The Covid-19 pandemic has upended economies and changed working environments in a number of different ways. Businesses continue to face challenges regarding how to return to normal — and in some cases there may simply be a new normal to get used to. The biggest change, ultimately, might be that more people will embrace remote working, with employees (and freelancers) doing their jobs from afar.

An altered business environment filled with remote workers can be viewed in both a positive and a negative light. But where it may be most intriguing is with regard to technology. Remote workers are already proving to have some technological needs that differ from those of employees in ordinary working environments. And because of this, we decided to take a look at a few particular technologies that appear poised to excel in this new, remote-work realty….

1. Video Chats

Video chat systems saw a massive spike in popularity almost as soon as pandemic-related shutdowns began. And in the weeks that followed, Reuters reported on an ongoing surge, indicating that demand for programs like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and others was online continuing to rise. Now, several months into our current situation, it almost seems as if these video chat options are still getting more popular, as well as that new competitors are emerging in the space. All of this is based on a variety of needs — to socialize, to keep up with education, to check in on family, etc. But remote work is undoubtedly one of the main drivers of the video chat craze. Everything points to these tech products continuing to thrive as we move forward with remote work.

2. Wireless Headphones

Audio accessories may not be the first things that come to mind when you think about working from home, but many are starting to move them up the list. Why? Well, for one thing it’s great to have some reliable headphones to handle calls or video chats without having to blast sound out of a computer or phone speaker. For another, as USA Today’s piece on headphones pointed out, these accessories can help you to focus amidst a “sea of distractions.” Additionally, by opting for wireless headphones specifically, you can enable yourself to be flexible, such that you can get up from your desk and move around the house without fully disconnecting. Given all of these perks, on top of the general trend toward wireless audio that’s already been in effect for some time, we’d expect to see these products continuing to perform well also.

3. VPNs

VPNs aren’t products the same way video chat apps and wireless headphones are, but they’re still likely to be among the big tech winners of the pandemic and the new work-from-home era. As HP’s guide to work-from-home tools outlines, antivirus software and security tools may now be among the essentials. This is largely because employers will trust remote workers to keep company data safe while out of the office. But it’s also because remote workers who are simply spending more time at home on their devices may like the idea of securing some more protection. But since most people (or many, at least) already have some degree of virus protection, VPNs could be the next step. For those who aren’t familiar, a VPN is essentially a private secured network that can protect your computer activity. It’s already becoming a more popular method of protection (thanks in part to a widespread advertising push by VPN providers), and the remote working era should only make it more so.

4. Mixed Reality

This last one is a little bit more speculative. But as we noted with the news that ‘Facebook Showed a Concept of the Remote Workplace of the Future’, there could well be a role for mixed reality to play. Basically, Facebook demonstrated that a virtual or augmented reality headset could pair with keyboards and gestures to enable users to manipulate displays in the course of doing work. Basically, the headset could be a substitute for a computer, and could in theory handle everything from basic computer displays to live meetings with co-workers. We’re not seeing much of this just yet, but if remote work is semi-permanent, it could help to boost mixed reality as we move forward.

We’ll likely see other technologies excel during this time as well. But these are four that stand out early on.