11 Home Office Products I Wish I Had Before I Started Working Remotely
Bolster productivity, aid organization and make working remotely a little easier with these home office game changers.
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Setting Up a Home Workspace
Working remotely is the new norm for many. Stanford University found that 42 percent of the U.S. labor force is working from home full-time. While working at home certainly has perks, carving out space within your home for work and mastering the art of internet connectivity can be challenging, especially if multiple people are working or attending school at home and using space and broadband.
The right accessories, add-ons and gadgets can make working remotely infinitely easier. Start by mimicking your office setup as much as possible. For example, if you use a split keyboard, wireless mouse or docking station at work, incorporate those items into your home office. Then invest in a few add-ons like these picks, which will help make your remote office more comfortable and conducive to working.
If you’re on video calls nonstop, it’s time to upgrade from basic earbuds. Sony’s True Wireless Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones are a good value and loaded with features.
Two sensors on each earbud help filter out ambient noise. Fully charged, the headphones will run for six hours; a 10-minute quick charge adds another 90 minutes. Bluetooth chip technology provides a better listening experience, and the headphones integrate with Google Assistant.
Computer Camera Cover
We’ve all left our camera on when we wish we hadn’t. Sure, a Post-It note can do the trick as a camera cover, but a product designed for that purpose is a little sleeker. This sliding camera cover, with more than 22,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, is ultra thin, which works well for laptops. With six to a pack, you can outfit plenty of devices.
If you lack a separate space for your office, get a basket to corral your laptop, chargers, notebooks and headphones to pack up and stash away at the end of the day, so your dining room table can return to its original function. This basket has a handle for effortless carrying and a slim design that can easily be tucked away — but it’s cute enough that you don’t have to.
Standing desks offer an alternative to sitting all day, and you can create one at home without buying a new desk. A tabletop model like this Single-Level Adjustable Standing Desk is designed to be placed on top of your existing desk. The spring-assisted lift mechanism makes it easy to raise and lower it to whatever height suits you.
Insulated Coffee Mug
Keep your coffee warm through multiple video calls (and whatever else commands your attention) with an insulated mug in your favorite color. The Hydro Flask Coffee Mug feels like a 12-ounce coffee cup you would use at home, thanks to the handle. Double-wall vacuum insulation keeps your beverage warm for hours. And the 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel interior ensures a pure taste, with no flavor transfer.
Keep your skin, nasal passageways and throat well moisturized by adding a humidifier to your office. The Pure Enrichment MistAire Studio Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is sized right for an office. It covers up to 175 sq. ft., and the slender design doesn’t take up much space. On low, the humidifier will run for up to 10 hours, so you won’t need to refill it during the work day.
A comfortable desk chair is a work-from-home necessity. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advises that working in a neutral position while seated diminishes stress and strain on the body and reduces the risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder.
Of course, there are more affordable options out there, but chairs from standard-bearer HemanMiller boast top-notch features. Their Sayl Chair, for example, has 10 adjustable features you can calibrate to your personal optimal ergonomic settings. A 12-year warranty offers peace of mind, too.
Relieve tension and help yourself relax after a long day of working remotely with a massage, right at home. The Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager features four nodes that work together to massage away knots, tension and aches. A heat setting dials up the effectiveness of the massage, and an adjustable strap makes it easy to position the unit at the correct angle.
Ubiquitous video calls take up a lot of bandwidth. Plus, when multiple people are at home, bandwidth becomes a hot commodity. Improve your internet connection with a WiFi booster like the eero Pro 6. The router offers speeds up to a gigabit, coverage up to 2,000 sq. ft. and can connect at least 75 devices! Reviewers praise the elimination of dead spots and easy setup.
A good desk lamp supplements overall room lighting and reduces eye strain. The Tenergy 11W Dimmable LED Desk Lamp offers an adjustable arm, five dimming levels and four lighting temperatures for highly customizable illumination. The slim design means it also won’t take up precious desk space. A USB charging port is a nice extra.
Plants not only brighten a workspace, they can also serve a function. Look for plant varieties that are known to be air purifiers and bring one (or a handful) into your remote workspace. Many air-purifying houseplants, like the spider plant, are also easy to care for. Be sure to choose a plant suited to the lighting conditions in your office space.