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TECHNOLOGY & CONSTRUCTION PLANNING

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In this day in age, good connectivity is everything and we want to be able to connect with ease in every room in the house!  Having a solid cabling infrastructure is the beginning of that.  Where do cables need to be run for cameras, TVs, WiFi access points, and other tech devices, where will your computer sit in your new office, where will you house your modem, will you need a rack for your technology components, does your rack room need a vent, where will the optimal location for your wireless access points be, do you know where your main cable from your internet service provider will be entering your home?  There is a lot of planning that goes into this and our experts can help.

You may have heard that there are current supply chain challenges in the building industry.  The same holds true with technology.  Having an expert guide you through options in entertainment, lighting, shades, and networking takes a lot of the sting out of the planning.  Our experts can see what is available or when your favorite brand may be available again.  Early planning is also optimal when it comes to selecting smart home features that can save you time and money and improve your quality of life.  Features like programmable thermostats and automated shades and lighting by Lutron are big energy savers.  Smart locks, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and whole-home security will give you the peace of mind that your family is protected when you’re home or away. 

Technology is evolving daily and is an extremely important aspect of our work and leisure time.  Getting all of your choices outlined and sourced before the day of installation is obviously the best plan.  At Echo Workshop we spend a great deal of time listening to what you want and designing a system specifically for you – a system that not only works today, but is designed to grow with you in the future.

SMART HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

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Lights and Shades:  To simulate human activity, just like your parents were attempting, you can now set your TV, lights, and shades to varying schedules.  With one touch you can set your smart home to “vacation mode” to make different rooms throughout your home “come to life” on a schedule that will make it seem like your home.

Smart Thermostats and Locks:  Oh, no!  You’re at the airport and forgot to set the thermostat to “vacation mode?”  You can take care of that remotely, via an app.  Does Aunt Martha need to get into your house to borrow your rolling pin?  You can unlock your door remotely, and then re-secure your home when she’s gone. 

Security:  We could talk about options in security all day, but taking some simple steps like motion-sensor lighting, cameras, smart smoke detectors, and video doorbells are a great start.  Give yourself the ability to monitor your home while you’re away.

Of course, using your smart home technology when you’re home for the holidays can also streamline your life.  Consider having your holiday lights or winter village programmed into your smart system.  Or set your favorite holiday “scene” in your smart system for the perfect lighting, sound, and video with just one touch.

Whether you already have a smart-home system and need help making it work right for you, or are considering upgrading your home with smart technology, Echo Workshop is here to help.

HOME OFFICE WELLNESS

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Lighting matters!  Our bodies naturally want to follow the light cycle of the sun (circadian rhythm).  This is not only important to our overall daytime feeling of alertness and wellbeing, but also our sleep cycle, and when our bodies are not getting enough sunlight, we may feel fatigued and experience insomnia. Echo Workshop has LED lighting available that can replicate sunlight and give you that extra boost you’re looking for.  Experience an improvement in mood, mental acuity, and better sleep with the right lighting for your space.

Are you a biophiliac?  You may have heard a lot about biophilia lately and how our connection to nature increases our wellbeing.  Bringing the outdoors into your office with plants can reduce stress, increase productivity, and even increase the rate at which we heal.  Can you believe something as simple as a succulent can have so many health benefits?

Do you have allergies?  Perhaps you are noticing increased headaches.  Air quality is an important consideration when assessing your office space.  A good quality air purifier can combat viruses and bacteria and improve seasonal allergy symptoms.  Echo Workshop can provide you with a superior quality air purification system for just one room or help you with a whole-home solution. 

The space you’re in matters.  Separating work and living spaces gives us the ability to truly “leave work” at the end of the day.  If you have a dedicated office space – great.  If your office space is far removed from the activity in the rest of your home – even better.  However, if you are using part of your living room or bedroom for you home office, there are ways to give yourself some separation.  That way when the workday is through, it will be easier to leave your work mindset behind and truly be “home.”  Try a foldable room divider, curtain, or standing shelf with plants interspersed (remember biophilia). 

Finally, let’s get back to the basics.  Do your best to keep your workspace clean and uncluttered.  Removing the chaos also lends itself to our overall feeling of wellbeing.  Turn on your favorite music and maybe even try a few dance moves or a quick walk around the house to get your blood flowing, loosen tense muscles, and increase alertness.

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ALZHEIMER’S AND TECHNOLOGY

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Tech can improve quality of life.  Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning (thinking, reasoning, and remembering).  Imagine the frustration of wanting to watch a favorite TV program or simply listen to the radio and not being able to.  Virtual assistants can help.  If the client is able to perfect the use of basic voice commands, then an Alexa or smart remote may simplify use and relieve frustration.  Virtual assistants can also be programmed to give reminders at set times throughout the day (i.e. medication reminders, appointments), taking a little pressure off the caregiver.

Remote Monitoring.  There are so many options today when considering how to best protect our loved ones.  From camera installations to motion detectors to door sensors, all areas of a home can be set to be monitored remotely.   We now have the ability to help monitor the safety of our parents from across the country or from our office across town if needed.  Did your dad leave all the lights on, turn the thermostat up to 90 degrees, or forget to turn off an appliance?  With smart home technology, this can all be accessed off site and adjusted immediately.

Technology is not just about safety, but also about independence and quality of life, allowing people with Alzheimer’s the ability to stay comfortably in their own homes for longer (aging in place).  And, when it comes down to it, that’s all we really want for our parents – as much comfort and ease as they gave us growing up.

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