After they’re done celebrating their academic accomplishments, your grad might already have a new job or internship lined up, or they may be very close to a new opportunity. If so, they’ll want a few essentials that will ease them into the working world, whether they’re dealing with a daily commute or logging on from home. Here are a few gift ideas that they’ll appreciate regardless of where they find themselves doing most of their work.
Carrying a reusable water bottle on your commute is a smart idea, but what’s even smarter is a bottle that cleans itself. The LARQ Bottle PureVis claims to neutralize up to 99.99 percent of odor-causing bacteria using UV-C light, which means there’s less chance of it stinking up between refills. Either press the button at the top to trigger the clean, or simply wait; it automatically cleans itself once every two hours. The PureVis model also has thermal insulation that can keep drinks either cold or hot.
If they don’t mind cleaning their bottle, however, the Contigo Autoseal transit mug is a more affordable alternative. It’s wide enough to fit most cup holders and it has a handy Autoseal button which lets them drink out of the bottle when held down. As a bonus for coffee aficionados, both an Aeropress and a drip filter cone fits nicely over it, so you can brew your cup of joe directly into the mug. — Nicole Lee, Commerce Writer
A good backpack is essential for commuting, especially if your grad has to tote their laptop back and forth each day. One of our favorites is the Everlane Renew Transit Backpack thanks to both its exterior 15-inch laptop sleeve and assortment of interior and exterior pockets. It also has two water bottle holders and a pass-through strap that attaches to rolling luggage, so they can use it as their main travel pack during their next trip. And, as a bonus, it’s made from 100 percent recycled polyester, has a water-resistant finish and comes in three neutral colors that will pair well with any outfit. — N.L.
Even if your graduate already has an upgraded webcam, bad lighting can prevent them from putting their best face forward when virtually speaking with colleagues. The LumeCube Edge Desk Light can fix that with its multiple brightness and warm-light settings, plus a bendable neck that makes it easy to adjust the light’s position. Since it’s quite flexible, they can use it for other things, too, including note-taking and live streaming. And we know they’ll appreciate its built-in USB-C and USB-A charging ports, which will let them conveniently power up their phone, earbuds and more while getting all of their work done. — N.L.
Today’s office life is more on-the-go than ever, with workers switching between home, office and maybe the occasional coffee shop in between. But being mobile doesn’t mean having to settle for an unresponsive trackpad. The MX Anywhere 3 is a comfy mouse that can easily slip into a bag, though not as easily as it connects via the included receiver or Bluetooth. And it really does work anywhere — including on glass surfaces. — Kris Naudus, Commerce Writer
An external monitor is essential for anyone who works from home most of the time. Not only is it ergonomically better than hunching over a laptop all day, but the additional screen real estate is invaluable, too. We especially like the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q thanks to its 4K screen resolution, adjustable height stand and array of ports that they can use to charge their laptop as well as other accessories. It comes with an HDMI socket, two USB-C connections, a DisplayPort, a 3.5mm headphone jack and two USB-A ports. One more feature that’s especially useful if they plan on coding: the monitor can rotate 90 degrees so it can be used vertically as well as horizontally. — N.L.
Anyone with a busy schedule can appreciate the convenience of a portable battery pack – you’ll never have to worry about an unexpected dead phone, tablet, pair of earbuds or another essential gadget. One of our favorites is Anker’s PowerCore Slim 10000PD because it has a lightweight design and yet packs a 10,000 mAh battery inside. That’s enough to charge a smartphone up to three times, and it won’t take up too much space in your bag. Plus, we like that it comes with a couple of Anker’s safety features like overcharge protection and temperature control. — N.L.
In the age of Zoom calls and Google Meet video conferences, webcams have become essential. Like many of us, graduates have probably relied on their machine's built-in camera until now, but that just won't cut it if you're video conferencing multiple times a day and also care about looking good. An external webcam can make all the difference — our favorite is the Logitech C920s Pro HD webcam, which has 1080P video quality, autofocus capabilities and decent white balance adjustment. It also has a large 78-degree field of view plus a lens cover that will help protect your privacy when it’s not in use. On top of that, it has a solid pair of built-in microphones, and you can adjust settings like autofocus, brightness and contrast via Logitech’s Camera Settings companion app. — N.L.
The grad in your life probably wrecked their hands and wrists writing all those term papers on a dinky laptop keyboard, so why not get their working life started off right with something better? The Surface Ergonomic Keyboard is a treat to type on, thanks to its soft but responsive keys and split design that places your hands in a more natural position. The soft Alacantra wrist rest is pretty great too, and it certainly makes this a classy addition to a work area for under $ 100. — K.N.
When setting up a home office, audio isn’t always first and foremost on your mind. But when it comes time for your grad to start work, they’ll wonder how they lived without it. A Nest Audio is great for setting reminders like when it’s time to do laundry or check the mail, turn on lights remotely when it gets dark and, of course, play music or podcasts as they work. If they’re not into the Google ecosystem, an Amazon Echo is also a great gift with the same capabilities. — K.N.
