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Working from home used to be a novelty enjoyed by relatively few people in the workforce. When COVID-19 shut everything down in 2020, though, many people, especially those with jobs in offices, had to transition to getting their work done from home.
But despite the reopening of society at large, many people have decided to keep their work-from-home arrangement for at least a few days each week. According to Forbes, one study projects that 25% of North American professional jobs will be remote by the end of 2022 and that the trend will likely continue going upward.
If you are one of the countless people who now regularly work from home, then you’ll know what a challenge it can be to have a workspace that’s productive but also comfortable. From finding essentials like the best laptop stand you can afford to the smaller conveniences that make the workday more pleasant (hello, essential oil diffuser!), we’ve rounded up more than a baker’s dozen of items that are essential for anyone who works from home.
While it might be tempting to just sit in any chair you’ve got around the house, at-home workers still need a good ergonomic office chair to prevent longterm back pain. The Ticova Ergonomic Office Chair, available on Amazon for $220 right now (that’s $100 off the list price), features a high back with elastic lumbar assistance to help support your back while you work at your desk. It also has the ability to recline 130 degrees so you can find your preferred angle.
Once you have the right chair to keep your back comfortable and protected, you’ll want something for those feet and legs. This Adjustable Under-Desk Foot Rest is on sale on Amazon for $28 right now, a 39% discount. There are two height settings to choose from, and the cover is easy to remove when you need to wash it.
The best laptop stand we’ve been able to find for remote workers is the Lifelong Ergonomic Laptop Stand. This stand is compatible with a variety of laptop computer sizes (including MacBooks) up to 17 inches. It easily adjusts angles and rotates for easy viewing on any desk or flat surface to keep your neck and back aligned properly. You can order our pick for the best laptop stand from Amazon for less than $15 (another reason we love it).
For the at-home worker who uses multiple monitors — even if it’s just a single detached monitor and your laptop’s screen — these Auledio Dual Monitor Three-Stand Risers give the perfect view of your split-screen digital workspace. Not only does this functional trio of shelves elevate your monitors, but they create more room on your desk for other essentials. Right now, the set is on sale for $26 on Amazon, marked down from the normal retail price of $40.
An efficient and effective portable workstation needs a reliable wireless keyboard and mouse. We like the Cimetech Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo pack sold on Amazon for about $25 as of this writing. Rather than relying on Bluetooth, this digital duo connects easily to any computer thanks to a tiny USB plug-and-play receiver. You do not have to upload any software and the components work within 33 feet of the receiver.
Sometimes when you work from home, you just want to get away from your desk and curl up on the couch while you do that day’s tasks. The right lap desk can make that possible without discomfort or inconvenience.
You can find countless options but we like the LapGear Designer Lap Desk from Amazon for only $35. Not only do you get a traditional lap desk, but it also includes a handy compartment for your phone that keeps it visible and secure, plus a convenient area to slide papers into and keep them steady while you work.
One of the biggest challenges for the work-from-home employee — especially during summer — is getting undisturbed quiet time. This wooden sign can be hung on the door to your workspace, kindly letting others in your space know that you are busy and should not be disturbed at the moment. Even if you don’t hang it on the door, it can make a nice addition to the wall decor in a home office.
You can order it from Amazon for less than $10!
When you have all of your wireless devices going as you’re plugging away for work, you’re going to need a recharge at some point of the day. This Fitwish four-in-one wireless charging station can handle your smartphone, Apple Watch, AirPods and even an Apple Pencil at the same time.
At under $22 on Amazon, this wireless charging station is a fabulous deal that remote workers who use all things Apple should pick up to keep them connected throughout the day.
In the days of Zoom calls for work, a good selfie ring light isn’t just for Instagram influencers anymore. The UBeesize 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light has everything you need to look your best during a video call. Not only do you get the flattering ring light (with up to 30 lighting options built-in), but the package comes with a tripod for your smartphone that positions the phone in the perfect spot for the best angle. It is compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones.
You can get it on Amazon for about $20.
We love a device that makes the home more comfortable and relaxing, especially when you’re working. This Essential Oil Aromatherapy Diffuser and Humidifier combines steam to keep the air in your office area moist while also releasing your choice of scent. The ceramic, ultrasonic device has a 200 square-foot range, has seven different light colors that can be used either singularly or on a rotation, and is graded as safe to use around children and pets.
You can snag one for about $20 for a limited time on Amazon (marked down from the regular price of $25.49 as of this writing).
It doesn’t matter if you’re taking important phone calls for work at home or listening to your favorite music playlist. A good wireless headset will quickly become a favorite gadget of yours.
The Vocline USB Wireless Noise-Canceling Headset available on Amazon for $64 provides clear audio for both the listener and the person wearing the headphones, which minimize background noise. The microphone makes sure you can be heard by your boss or co-workers with no problem. This device can be used in three ways: via Bluetooth, with the USB plug-and-play receiver or using a 3 1/2-millimeter wired connection. The headphone charge can last up to 133 hours when connected to a personal computer, according to the brand.
Sometimes, the classic pen-and-paper format makes for the best productivity tool. When you’re looking for a neat and efficient one-sheet planner to keep you on task and track all of your goals, have the Bliss Collections Daily Planner Notepad by your side.
On one sleek page, this planner has a calendar, appointment clock, meal planner, water-intake tracker and fitness log, as well as places for gratitude, work, goal notes and personal achievements. This nifty 50-sheet planner notepad can be bought on Amazon for $13.
Coffee mugs are an essential part of any office setup and this one lets you celebrate your amazingness. The YouNique Designs “Work from Home Employee of Month” mug can be filled with 11 ounces of your favorite joe or whatever your drink of choice happens to be. The mug is dishwasher and microwave safe, too.
Set yourself up for a motivational coffee break for $20 on Amazon and show it off during your next Zoom call.