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Best hybrid working tech for 2022: Everything you need for a possible return to the office

remote working
(Image credit: Shutterstock / GaudiLab)

Instead of bringing employees back to the office full-time, many companies are expected to adopt a hybrid working model in the coming months, with staff splitting their time between the home and office.

The logic is that hybrid working will let us keep all the benefits of working from home (opens in new tab), such as less time spent commuting and a healthier family life, while also allowing workers to collaborate in-person some of the time.

Before you make the transition to hybrid working, though, you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped with everything you need to support this new way of operating.

For example, you may well want to avoid sharing computer peripherals at the office, so a new wireless mouse (opens in new tab) and keyboard (opens in new tab) could be a sensible purchase. A portable SSD (opens in new tab) or USB flash drive (opens in new tab) could also prove useful for shipping data to and fro, so long as you’ve checked with the IT department first.

There’s more to consider than you might imagine, but our guide should help make the transition to hybrid working as smooth as possible. The most useful pieces of kit will combine portability with versatility, allowing you to switch between settings with ease.

Best wireless mouse for hybrid working

Razer Pro Click

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Pro Click

Razer goes to work

Specifications

DPI: 16,000
Interface: Bluetooth
Buttons: 8
Ergonomic: Right-handed

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous design
+
Precise ergonomics
+
Can connect to multiple devices

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-C port
-
Not particularly portable

Why go for the mediocre when you can have a productivity mouse that’s both stunning, feature-rich and extremely functional? If macros are your life – whether you do a lot of video editing or heavily rely on graphics design – this is the best wireless mouse out there, with 8 fully programmable buttons at your disposal.

The Razer Pro Click also boasts a generous 16,000 DPI for the smoothest and fastest experience, and there's also multi-host connectivity for all the multi-taskers out there that use several devices at once.

Read the full review: Razer Pro Click (opens in new tab)

Best wireless keyboard for hybrid working

Razer Pro Type

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Pro Type

A great option for

Specifications

Keyboard backlighting: Yes
Interface: Wireless
Switch type:: Razer Orange mechanical

Reasons to buy

+
Quiet mechanical keys
+
Appealing design
+
Connects to up to four devices

Reasons to avoid

-
Connectivity issues

The Razer Pro Type is a wireless keyboard targeted at both business and home office  settings and there's no question it's an excellent keyboard, with a lot of great features and an appealing design.

The keys themselves are a dream to type on and the mechanical clicks are more muted than the typical mechanical keyboard, making it more tolerable for coworkers in the close confines of an office.

With room to save three Bluetooth device profiles, switching the Razer Pro Type out between different computers is quick and easy, with a fourth device being accessible by using the standard 2.4GHz wireless connection. Predictably, it also pairs well with the Razer Pro Click.

Read the full review: Razer Pro Type review (opens in new tab)

Best laptop for hybrid working

Acer Swift 3

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Swift 3

An affordable workhorse

Specifications

CPU: up to Intel Core i7-8565U
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon Vega 8
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Storage: 128GB – 1 TB HDD, 16 GB Intel Optane Memory

Reasons to buy

+
Superb keyboard and trackpad
+
Excellent performance
+
Very reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks a little plain

Beyond the Acer Swift 3's modest exterior, you'll find an excellent laptop that boasts plenty of power. The Swift 3 is an inexpensive machine, but that plain chassis is all-aluminum and packed with beefy components. 

In terms of performance, it gets surprisingly close to the far more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop; its display is a little lower-res, but the two are otherwise strikingly similar. 

This laptop is incredible to use as well, with its roomy trackpad and backlit keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience with decent travel. If you're going to be writing a lot as part of your day-to-day, this is a great choice.

Best tablet for hybrid working

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

A top business tablet

Specifications

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G4
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM: 8GB DDR4x
Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display
Storage: 256GB SSD
Connectivity: 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 (2 x 2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5
Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing
Weight: 1.7 pounds (771g)
Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (W x D x H)

Reasons to buy

+
Much improved performance
+
USB
+
Wi-Fi 6

Reasons to avoid

-
Decrease in battery life
-
USB-C isn't Thunderbolt

While the Surface Pro 7 doesn't offer all that great an improvement on the previous model (beyond the addition of USB-C and a small power boost), it's still an excellent tablet.

