Working from home is the future of workspaces. Many companies are now embracing remote work, and with this, employees too are embracing home offices. Since the Covid-19 pandemic brought businesses to a close and many were forced to retreat to their home, those that chose to brace through the pandemic moved home indefinitely. Just like working from the office, you will need to put together a professional office for effectiveness and productivity. I mean, you can’t work from your couch or bed for months. When shopping for your home office essentials, it is important to consider how long your working hours are as well as your health and personal needs.
For efficiency and effectiveness, while working from home, you need to invest in home office essentials to make it comfortable and easier for you to concentrate. Below is a list of our A-Z home office essentials for 2021.
Stand Up Desk
Your desk is like the centerpiece in your workstation. Everything else is organized based on the position, size, and height of your desk. Get a desk that suits your tastes and preferences. Some people like to have a desk that comes with some storage space such as drawers; others love a minimalist desk to suit their style and interior design. When choosing an office desk, prioritize comfort before style, but of course, it can serve both. Get a desk that is firm and steady and has enough space for your laptop. You should also have the size of your work station in mind. While some people may have an entire room dedicated to their home office, which is everyone’s dream, some may simply use the corner of their living room or bedroom as a workstation. It is therefore important to have the size of your work station in mind.
Computer or Laptop, Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse
Working from home is not possible without a computer. I mean, come to think about it, without computers, we would be using paper, and communicating would have to be interpersonal. Computers are the reason we can work from home. Depending on the nature of your work, you may need to have a PC or laptop, or both.
A laptop is recommended as it is easily portable and can allow you to work from anywhere. If you are using a desktop PC, you will need to invest in a good keyboard, mouse, and monitor to make your work efficient. Best Home Office Computers and Accessories
One thing you cannot compromise on is good internet speeds. You need high-speed internet to get things done efficiently. Most work-from-home jobs are done online. Moreover, you will need to attend meetings online, and most online video applications require good internet speeds to perform optimally. For jobs such as customer service, you won’t be able to work efficiently without good speeds. Besides, good internet is good to keep you in the right mood. If you do not want to be frustrated, then invest in a broadband connection.
A comfortable chair is good for your back and neck. You will be spending 7-8 hours on that chair every day. Your health is wealth, so if all you need to support your spine is an ergonomically sound chair, why not make that investment. Take time to find a chair that serves your needs, such as height, backrests, armrests, and headrests. Take time to shop around for a chair that matches your needs and fits perfectly with your desk.
Ergonomic chairs are specially designed with pain points in consideration. The only downside of ergonomic chairs is that they tend to be larger and a bit more complicated design-wise, but all this is for a good reason. When buying an ergonomic chair, look out for lumbar support and ensure the lumbar support aligns with the shape of your lower back.
You should also check whether the height of the chair and the height of the armrests can be adjusted. You should also lookout for a swivel base, which reduces strain while working. Buy Your ergonomic chair from Amazon.
Good lighting is one of the things many overlook unless their work involves making videos. However, good lighting is important to stimulate your brain and wake you up. Unlike working from an office, which involves commuting every day, you may find yourself spending your entire day inside your house if you work from home. Remember to draw your curtains every morning for natural light. You should also invest in a good lighting system to avoid straining your eyes.
With bad lighting, you will constantly suffer from headaches as you have to squint to read.
Essential Softwares such as MS Office
Depending on the nature of your work, you will need to invest in essential software such as MS office if you type a lot, editing software if you are an editor or a filmmaker, as customer service CRMs if you are in customer service. Luckily for you, most companies will provide these software for their employees who work from home. If your company does not provide the software you need for work, you will need to budget for these software. These are essentially part f your work tools, and you cannot do without them; hence invest in them. For MS office packages, you can use them for free online if you use Google services.
You should also consider the software you will be used when purchasing a computer or desktop PC. Some software needs a lot of space to function normally.
A good, Practical Printer
Printers have evolved drastically over the years. Much as most office jobs involve very little paperwork nowadays. You may need to print out a few items here and there for physical signing or dispatch.
When shopping for a printer, invest in one that is durable and functional. There is a small portable printer available in the market that is multifunctional. You can print, scan documents and photocopy from a desktop printer. This reduces the amount of space you need for the printer and makes your work a lot more efficient.
A smartwatch is another essential item in your home office. You can tell time using your phone, laptop, or a watch clock, but a smartwatch tells more than just time. With a smartwatch like an Apple Watch, you will have a health partner that keeps you in check from time to time. For instance, a smartwatch tells you when you need to stand up, breathe, how long you have been sitted, the movements you have made in a day, and so on.
The immense benefits to your health make the smartwatch a worthy addition to your home office.
