Of all the disruptions to traditional workplace culture that have taken root over the past several years, telecommuting has become the most popular with workers. Inspired by advances in home office technology, companies have increasingly been promoting the option for employees to—at least occasionally—work from home.
A recent Gallup poll found that 37 percent of U.S. workers have telecommuted at least once—up from 30 percent last decade and only 9 percent in 1995. That’s a seismic shift in the way people interact with their employers. Yet it’s shy of the 50 percent of workers that, according to Global Workplace Analytics, hold a job that is compatible with telecommuting.
So why the discrepancy? Yes, some bosses prefer to keep a close eye on their employees. But the biggest obstacle to working in the comfort of your favorite sweats is a tactical, rather than a strategic problem: workers can’t drag their entire desk or office set-up home with them.
Anyone who’s ever tried to complete a comprehensive project remotely on a laptop understands the issues. Switching between website tabs and programs becomes a huge hassle on a single screen. There isn't enough space for a mouse, let alone extra monitors, speakers or tablets. Productivity plummets and frustrations rise, erasing the benefits of working from home in the first place.
The catch-22 is that more companies than ever are offering their employees laptops rather than desktops. So how can you enjoy the benefits of mobility that a laptop provides without losing the comfort and power of a desktop computer? Fortunately, a small set of dynamic tools can provide the best of both worlds in creating the ideal home office environment.
To start, you’ll need a high-quality display monitor, plus a wireless mouse and keyboard that offer ideal comfort without sacrificing functionality. Our favorite monitor is the Dell UltraSharp 5K Monitor, which delivers stunning imagery with over 6 million more pixels than Ultra HD 4K resolution and comes with a plethora of extra features.
As far as mice go, the Logitech Marathon M705 has consistently been rated highly for grip comfort and tracks accurately on a wide range of materials.
For those with carpal tunnel, or those simply looking for a more comfortable keyboard setup, try the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic wireless keyboard. The Sculpt Ergo places your hands in the most natural position and eases stress on the wrists while spending long hours at your desk.
Putting It All Together
Once these basics have been covered, it’s time to move to the nerve center of any home office--a laptop docking station. Docks drastically increase the connectivity and power of your laptop while improving the management of cables in and out of your device. With a robust dock, you’ll be able to utilize a full-size keyboard, multiple display monitors, a mouse, speakers and any other device that connects with a USB 3.0. These features allow for a seamless transition between your office and mobile work environments and only require that you remove and replace your laptop—everything else stays in place.
The most comprehensive dock on the market is the Henge Docks Horizontal Dock for MacBook Pro Retina. The Horizontal Dock offers 13 expansion ports, including six USB 3.0, one HDMI, a Thunderbolt 2 and a Mini DisplayPort as well as an SD card slot and two audio ports. This allows you to connect far more devices to your workstation and increases the versatility of your MacBook.
Yet it isn’t just about how many cables you can connect—it’s where those cables go. All of the ports are located on the back of the Horizontal Dock, which makes for a much cleaner and less cluttered workspace.
Your laptop is now docked and connected to your monitors--but your home office isn’t complete yet. In order to charge your iPhone as you work and keep it readily available for important calls and messages from the office, you’ll want an iPhone docking station. iPhone docks give your device a sturdy and easily accessible charging station while further reducing cord clutter.
Henge Docks offers the Gravitas for iOS Devices—a compact yet surprisingly solid dock designed to match the color of your MacBook and Horizontal Dock, creating a harmonious pairing for the perfect home office.
With more and more studies showing that listening to music on the job improves productivity, no home office is complete without a top-notch set of speakers. Available at HengeDocks.com, the Audioengine A2+ Desktop Speakers contain a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and easily connect to your Horizontal Dock or Gravitas.
These seamlessly-connected devices form the core of your new, comprehensive home office. You’re now ready to improve your daily workflow while enjoying the benefits of working in the comfort of your own home.
Today, Henge Docks lives by the mantra of “Simplicity with potential.” Yet, the conception of the idea that would become Henge Docks was not so simple. To commemorate Henge Docks’ 6th birthday, let’s take a look back at how our fast-growing company got its humble start.
CEO Matt Vroom first came up with the idea for a MacBook docking station back in 2008 when he attempted to plug his G4 PowerBook into his TV to watch movies on the Internet. It took a whopping 14 cables to transform his laptop from a desktop tool into an entertainment center!
Matt searched high and low for a docking station that met his needs, but kept coming up empty handed. That’s when the idea hit him--and Matt began to design his own dock. Check out the sketches of Matt’s first product idea below.
