Start A Podcast for Under $100 With A Condenser Microphone And Accessories!

Podcasting isn’t expensive. Start-up costs are very, very low. Starting a podcast doesn’t require much but it does take at least a few things to get going. One of those such things is a mic. Professional audio is key.

If you’re considering launching a podcast, have a look at our list for what you have to have to get started. Please note everything on this list can be found through PrimeCables.ca. Here are affordable podcast-friendly essentials to get set up with before you record your first official podcast.

Condenser Microphone – $25.99

The BM-700 podcast condenser microphone is made for broadcasting, voice recording, and podcasting. A shock mount and sponge cover are included. Audio quality isn’t a place to take shortcuts. Poor audio is unforgivable. If nothing else, ensure you have a professional-grade microphone. If you intend to record multiple people, each one should have their own microphone.

Over-the-Ear Headphones – $34.49

Here is another big-ticket item. Of course, we are talking hi-fi over-the-ear headphones. For podcasting, earbuds won’t work. Headphones are better. You hear yourself and others more clearly. Also, if you watch your favourite podcasters do their work, most – if not all – use headphones. Although some have a mic included, you want to use a proper condenser microphone for audio capture instead. Mics on headphones aren’t meant to be used professionally.

A Podcast Workstation

Though you can record a podcast anywhere, it doesn’t hurt to have your own podcast workstation. Think about getting an ergonomic desk. Ensure you have a high-quality monitor. Some may want a monitor mount. There are, of course, many accessories one can add with workstations like this, depending on the vibe you want.

Here are some other podcasting accessories to consider…

  • A tablet mount to put on display your iPad or tablet. When you’re recording, keyboard typing isn’t possible. A tablet can help you mix the podcast in real-time and look up information.
  • An isolation shield is expensive but it can help block out unwanted sounds from being heard by the microphone. If you are recording in different environments, they make portable microphone isolation shields as well.

With just a microphone, headphones, and recording software, so much can be done. If you’ve always wanted to start a podcast, here’s your chance. Pick up all your podcast essentials from PrimeCables.ca today. They’re all you really need to get to get the show on the road.

Featured photo by Jonathan Farber on Unsplash

Should I Be Looking for a Work-From-Home Job in the COVID-19 Shutdown And After – read here!

Work-from-home jobs have allowed millions of Canadians to continue working through the pandemic.

How long can workers expect this work-from-home dynamic to last in the months to come?

If you are not currently working, should you be looking for a job that is work-from-home?

Both are very important questions. Let’s take a look at the numbers first. Before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, there were already 1.9 million Canadians working from home. Consider another 4.7 million Canadians have been put on work-from-home employment in response to the COVID-19 shutdown since mid-March.

That’s a lot of people with work-from-home offices. In fact, that’s about 40 percent of the workforce.

The vast majority of employers and employees expect the work-from-home trend to continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Why’ has to do with many reasons. Work-from-home employees are generally happier. Some are more productive than they would be in an office environment as well.

We have the infrastructure now to work from home. Chat and video conferencing make it convenient. Business travel and commuting can be replaced with video or teleconferencing.

From an employer’s perspective, work-from-home allows them to practice social distancing. Sectors like finance, administration, customer service, and even management might expect continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future.

The impact of COVID-19 is tough to measure but what’s certain is that year-over-year work-from-home were already on the rise. That trend is only expected to continue now that a lot of the workforce has been mandated into such positions.

If you’re looking for a work-from-home job or suspect you might be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, attempting to have a home office at the kitchen table isn’t the most productive setting.

Do it right. Minimize distractions. Choose an area you can call your own. Some home office essentials to pick up might include ergonomic desks, over-the-ear headphones to drown out outside sounds, a computer monitor and mount, USB cables, and more.

As a lot of us continue to rely on work-from-home employment, having our own private home offices will be key to working comfortably. Even after the guidelines on work begin to relax, it’s probably a ‘new normal’ that work-from-home positions are going to be pretty normal to everyday companies ranging from call centre work to insurance and finance.

Get all your COVID-19 work-from-home essentials from PrimeCables. When you need us, we’re here. Canadians working from home should have what they need to do so comfortably and productively.

Featured photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels

See the Best USB Charging Stations in Canada for Smartphones and More

At times like these, a USB charging station is an excellent purchase. You ensure every device receives a charge when they need it. You won’t ever have to worry about a smartphone or another mobile device’s battery dying.

