Finding an office space is a major challenge when working remotely. Worky’s Home Office helps to solve this problem, and a few other issues.
My father was a pioneer in portable technology. I vividly remember when he brought home a compact-sized Compaq portable computer. This was back when individual desktops were uncommon and most office workers used the “computer rooms” for any technology-related tasks. The idea of working from home and the availability of cheap computers that were everywhere (the Compaq my Dad brought home was over $10,000 in today’s dollars) was completely foreign.
SEE: Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365 – Side-by-side Analysis w/checklist TechRepublic Premium
Not only is technology not always at our desk anymore, many people have moved their entire offices into their homes. It is easy to set up a home office. This can be fun for those with the right space and resources. Many people find remote work a tedious daily task. They must cram all their tools, papers, and laptops into every corner of their home, then have to quickly pack them into bags or shelves at the end.
Worky, a startup that claims to be a “home lifestyle brand that improves remote work experiences,” has just launched its first product, the Worky Home Office. It is a large white briefcase with a rectangular shape that can be mistaken for an instrument case or piece luggage. It measures 26x16x3.5inches and weighs in at just under 18 pounds empty.
The case is otherwise unassuming and opens to reveal a portable workspace with key tools such as a magnetic whiteboard and lighting that acts as a videoconference light and serves to illuminate the office. A power strip and file and paper organizer are also included. There’s even a place for your laptop that has a safety belt to ensure it stays in its proper position during transport.
All the accessories
The Worky Home Office features a variety of accessories and features that will cover all your needs for a home office setup. The three storage compartments can hold cables, pens and pencils as well as paperwork. The flat desk area is used for notetaking and writing when the first two are closed. The back of the unit has a two-outlet power strip that can charge phones and other devices using standard USB or USB-C plugs.
The magnetic whiteboard on the rear of this unit allows the user to place notes using a magnet. This is useful for placing speaking notes within the line of view for video conferences. The lid can be kept from accidentally closing and causing damage to an open laptop by using an anti-close lever and a headphone hook.
A strip of LED lights is placed around the whiteboard. There are two settings. The lower setting is for ambient lighting. The higher setting provides ambient workspace lighting. However, the lower setting creates a video conference light similar to popular ring lamps. This is extremely useful for producing well-lit video for Zoom and Teams.
A few minor errors
It is clear that the setup was well planned. I was surprised to find basic productivity tools such as dry erase markers and magnets missing. A starter set of markers, an eraser, and magnetic noteholders could be a good accessory.
SEE: Top keyboard shortcuts you need to know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Another thing that I didn’t like about the case was its white color. While the Worky was easy to use in office mode, the bright, clean white case made it stand out. It also prompts curious questions and could attract unwanted attention when being carried. As with the Ford early cars, any color is possible as long it is white.
The latches for the three accessory drawers were also a little finicky. Although they were strong enough to protect contents, the latches didn’t always close completely without extra push. This made the writing desk uneven until it was corrected. Worky also raises your laptop’s keyboard by 3 inches. This slightly altered my typing experience, as I was typing on a laptop placed directly on a counter or table.
Double-checking your laptop’s dimensions before you order a Worky is advisable. My 13-inch MacBook and my 14-inch MacBook fit comfortably. Our 15-inch Lenovo family laptop fit perfectly in the laptop space, but was too big for Worky to close. The company recommends that a laptop measure 15.6 inches from corner to corner. However, our Lenovo is a little short of this mark.
Travel with your office
The Worky is too big to carry around to the local coffee shop often, but it will fit comfortably in most cars trunks or back seats. This allows you to bring a complete office setup for road trips to work or vacation. Worky’s ability quickly to close down a shop and be ready to go when you get to a new place is a great example of the growing popularity of workcations.
The home office has the most amazing benefit
The most unexpected benefit of the Worky Home Office was not just functional, but also mental. Remote workers often feel more at home at work than at home. This is a major concern. Remote workers often feel that they are never done working. Many find themselves constantly opening their laptops, even though the workplace is only a few steps away.
The Worky Home Office was so easy to use that I could literally close down shop at the end. I simply closed my laptop, slipped it under the seatbelt strap that prevents it from moving, filed papers and notepads into the organizer drawer, then closed the lid with a satisfying click. I removed the Worky from any flat surface and put it away until the next day.
The sight of the closed Worky was less disturbing than the sight of a closed laptop. It reminded me of unanswered email and also made it easier to find my work-related tools in one location, rather than searching for them in the kitchen.
The sum of all its parts is more than work.
The Worky Home Office comes in at $150. It includes a whiteboard with video, power strip, and basic storage. The mental health benefit of being in control of your office at night, which is something I never expected to be possible with such an easy concept, is more important than the components.