Cloud back up for content
Nothing hurts more than losing all your content because of a technical mishap or a virus. Backing up your content in a cloud back up gives you peace of mind. A cloud backup storage is something you should invest in to have one central storage and backup for all your documents, videos, and photos.
Unlike backing up your content in hard disks, you will not have to keep buying more hard disks with cloud backup. All you need is to get extra space if need be, but the free storage space is sufficient for most individuals.
An organized space is easier to operate from than a cluttered space. One organization piece you should buy for your home office is a file cabinet.
Much as you may start off with an empty desk, you will find that important documents and notes start to pile up quickly. To avoid working from a cluttered desk with stacks of paper, get a file cabinet to keep your papers and notes neatly tucked away from your desk. A Pile of paper can be distracting and frustrating and can make it very hard to access documents when you need them. With a variety of options available, you can easily find a design and color that suits your office theme.
After working from home for months, you will start to realize there is a lot of sensitive documents and information in your home office. These may be documents that you cannot simply take out with your garbage as they are. These may include documents such as bank account details and private contracts that could be damaging to others if they end up in the wrong hands.
To destroy these documents to a point where they are irreparable, you will need a paper shredder. There are dozens of paper shredders in the market. Get yourself an efficient shredder that will destroy your documents beyond recognition.
Tea and coffee maker
Nothing wakes you up like a good cup of coffee. When working from an office, there are plenty of places where you can grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea on the go. While working from home, however, you will need to make your own coffee.
A good coffee maker makes the job half as easy. Create a home coffee or tea station depending on what you love and save a lot of money and time you would have spent going to a coffee shop. Invest in a good coffee maker that is easy to use and with various flavored coffee pods to choose from. All you need is to add water, press and your coffee is ready in your cup.
With a coffee maker, you get to enjoy better quality coffee as compared to instant coffee. You can also invest in a portable coffee maker, making it easier for you to travel with if you work and travel.
To get rid of distractions and concentrate as you work, get a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. You may find yourself watching T.V or going about house chores for hours instead of focusing on your work. Noise-canceling headphones are not only great when you are trying to focus; they come in handy as part of your essential work equipment if you work in customer service.
There are a variety of noise-canceling headphones that you can choose from. Do research thoroughly before making a purchase and get a pair that is compatible with your PC. Some Bluetooth microphones may not be compatible with all PCs, while some come with cables that are not catered for by your PC’s ports.
Anti-blue light filter
Spending hours behind your computer may cause you headaches and strain your eyes. If you are experiencing headaches, chances are the light from your computer is too bright for you. Use an anti-blue light filter to control the amount of light that gets to your eyes.
The antiblue light filter blocks excessive light from your computer hence reducing the strain and squinting on your part. The anti-blue filter filters harmful UV light and protects your screen from scratches.
This simple install and remove filter can save you thousands of dollars that you would have spent on hospital bills.
Hydration is very important during your work hours. It is important to take water for your overall health and efficiency. Invest in a good quality water bottle that is engineered with your needs in mind.
A durable bottled with well thought out features will serve you for many years and serve multiple purposes. You won’t have to use it during your work hours only. You can use it as your backpack and hike during weekends and so on.
You also want to get a water bottle with a secure lid to avoid water spilling onto your documents and machines.
While working from home, a communication system is a must-have. How else will you get updates from your colleagues and vice versa?
Get a phone that is specially dedicated to your work or an online software that allows for communication. This could be an app like Zoom, Skype, and so on.
With a home office phone, your colleagues can easily reach you even when there is no internet connection. This will also help draw the line between your personal life and work, as your work phone will only be for work.
You should invest in some workout equipment to keep you in shape even as you work. Your health is important and keeping yourself in check by doing some simple reps during your breaks is better than nothing. Some of the home exercise equipment you can get include; a skipping rope, dumbells, a foot peddler, ankle weights, and ankle weights.
Sitting on a chair for eight hours will have fluid accumulating in your legs, making them swollen and tight. A foot peddler can help relieve this stress on your feet.
It can be so difficult to control your appetite while working from home. You are in the middle of a conference meeting, and all of a sudden, you feel like snacking on something. The next, you are eating, cooking, drinking sodas from cans, and eating cereal from cereal boxes.
It is important to anticipate your cravings in order to control them. While working from home, get some healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits, and fruit juices to keep your cravings at bay. Avoid chocolates, processed snacks, and carbonated drinks. If you build a habit of eating unhealthy while working from home, it cab be hard to get out of it.
You should have your snacks at specific times of the day. If possible, do not work near the kitchen and keep the snacks out of sight. You should also ensure you eat food during meal times because if you skip any meals, you will find yourself reaching out for snacks to keep the hunger at bay.
Lastly, hydrate at all times. Water makes you feel like you are full, which is a good way to tame your cravings.
