A power disruption can take telecommuters offline for hours on end. These six items will keep workers online and devices fully charged when the lights go out.
Millions of business professionals around the globe are working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. While some organizations are bringing employees on-site, others have made long-term commitments to remote work. Needless to say, even the most functional home office setup is reliant on a continuous power source throughout the day and a severe thunderstorm or downed powerline could take remote workers offline for hours or even days. That said, there are numerous backup power options on the market to keep a home office up and running during power failures. Below are six items to consider as part of a remote work home emergency kit.
Emergency generators are a popular backup power option for homeowners. The gasoline-powered Westinghouse WGen7500 features a dedicated outlet allowing homeowners to easily connect their entire home to the backup generator via a transfer switch. The manufacturer estimates that the unit offers 16-hours of continuous power when set to 25% capacity. When the lights go out, people can start the generator remotely using the key fob or manually using the electric push button on the generator. With two wheels and an extended handle, the WGen7500 has been designed with mobility in mind and easily stows and deploys as needed.
While backup generators are a solid option for some, these models can be a bit pricey and the exhaust means individuals will need to position the units outside of the home; an option that may not be suitable or possible for all housing setups. That said, the APC 1500VA is a great electric backup battery option for remote workers. The model includes 10 outlets which is more than enough space to accommodate a computer, external monitor, router, and other telecommuter accessories. On the front, an LCD display details battery life, power-load, estimated run-time based on current consumption, and more. The APC 1500VA comes with a three-year warranty for added peace of mind.
The Goal Zero Yeti 500x is a portable and compact backup power station for remote workers. This model includes AC, USB-C, and 12V charging options to support a wide range of connected devices. The manufacturer estimates the Yeti 500x is capable of charging a 50Wh laptop 10 times or 12Wh smartphone 42 times on a single charge. At 11.5-inches in length, 7.5-inches tall, 5.8-inches wide, and a total weight of 12.85 pounds, the Goal Zero Yeti 500x is an exceptionally lightweight and portable backup power option. This allows households to conveniently charge and discreetly stow the unit between uses.
For more basic remote work setups, individuals can continue to manage day-to-day tasks using only a laptop and a cellular hotspot. This SinKeu portable charger features two USB ports and a 110V AC outlet to accommodate a laptop and other standard smart devices.
While a fully charged laptop should have enough power to function for a few hours between battery refreshes, tapping a smartphone as a temporary hotspot could greatly diminish the overall battery life. A backup phone power bank is a smart add for such remote work setups. This Miady model features two USB-C ports to refresh devices and a series of LED lights indicate the remaining battery life. This two-pack allows remote workers to double-down on this backup battery option for under $20.
Functional outlets are always at a premium and available USB ports are limited on some newer laptops. To assist, USB hubs transform a single port into multiple ports for increased functionality throughout the workday. This Anker model flips a single USB port into four outlets to support a smartphone, microphone, webcam, and more. The model is less than a half-inch thick and comes with two-feet of cable to assist with a wide range of office setups.