It's got that gorgeous design and solid build quality, plus some of the latest mobile tech crammed into its body. However, the Type Cover nor Surface Pen stylus are not included, which is a bit mean considering the price. 

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (opens in new tab)

Best portable monitor for hybrid working

AOC I1601P

(Image credit: Future)

AOC I1601P 15.6-inch portable monitor

A brilliant little portable monitor for the hybrid worker

Specifications

Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Panel size: 15.6 inches
Panel type: IPS
Refresh rate: 60Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely light and portable
+
Lovely display
+
USB-C or USB-A connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Navigating menus is a pain
-
Short cable

The I1601P portable monitor from AOC is a fantastic little piece of kit, especially for someone looking to equip themselves for the new world of hybrid working.

This monitor is extremely slim and light and fits snugly into a laptop case or backpack sleeve. We also love the stand, which attaches to the front and back of the screen with magnets that anchor the I1601P in place - and it doubles as a screen cover too.

The 15.6-inch full HD IPS display is extremely easy on the eye, which means long working sessions don’t result in undue strain, despite the relatively small screen size. And the display boasts an impressively wide viewing angle too, so it can function well even on a crowded office desk.

AOC has prioritized portability and ease of use above all else, and the result is a display that anyone can set up and start using in a matter of seconds; it’s a case of plugging in a single cable and off you go.

Read the full review: AOC I1601P (opens in new tab)

Best portable SSD for hybrid working

Samsung T5 SSD

Our pick for the best portable SSD

Specifications

Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Interface: USB Type-C

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly fast
+
Highly compact

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Samsung has made some brilliant portable SSDs over the years, but the T5 is our absolute favorite. It builds on the brilliant design and performance of its predecessor, the Samsung T3 SSD, but brings it up to date with an incredibly fast USB Type-C connection that ekes out every last drop of performance from the solid state drive inside.

Of course, it's also backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 if your PC doesn't have USB Type-C.

Read the full review: Samsung Portable SSD T5

Best USB flash drive for hybrid working

Patriot Supersonic Rage 2

(Image credit: Patriot)

Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 USB flash drive

High-end USB

Specifications

Capacity: 128GB
Interface: USB 3.0

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely fast
+
Huge capacity

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If you need demand blazing fast speeds, the Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 could be the best USB flash drive (opens in new tab) around. Sure, the price is high, but we were blown away by the speed, which makes shifting large files a breeze.

It also comes with 128GB of storage space, which is a phenomenal amount to carry around in your pocket. Just make sure you don't lose it! 

Best headset for hybrid working

Plantronics BackBeat GO 810

(Image credit: Plantronics)

Plantronics BackBeat Go 810

Solid, affordable, mid-range noise-cancelling headphones

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 0.64 lbs (289g)
Cable length: N/A
Frequency response: N/A
Drivers: 40mm
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life: 24 hours
Wireless range: 100 meters (330 feet)
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent build quality
+
Warm, balanced sound
+
Reliable wireless connection

Reasons to avoid

-
Hiss when music isn't playing

The brilliant Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 is built from less expensive materials than the BackBeat Pro 2, but sounds nearly identical to its premium predecessor – and it sports an equally attractive design. 

The BackBeat Go 810 is the best headset for anyone that needs wireless connectivity without the stomach-churning price tag.

Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 (opens in new tab)

Best laptop bag for hybrid working

JanSport Baughman

(Image credit: JanSport)

JanSport Baughman Backpack

A classic backpack for your laptop

Specifications

Key Features: Fits 15-inch laptops; fleece lined media pocket; front flap with organizer; front zippered pocket with removable storage pouch
Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.6 x 5.7 inches (H x W x D)
Weight: 2.4 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
15-inch laptop sleeve
+
Removable storage pouch
+
Fine canvas look and feel

Reasons to avoid

-
No weatherproofing

It's hard to go wrong with the tried and true JanSport Baughman. A full-canvas bag with nylon mesh inside, including a 15-inch laptop sleeve, this JanSport model comes in several colors for a variety of prices.

Included in the price is also a media pocket lined in fleece, as well as a removable storage pouch, making this an excellent business laptop backpack.

Joel Khalili
Joel Khalili

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.