When Apple released the new Unibody MacBook in October 2008, Matt had found his market. Later that month, Matt hired his first employee--a friend turned colleague, Ben. He had a background in engineering and at the time was working on his degree to become a patent lawyer. [Fun fact: Ben is still onboard with Henge Docks to this day.]
With only a sketchbook and a great idea, Matt and Ben quickly got to work designing the original Vertical Dock to keep pace with Apple’s ever-growing product line, all the while drafting a business plan and searching for investors.
A few short months later, in February 2009, the company was officially named Henge Docks. For those who didn’t know, Henge Docks’ name was inspired by the ancient Stonehenge ruins in England. By April, Henge Docks officially incorporated as Henge Docks, LLC.
After a long but rewarding year of designing, redesigning, manufacturing and quality control, the first MacBook Vertical Docks were ready to be shipped. The docks first began shipping on April 19 and by April 26 Henge Docks had already sold out of inventory that was supposed to last two months. Within hours of its launch, the Vertical Dock received glowing reviews from reputable publications like Engadget, Wired, and Gizmodo, and Henge Docks' site had so much traffic, it crashed their web host's servers.
The remainder of 2010 was marked by various product launches, including the 15-inch Vertical Docks for both the MacBook and MacBook Pro, 17-inch Vertical Dock (Version A and Version B), and the MacBook Version A and Version B. Henge Docks now had a complete line of products.
In March 2011, Henge Docks made its first appearance on the tech trade show circuit at CU Exposed in Paris and London. The team didn’t stop there--Henge Docks is now a trade show veteran, participating annually in trade shows such as CES and SXSW.
With a major boost from the excitement and launching its first products, Henge Docks got down to the business of expanding its product offerings. Later in December 2011, Henge Docks released the Clique for the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. The Clique dock unites your keyboard and mouse so you can use it while at your desk or even while sitting on your couch. Shortly after, in January 2012, the Vertical Dock for MacBook Air was announced and began shipping in April 2012. Henge Docks then branched out into other forms of Apple accessories when it announced the Gravitas for iOS devices in January 2013 which began shipping in December of 2013. More recently in January 2014, the Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro with Retina Display was announced and began shipping in June 2014.
With Henge Docks’ growing customer base, the team wanted to create something truly special for our customers. In 2015 Henge Docks received certification for, and began shipping, the Horizontal Docking Station for MacBook Pro with Retina Display--the first fully automated docking station on the market. The same year, the company opened three new warehouses in the UK, Australia, and Canada, all with accompanying websites!
This brings Henge Docks to today, celebrating our 6th birthday with four product lines on the market, four international warehouses and our largest team yet.
We are reflecting on how far we’ve come and ambitiously building out the future of our business. Although we can’t give away the details yet, expect to see exciting new products coming your way later this year!
Here’s a fun exercise: close your eyes and picture the worst customer service experience you’ve ever had. Chances are, sitting on hold for hours with a cable or satellite TV provider popped into most people’s minds—at least, if research by 24/7 Wall St. and Zogby Analytics is to be believed.
Each year, 24/7 Wall St. produces the Customer Service Hall of Shame, a bottom-of-the-barrel list of major companies ranked by the lack of quality in their customer care. The not-so-surprising common thread? Year after year, at least half of the top (or bottom?) 10 companies on the list are either cable or satellite TV providers.
This is likely one of the major factors driving the “cord-cutting” trend, where former cable customers rid themselves of the expensive amenity in favor of Internet streaming services. According to market research firm eMarketer, there are more than 4.9 million U.S. households that once paid for TV services but no longer do. The movement is only gaining steam, with eMarketer predicting that by 2018, one in five households will not subscribe to cable or satellite TV.
Poor customer service is hardly the only factor pushing customers to cut their cords—price and a desire for flexibility also influences people's decisions. But how do so many millions of Americans still enjoy TV programming without the hassle of subscribing to cable or satellite TV? We’ll show you how to set up the perfect cable- and satellite-free home media center, and all you’ll need to start is your trusty MacBook.
Turning your MacBook into the centerpiece of your home media center is quite simple. There are a number of ways to connect your laptop to your TV with a cable and an adapter, depending on the type of MacBook you own and the year it was made. For comprehensive instructions on how to set up your TV as a laptop display, check out Apple’s support page here. Henge Docks sells a number of cables and adapters that allow you to stream video from your MacBook onto your TV. You can find them all here.
