Apple @ Work: Apple gives employees $1,000 to build their home office setup, here’s our suggested gear

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Apple @ Work is brought to you by Mosyle, the leader in modern mobile device management (MDM) and security for Apple enterprise and education customers. Over 28,000 organizations leverage Mosyle solutions to automate the deployment,  management and security of millions of Apple devices daily. Request a FREE account today and discover how you can put your Apple fleet on auto-pilot at a price point that is hard to believe.

We learned back in December that Apple has yet again delayed its return to the office. It was also reported that Apple gives employees $1,000 bonuses to spend on home office gear. When I read that, I thought to myself – what would the best use of it be?

About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers managed an enterprise IT network from 2009 to 2021. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100s of Macs, and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.


Best Apple work from home gear

Logitech StreamCam

The Logitech StreamCam is one of the best ways to upgrade your macOS video conferencing setup. Using USB-C makes it easy to use without any additional adaptors. If your laptop is stuck on 720p, this webcam is a great upgrade. It includes a software download called Logitech Capture. The software allows control of significant aspects of the camera and what is output to other apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. Check out our full review.

  • Smart Auto-Focus & Exposure: Built-in AI features keep you clear and looking your best so that your content looks professionally produced.
  • Full HD Vertical Video: If you’re creating content for portrait formats like Instagram or Facebook stories, turn the camera to start recording in vertical video automatically.
  • Auto-Framing: to automatically keep you framed front and center in all your streams and videos.
  • Electronic Image Stabilization: Reduces camera shake when moving the camera or the desk while sharing your passionate moments.

LG 32-inch 32UP550-W

There’s been no shortage of frustration and discussion around finding the best external monitor. If you want a deep dive on the 4K and USB-C displays for your Mac, check out our complete list. The short answer is the LG 32-inch 32UP550-W is the simplest option to go with for an Apple work-from-home setup. It includes a 32-inch screen, 4K resolution, USB-C, 96W power delivery, and more. Go with the LG 27UN850-W if you want a smaller one (27″ inches).

I’d love to see Apple ship an external display that looks like the current iMac, but that would be too simple.

Lume Cube Broadcast Lighting Kit

Are there cheap options for external lighting to improve the quality of your video meetings? Absolutely, but for the absolute best lighting to enhance your Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. – check out Lume Cube. It includes multiple mounting options, adjustable height (12“ to 30”), and runs on battery. If you want permanent power, you can charge it from your computer.

While Apple’s laptops get a bad reputation for having poor webcams, even a 1080p webcam will look terrible on video calls without proper lighting. If you live your day on calls with customers and coworkers, upgrading your lighting is a no-brainer.

External microphone

Depending on what type of job you’re in, you might be well served with a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro for your microphone, but if you need the best possible audio quality, the HyperX Quadcast will serve you well. 9to5Toys has a full review.

External stand

If you’re working on a laptop with an external monitor, you’ll likely want to raise up your laptop to eye level, and the best way to do that is with the Rain Design stand. Of course, there are lower-cost items, but I’ve always found the Rain Design stand among the best build quality.

External keyboard and mouse

Don’t forget the mouse and keyboard if you’re building out a great remote work setup. I have loved the Logitech MX Master 3 for a while, and I think it’s the best mouse for Apple users. However, I am still partial to Apple’s Bluetooth Keyboard with Numeric Pad.

Dongle/Hub Life

Regardless of whether you’re using a 14“ MacBook Pro or a 13” MacBook Air, you’ll still need a dongle or two. Depending on which computer and which accessories you add on, you might need more ports, but I am partial to the Anker 5-in–1 USB-C hub as it includes ethernet, three USB-A, HDMI, and two USB-C (one is a power passthrough).

Wrap up

Overall, I think you could build a mighty work-from-home setup with the $1,000 Apple is giving its employees. Assuming you already have a desk and a laptop, the items I’ve mentioned above will build out a great workspace. Depending on which gear your end up purchasing, you can get close to a $1,000 spend, but even if you have to go a little out of pocket, you’ll end up with a great home office setup.

Apple @ Work is brought to you by Mosyle, the leader in modern mobile device management (MDM) and security for Apple enterprise and education customers. Over 28,000 organizations leverage Mosyle solutions to automate the deployment,  management and security of millions of Apple devices daily. Request a FREE account today and discover how you can put your Apple fleet on auto-pilot at a price point that is hard to believe

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