The pandemic changed almost every aspect of life as it once was, including when it comes to working. More and more people are working from home, and that number is projected to rise to more than 36 million by 2025. When walking out the door last March, most people likely thought it would be a few weeks at most before things would be back to normal. As everybody knows, that didn't happen. A year later, working from home is the norm for anybody who was once in an office. Here are the top 10 work from home essentials that are absolute must-haves to stay productive while working at home.
Working remotely requires things like a computer and the internet—those are some obvious things that everybody knows are essential. Here, focus more on the accessories to make any time spent working at home much easier and distraction-free. However, working from home does include something like a desk and furniture.
The number one essential for working at home that many people don't realize they need is a high-quality headset. Not just dollar store earbuds, either—it's worth the investment to look at Plantronics Headsets with noise-canceling technology that allows you to eliminate distractions, multi-task, and have your hands free to type while speaking.
Plantronics is the leading headset brand for any business that requires talking on the phone, including call centers, salespeople, office workers, etc. For those who live with roommates or in a busy urban area, investing in a great headset is an absolute necessity to have peace and quiet even when there are multiple distractions in the background.
Think about it. Working from home means spending a lot of time sitting in a desk chair. Anybody currently using a $20 piece of junk can attest that a sore back and neck can be a huge problem. That doesn't even include constantly readjusting, and attempting to get comfortable means losing focus on the task at hand, resulting in lower productivity. It might be a little more money now, but the comfort and design of an ergonomic chair are meant to make it last for years. For a challenge, look for a kneeling desk stool. Not only does it roll neatly underneath the desk when it's not in use, but it improves posture, strengthens core muscles, and helps circulation.
Most people are surprised to learn there is a correlation between lighting and health, focus, concentration, and mood. Choosing the wrong lighting can cause adverse health conditions like headaches, migraines, eye soreness, poor sleep, fatigue, and overall drowsiness. Clearly, none of those things are conducive to a positive working environment, making lighting extremely important. Try to stay away from fluorescent lighting, which can be harsh and unnatural. Instead, look for lighting that offers a softer glow or something closer to sunlight.
Another crucial accessory to have when working from home is a mobile laptop stand. Many people choose to use their laps, but this can cause strain on hands and wrists. A portable laptop stand keeps a computer at the proper level, making it much easier to type when the urge strikes to sit on the couch or in bed instead of at a desk. Maybe you want to go work on the back porch on a sunny day—a laptop stand makes it so much easier to do that and much more.
Even though laptops already have keyboards, those with netbooks or smaller laptops can significantly benefit from this item. A larger, portable keyboard is much easier to use and much easier on hands and wrists, too. People who get issues like carpal tunnel will appreciate a larger keyboard. If you don't want something flat, look for a curved, ergonomic design that allows maximum comfort and ease of typing.
This is one of the best items to get for working from home. Those who live in older houses will find this item particularly useful, as older apartments or houses may only have one outlet in each room. However, a long extension cord and surge protector help make it easier to work outside or far away from outlets, but it protects laptops and computers from electrical surges that could damage them.
Backup software is one of the most cost-effective yet essential things for those who work from home. While many people work in the cloud, investing in backup software is still crucial. If there are critical or sensitive work files on your computer, having backup software can be a huge boon. If you've ever dealt with a laptop crashing with all your work files on it, you know how important it can be to have a backup drive.
Remember how harsh blue light from device screens like laptops and computers can strain eyes and cause soreness? Glasses that block harmful blue light help those who have to stare at a computer screen for eight-plus hours a day. Exposure to blue light can increase the risk of macular degeneration and can even cause damage to light-sensitive retina cells. Blue-light blocking glasses make a huge difference, especially after long days of working at the computer.
This may be more on the "comfort" side of essential items, but it's definitely worth the splurge. Having a cozy pair of favorite slippers or moccasins to bury your toes into when you're stressed out can be a huge comfort. When there's a stressful day at work, having comforts like a soft and fuzzy throw or a pair of favorite slippers can provide five minutes of peace when it's needed most.
Many people might have this already, but a single-brew coffee maker is perfect for the remote worker. With the pandemic forcing everybody at home, it's sometimes not practical to make a coffee run every hour. With a single brew, espresso, or even a drip maker, there's fresh, delicious coffee whenever you need that java boost and a little kick of caffeine. Sometimes, just smelling a cup brewing is enough to settle the nerves and make it just a little bit easier to deal with the day.
Working from home has been a mixed blessing. While it's good to get away from the office, it can sometimes be challenging to separate work from family life. However, getting these ten essentials can help keep distractions and interruptions from breaking focus and concentration during the workday. Whether working from bed, the couch, outside, or a desk, these ten essentials will make it much easier to deal with the stresses of working remotely every day.