If you’re stuck indoors, like so many of us are, due to COVID-19, here are some of the best USB charging stations in Canada. Ease your boredom. Keep those devices charged! Be well. Stay connected.

4-Port USB 3.0 High-Speed Portable Hub – $11.99

This is a very basic but powerful and portable 4-port USB charging hub. It isn’t quite a USB station as it doesn’t connect to a wall outlet and won’t boast the same speeds as other models on this list.

7-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Switch Power – $21.99

Like the previous USB hub, this is small, portable, and fits with any existing USB connection. Every port on this 7-port USB 3.0 hub has an on/off which allows you to better direct total power consumption. Total transfer rate is approximately 5 Gbps per second.

13-Port USB 2.0 Hub with DC Power Adapter – $16.99

Here is another great 13-port USB 2.0 hub that plugs into an adapter. Connect USB devices with ease. As you may see, the USB 2.0 rating is lower than the prior USB 3.0 hubs. While not a smart charging station, this hub is a quality product and works though you may have to wait a little longer to have your devices fully charged.

12-Port USB 2.0 Hub with AC Adapter – $34.99

Like other hubs, this one comes with limitations in speed. However, with so many ports, it’s a bargain. With a round design, some users may find that this 12-port circular USB 2.0 hub is everything they need to keep their devices connected. The biggest drawback is with a circular charging hub, you run the risk of a mess of wires coming up.

4-Port USB 2.0 Passive Hub – $6.99

If you don’t require as many as 12 ports, this is a much smaller and more affordable 4-port USB passive hub. It is a design in an ‘x’ formation, giving you a port on every end. Wires are separate and you instantly expand your number of USB ports.

10-Port USB Smart Charging Station – $57.99

With 72 watts of power, this is a massive USB smart charging station. For iPhones, iPads, Android devices, tablets, and more, charge up to 10 devices at the same time. Enjoy fast charging on every device with a 13.2A total power output. Universal compatibility.

Featured photo by Niclas Illg on Unsplash

Does An Anti-Fatigue Standing Mat Work – see here!

Our body was not designed to stand in one position for an extended period. An anti-fatigue standing mat cushions the floor. Your feet adapt and your legs are better supported. Standing mats are in high demand, for these very reasons, in a wide variety of work and home environments.

We’ve all heard about the risks of prolonged sitting. Well, prolonged standing isn’t so good for ourselves either. When we stand for extended periods in the same place, it puts unnecessary pressure on our circulatory system. Our hearts have to work harder and our blood pressure increases.

This is why you see many people who work in a standing position end up with damaged joints, swelling in the legs, foot issues ranging from bunions to Achilles Tendonitis, and pain in the hip, back, and neck.

When you slip an anti-fatigue standing mat under your feet, the dynamic of standing changes. Muscles in our feet and calves are better supported which allows the body to pump blood throughout the venous system.

That’s what happens at a technical level. At a more perceivable level, why standing mats are beneficial is because they help you stand longer. They’re healthier and more comfortable. People using anti-fatigue mats also find other benefits around better-supported blood circulation and the effects of comfort on one’s posture.

To anyone who asks the question “Do standing mats work?” we say try one for a couple of days. There’s a noticeable difference, whether you’re using one in a home office, at the tool bench, and/or in the kitchen. You will feel the difference on your heels, legs, back, and neck, with reduced pressure on the body.

Anti-fatigue mats have also become particularly popular with Canadians currently working from home offices and/or in work-from-home positions due to COVID-19. If you have an ergonomic height-adjustable desk, it’s not a bad idea to purchase a standing mat.

When standing, even if it’s only for a few minutes, a standing mat works. You save yourself discomfort while ensuring your body is the healthiest it can be while you work. Any time you are working on a hardwood, cement, or any type of hard flooring, your shoes aren’t going to necessarily protect your legs, back, and how your weight bears down on the joints. A standing mat works.

Find the best standing mats in Canada from PrimeCables.ca. If you work on your feet and are dealing with stress and pain, fix it. A standing mat works – plain and simple.

Featured photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

Best Apps and Tools to Help You Work From Home in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Are you struggling with work-from-home productivity – these apps and tools can help.

Trello

Trello is a series of organization boards divided into columns according to interest. Trello is like having your own work-from-home virtual assistant. Create columns ranked in importance and divide up your workload according to what needs to get done day-to-day.

