When work-from-home became an overnight requirement (thanks to the pandemic), most of us struggled to accept the change. It felt like our office privileges were stripped in a jiffy.
We were not ready, but we sportively converted the empty cupboard into an office room, the dining table into an office desk, and the dining chair into an office chair, and attended calls from the garage to escape the din of kids at play.
Post-pandemic, remote work is still a choice for some of us, and hybrid work is the new norm for the rest. And that means having a home office setup becomes indispensable.
To that end, here are seventeen fantastic things every home office should have.
Benefits of comfortable and ergonomic home office accessories
An average desk-based employee spends about eight hours a day sitting at his work desk. This could lead to decreased focus, lowered productivity, and increased bodily ailments. A straightforward solution to avoid issues is to invest in good ergonomic office furniture that supports good posture and well-being.
Below are the benefits of comfortable and ergonomic home office accessories.
- Better posture for improved blood flow
- Improved mood for enhanced overall health
- Higher energy levels for greater enthusiasm
- Sharper concentration for a better quality of work
- Better focus for superior performance
- Increased productivity for improved profitability
- Decreased musculoskeletal disorders
- Reduced body aches
- Reduced strain on eyes
- Organised desk space for less distraction
- Aesthetically pleasing for happier work hours
At the heart of a good workspace is your work desk.
Your work is centred around laptops and computers, forcing you to be seated for long hours. But excessive sitting can lead to many unwanted health issues and splintered focus.
According to Healthline, a standing desk can bring many benefits like reduced weight gain and obesity, lowered blood sugar level, reduced risk of heart disease, and reduced back pain.
Economical versions of a height-adjustable table may require you to set the height manually. Some even need tools to do it. But expensive versions do let you adjust at the touch of a button. So, ultimately, anything that fits your budget is worth an investment in the height-adjustable table.
BMC public health Research points to bodily discomfort and anxiety due to prolonged sitting hours.
Most chairs in a typical office are ergonomic and well-cushioned for maximum comfort. While it may be pricey to purchase an ergonomic office chair for your home office, it is recommended for its advantages– seat-height adjustment, lumbar adjustment, 360-degree rotation, and most importantly, an armrest– giving you maximum comfort.
Relevant article: How To Manage Talent In The Work From Home Era
With two primary functions, a surge protector is the next important thing to have in your home office.
The device lets you plug multiple devices (imagine your laptop charger, mobile charger, diffuser, monitor’s cable, etc.) into one power outlet to prevent the need for many sockets.
Secondly and mainly, the surge protector protects your high-tech electronic devices (laptop, monitor, etc.) from damage due to high-voltage power surges, thus making it a must-have.
If your remote work requires the use of another screen, and multitasking is your second name, then having a monitor can help you immensely. A monitor is designed to stream efficiently and reduce eye fatigue and usually comes with built-in speakers, microphones, and webcams for a better experience.
Whiteboards and pin-up boards are nice-to-have items in your home office for the professional environment they create. With them, you can plan your daily tasks, take notes, visualise thoughts, brainstorm, doodle, and never miss an idea or reminder.
Working from a desk is ideal. But sometimes, a change of scenery can help beat the daily humdrum.
So, laptop stands can give you the same comfort as a desk in a mobile fashion. You can move around to a cozy corner of your choice or work from a couch comfortably since laptop stands come with the possibility to adjust the viewing angles.
Are you worried about protecting your expensive desk from scratches, pen imprints, and coffee cup rings?
A desk pad is a table mat made of non-slip material like leather that protects your desk. It also doubles up as a mouse pad and gives a smooth surface for writing. Plus enhances the look of your workstation.
Want to cut out noise from the background so you can focus better at work?
You don’t have to find another spot but use noise-canceling headphones. They effectively reduce unwanted sounds from the ambiance using active noise control techniques.
Wifi and router
Bad wifi is a problem– not just for you but for your colleagues connecting over an office call.
You might often have high-speed internet and still need a better connection. Then the culprit could be your router responsible for boosting your wifi signals.
So, invest in a good quality router and wifi devices for uninterrupted high-speed internet connectivity.
Power cuts come uninformed. So, investing in a UPS is a practical approach to keep your laptop, monitor, and other devices running for a short time before you save your working files and shut them down safely. This will protect your devices and give them a long life.