External cables are easy and affordable, but utilizing a MacBook docking station is a better way to take your home media center to the next level. Docks enhance the power and connectivity of your laptop, all the while reducing cord clutter and creating a more stylish setup for your media center.
The Vertical Dock from Henge Docks is the ideal tool for streaming video content from your MacBook to your TV, as it easily hides your laptop from view in a sleek silver shell. Together with a Henge Docks Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter, you can connect any Henge Dock docking station to an HDMI-equipped TV. Check out this post to learn how to!
Now you can stream online video through your MacBook onto your TV, more conveniently and at a lower cost than cable or satellite TV.
Once all of your hardware is properly built and connected, there’s one more step on the road to enjoying quality programming without the likes of Comcast or DirecTV--choosing the right combination of online streaming services. Fortunately, there are plenty of cord-cutting services that can be mixed and matched together to enhance the offering of content, while still remaining more affordable than traditional TV services.
HBO Now, access the hottest HBO shows from Game of Thrones to Silicon Valley. Subscriptions to HBO Now are $14.99 a month and allow you to stream all HBO content on any of your devices.
Netflix, the venerable grandfather of online streaming, offers various packages ranging from $7.99 - $11.99 per month. Originally a DVD-by-mail rental service, Netflix now produces award-winning original series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Hulu, which is owned by ABC, NBC and FOX, is the best place to go for new episodes of shows from these networks—the day after they air. The company’s also added movies and, more recently with the Golden Globe-nominated Casual, its own original content. Hulu goes for $7.99 per month, while the ad-free HuluPlus runs at $11.99 per month. Customers can also add on Showtime for a total of $20.98 per month.
Can’t wait until the next day for new episodes of your favorite shows? Try Sling TV, an online streaming service owned by Dish Network that gives you access to live programming on 20+ channels, such as AMC, Cartoon Network, CNN and others. Sling TV isn’t available on the Web, but offers apps for both Mac OS and Windows as well as a number of other devices, and costs only $20 per month.
Together with a custom-built media center stand and a first-rate Blu-ray player, you’re all set to impress guests or simply enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies without the hassle and cost of subscribing to cable or satellite TV.
Whether you’re a professional designer or simply looking to improve productivity while working, utilizing multiple displays is a great way to add needed screen space to your workstation—especially when making the switch from a desktop computer to a MacBook. Yet creating the ideal dual-monitor setup for your laptop can be a tricky task. Check out these essential tips for connecting your MacBook to dual displays.
Apple Cinema and Apple Thunderbolt Display monitors are the easiest to connect, as MacBooks come build-in with ports that are compatible with any Apple monitor. All you’ll need to do is connect the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable attached to the display directly to your MacBook Pro.
If you have a monitor made by a company other than Apple, don’t worry! MacBooks do have the ability to connect to monitors that aren’t made by Apple—it just takes an additional step. You’ll need a cable adaptor that allows connection between the Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt ports on the MacBook and the connections on your monitor. You will need one cable or adapter per monitor.
Non-Apple display connections can be HDMI, DVI, or VGA.
Many non-Apple monitors have HDMI connections, which you can plug directly into the HDMI port on your MacBook Pro.
If you would like to connect multiple displays, or if your monitor does not have an HDMI connection, you will need to purchase the correct adaptor to allow utilization of the Thunderbolt or MiniDisplay Port on your MacBook. You can purchase adaptors compatible with HDMI, DVI, and VGA.
Now that you’ve purchased adapters, you’re ready to plug everything in and get started. All you need to do is connect the cables to the corresponding ports on the MacBook and the monitor, and you’re ready to go!
Once you’ve completed all of the connections, you can now use your setup to its fullest potential. You may want to adjust the display configuration—here is a useful page from Apple support that will teach you how to do so. With a few taps of the keyboard or a click of the mouse, your setup will come to life and you can quickly get to work.
You can save yourself the time and hassle of constantly plugging and unplugging extra devices in and out of your MacBook by utilizing a docking station from Henge Docks. Docks streamline the process of going from desktop to mobile mode while adding connectivity and power to your laptop. You can find out which dock is compatible with your MacBook on our website here.
Ever wonder who the faces behind the emails are? Introducing... the Henge Docks Customer Support Team!
Sean and Antonio are the two who make the magic happen. Combined they have over 24 years of experience in the Customer Support field ranging from retail, hospitality, baking and even working on that Deadliest Catch boat!! Okay we made the last one up...
