Docking Station Alternatives: How to Create a Productive Workstation


“Semiconductor shortage,” “chip shortage,” “chipageddon” – whatever you choose to call it, we’ve all felt the impact. A global semiconductor shortage has had a widespread effect on everything from new cars to the latest tech gadgets, making it more difficult to get your hands on these products. Caused by a combination of global events, including the COVID-19 pandemic and a rise in demand for consumer electronics, some experts are expecting the shortage to last until 2023.  

As an IT professional, you’ve probably already felt the impact of this. These chips play an integral role in every docking station sold on the market today, and inventory is quickly shrinking industry-wide. But we know “chipageddon” can’t keep your return to work plans on hold. Fortunately,’s broad selection of IT connectivity accessories provides the opportunity to create unique and alternative workstation solutions that don’t rely on docks. Through an innovative combination of connectivity accessories, you can create productive workstations in your office, or support a hybrid workstyle for your employees, despite the current shortage of docking stations.

Here are three simple steps to create productive, high-performance workstations, without relying on docks.  

Step 1: Choose a Multiport Adapter 

A multiport adapter is the first step of your workstation solution, but it offers more than just a viable alternative to a docking station. Multiport adapters offer the same productivity features as docks, including multiple monitors and additional port options, while adding the benefits of portability and flexibility. Using a multiport adapter in this alternative solution gives users the option to work from home, or in the office, without losing any of the workstation benefits.  

Start with one of these tested and approved multiport adapters for your docking station alternative solution.

Step 2: Pick Your Display Adapter 

If the single external display offered by a multiport adapter isn’t enough for your busy day, you can easily attach a display adapter to access dual monitor productivity. 

Step 3: Add Extra USB Ports

As laptops get thinner, port availability becomes scarce. One of the many benefits of a docking station is the extra ports it adds to laptop workstations. With the addition of an external USB hub to your multiport adapter solution, a lack of port accessibility will be a concern of the past.

A product like the 4 Port SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hub will allow you to add up to four external SuperSpeed USB-A ports to your laptop workstation solution. To mitigate any USB power concerns, recommends, with this specific solution, that the USB hub be connected directly to the multiport adapter as it has its own power supply. 

While a global chip shortage may make it more difficult to purchase docking stations for your office, in just three simple steps, we’ve shown you how to create workstations that offer just as much productivity, with even more options for portability and flexibility.  

With a wide selection of connectivity accessories and a trained team of Technical Advisors ready to assist you, you can rely on to ensure your team’s productivity is maximized whether they are returning to the office, working from home or using a hybrid model. You can follow this guide to create a tested docking station alternative solution or contact your CDW account representative for advice on creating a connectivity solution to meet your specific needs.