Competition for monitors and webcams has been fierce for equipping staff for work from home. Whether it’s for immediate needs or for your ongoing Business Continuity Plans for natural disasters and unexpected events, here’s some advice for equipping staff for home:
Find out what each staff member needs
The perfect home office setup resembles your office workstation, but some do not have that luxury. If working from hotel rooms, studio apartments, or crowded households, there may be no room for things like desktop monitors. Some staff may have far superior office setups at home than anything you can offer. You can save money and reduce wastage by sourcing only what your team needs.
The home office owner: Dual Display setups
For staff with a work-issued laptop or tablet and dedicated home office, a dual-display setup with adjustable stands is preferable. A docking station may be the only way to connect dual-displays to their laptop, and it can also connect their peripherals with a single cable to reduce clutter. The user can leave their laptop open as a third display or close it. If closed, the user may need a webcam for meetings and calls, plus a headset with microphone.
The full house: Single monitor setup
For staff without their own home office, a single monitor setup may suit. Choose a large, higher resolution monitor to allow the user to put multiple documents on screen at the same time. A high-lift stand allows the monitor to sit above the laptop screen for a vertical dual-display setup. These users are less likely to require a docking station or webcam, but a good quality headset with microphone is needed for meetings and calls in noisy homes.
The single urbanite: Portable monitor setup
For staff who need a second screen but no desk, consider a 14-inch portable display to work side-by-side with the user’s laptop screen, even on a sofa. Both Lenovo and HP provide models that connect via USB-C. For these users, the laptop webcam is ready for meetings and calls.
Beware the martyr
Employees who ‘do not need anything’ may want to do their employer a favour. If in doubt, check what their role requires. If they are working in a compromised environment or missing the tools they need for their job, this will affect productivity and morale.
Check compatibility with your supplier
When matching laptops or tablets with docking stations and monitors, there will be incompatibilities. The laptop and dock need to be able to connect and output to the preferred monitors at their native resolutions without issues. When we source these, we check the laptop models your staff are using.
Even in new docks and laptops, there are limits on maximum monitor resolution based on display connectors, number of monitors connected, and whether the user is also using their laptop display.
Reduce complexity for self-setup at home
Devices that require less assembly, fewer plugs and less software will be the easiest for staff to set up at home. We’ve been able to reduce workloads for IT teams and help desks while increasing user satisfaction by delivering equipment direct to employees’ homes, providing self-setup guides and using our software management services team to deploy drivers to the users’ devices remotely.
Get help and advice on Work From Home Solutions
Speak to your account manager or Contact Us for more information and pricing.
We’re seeing teams seeking the right docking stations to suit their users’ computers and monitors. Incompatibilities can range from wake-from-sleep issues, to incorrect monitor resolutions and in some cases, complete incompatibility.
Thunderbolt 3 docks
For laptops or tablets with a USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 port. Greatest support for high resolution displays (QHD, 2K and 4K) without lag or distortion and can typically charge the laptop while connecting peripherals and monitors via a single USB-C Thunderbolt 3 cable.
Near-universal support for modern laptops and tablets with USB-C to connect peripherals and monitors while typically charging the laptop via a single USB-C cable.
USB-A or USB- 3.0 docks
Near-universal support for older laptops and tablets equipped with rectangular USB ports to connect peripherals and monitors. Support for high resolution monitors and video is reduced relative to Thunderbolt 3. Not able to charge laptop when connected.
Less common due to improvements in dock technology, port replicators that laptops are ‘clicked’ into and vendor-exclusive side-docks have their own custom specifications. We can test to ensure compatibility with your preferred monitor setups and inputs.
For staff using laptops or tablets with few USB ports who need to connect multiple peripherals, including a mouse, keyboard, printers and scanner but no monitor. In general, hubs do not charge the laptop. If connecting devices that require USB power to run, including portable printers without their own power adapter, a hub with its own power supply is recommended.
What about Docking Monitors?
There are several types of Docking Monitor on the market too. These can have the benefit of further reducing cable clutter through using a single cable to connect your laptop to accessories, power, monitors and network (depending on model).
Want to get advice on choosing the right dock?
Talk to your account manager or Contact Us for more information and pricing.
For staff equipped with a laptop or tablet, replicating the workplace desk setups allow them to complete tasks with the greatest efficiency. This is useful when looking to provide safe workplaces for remote workers.
Dual monitor setups
Typical workplace setups use a dual monitor configuration for maximum productivity. For laptop and tablet users, the user might also use their device’s screen at the same time. We typically recommend the following minimum specification for monitors in a Dual Display setup:
Mismatched monitors exhibit different colour and contrast, display content at different sizes and be difficult to position side-by-side at the same angle and height. This can create eye and neck strain and increases the complexity of connecting multiple monitors to one laptop.
IPS or VA display technology
Older TN monitors have poorer viewing angles which distort colour and contrast when viewed off-centre. This is noticeable when used in a dual-display setup with monitors placed at opposing angles. IPS and VA monitors address this, which reduces eyestrain.
Adjustable height and angle
The top of the monitor should match the user’s eye-level to reduce neck strain. Monitors with fixed stands are typically lower than this. The user should be able to tilt the display to account for glare and optimise the viewing angle of the screen.
Resolution and size
For dual display monitors, we typically supply two Full HD 1920x1080 resolution monitors. This is supported by most modern laptops and docking stations while matching the internal display of a modern business laptop to reduce potential scaling issues in Windows 10. The optimum size for this display in a dual screen setup is 24 inches.
Higher resolutions up to QHD 2560x1440 for larger monitors can be supported by new laptops but may require testing. Docking stations should be checked for compatibility with monitors above Full HD resolution.
4K monitors will require performance laptops and docking stations. Monitors larger than 32 inches may cause neck or back strain in a dual-display setup.
Three monitor setups
Check with your supplier for a combination of laptop, dock and monitors for three monitor setups. We recommend a resolution of Full HD for these setups at 24 inches. Higher resolutions and monitor counts may require a laptop with a dedicated dedicated graphics controller.
Single monitor setups
We recommend a 27 inch or larger monitor depending on space available. To display more than one document or app on screen at the same time, consider a 2K / QHD (2560x1440) or higher resolution.
For 4K, check that the laptop can support 4K 60Hz or greater for smoother motion on screen.
Get advice about compatibility and availability for your team.
Speak to your Account Manager or Contact Us for advice, pricing and availability.
Selected monitors provide docking capability. Peripherals including keyboard, mouse and sometimes LAN are connected to the monitor. All are connected to the user’s laptop or tablet with a single cable.
USB-C Docking monitors
Can typically charge the user’s laptop and connect the monitor and peripherals via a single USB-C cable. If needed for a dual monitor setup, we check the monitor supports daisy-chaining so both monitors can be connected via the same USB-C cable.
Thunderbolt 3 Docking monitors
These monitors generally provide similar capability to the USB-C monitors with the benefit of greater bandwidth to eliminate lag or distortion for users working with video and high resolution (2K, QHD and 4K) monitors.
USB-A or USB 3.0 Docking monitors
For older laptops without USB-C ports. Allows you to connect the monitor and peripherals using a single USB 3.0 cable. Unlike USB-C docks, a separate charging cable needs to be used to power your laptop. If a second monitor is used, it will typically need to be plugged directly into the laptop.
Get help choosing the right models.
Speak to your Account Manager or Contact Us for information, pricing and availability.