Take a tour of this completely outfitted Sprinter van that’s been converted into a rolling connected office by two remote web developers.
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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg — a real, human man who works — understands the plight of those who work remotely. The 37-year old founder of one of the world’s largest companies is actually working remotely as you read this. But unlike you or me, Zuckerberg’s home office is in the metaverse. Zuckerberg on Facebook today teased an upcoming software update to the Quest 2’s Horizon Home that includes a home office space. It looks kind of like a Blue Bottle Coffee, or maybe a dentist’s office. But it’s in VR, you see.
It’s becoming glaringly clear that Zuckerberg wants the future of work to look like the world’s most boring VR video game. It's less boot stamping on a human face forever, and more expensive, inconvenient solution in search of a problem. According to Zuckerberg, workers can use the metaverse office to take “Messenger calls, read emails or work on your next big project.” It’s also true that most of us can do those tasks just fine on our computers. But imagine the productivity boost you’ll get doing all these mundane tasks while strapped to a Quest 2 headset!
Meta’s Horizon, for those who don’t know, is a group of three social VR apps that rolled out last December. It includes Horizon Worlds (user-created experiences), Horizon Venues (sports and concerts) and Horizon Workrooms (work). They resemble 3D social playplaces, where users create their own avatars and interact with each other (all the while keeping a four-foot personal boundary from each other.) As of February, Worlds and Venues had around 300,000 users, against an estimated 10 million Quest 2 headsets sold. Dismal numbers, some might say. A company spokesperson would not disclose many people — including Meta employees — currently use Workrooms in any capacity.
Working in VR is still a relatively novel concept, mostly because it’s been terrible so far. If you’re curious about what kind of work applications are available in VR for Quest 2, there are still only a handful—two of which are Facebook and Instagram (both in beta). There are also apps for spreadsheets (Smartsheet), visual collaboration (MURAL), email (Spike) and VR versions of Dropbox and Slack.
If you want to know what it feels like to read your emails in VR, Lifewire took one for the team. While reading emails can become grating in the real world, the Quest 2 speedruns the experience and gets "uncomfortable after half an hour." Spike's VR app also lacks the ability to attach files to an email, a feature that has been available outside the metaverse since 1998.
While Workplaces might seem to an outsider like a complicated, physically nauseating way to perform tasks most people already hate doing, what matters most is how the product is being received by Meta's audience.
“I really don't see the point of it? Why would you need to do office work in a virtual world? It looks great for sure, but that's about it,” wrote one user in the comments to Zuckerberg's post.
From another enthused user: "How primal and old-fashioned. It looks like the futuristic spaces of the 80's lol. Who in their right mind will waste their time on this."
As dubious as a VR-enabled workspace may be, there’s still more interest than ever in all that virtual reality entails. IDC reported that more than 11.2 million VR/AR headsets were sold in 2021, a 92.1 percent increase from the year prior. The newly rebranded Meta Quest 2 (formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2) hit stores this week. The Quest 2 is currently the world’s best-selling VR headset, but that could change when Sony, Apple and other tech giants enter the space.
While we can't know for sure how much Meta has spent developing digital cubicles specifically, the company plans to sink at least $ 10 billion in metaverse projects this year alone. For reference, WeWork —essentially a mass subletter of actual, physical offices — went public on a valuation of $ 9 billion — although simply buying up companies may no longer be a viable growth strategy.
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Microsoft has announced that they’ll be taking their existing Word, Excel, and Powerpoint applications on Android and iOS and merging them into a single Office app. Fortunately there’s no loss of functionality with this change, but it should make things a little more fluid on your phone and take up less space, too. Alongside this […]
Come comment on this article: Microsoft merges all of their mobile productivity apps into one Office hub
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Come comment on this article: [Sponsored] Save big on Windows 10 and Microsoft Office keys from URCDKey’s big sale
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Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Master Microsoft Office with this heavily discounted bundle!
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Microsoft’s Office is the world’s most popular productivity suite. It handles documentation, presentations, spreadsheets, and more. If you’re going into business, you need to know how to use Office. The Ultimate Microsoft Office CPD Certification Bundle on Talk Android Deals is the perfect way to master the entire suite for a fraction of what online […]
Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Master Microsoft Office with this bundle for less than $ 40
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Come comment on this article: Samsung opening new quality assurance office
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The post From RFID implants to genital yogurt, Epicenter is the future’s awesomely odd office appeared first on Digital Trends.
Heavy smoker? Fed up with having to leave the office every time you want a ciggie? In that case, you might want to get yourself this one-person smoking room launched recently by a company in Japan.
The post A Japanese firm has started selling a tiny one-person smoking room for the office appeared first on Digital Trends.
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The post Jawbone lays off 15 percent of staff and closes its New York office appeared first on Digital Trends.
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The post New Windows 10 Mobile Technical Preview adds app store, universal Office, and more apps appeared first on Digital Trends.