I have been working from home for 2 years now due to the pandemic. Before the pandemic I worked primarily from an office in London so I didn't invest too heavily in my work from home setup. Now that I work full-time from home and I am running this website and podcast from home, I thought I would share my 5 essentials for working from home as a disabled person.
1. My laptop tray
I am on my laptop all day every day and find it hard working in my wheelchair at my desk now. I work from the sofa with this laptop tray. I got it on Amazon and it has been a game changer. I used to try and balance my laptop on my legs with cushions but this was causing my knee a lot of pain from the weight. This laptop tray is height adjustable and fits perfectly across my lap. There is even room for my phone to sit next to my laptop. It was not the cheapest option on Amazon but after trying a few out, this was by far the best. It also has holes to prevent your laptop from overheating. You can find it on Amazon for £86.
2. My phone stand
I have the iPhone 12 mini which I believe is the lightest iPhone on the market but if I had to lift it every time I needed to use it in the day, my arm would be out of commission for sometime! I got this phone stand while I was working in London to have on my desk and now use it on my laptop tray. It makes it so easy to check my phone without needing to lift to unlock my phone with Face ID. You can find it on Amazon for £7.64.
3. My MacBook Pro 14 inch
This may seem obvious, a laptop for working from home, but my MacBook's features make it so much easier for me as a disabled person. I love Apple products for accessibility, I've been an iPhone user since the first model came out in 2007. But I wasn't a Mac person until November 2021. I decided to invest in a MacBook after my Dell XPS overheated and I had to do without my dictation software for a few days. (I wrote a blog about this experience.) Apple products have a built-in dictation software which I use on my phone all the time. Having this on my laptop has made my work so much easier and I'm not relying on a third-party software. I know what MacBooks are pricey - I did have to increase my credit limit to buy it! But I honestly really recommend it to anyone who uses the iPhone dictate or any other Apple accessibility features because they are all built in. I bought my MacBook directly from Apple for £2,399.00 on my credit card and paid it off in instalments.
4. My AirPods Max
These were a birthday gift from my parents in 2021 and I think I've used them almost every day since. Again, these are expensive but they are the best headphones I've ever used. Once wireless headphones became the norm, I used the AirPods before these came out. I cannot reach my ears to put them in or adjust them when they inevitably move so I found them really difficult to use. These headphones have excellent sound quality and a built-in microphone so they are perfect for my work calls and listening to podcasts in between! My parents bought these directly from Apple for £549.
5. My dogs otherwise known as my colleagues!
No list of work from home essentials would be complete without the best colleagues in the world, my dogs. They are often heard on my calls (soz Scope colleagues!) and keep me company all day. Their names are Meg and Bella and they are 2 and 8 years old respectively. Bella (on the left) sits with me during every podcast recording. Yes, just like the logo!