When 2020 kicked off, none of us foresaw how the majority of the year would be spent cooped up indoors.
But judging from how the health crisis continues to unfold globally, it looks like we’ll be working from home (at least, for those of us privileged enough to do so) for the months to come as well. Home office set-ups can’t be make-shift anymore — you need a proper working space that’s not a kitchen counter, a mahjong table or a little dark nook inside your storeroom.
So yes, you’re gonna want to build a permanent workstation. An optimal one, too, that offers enough surface area and gizmos to do your daily tasks comfortably.
WFH solutions are aplenty, but to switch it up a little (plus, this makes for great National Day patriotic content), allow us to point you to Singapore brands and businesses that offer all you need to work and play at home. Toss a coin to your compatriots — they need all the help they can get as we all wade into the new normal.
A good workstation starts with a good desk, and this one might even be better than the one in your actual office. Founded in Singapore, Omnidesk offers an array of convertible standing tables that are customisable to fit everyone’s needs, be it spreadsheet power-users, competitive gamers, or anyone in between.
Aside from the large working surface area (with various surface finish options) and integrated cable management, the main feature of an Omnidesk table is its electric lifting mechanism that lets users raise or lower the desk to exact height preferences. The Omnidesk can easily turn into a standing desk with a press of a button if you want to shake things up every once in a while. The human body was not designed for prolonged sitting anyway.
Robust tables need robust chairs, and we went for the clear winner: Secretlab. The humble gaming chair makers from Singapore have made it big enough to be a known brand among esports and tech circles worldwide, and certainly profitable enough to attract the attention of state investment company Temasek Holdings.
It’s not difficult to see why. The luxurious ergonomic chairs they make have repeatedly been acclaimed as one of the most comfortable (and premium) seating solutions on the market, what with its plush cushioning and full-length reclining backrests. If gaming aesthetics for your home office aren’t your cup of tea — or you need something with more air flow — Secretlab has a range of professional-looking mesh office chairs in its NeueChair range.
Let’s talk electronics. If you need a new personal computer that can handle crunching numbers and emails while crushing noobs in the off-hours, local boutique outfit Dreamcore can build it for you.
From simple office productivity PCs to high-end gaming rigs with flashy RGB lighting, Dreamcore will be able to tailor a computer for you according to your needs and budget. If you know your way around, you can configure each part of the PC for them to build. If not, there’re always the pre-built desktops that you can just purchase and get it delivered to your doorstep within 24 hours.
Ultra-lightweight mice are all the rage these days, and local boutique PC builder Aftershock made their own version that can literally add some colour to your workspace.
Dubbed the Hexar, the perforated gaming mouse weighs just 69g for super-fast movement, while the optical sensor within allows for precise accuracy. The lighting effects are pretty insane too, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Ah yes, the brand that puts out TVs and monitors at unbelievably affordable prices. The incredulity is as strong as ever because Prism+ makes legitimately great displays for that low a price point.
The options for monitors to fit your workstations are vast, and one could opt for something fit for content creation (photo and video editing, etc) or displays with high-refresh rates that can give you an edge in competitive gaming. Of if you’ve got the money to spare, a 49-inch ultra wide curved gaming monitor for all the panoramic screen space you need for multi-tasking.
Don’t let the haters get you down — mechanical keyboards are the best type of keyboards to use. The clackier, the better.
Founded fairly recently, Tempest makes affordable wireless mechanical keyboards that look just as good as they feel. Offering a satisfying typing/gaming experience without the mess of pesky wires to keep your desk tidy, the Tempest Kirin V2 is the company’s latest product with a big bump to battery life and backlit RGB illumination.
Creative got its start as a PC sound card manufacturer, so it’s only natural that they make this list for your audio needs.
The company has a tonne of speaker systems to choose from, but the one that will look amazing on your desk is the Creative T40 II, a pair of tall lads that delivers stellar room-filling audio while looking industrial-chic. Adjusting the volume, bass and treble is pretty easy too with accessible knobs on the front.
Working from home will mean that you might be doing stuff in an unconducive environment (the din of kids and neighbour’s renovation, for example), so you’ll need something to keep you focused without distractions. Enter Razer’s noise-isolating headphones.
Yes, yes, we’re cheating a little, but Razer’s co-founded by a Singaporean so it still counts. Just earlier this week, the gaming peripheral company launched its Razer Blackshark V2 headset, and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. It’ll be great for both work and play too, since the THX Spatial Audio processing will provide strong audio performance and microphone quality.
Those familiar with working late into the night and wee hours of the morning would know that good workstation lighting is important to alleviate the strain on your eyes. A smart lighting system is great and all, but also tragically expensive — unless you consider Near.
Though fairly new, the local enterprise has a couple of useful products to outfit rooms and desktops, including light strips and bulbs that can be controlled remotely via smartphone apps or voice control if you hook it up to Google Assistant. The system will also allow for automation, so you can have your workstation lights turn on at a certain time each day.