Brain.fm

Brain.fm gives a user the chance to listen to concentration-centric music, building from neurological studies and data that keeps your mental state clear and focused. Similar music, including those made from binaural beats, can be found online through YouTube.

Adobe Fill & Sign App

The Adobe Fill & Sign app can be downloaded on any Android or iOS system. It gives a user opportunity to virtually sign any documents and give their permission in signature. As more management works from home due to COVID-19, virtual signatures can be very important.

Super Auto Refresh Plus

This one’s a Google Chrome add-on. How Super Auto Refresh Plus works is by automatically refreshing tabs every 10 minutes. This keeps tabs active and prevents them from timing out.

Ergonomic Home Office Accessories

You being comfortable is a necessity for your participation in a work-from-home situation. Ergonomic home office accessories, such as desks, mounts, and other supports, are worth their weight in gold. If you don’t already have a home office desk, now’s a great time to consider buying one and developing your home office setting.

Boomerang

Boomerang is a Gmail add-on that gives you the chance to set a future reminder to answer an email message. If you don’t intend to respond to a message you receive in the moment, Boomerang will remind you at a specified time frame ensuring no email goes unaddressed.

Cables, Wires, and Adapters

As we come to build our home offices, various cables and adapters might be needed. USB chargers and adapters, USB cables, extension cords, Ethernet cables, and surge protectors are popular. All the cables, wires, and office adapters you could want can be found at PrimeCables.ca.

Google Script Bundle

Google Script Bundle is a multi-app Google-supported resource that can help you with tasks including cleaning out backlogs of old emails to optimizing a social media bot. Though not applicable to every work-from-home job, Google Script Bundle will assist in maximizing your professional social media and email time.

A work-from-home situation can be tough to manage, especially when you are juggling work priorities while taking care of things at home. For desks, ergonomic accessories, and other home office essentials, visit PrimeCables.ca.

Featured photo by Surface on Unsplash

While Your Child is Stuck Inside, Now is a Perfect Time to Cultivate their Creativity

Kids stuck at home are finding ways to learn, create, and entertain themselves. While families continue to self-isolate, now is an opportune time to encourage your child to be creative and discover their inner artistic self.

Creativity Isn’t Taught, It’s Found

Creativity isn’t something we teach. It isn’t memorization. It isn’t fact. It’s interpretation and imagination. It comes from the inside. Some children already have ways to express creativity. Others don’t. Here are some creative activities you may want to encourage or explore with younger members of the family.

  • Painting.
  • Photography.
  • Arts and crafts.
  • Engineering.
  • Writing a song.
  • Writing poetry.
  • Filming a movie.
  • Writing a story.

Give Your Child Somewhere to be Creative

You can’t force creativity but you can get the conditions right for someone to want to explore theirs. Any child should have a safe place where they can sit, work, create, and entertain themselves.

Try an ergonomic height adjustable desk for children. Change the height depending on the activity or as they age. The corners are padded, the work area is spacious, and a child will have their own private area to be creative, do homework, and be themselves.

Wait, My Child is Already Creative and Has An Outlet

For some children, they don’t need a kickstart to get creative. Some already enjoy writing, painting, or making art. For these children, encourage them. Don’t get in their way. If possible, give them the tools and materials they need to pursue their creative endeavours.

Use Your Laptop, When In Doubt

Our laptops, smartphones, and tablets are downright amazing pieces of technology. Online, several free programs exist that will let you record a song, film and edit a movie, and more.

A great parent-child activity can be to collaborate on a creative product. Give them the opportunity to use your laptop for a bit to make a movie or do something creative. Sample projects exist online for ideas. Encourage your child to use their own voice, get them to add a personal touch, experiment, and mess around.

Why Creativity in Crisis is a Good Thing

There’s a lot to be worried about outside the confines of our homes and so creativity should be fun. It can help keep everyone’s mind off what’s going on in the world and, more importantly, engages a child in a healthy, stimulating activity that doesn’t put them in danger.

It’s not often that families have the opportunity to stay at home for extended periods of time, together and without interruption. The government is asking us to stay at home. Use the opportunity. Get creative.

Featured photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

What’s the Best Ergonomic Office Desk for My Work-From-Home Space – read here!

A home work setup starts with a desk. As most of us have found out since we started our work-from-home assignments throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, when you don’t have a desk to work at it isn’t comfortable.

You put stress on your body when you work on the couch, in bed, or at the kitchen table. The aches and pains aren’t worth it. Get yourself a high-quality ergonomic office desk in Canada. Designate a private work-from-home space you can actually be productive at. Here are ergonomic desks you can count on.