The two have worked together previously for 3 years, so they are well acquainted. Antonio is a techy nerd who knows various programming languages, understands hardware inside and out and has never seen a pizza he didn’t like. Sean brings concrete thinking and strategy to the team and once helped Michelle Pfeiffer spend over 3000 dollars at Hot Topic! (We don’t know how he did it, either. One of everything?) Sean also enjoys eating copious amounts of tacos and Antonio drinks so much coffee he swears he can see time.
Antonio’s favorite part about working at Henge Docks is that Costco is right across the street with on-the-go, delicious and steaming hot pizza at all hours of the work day. Sean’s favorite part is the bagels for breakfast! More importantly, they both love the open communication, intermingling between departments, and fast-paced environment at Henge Docks.
The duo’s favorite part about Customer Support is taking complex troubleshooting issues, simplifying them and making them easy for people to understand. They also love the feeling of a job well done!
If you have any questions or need troubleshooting help, submit a support ticket through our Support Portal and Sean or Antonio (our Support gurus) will be happy to help!
At SXSW there was no shortage of innovative technology! Some of our favorites were the technologies around the Standing Desk. Below are the three we found most interesting!
Uplift Desk sells both custom and pre designed stand up desks that allow you to stand or sit while getting your work done.
Focal Upright focuses on both standup desks and leaning seats to go with them. We also noticed that a Vertical Dock by Henge Docks looks great on the Focal Upright desks!
FluidStance offers a platform that you balance on while working at your standing desk. This platform is called Level and allows you to be in motion constantly while at your stand up desk!http://www.fluidstance.com
For the fifth straight year, Henge Docks will be attending SXSW! The festival will be running from March 11th through 15th with the SXSW Interactive show highlighting innovative new companies, products and more. If you are attending this year, come visit us on the first floor of the Interactive Hall in booth #335.
This year, Henge Docks is doing SXSW bigger and better with twice the floor space. All our products will be available for purchase at a special discounted rate for show attendees from our Gravitas to the newly released 13-inch Horizontal Dock. Get to the booth early in the show as we will have limited supply!
We are looking forward to another awesome show and hope to see you there!
We are thrilled that the 15-inch Horizontal Dock has hit the market with incredible success! The sales of the 15-inch Horizontal Dock have far exceeded even our most optimistic projections.
As exciting as the response has been, several components in the Horizontal Dock have lead times that exceed the overwhelming demand for it which has led to a temporary stock out. The next shipment of 15-inch Horizontal Docks will be ready as early as April and ordering now will ensure that your dock ships as soon as it is back in stock.
For those of you with a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, these Horizontal Docks have arrived in the USA and will begin shipping to customers next week! Orders placed from Europe or Canada will begin to ship in March.
We continue to be blown away by your enthusiasm for our products. The entire Henge Docks team thanks you for your support!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Henge Docks is showing some love and appreciation to the accessories we can’t live without! Read on to find which accessories Henge Docks is loving this Valentine’s Day.
1. Speck iPhone Case:
Kristin, our Operations Manager, can’t live without her CandyShell Inked iPhone 6 Speck case! It fits perfectly with our case compatible iPhone 6 insert for the Gravitas dock.
At Henge Docks, music is a key part of our work day. Our Chief Financial Officer, Hayne, loves to get work done by blocking out the whirlwind of startup life using her Sennheiser HD 25-1 II headphones. Click here to see her favorite workflow playlist!
During our office happy hours, holiday parties, or even as part of the daily grind, we love having our Audioengine Speakers around to set the vibe for the whole office.
4. Kensington Lock:
The perfect partner for our Horizontal Dock, the Kensington Lock allows you to lock your dock and MacBook to your desk for ultimate security.
On any given day, you can find Brandon, our Lead Product Developer, sketching the next Henge Docks product on his SpacePilot Pro.
6. Square Reader:
With the SXSW Trade Show coming up in March, it is guaranteed you’ll find a square reader or two around the booth. It’s great for making quick transactions on the go!
7. Apple Watch:
The Apple Watch provides the ideal accomplice for our CEO, Matt, to keep track of messages, emails and meetings while he is working throughout the day. He also loves to use it to track his fitness and heart rate when on runs!
Chuck Joiner of the popular Apple-centric internet show MacVoices visited the Henge Docks booth at CES 2016 and interviewed our CEO, Matthew Vroom. In the interview, Matt shares his excitement about the Horizontal Dock, and goes in-depth on its features. Watch the video to learn more about the Horizontal Dock and Henge Docks' experience at CES!