Best hybrid working tech for 2021 Everything you need for the return to the office

Best hybrid working tech for 2021 Everything you need for the return to the office
RyDesk

Best hybrid working tech for 2021 Everything you need for the return to the office

Instead of bringing employees back to the office full-time, many companies are expected to adopt a hybrid working model in the coming months, with staff splitting their time between the home and office.

The logic is that hybrid working will let us keep all the benefits of working from home, such as less time spent commuting and a healthier family life, while also allowing workers to collaborate in-person some of the time.

Before you make the transition to hybrid working, though, you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped with everything you need to support this new way of operating.

For example, you may well want to avoid sharing computer peripherals at the office, so a new wireless mouse and keyboard could be a sensible purchase. A portable SSD or USB flash drive could also prove useful for shipping data to and fro, so long as you’ve checked with the IT department first.

There’s more to consider than you might imagine, but our guide should help make the transition to hybrid working as smooth as possible. The most useful pieces of kit will combine portability with versatility, allowing you to switch between settings with ease.

Best wireless mouse for hybrid working

Razer Pro Click

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Pro Click

Razer goes to work

DPI: 16,000 | Interface: Bluetooth | Buttons: 8 | Ergonomic: Right-handed

Gorgeous design
Precise ergonomics
Can connect to multiple devices
No USB-C port
Not particularly portable

Why go for the mediocre when you can have a productivity mouse that’s both stunning, feature-rich and extremely functional? If macros are your life – whether you do a lot of video editing or heavily rely on graphics design – this is the best wireless mouse out there, with 8 fully programmable buttons at your disposal.

The Razer Pro Click also boasts a generous 16,000 DPI for the smoothest and fastest experience, and there’s also multi-host connectivity for all the multi-taskers out there that use several devices at once.

Best wireless keyboard for hybrid working

Razer Pro Type

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Pro Type

A great option for

Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Interface: Wireless | Switch type:: Razer Orange mechanical

Quiet mechanical keys
Appealing design
Connects to up to four devices
Connectivity issues

The Razer Pro Type is a wireless keyboard targeted at both business and home office  settings and there’s no question it’s an excellent keyboard, with a lot of great features and an appealing design.

The keys themselves are a dream to type on and the mechanical clicks are more muted than the typical mechanical keyboard, making it more tolerable for coworkers in the close confines of an office.

With room to save three Bluetooth device profiles, switching the Razer Pro Type out between different computers is quick and easy, with a fourth device being accessible by using the standard 2.4GHz wireless connection. Predictably, it also pairs well with the Razer Pro Click.

Read the full review: Razer Pro Type review

Best laptop for hybrid working

Acer Swift 3

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Swift 3

An affordable workhorse

CPU: up to Intel Core i7-8565U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 128GB – 1 TB HDD, 16 GB Intel Optane Memory

Superb keyboard and trackpad
Excellent performance
Very reasonably priced
Looks a little plain

Beyond the Acer Swift 3’s modest exterior, you’ll find an excellent laptop that boasts plenty of power. The Swift 3 is an inexpensive machine, but that plain chassis is all-aluminum and packed with beefy components.

In terms of performance, it gets surprisingly close to the far more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop; its display is a little lower-res, but the two are otherwise strikingly similar.

This laptop is incredible to use as well, with its roomy trackpad and backlit keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience with decent travel. If you’re going to be writing a lot as part of your day-to-day, this is a great choice.

Best tablet for hybrid working

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

A top business tablet

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G4 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB DDR4x | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 (2 x 2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing | Weight: 1.7 pounds (771g) | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (W x D x H)

Much improved performance
USB
Wi-Fi 6
Decrease in battery life
USB-C isn’t Thunderbolt

While the Surface Pro 7 doesn’t offer all that great an improvement on the previous model (beyond the addition of USB-C and a small power boost), it’s still an excellent tablet.

It’s got that gorgeous design and solid build quality, plus some of the latest mobile tech crammed into its body. However, the Type Cover nor Surface Pen stylus are not included, which is a bit mean considering the price.

Best portable monitor for hybrid working

Asus

(Image credit: Asus)

Asus MB169C+ portable monitor

The first USB-C portable monitor impresses

Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080

Thin and light
Good viewing angles and picture
Uses single USB-C
Slightly too dim
Fiddly menu control wheel

The Asus MB169C+ isn’t quite as portable as some rivals, but its 15.6-inch size makes it feel more like a regular monitor. It has a healthy resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 px, which is perfect for streaming full HD video and working with two applications side-by-side.

The MB169C+ is incredibly simple to use thanks to its USB-C connection, which transmits video, sound and power. It also comes in a handy protective sleeve that doubles up as a carrying case.

 

Best portable SSD for hybrid working

Samsung T5 SSD

Our pick for the best portable SSD

Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Interface: USB Type-C

Incredibly fast
Highly compact
Expensive

Samsung has made some brilliant portable SSDs over the years, but the T5 is our absolute favorite. It builds on the brilliant design and performance of its predecessor, the Samsung T3 SSD, but brings it up to date with an incredibly fast USB Type-C connection that ekes out every last drop of performance from the solid state drive inside.

Of course, it’s also backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 if your PC doesn’t have USB Type-C.

Read the full review: Samsung Portable SSD T5

Best USB flash drive for hybrid working

Patriot Supersonic Rage 2

(Image credit: Patriot)

Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 USB flash drive

High-end USB

Capacity: 128GB | Interface: USB 3.0

Extremely fast
Huge capacity
Expensive

If you need demand blazing fast speeds, the Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 could be the best USB flash drive around. Sure, the price is high, but we were blown away by the speed, which makes shifting large files a breeze.

It also comes with 128GB of storage space, which is a phenomenal amount to carry around in your pocket. Just make sure you don’t lose it!

Best headset for hybrid working

Plantronics BackBeat GO 810

(Image credit: Plantronics)

Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

Solid, affordable, mid-range noise-cancelling headphones

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.64 lbs (289g) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 24 hours | Wireless range: 100 meters (330 feet) | NFC: No

Excellent build quality
Warm, balanced sound
Reliable wireless connection
Hiss when music isn’t playing

The brilliant Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 is built from less expensive materials than the BackBeat Pro 2, but sounds nearly identical to its premium predecessor – and it sports an equally attractive design.

The BackBeat Go 810 is the best headset for anyone that needs wireless connectivity without the stomach-churning price tag.

 

Best laptop bag for hybrid working

JanSport Baughman

(Image credit: JanSport)

JanSport Baughman Backpack

A classic backpack for your laptop

Key Features: Fits 15-inch laptops; fleece lined media pocket; front flap with organizer; front zippered pocket with removable storage pouch | Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.6 x 5.7 inches (H x W x D) | Weight: 2.4 pounds

15-inch laptop sleeve
Removable storage pouch
Fine canvas look and feel
No weatherproofing

It’s hard to go wrong with the tried and true JanSport Baughman. A full-canvas bag with nylon mesh inside, including a 15-inch laptop sleeve, this JanSport model comes in several colors for a variety of prices.

Included in the price is also a media pocket lined in fleece, as well as a removable storage pouch, making this an excellent business laptop backpack.