Height Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk Converter – $137.99

If you already have a table, desk, or are working at the kitchen table, a sit-stand desk converter might be exactly what you need. It’s ultra-slim, portable, and has five height settings. Adjust around whether you want to be sitting or standing. Work anywhere. Place this desk converter on top of any table and instantly, you’ve got a workspace.

35” Wide Sit Standing Height Adjustable Desk – $229.99

Raise and lower your desk to any height. This is the ultimate sit standing height adjustable ergonomic desk. This is how you maximize your comfort. This way, when you work from home, you won’t be going through those usual aches and pains. Even if it’s only a temporary work station, having a proper desk is going to boost your productivity and you’ll feel better getting ready for work.

31.5” Wide Electric Sit-Stand Desk Converter – $229.99

The earlier model we referred to was operated manually. This sit-stand desk is an electric model. Much easier to operate, it automatically adjusts to the height you want without you having to manually do it. An electric sit-stand desk converter is luxurious but this model is slightly smaller in width compared to the last model – a consideration worth making.

37.4” Electric Height Adjustable Sit Stand Desk – $229.99

An even better electric height adjustable sit stand desk, this model is significantly larger and accommodating to workers who require more space for their work. As you adjust to a new schedule, you may want the biggest and best desk available. That’s probably this. When we’re talking work-from-home office desks, this model allows you to take a lot of pride in your home office.

For all of your work-from-home needs, visit PrimeCables. We want to do our part in providing Canadians access to home office essentials, from desks to ergonomic accessories. Stay comfortable, well, and focused. Design an ergonomic office setup you won’t mind working at. Relieve the discomfort and stress of trying to make it work at a kitchen table.

Featured photo by Lukas from Pexels

Optimize Your Work-From-Home Space With These Affordable Home Office Must-Haves!

Creating a makeshift office for a work-from-home space isn’t always most comfortable nor productive.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of us are now working from home. Ergonomically designed desks, chairs, and home office accessories are in high demand. Here are the home office products every work-from-home Canadian needs to optimize their work setup.

Ergonomic Desk

An ergonomic desk. It all starts there. A height adjustable desk is a great investment although there are many types of desks available. This is your workstation. It’s got to be comfortable. Choosing the right desk sets the tone for the rest of your work-from-home period.

Single Monitor Desk Mount

Monitors take up space on your desk. They don’t have to. Whether you have one or more, a monitor desk mount elevates your monitor off your desk. Moving your monitor up clears up a tremendous amount of space.

Tabletop Riser

On a desk, you only have one surface. A tabletop riser creates another level on which speakers, printers, streaming devices, monitors, or more paperwork can be set. It might not seem essential but once you get to using your desk, we all find out how valuable space is.

Over-the-Ear Headphones

When you’re working, you’re working. Over-the-ear headphones block out everything else. Whether you’re at the kitchen counter, leaning over a coffee table, or sitting on the couch with your laptop, headphones or earbuds allows you to eliminate noise, put on music if you desire, and/or communicate with others through video conferencing tools.

Smartphone Charging Station

While you’re working, where’s your phone? Charge it with a smartphone charger. A wireless charger Qi-certified works excellently for phones that qualify. If not, a multi-port USB charging station can charge everything from phones to tablets and more.

Multi-Compartment Desk Organizer

If you’re using pens, scissors, and other office essentials, you need a place to put them. Shoving them into a desk drawer isn’t always organized or reasonable. Included with one of Canada’s best desk organizers from PrimeCables are a stapler, staple remover, scissors, sharpener, ruler, pens, erasers, memo paper, and more.

Multi-Outlet Surge Protector

Unless you’ve already set up your home office, you’re probably finding out you need way more outlets. Choose from a 6-outlet surge protector, an 8-outlet surge protector, or a 12-outlet surge protector. There are also some that come with USB ports included which can be beneficial if you’re charging other devices and don’t want to use a tabletop smartphone USB charging station.

From basic work-from-home accessories for under $10 to desks, chairs, and more, visit PrimeCables. We are Canada’s best source for home office products and more, delivered contact-free to your front door.

Featured photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Is Work From Home the ‘New Normal’ Until a COVID-19 Vaccine is Found – read here!

In the past three months, Canadian employers have had to adapt to the reality of operating within the parameters of a nationwide economic shutdown. This has been unquestionably the single biggest shift in employment in Canada since World War II.

