable, they could also suffer backache, wrist pain and eyestrain, says Engela Minnaar, First Distribution CSG manager for Dell Technologies.

Minnaar says research has found that adding a keyboard and a mouse to a laptop can make users up to 25.8% more productive, while adding dual 24-inch FHD monitors, as well as a keyboard and mouse, can make them up to 39% more productive.

Minnaar says making the homework environment comfortable and conducive to productivity should start with a second screen. “Working with dual – or even triple – screens allows users to navigate more effortlessly between multiple screens, spreadsheets and applications. And because monitors are typically larger than a laptop screen and can be adjusted by height and angle, users don’t suffer the eye strain and backache often associated with hunching forward over a laptop.”

She notes that as a tier one vendor, Dell Technologies invests significant resources into producing fit-for-purpose monitors designed for various use cases. “A corporate user working with multiple spreadsheets has different requirements from a gamer, and Dell Technologies has a range of monitors purpose-built for various tasks and requirements,” she says.

An external keyboard and mouse are also important to support WFH comfort and productivity, Minnaar says. “Most laptops are only 13 or 15 inches, which means their keyboards are the same size. A larger external keyboard with a number pad and additional keys and USB ports gives the user additional comfort and convenience, particularly when they are working with multiple screens.” Dell Technologies’ wired and wireless keyboard range includes multimedia keyboards and even a Smartcard USB keyboard, which incorporates the functions of a keyboard and a smart card reader in a single data input system, for banking transactions, identification systems, secure web applications and secure logon.

Dell Technologies’ wired and wireless mice include mice designed to navigate on almost any surface, optical LED or laser sensor devices, fingerprint reader mice and unique twisting design mice to easily slip into a laptop bag.

Dell Technologies accessories and peripherals are designed to last longer and come with a three-year warranty, with Dell Technologies Peripheral Manager enabling users to easily programme shortcuts, pair devices, check battery and connectivity status and get firmware updates.

Minnaar says: “Dell Technologies has created the full ecosystem – from the bag to the notebook to the mouse, and they all work seamlessly together. Users also have the assurance that Dell Technologies is a premium brand, with quality that lasts.”

Human says the docking station is a key accessory to make moving between home and office work areas simpler and faster. “Because docking stations have multiple USB points, you can leave the keyboard, mouse and other peripherals there, so the workstation area is already prepped and you just have to plug in the notebook. It creates a better user experience and a lot more comfort.”

To add to this, Dell Technologies also offers a wide range of laptop bags and cases, as well as physical security accessories such as cable locks to lock a notebook, desktop or docking station to the table, and privacy filters which slide over a notebook screen to protect sensitive data from view by passers-by.

Human adds that Dell Technologies not only brings to market all the accessories and peripherals a remote worker could need to be productive, the company has also gone to great lengths to minimise the impact of lockdown shortages on South African customers.