Relevant read: What Is the Future of Work: Getting Ready for the New Normal
If you are a content creator working from your makeshift office room, you can still make the best out of your situation with a comprehensive streaming kit. A good set has a smartphone gimbal, a tripod with a ball head, an on-camera microphone, and portable lighting gear.
So, no more zillion takes because of poor lighting and cracking audio.
It’s good to take breaks every now and then. With a BlueTooth speaker in your home office setup, you can now play white/alpha music for better concentration, listen to a podcast while checking your emails, or simply play your favorite playlist while taking a break.
The best part about a BlueTooth speaker is its ability to serve as a speaker for your conference calls. That means better audio and clearer conversations.
Photo frame, lighting, and wall decor
Sometimes, you can end up in a poorly lit space just because of the room’s layout. Often, poor lighting can lead to eye strain, fatigue, headache, and stress. Choose cool blue or white lights for your work area to combat the consequences.
If you work late into the night, a warm yellow or orange light by your desk can be your perfect partner.
You can fill your office space with anything that makes you feel motivated, positive, and snug.
Along those lines, framing a cute family picture, keeping that particular artefact you picked from your Turkey trip last year, a trophy you received, or a recognition certification you won– are all memories to adore.
Your desk can house several things, from your laptop, mouse, and keyboard to stationeries. While they’re all essential, research points to decreased focus and productivity due to a messy desk.
A desk organiser can be your saviour.
You can now function efficiently without digging into a bin full of stationeries.
A footrest helps you put your feet at an ideal 90 degrees, reducing strain on your back (especially if your legs don’t reach the floor). In addition, when placed at the right angle, the feet help blood flow unhindered and drastically reduce discomfort in the thighs, knees, ankles, and feet. This prevents knee pain, stiffness in the leg, and even varicose veins.
The accessory comes with height adjustments for better sitting posture and is a must-have.
Wireless Keyboard and mouse with ergonomic support
Sitting at a desk and typing all day is likely to cause damage to your hands and wrists.
To mitigate the damage caused, wireless keyboards and mouse pads are designed to support the natural movements of the hands and wrists. Features like the split curved keyframe, curving chassis, tenting option in the keyboard, and the arc in the mouse pad help you work for an extended period without straining the parts of your hand.
Are you slouching as you read this? Chances are you’ve been sitting for long hours without the needed lumbar support, thus straining the neck muscles, the soft tissues and joints in the spine, and the muscles in the lower back. This can make you hunch forward and slouch your head.
A lumbar pillow for your chair can offer the needed support for your back while maintaining the natural curves of your spine. This can also help improve your posture as you sit.
Productivity tips for employees and freelancers working from home
Create a home office space
While a temporary setup might work, having a home office with high-speed internet connectivity in the long run, a room that can be closed behind doors, proper furniture, and lighting is suitable for productivity at work.
Invest in home office furniture
Sitting or standing for long hours leads to bodily discomfort that might affect overall health. So, invest in an ergonomic chair and height-adjustable table for excellent comfort and efficiency at work.
Plan your day in advance
Planning your day in advance helps you jumpstart your day on a positive note. Create a to-do list to keep track of all your important tasks for the day. Set designated hours for meetings, responding to emails, and actual work.
Stick to your office hours
Sticking to office hours helps develop a clear delineation between work and personal life. And having this discipline will give you a better work-life balance.
Set dedicated time for breaks when you can move around, stretch your body, take a short walk, have a coffee, and read a magazine. This change in activity, in fact, will help you focus better when you resume work.
Exercising increases the endorphin levels in the body to give many health benefits such as heightened mood and energy, decreased risk of diseases, and enhanced mental health.
Setting up a home office can be overwhelming, and the price quotient can be even more intimidating. But while looking at the long-term benefits for your health and productivity, it is worth investing in the right furniture and equipment.
If you’re working within a budget, ensure you pick the most critical first and slowly build the space as months go by. A good tip would be to make purchases during festive seasons, such as now, for better sales and discounts.
About the Author
Srikanth Acharya is the founder of TheHomeOffice, an online store for anyone who works from home. It includes home office furniture, tables, chairs, and all other home office accessories.