It can be so easy to get immersed in your work and lose track of time. This is why you need an alarm clock. Working from home can have you losing track of time and day. To stay in tune with life outside of your work, it is important to have an alarm clock.
You can preset your ringing times and have the alarm notify you when you’ll wake up, go to sleep, go for breaks, and so on.
Reliable Power strip
A power strip is a must-have electronic in your home office. Most houses have one or two sockets that you can use for charging one device at a time. With a power strip, you can get as many AC outlets and USB charging ports.
Get a power strip that can handle the power output of your socket. You should also consider the distance from your desk to the socket and get a power strip with a cord that is long enough. With a power strip, you will have enough charging ports to charge your computer, phones, and wifi router.
A charging station is a dedicated space where you can charge all your laptops, phones, and other electronics you use. It is important to establish a charging station with enough power supply to cater to all your machines.
When setting up your workstation, have the location of the sockets in mind. You can alternatively have an electrician fix sockets near or on your working desk. This will allow you to change all your electronics as you work.
You should also get a surge protector to protect your machines from getting blown out if there are frequent power cuts.
While these traditional charging set-ups still work, technology has brought about sleek and efficient charging systems. Wireless chargers like Seneo 2 in 1, which is compatible with most Apple products, provides a wireless charging option for your phones and Apple watches.
Back up power supply unit
You should plan in advance for power cuts. You may not have control over your power supply, but you can have control over your backup. A back power supply unit takes over when there is a power cut and can last for as long as five hours or more. A UPS guarantees power protection for electronics that are connected. A UPS backup will save you time as you will not have to move to a different location to work.
UPS backups are available in a different range of battery sizes. Batteries with a higher capacity will run for a longer period. UPS does not need any maintenance; the batteries do not have to be replaced until after years of use.
With a UPS, you can safely save your work and shut down your equipment.
Memory Cards like USB for storage
Memory cards like USB are useful for transferring content or saving important documents. You may not necessarily use them as back up, but they can provide an external form of storage that you can use to store and transfer data.
You can shop for a wide variety of different sizes of memory cards that you can use to store and transfer your data.
Professional note pad for taking notes
It is not possible to remember everything. Professional notepads are you’re your physical reminders. Much as everything is done electronically nowadays, note pads are still very useful.
You can color-code your note pads for ease of use.
Back Posture and Support
If you cannot afford an ergonomic chair, you can get back posture and support, which is quite affordable and can protect your back from stress.
The back posture trainer gives your lower back the support it needs for you to sit ergonomically in any chair. It is a simple posture correction support with a memory foam cushion and adjustable straps that you can adjust to suit your height.
Moreover, most back posture support can easily be folded to fit your bag.
Sitting for too long can be uncomfortable. Use an ergonomic under-desk footrest helps reduce the discomfort you get after hours of sitting. A footrest also helps reduce the strain on your lower back hence improving your posture and making you more comfortable as you work. When shopping for work from home comfort accessories, a footrest is a must-have.
Benefits of Working from Home
Working from home gives you better control of your time. This means you are able to create a balance between work and life in general as you do not need to make so many movements. This means you will be able to schedule a time for family, medical appointments, and even fitness.
Staying in traffic or driving for several hours daily to work and back can be very stressful. Working from home is quite a refreshing break from all the stress of commuting to work and back. Data has shown that commuters spend 100 hours on average commuting.
This poses a great risk to your health, especially during the pandemic. Commuting has been associated with anxiety and increased stress levels. This increases the risks of depression and increased cholesterol levels, which exposes one to serious health risks.
Working from home is beneficial to the employees, but it is beneficial to the company. Companies can hire from diverse geographical areas, and cultures provided the individual is qualified.
Remote work is also favorable for employees with special needs and caregivers who need a more flexible work environment.
With reduced movement, you are saving on commuter costs to and from the office. You do not have to buy lunches from outside as you can cook and enjoy your meals at home with your family. If you are an employer, you will also save a lot on mortgages and rent.
Cons of Working From Home
You tend to feel isolated.
Working from home can make you feel lonely. This is especially the case if you live alone. You spend hours behind your laptop with no one to talk to, as would be the case in a brick and mortar workspace. While most remote companies are doing their best to make the best of interactive platforms for employees, these platforms cannot replace real human interaction.
Not fit for everyone
Some employees find it difficult working from home as they like the structure and routine of working from an office. As a result of personality differences, some employees find it hard to deliver to the best of their abilities when they are away from the eyes of their managers. While this can be a great factor for other employees, some employees cannot meet their targets without supervision. This can affect the morale of other members of the team and the company in general.
Working from home gives you the chance to design your office to suit your personal needs. Unlike working from the office, you get to loosen up and get comfortable. You can get a desk that suits you and get as many comfort accessories as you need. We hope our A-Z guide has been helpful and you design your 2021 working space.