A high-end microphone is also typically very sensitive, which might not be a good thing if you have kids or other produc- ers of background noise nearby. Try the Jounivo USB Recording Microphone for a cheap intervention, or the Blue Yeti Mic for something fancier. For a speaker, the Sennheiser SP 20 will be a substantial upgrade over your phone or laptop’s built-in audio. • Smart garden for your desk. Plants are a great way to bring some life to your work- space. If your office does not have suffi- cient natural light, try Click and Grow’s Smart Garden 3. This self-watering herb garden also has a grow light attached, so you can watch your basil grow as you write your next brief. • Noise cancelling headphones. Whether you are dealing with restless kids or the stir-crazy neighbors who built a party deck four feet from your window, noise cancelling headphones are an absolute blessing. For an over-the-ear option, try the Sennheiser HD 450BT. If you prefer earbuds, the Apple AirPods Pro are a big hit. Happy holidays! May 2021 have better things in store for us all.
LPMT BITS & BYTES BY ANNE HAAG Holiday Tech
T his is a good year to start thinking about your holiday wish list a little earlier than usual. The pandemic has interrupted supply chains across myriad industries, and small businesses are con- cerned about their ability to stock items during the holiday rush. The shift towards remote work necessi- tated by the pandemic this year has proven bumpy for many. While it’s not necessarily fun to think about work while making your holiday wish list, this year might prove an exception. Under “normal” circumstances I’d balk at the thought of wishing for something so boring for the holidays, but this year the thought of a more comfortable work chair is enough to practically move me to tears. So, what should you consider adding to your list? • A second monitor. If you are relying on your laptop screen as your only moni- tor, it’s probably either too small or too low-quality to do your eyes or posture any favors. If you have one desktop monitor, you might find working with a second one makes you feel more orga- nized and productive. The ViewSonic VX2485-mhu is on my personal wish list for its sleek style and decent price, but most brands offer high-quality monitor options to match your current machine. • A more comfortable chair. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to ergonomic office chairs because each body is dif- ferent. Generally, though, here are some features you’ll want to keep an eye out for Anne Haag is the CBA’s Law Practice Management Advisor, a certified crisis intervention counselor, and a volunteer withResilience as a trauma- informed ER advocate for sexual assault survivors.
in your search: adjustable height, lumbar support for the lower back, adjustable arm height and lateral position, and an adjustable seat pan tilt. Expect to pay between $200-1000 for a solid office chair. Don’t want to splurge on a new chair, or don’t like the look of an office chair in your home? Try switching out your current one at intervals throughout the day with a yoga ball. Intervals are the key to comfort while working remotely. Try to stand for periods throughout the day too. • A privacy screen/room divider. If you can’t have an enclosed office space to yourself, a three-paneled privacy screen is a great way to demarcate some personal space in your home while also commu- nicating to your family that you’re in a work zone. Plus, a beautiful one isn’t terribly hard to find. My favorite place to find one-of-a-kind secondhand items like this is the Shudio in Pilsen. • Amesh network. If other people in your household are working from home or dealing with remote schooling, there’s a good chance your Wi-Fi is strained. Maybe the signal doesn’t reach well in your basement office. If you’ve exhausted other options, it might be time to get a mesh network. Check out PC Mag’s recommendations (https://www.pcmag. com/picks/the-best-wi-fi-mesh-network- systems) and evaluate what might be the best fit for your environment. • A good microphone or speaker to make Zoom calls less painful. If either of these components on your computer is lacking, Zoom calls will be more ardu- ous than they already are by nature. If they’re broken entirely, getting a speaker or a microphone is probably cheaper than investing in a new machine alto- gether. You don’t need to spend much to improve either of these components.
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