For millions of Americans, working from home has become the norm. Some people have been running their own home businesses for decades. Some are working from home for the first time because of COVID. Either way, working from home is a benefit that more and more people are discovering all the time.
But working from home requires quite a bit of diligence. To be successful as a remote worker, you have to maintain your productivity levels. And there are some items you can buy to help you do just that.
Ready to turn a space in your home into a personal home office?
Here are the eleven best work from home essentials to make you happier, more comfortable, and more productive throughout the day.
1. High-Speed Internet
Except for the laptop on which to do your work, a high-speed internet connection is the most essential tool a remote worker can have.
Many people think their current internet speed is as good as it gets. What you may not realize is that your service provider almost certainly offers a faster, better, upgraded level of service. The faster you work, the more downtime you can enjoy.
Reach out to your service provider and see what your options are. You may be able to upgrade to a faster internet speed for just a few dollars more per month.
2. A Work Desk
Do you work from the comfort of your couch, parked in front of the television all day?
There may be days where that’s acceptable, but you’re sure to be more productive with a designated workspace and a desk to work at.
Resist the urge to use your coffee table or dining table as your work desk. A small table set in the corner of a room is all you need to feel like you have your own mini home office.
If you’re concerned that working from home is making you more sedentary than you’d like to be, buy a standing desk or a height-adjustable desk.
3. A Comfortable Chair
For people who like to sit while they work, a comfortable chair is a must. Look for an ergonomic design that supports your lumbar, has plenty of cushioning, and offers height adjustability.
Ergonomic work chairs can be expensive, so shop online for deals and visit your local office supply store for deep discounts. You might be able to snag a floor model for a fraction of the price of a brand new, unboxed chair.
4. A Desk Lamp
Some people prefer to work early in the morning and/or late at night when it's dark outside. Unless you do all your work by a window that lets the sunshine in — invest in a desk lamp.
Without a desk lamp, you could find yourself having to turn up the brightness level on your computer to see your screen well in dim light. This may seem like an obvious solution, but it also puts you at greater risk for eye strain and blue light headaches.
5. Blue Light Eyeglasses
Speaking of blue light headaches …
Blue light can cause eye strain, light sensitivity, and migraines. Prolonged exposure also increases your risk for eye disease, causes blurred vision, and damages your retinas.
Save your eyes and protect your vision with a pair of blue light eyeglasses. They have yellow-tinted lenses designed to filter out those harmful rays emitted by our beloved digital devices.
6. An Ergonomic Mouse
Using those roller balls and laptop touchpads can take a toll on the muscles in your wrist and hand.
If you spend hours every day on a laptop, make your life a little bit easier by purchasing a wireless, ergonomic mouse.
We know many people who revel in using a pen or pencil to physically cross a to-do off their list. If you’re one of those that likes to visualize their day by seeing their to-do’s on paper, buy a planner or a calendar.
Prefer a digital method to keep track of all the tasks you need to accomplish?
There are dozens of apps and online calendar tools that make it easy to plan your days, weeks, and months.
8. Wireless All-in-One Printer
Unless your company is 100% paperless, you may need to print a document every now and then.
An all-in-one printer, scanner, and copier is the ideal home office tool. If by chance, your work still requires you to send or receive faxes, many all-in-printers offer fax capability as well.
9. Wireless Headset
No matter how much you may love dogs, the sound of your neighbor’s barking puppy can be a huge distraction.
A set of noise-canceling wireless headphones is the perfect way to drown out unwanted background noises, including pets, honking horns, and noisy kids.
10. A Great Coffee Maker
If you rely on caffeine to get you through the day, invest in a new machine that can make your favorite coffee drinks or cups of tea for you at home.
For most commuters, the morning stop at Starbucks is a part of the daily routine. But when you work from home, there’s no need to leave the house just for a cup of Joe. With a great coffee maker and some freshly roasted beans, you can make a delicious cup (or ten) right in your kitchen.
11. Laptop Phone Holder
A laptop phone holder is the sort of gadget that you never knew you needed until you use it once. Then you wonder how you ever lived without it!
Whether you take frequent calls or need to access two screens at once, this is a work-from-home essential that will make your life easier.
A laptop phone holder is a simple mount that attaches to the lid of your laptop. When your computer is open, you can view both your computer screen and your phone screen in a comfortable, side-by-side manner.
You have to be diligent, dedicated, and focused on being productive when working from home. And with a few key items, that’s easy to do.
So instead of buying another new shirt to wear to Zoom meetings, invest in a desk, a chair, a headset, and other work-related items to make your workday better. Depending on the company you work for, they may even help subsidize the cost or offer to pay for your new home office items altogether.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Legacy at Hayward to help them with their online marketing.