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As remote work has become commonplace thanks to COVID, many workers have found themselves in a position of customizing their own personal workspace. Prior, home computer setups were likely focused on pleasure through gaming, watching videos, or other means of media consumption.
Now that the lines have blurred between them, remote workers can utilize their gaming peripherals as work from home equipment. While you may think gaming equipment is strictly for gaming, their features developed for heavy users of computers have various practical applications for those working from home.
We’ll go through the popular peripherals found in a typical home computer gaming setup and how some of its benefits translate to those working from home or remote.
What are Some Gaming Peripherals that Also Practical for Working from Home?
Mouse and Keyboard
Gaming mouse and keyboards are the most used gaming equipment for those working from home, and for good reason, their benefits are immediately practical for those looking to work more efficiently.
For both gaming mice and keyboards, ergonomic features have already been built-in, like the ones you might find in offices. What makes them unique is the inclusion of programmable keys, slick designs, and key feedback on keyboards.
Programmable keys are the most useful feature of all gaming equipment for those working from home. You are able to program buttons on your mouse and keys on your keyboard to do specific actions. Whereas a typical mouse might have a back/forward button programmed, you are able to program beyond that with a gaming mouse. If there’s something you do often at work that’s often repeatable, this is the perfect use case for you.
Open a program often? How about navigating tabs on your browser? What about programming specific lines of code? You can program all these options to either your mouse or keyboard and complete it with one click of a button!
Gaming keyboards and mice have aesthetically appealing designs with the inclusion of various RGB (red, green, and blue) colors. You’re able to customize the various lights on your keyboard to either match your mood or the design of your workstation.
The haptic feedback when pressing keys on a keyboard is unique for gaming keyboards. For most keyboards, you’ll experience a membrane-like reaction where a piece of rubber is under the key when you press it. Mechanical keys, often common with gaming keyboards, use a switch technology that creates a unique feeling when pressed. Many find the responsiveness, precision, and comfort of these keys to improve their overall typing performance when compared to typical keyboards.
Luckily, many gaming keyboards and mice often come packaged together making the purchase of them relatively easy – and why they are often the most used gaming equipment for those working from home!
Imagine a typical gaming evening – a gamer will most likely be sitting in a single spot the whole night. Just like office chairs in an office where workers are sitting for an extended period of time, the same logic applies for gaming chairs when manufacturers are developing their chairs.
All the benefits of an ergonomic office chair are found in gaming chairs: swivel bases, lumbar support, adjustable armrests, padded seats, shoulder support, and in some cases, high-pad backrests.
What differentiates gaming chairs is the inclusion of higher quality posh leather and aesthetically pleasing designs to choose from.
Gaming chair manufacturers often compete on quality of the leather/ seating material as most gaming chairs already offer the common ergonomic features of an office chair by default – customers expect them to be included. You’ll be easily able to find high end gaming chairs that are comfortable with higher quality materials, whether its leather or another material, than you would find in a typical office chair.
On the design front, just like gaming desks, you can choose or customize from a variety of colors and slick designs when deciding on the perfect chair. The breadth of options makes it easy to find a chair that fits in any office design.
Gamers require pinpoint precision when gaming and monitors are one of the largest investments they will make when building out their gaming setup. Gaming monitors cater to these needs through various improvements that make them differ from typical office monitors. Some of these improvements include higher refresh rates, lower input lag, and eye-catching HDR visual experiences.
Typical monitors are capped at 60 Hz refresh rates. Gaming monitors are likely higher than that, sometimes at 144 Hz. The advantage of higher refresh rates is the overall smoother experience you’ll have while staring at the screen. This is particularly important for those in design-focused roles, who may be editing videos.
Input lag refers to the short delay between your input from the keyboard to it appearing on your screen. While minor in nature, when combined with the improved refresh rates, you’ll be able to notice a larger improvement in the overall smoothness of your experience. Experiencing gaming monitors, then going back to traditional monitors will be the best way to experience how sluggish your visual experience used to be.
Finally, many gaming monitors have various eye safe and HDR certifications that are highly practical for any user, beyond gaming and working from home. Eye safe certifications allow for users to build less strain when staring at the monitor, a common problem we all experience due to our eyes constantly being glued to various screens throughout the day. HDR certifications refer to the monitors’ ability to produce high quality luminance and colors. This is great for designers but also allows anyone to experience higher definition visuals even when building something simple, like a PowerPoint Presentation.
Desks have the advantage of being completely personalized. Think of your desk in an office – you’re usually allowed to decorate it to an extent, following certain rules from your company. Your desk at home is now fully customizable to your preferences.
Gaming desks offer an advantage over traditional office desks through better cable management, slick personalization, and scratch proof/spill-proof surface materials.
Office desks usually only offer simple cable grommets (the small circles that you can put your wire through) whereas gaming desks also offer power bar storage boxes and the ability to line your wires along certain legs to hide them. Wire management is important as it improves on the aesthetics of your design and since most work from home workers are using multiple monitors, wires are bound to create a mess and hazards over time.
On the design side, most gaming desks are pre-built to have attractive slick designs, utilizing various colors including RGB-like colors (red, green, and blue). Unlike the bulky nature of many office desks, gaming desks can easily fit in any room. Gaming desks can come in various forms including simple rectangular desks, L-shaped desks, and modular desks where sections could be removed!
For those needing standing features, many gaming desks also have this feature albeit at a higher price tag.
Finally, the table surface for gaming desks have been designed to be scratch proof/spill-proof. Manufacturers have designed these desks with the assumption its users will be eating and drinking on the desk so they can continuously game. This works great for those working from home as if you may be snacking throughout the day or having a busy day where you need to eat at your desk. You can enjoy your meal without the worry of cosmetic damages over time.
Read Also: 11 Tips for Working from Home
The overlap of gaming equipment and office equipment is quite noticeable, with gaming equipment providing additional features not found in traditional office equipment. Ergonomic features, aesthetically pleasing designs, improved visuals, and programmable keys are just some of the many benefits you can utilize while working from home.
As many of us are now utilizing the same office space as home gaming, using gaming peripherals as both for gaming and working from home allows for cost savings (not buying two sets of equipment) and are great for those who have the limited space to separate these two activities in different areas of the home.
Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.