We’re now months into this working from home period, and for many of us, there’s no sign that things will be going back to “normal” anytime soon. By simplifying tasks around the house, you can make this season of uncertainty more bearable for everyone in your family. The best way to do this is through smart devices that help you multitask while you’re on the clock.
For example, there’s a top-rated smart coffee maker that makes your morning cup (or, if we’re being honest, cups) of joe on command. Other life-changing finds include an adjustable desk that can memorize up to four height settings, either standing or sitting—and it’s currently more than $100 off on Amazon.
But just because these items are dubbed as “smart” doesn’t mean they’re extremely expensive. You can shop energy-saving, Alexa-enabled LED light bulbs starting at just $10. The lights can be dimmed through a simple voice command that’s compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri Shortcuts.
There are so many smart home appliances to shop in general, but we’ve rounded up the 10 best for people who are working from home. These gadgets will save you time and energy so that you can focus on being productive.
Give yourself a break and let Alexa make your morning brew for you. This Hamilton Beach coffee maker has built-in voice control features so you can get your coffee started before you even fully open your eyes. Instead of fumbling around the kitchen, take that time to prep for the workday ahead.
The large drip maker can produce up to 12 cups of coffee at once and comes with a number of useful, time-saving programs—such as cleaning cycle reminders and programmable brewing schedules. Many customers note how easy the device is to set up and use.
“Now that I am working from home and want coffee at different times of the morning rather than always wanting it done at 6:30 a.m., I am loving this coffee maker,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “No more burned coffee on the weekends when I sleep in. No more remembering to turn off the automatic feature when I go out of town. When I want coffee, I ask for it.”
Quit your slouching with this smart computer desk that can be adjusted to fit your exact needs. The table shifts with the push of a button or you can use the memory settings to program up to four different heights. Shoppers say this desk provides the perfect relief when you need a good stretch.
“I recently purchased this after months of toiling over whether I needed a standing desk or not,” explains one happy user. “With shifting to full-time remote work, I knew I needed something to get me off my seat and standing again. It works just as expected and has been a great addition.”
You may have heard of Alexa Dots or video sets, but what about voice-enabled smart plugs? They’re a cheaper alternative to those classic devices and have many functions that make time at home easier. Along with the smart speaker settings, you can control lights, thermostats, and locks with the plug. Plus, it connects to others placed throughout your home, allowing you to chat with family members in different rooms.
“It’s especially useful around the house for making Alexa announcements,” explains one five-star reviewer. “We have a Flex in our kitchen and another in my father's office (which is located outside in a garage). He never has his phone on him so whenever it’s time for dinner, we no longer have to run outside to let him know.”
Freezing in your home office? The Emerson Smart Thermostat works with Alexa and Google Assistant to quickly change the temperature without you ever having to leave your seat. This Energy Star-certified device also works to save you money by monitoring your daily usage, and can schedule different temperatures for different times of the day.
“The ultimate in Smart Home convenience!” one satisfied customer writes. “Also works great while you're away from home. Just set and reset the temperature with your smartphone.”
With all the extra time you’re spending at home, you should at least be a little aware of the air quality you’re breathing in. The Wave Plus monitors radon, carbon dioxide, toxin, and chemical levels, as well as humidity, temperature, and air pressure in your living space. Download the Airthings app for easy observation or control the device via a voice assistant.
“Every home should have one,” one impressed user notes. “You can move it to other rooms, give each room a unique name, and then log in online to the web dashboard and compare differences between each room. It’s ideal for anyone with health concerns like allergies, headaches, etc.”
These LED bulbs can be scheduled to turn on, programmed to change color, and dimmed using Alexa, Google Assistant, or your smartphone. The customizable cues are particularly useful around dawn and dusk.
“The lights are just amazing,” raves one shopper. “Pairing [to a device] only took about 10 minutes and was not cumbersome at all. Did I mention that I can use them with voice controls on Google Home seamlessly? Even my 2-year-old daughter is getting in on the fun and telling Google to change the color of the lights.”
Stop stressing about cleaning and invest in a vacuum that’ll do all the dirty work for you. Moosoo’s top-rated model is under $180 and packed with practical features. The Alexa-enabled cleaner has six modes, including automatic and spot cleaning, plus it maps out your home to ensure a thorough, bump-free job every time.
“A very useful piece of equipment for home, especially if you have small kids,” one five-star reviewer shares. “Now I don't have to care about kids spilling crumbs all over the carpet. It can be scheduled or operated by mobile app or remote control.”
If you don’t want to make the switch to new bulbs, consider this smart lamp. It has the same functionality (voice control, dimming, scheduling) as a pack of smart lights and fits on top of a desk. It’s great to use in the early morning when overhead lights might be a bit too bright for sleepy eyes.
“I use it for my home music studio and it sets the vibe perfectly,” writes one happy shopper. “Setting up with Amazon Alexa was easy and simple—pairing it with my other lights was as simple as a click of a button.”
You don’t need to take up important real estate in your home office with a clunky printer. Instead, shop the smart model that reviewers say works really well in tight spaces. HP’s smallest LaserJet Pro can print from your iPhone, iCloud, Google Drive, and more. You can even call out Alexa to get the job done instantly.
“I wanted something fairly compact for my home office. The HP LaserJet Pro prints quickly and the wireless connectivity was simple to set up,” one user explains. “The printing speed is fast, the print quality is great, and I'm somehow still on the starter toner even though I feel like I've printed out quite a lot with it.”
You’ll have no problem staying focused while wearing Echo noise-reducing earbuds. They’re equipped with Alexa smart speakers and the sealed-in ear design keeps distractions at bay. These headphones have a five-hour battery life and come with three different sweat-resistant ear tips for added comfort.
“I work from home and when my 9-year-old is home from school, it is sometimes hard not to hear cartoons or TV in the next room,” shares one customer. “The adaptive noise cancelling on these buds makes it so I can't hear the TV at all, or much of anything actually. Peace and Quiet are back!”