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Remote working without the headaches (and backaches)

Design agencies, publishing houses and PR firms alike have been dealing with remote working for most of the year. But if they’re like yours truly, your employees might just benefit from some ergonomically minded, productivity-boosting new tools after months of working at kitchen tables. Let’s take a look at some ideal products for making the days more comfortable and efficient... 

Mike Laskey

The right Apple device

Apple products have been beloved in the creative sector for decades. And with remote working now de rigueur, there’s never been a better time to kit staff out with a lightning-fast, ergonomically designed Mac or iPad to help them do their best work more quickly and easily. But which one is right for your employees? It all depends on their role.

For creative power users who need a little extra oomph from their technology – your videographers and animators, for example – the 16” MacBook Pro is a sensible starting point. It can handle intensive workloads and multitask with ease, being configurable up to an 8-core Intel Core i9 2.4GHz processor, with up to 64GB RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, and its AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB next-generation graphics ensure a truly immersive experience. For extra on-the-go power, the MacBook Pro can be paired with a 12.9” iPad Pro that features LIDAR technology to deliver AR content, plus an 8-core GPU that makes it more powerful than most Windows PCs and allows for fluid 4K video editing and 3D design.

Designers and other creatives can also take advantage of MacBook Pro, although the 13” model may be more cost-effective for their needs. Slightly lower specs reduce the price, but it still boasts a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and a minimum of 8GB RAM and 512GB of SSD storage to make visual tasks a breeze, while a stunning Retina display keeps them looking great. Best of all, a weight of just 1.4kg means it’s light enough to work with on the sofa, too. As for a tablet? The iPad Air and its 10.9” Liquid Retina display, impressive A14 Bionic chip and 4-core graphics architecture is ideal. USB-C connectivity also provides support for Apple Pencil 2 and Magic Keyboard for extra drawing, sketching and typing efficiency.

Finally, non-creatives like project managers and admin teams can benefit from the lightweight, nippy 13” MacBook Air, which provides an optimal combination of affordability and performance, with up to 1.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processors that can deliver Turbo Boost speeds of up 3.8GHz. That’s more than enough for those typical office tasks – wherever the ‘office’ may be now. Pair that with a 10.2” iPad powered by the A12 Bionic chip and your non-creatives can enjoy the convenience of working on multiple devices within the seamless Apple ecosystem. Video calls are especially easy; users can chat via one device while taking notes on the other for a more stress-free experience.


Posture to prosper

Nothing saps morale and efficiency like constantly fidgeting in your chair or hunching over your computer screen. Giving your team the right monitor and a suitable laptop stand could make a huge difference to their wellbeing and output – and best of all, it requires only a relatively small investment.

Let’s begin with monitors. The right choice can provide flexibility and make working on any computer a far more comfortable experience. Take the LG 27QN880, for instance. USB-C connectivity means laptops can be charged through a single cable, while its Ergo stand can extend, retract, swivel, pivot, change height and tilt to ensure the user can work effectively with the right posture no matter what.

Similarly, the LG 27UL850 also features USB-C connectivity, and comes with a stand that includes tilt, height and rotation adjustments for comfort, plus higher specs more suited to creatives – like a 4K UHD IPS display and support for VESA DisplayHDR400. The LG 27” Ultrafine 5K Display, meanwhile, was designed especially for Mac in conjunction with Apple, and shows off a stunning 5120 x 2880 video resolution on an IPS screen that will deliver the highest level of colour grading and editing for your creative power users. Again, its adjustable stand is great for ensuring a personalised, more comfortable environment, and there are three USB-C ports, too.

When it comes to stands, we recommend Rain Design’s mStand for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, which will raise your users’ notebook to the same ergonomic height as any ordinary computer display – and is a snip at just £44.41 ex VAT.


Clutter, be gone

Any workspace can suffer from excess cables getting in the way, not only causing annoyance and frustration but also even trip hazards. Thankfully, it’s easy to keep your employees safe and clutter-free by providing the right computing accessories.

One popular solution is to use a hub that conveniently acts as an all-in-one adapter for all your peripherals to say goodbye to multiple wires. The Satechi Multi-Port Adapter V2 connects to Mac notebooks via one USB-C port and provides ports for USB devices, SD/MicroSD, Ethernet and HDMI video output, while also featuring a pass-through power USB-C port that means the notebook can still be charged when the hub is in full use. For more heavy-duty purposes, Belkin’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro is even better suited, coming as it does with 13 ports and the ability to run dual 4K displays or one 5K, 60Hz monitor.

Another route is to go fully wireless. If that’s more likely to suit your employees, consider the Logitech MX Keys Wireless Keyboard with its backlit keys that adapt according to lighting conditions, plus the Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse that features a superfast, almost silent scrolling wheel. The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 Mouse shares the same reinvented scroll wheel, but can also track on virtually any surface – ideal for users who are now finding themselves working in multiple home environments.


Extra at-home storage space

Remote working might mean users lose access to the network storage they depended on in the office – but it doesn’t have to mean creative work has to stop. G-Technology’s range of hard drives make it easy for your staff to access and work with large files such as high resolution images and footage.

First off, the G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 is a high-performance dual-disk hard drive that provides the speed, security and reliability needed for heavy duty creative work, plus the peace of mind that comes with RAID protection. It’s available at capacities up to 20TB and with data transfer rates of up to 480MB/s.

Alternatively, opt for the more affordable G-DRIVE USB-C hard drive, which has data transfer rates of up to 180MB/s and is available at a range of capacities including this 8TB model, or choose a G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD like this 1TB model and enjoy blisteringly fast speeds of up to 2800MB/s ideal for video editing.


Do away with distractions

Many remote workers are now making do in environments that are less than quiet – especially if children and animals are around.

Those new soundtracks your users are enjoying can be seriously off-putting, so a pair of Apple AirPods Pro could be a welcome arrival. Active Noise Cancellation does exactly what it says on the tin to allow for greater concentration, and can be toggled off into Transparency mode as and when appropriate. The in-ear headphones also feature a custom-built, high-excursion, low-distortion driver – meaning improved sound quality on video calls, too.

Want to improve your users’ remote working setups? Our experts can help advise you on the best tools, tricks and tips. Get in touch with the team by calling 03332 400 888 or emailing For the latest news, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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