For companies fortunate enough to be able and allowed to continue doing business have permitted employees to work from home. This has created a high demand for home office equipment, home office accessories, Internet security, and more.

The truth around the current economic conditions and shutdown is that, eventually, it will conclude. That said, a vaccine could take months or potentially years to be found. When the COVID-19 crisis is over and as we wait for a vaccine, where will that leave the companies managing their employees in work-from-home situations – well, the future looks bright.

It’s estimated that approximately 15 percent of Canadian workers already worked from home prior to the coronavirus shutdown. Add onto that another 35 percent of our workforce roughly who have shifted their work to home in the face of this virus and you have as much as half of Canada’s workforce currently in a work-from-home dynamic.

Currently, we are seeing a variety of economic experiments occurring in Canada, from wage subsidies and borderline basic incomes to work-from-home employment. These changes, in modified form, could carry through long after COVID-19 is handled.

For employees, the benefits of working from home are obvious. No commuting. You get to relax in your own environment. If an employee has kids or dependents, they can still be there for them. A number of studies have also shown, for most work-from-home employees, their productivity increases, mental health improves, climate change pollution is reduced with no commute, and work/life balance improves.

For employers, it reduces their operational costs – sometimes significantly so. Although morale, security, and productivity are all potential issues, the cost savings in designing work-from-home teams could lead the way in facilitating more scenarios like this.

We realize not everyone can work from home. This much is obvious. Construction workers, fulfillment and warehouse facilities, grocery store clerks, ER physicians, and so many more workplaces require in-person attention. Comparatively though, computer-based jobs don’t always need a full staff on site.

COVID-19 may have changed work forever. It isn’t unreasonable to think we will see more employees request work-from-home assignments and for employers to honor it.

From an ergonomic sit-standing desk to over-the-ear headphones, a high-quality monitor mounted onto your computer desk, Ethernet cables, and more, anyone can have a place at home to work from. Grab your home office essentials today from PrimeCables. This may not just be the reality for today. It could be the reality for the next year and potentially permanently.

Featured photo by Dillon Shook on Unsplash

4 Bad Habits Work-From-Home Canadians Can’t Quit During the COVID-19 Crisis

A lot of us are working from our apartments, condos, and homes this spring. For the fortunate Canadians with jobs that allow them to work from home, it’s meant keeping money coming in.

As with any change in work environment, there are aspects of working from home that are appealing and others that are challenging. Bad habits develop. For the sake of health and productivity, here are some of the things a work-from-home employee shouldn’t be doing and why.

Behaving Like A Day Off

Recreate your office habits at home as best as you can. This isn’t a day off. It’s not the time to work in your pajamas. Dress the part. Be professional, even if no one can see you.

When we’re in leisure clothes, we don’t tend to have the mindset of, ‘It’s time to work’. Add to that, work-from-home mode can be tough to turn off. When there’s no way to differentiate between work time and time to relax, things can start to feel like you’re always working.

Bad Posture

This whole ‘work-from-home’ directive caught a lot of us off-guard. This has meant people completing shifts from a mix of their kitchen tables, beds, and even in the washroom. This only leads to bad posture, aches and pains, and a wanting for proper ergonomic home office essentials.

Do yourself right and buy a few things for yourself. Set up a home office with an office desk. Ergonomic is the keyword. Find ergonomic accessories to help your posture. The damage and stress we put our bodies through, it adds up. An ergonomic workstation is something worth investing in, especially for work-from-home Canadians who don’t foresee being back in their office environment for some time.

Stressing About the Conditions Around You

For most of us, this has been a very big change. It happened quickly. Few of us were prepared. No one’s expecting you to be in the perfect and most professional work setting. Dogs barking, or kids yelling, and things going on around you can be distracting. Don’t stress about it.

If you have anxiety about how your work-from-home home office is coming off to others, be honest at the start. At the beginning of a phone call or video conference, let the other person know what’s going on so that they’re not surprised by an interruption. You don’t have to do this but it might ease some of your worries.

Failing to Communicate

Studies have shown we are more productive when we keep lines of communication open. Consider your colleagues and check in from time to time. Chat a bit, provide work updates, maintain contact with superiors.

It can also get a little lonely being locked up at home 24/7. Especially if you’re living alone, checking in with colleagues during work time can help make it feel like you’re still at the office.

Featured photo by Luke Peters on Unsplash