As a business owner, it’s rare to feel like you’re fully on top of it all. There’s always something that needs to be done, or something you meant to do yesterday… never mind finding time to relax.
Thanks to smart home technology, there are tools that business owners can use to make life a little bit easier. And a little bit smarter. Whether you’re a tech junkie or a bit of a newbie, you’ll find the perfect tech accessories to make your home safer and smarter, and save yourself a bit of money and a lot of time. Here are 12 smart home tools our team at Enkel loves.
Tech-sessorize Your Home Office
Wireless Charging Pads
When everyone in your household has multiple devices on hand, you have 2 options: live in a maze of cords, or invest in some elegant wireless charging pads. We love these chargers from IKEA--they can house multiple devices at a time, and they actually look nice. Set smarter habits, and begin leaving your devices in one secure place. They’ll be fully charged and right where you left them whenever you need them!
Even business owners who are always on the go spend too much time seated at a desk. Upgrade your home office with a Smart Desk, designed to raise and lower to allow you to work seated or standing. Your back will thank you.
Take Care of Your Loved Ones
If you haven’t heard of the Nest thermostat yet, it’s time to get acquainted. With winter months rolling in, there’s no better time than now to upgrade your home with a smart thermostat. The Nest learns your family’s waking, working and sleeping habits, creating a cozy atmosphere when you’re at home, and saving you money by not heating the house when you’re out.
Smart Smoke Alarms
If you’ve fallen in love with your Nest thermostat, it’s time to try the Nest Protect. This smart alarm alerts you via phone notifications if it senses any smoke or CO2 emissions, even alerting you to which room it’s coming from.
Running late at a meeting? Now you’re even able to feed your fur-babies on the fly. Tools like the PetNet SmartFeeder let you measure and feed your pet’s dinner from your smartphone. If that’s not smart enough for your four-legged pal, consider adding a PetCube as well. The wifi-enabled camera allows you to check in on your pets, and even play with them using a laser toy. Don’t worry—even with all this tech, they’ll still be happy to see you when you get home.
Secure Your Home (and Business)
Smart Home Security
Whether you’re at work, running errands or even traveling abroad, smart home security systems allow you to check in on your home using video and alarm alerts sent straight to your phone. The Arlo Q lets you see who’s at the door and greet them with 2-way audio, plus check in on your home at any time with night-vision cameras. Sync your home system with your business security system for complete peace of mind.
There’s nothing worse than arriving at work and being flooded with the feeling, “Did I lock the front door?” With an August smart lock, those days are over. Easily check in and lock your home from your smartphone. If you have guests coming by, easily set a temporary passcode to let them into your home or office, and erase the code later. You’ll never need to change the locks again.
If you travel frequently for business and aren’t leaving family members at home, smart lighting systems are a fantastic way to improve your security even further. Rather than needing to set timers before you leave, smart lights can be activated via your smartphone, and even randomized, creating the illusion of people coming and going, and giving you peace of mind.
Relax and Recharge
PVR and Smart Televisions
When was the last time you actually found time to sit down in front of the television during your favourite program? Set up smart entertainment systems like Apple TV and PVR cable, and watch what you want, when you find time to relax. Plus, you’ll never need to waste precious time watching commercials again.
Smart Alarm Clocks
Even your old clock radio has gotten smarter. Many of us wake up to the blaring of our smartphone alarm and then immediately begin our day one-eyeing emails from bed. Scientists know that we get a better night’s sleep when we are device and distraction free, so why are so many of us beginning our day with a smartphone?
The Kello alarm clock gently wakes you with your favourite Spotify playlist (or choose from a variety of podcasts, nature sounds and radio stations). Use the app to help create healthier sleep habits, letting you wake up earlier, hit the snooze button less, and get a more restful sleep.
Not into music? Try the Philips Wake-Up Light which gently wakes you via simulated sunshine, making your mornings feel a little bit brighter. You’re also able to use this as a reading light that gently dims to signify when it’s time to go to sleep.
If waking up peacefully wasn’t pleasant enough, you can now sync your Nespresso to have your morning latte ready when you get up. THE FUTURE IS NOW.
Replace Your Assistant
Smart Home Assistants
The Amazon Echo is so much more than a bluetooth speaker. Sure, it’ll play music. But this voice-activated tool is getting smarter by the day with new app integrations. Play all of your music with just your voice, or have the Echo call or text your colleagues while your hands are busy.
You’re also able to connect the Echo with all of your smart home accessories (thermostats, locks, cameras, basically everything), making this the ultimate hub for all of your tools. We bet that in a few more years, no home will be complete without one.
What’s your favourite home technology?
How We Select and Evaluate Our Recommended Software
We thoroughly research and test the apps we include in our regular workflow for Client bookkeeping services. After deciding on criteria for evaluating the software and then researching the app itself, we tested the app, noting its strengths and weaknesses. We then work with the app for at least a few weeks before deciding whether to recommend it to our readers. We use the software as it was designed for its intended tasks. For a detailed walk-through of how we select and evaluate software, please see the details of our process.