As someone who has worked from home for over 15 years, I know a thing or two about home office essentials and what you need to make a good home office. Working from home can be amazing when you have the right tools. This post will help you figure out what home office essentials you need to be able to have the perfect work-from-home setup. In case you have already checked out our Home Essentials Checklist this will expand on this.
A desk is important to have in your home office because you will be sitting there for hours on end. It’s essential to get the right chair so you can sit comfortably for long periods of time. Whether you go with more of a minimalist desk, or a full gamer style set up a good desk is key.
We recommend this Tribesigns L-Shaped Computer Desk.
Upgrade to a standing desk
If you’re going to be at a desk for a long time a day you should consider upgrading to a standing desk. An adjustable desk or a great way to keep limber and give you options to be more mobile in your day. If you are working long hours on your computer then consider getting a standing desk that will allow you stand up during the day. Standing desks are especially great for anyone with back problems or who has to be sitting in one place for long periods of time.
You also need to have a comfortable chair in your home office because if it’s not comfortable, you will end up with back pains or may even get tired of sitting at the desk. An office chair is also really important because again, you will be sitting at your desk for hours. You want to be comfortable. An ergonomic chair will make you sit in the best position for working as opposed to using a kitchen chair with a seat cushion.
Upgrade your desk chair
For home offices, it’s okay to upgrade your desk chair so you can have more comfort while working. If you are going to be at a desk all day, the hours will add up quickly, and getting a comfortable chair makes a huge difference in keeping you comfortable throughout the day. Think about it, you are going to be spending 8 hours a day (or more) 5 days a week in it. This needs to be a good chair for you if you are going to be productive. We love this one.
Laptop or Desktop
Continuing with the theme of needing a computer in this article, make sure that when you are shopping around, the desk has plenty of room for your computer and any other peripherals. Also make sure you have a built-in camera for your zoom meetings and video conference calls as this has become a mainstay of remote workers who work in teams.
Laptop Stand or Desk Riser
Along with an ergonomic chair having a laptop stand or desk riser is great for your neck and should definitely be considered in your home office setup.
If you are at a desk for countless hours a week you should consider a separate monitor. Having two computer screens allows you to see more and prevents you from switching between applications constantly. Saving you time. Most monitors come with a 7 to 30-day return policy so you can set it up and see if you like it. Trust me once you try it you will wonder how you ever went without. Of course, if you want something fancier you can one of The Best 4k TV Under $600 and really elevate your home office.
Back up drive
With so much on our computers, it’s important to have a backup drive to store backups of our important data. Whether its photos, videos, or important documents, starting with a good backup habit can save you from a lot of pain down the road.
Keyboard & Mouse
Setting up your home office with a computer means you should get a decent mouse and keyboard. This may seem like a small, insignificant purchase but it is an important one. If your equipment is not comfortable for you it will be difficult to use and can lead to repetitive strain injuries in your hand and wrist. Make sure to get a wireless mouse and Bluetooth keyboard if you can, it gives you more freedom to adjust as you find a comfortable position to sit in during the day. Don’t forget a mouse pad! We recommend this affordable one.
Blue light glasses
With all of us staring at our laptop screen the light can become a bit much, to help reduce this you can get Blue light glasses that reduce the glare from screens and make it easier on your eyes. This is especially great when working in front of the computer for endless hours. We recommend this pair of lenses.
When you have something to print it’s important to have a printer in your home office so you don’t have to go out. When you print things at home, not only will it save money but also time. You won’t have to walk around the corner or even leave for that matter, just sit down and print. It’s best to go with an all-in-one solution for most home offices.
Having a printer, scanner, and copier in your office is great for when you need to quickly print things off so you can sign them or if you want to easily scan documents so they don’t take up space on your computer. Having one device to do all of this will save you money and is so much easier than trying to print something at home. We use a model of this one.
It’s important to have printer ink in your home office not only because you need it for printing but also because it lasts longer than most people think. If you plan on printing often, then it will be an ongoing expense so purchase them in bulk and save yourself some money.
Work From Home Software
Of course, you will need software for your home office, we recommend cloud-based software’s as they are great for small businesses and you only pay for the space you need! Google docs can do a lot but you may need Office 360 depending on your business needs
Router with Wifi Capability
If you want the freedom to work from anywhere around your home, then you will need wifi connectivity. When you don’t have wifi in your office, it can make things difficult. So if you like to work outside or even on the couch, make sure your printer is wifi compatible so it doesn’t take up space in the office.
Desk Lamp or Lighting System
It can be difficult to see if there is no light in the office. This is important because you need to set yourself up for success by getting enough lighting. You also don’t want your eyes to get strained which will help with headaches and migraines while working.
You need to have a filing system in your office because it can help keep you organized. You’ll be able to keep things in order and know exactly where everything is. The best way to file things is by keeping them closed during storage, when you’re done with something put it away. This will also reduce clutter in your office. Getting a good filing cabinet is a necessary part of this system. It keeps everything nice and neat in your office, if you’re looking for a good filing cabinet check online or at stores like Walmart.
Notepad & Pens, Pencils or Color Markers
It’s important to have something to write within your home office. Whether you are keeping a journal, taking notes on research or writing yourself a to-do list. When you need something to write with make sure it’s always available for when inspiration hits. You can also use a notepad as decoration if you don’t need it often.
Calendar or Planner
Having a calendar in your office can be helpful. It’s good to see if you have any appointments coming up, who they are with and what time they start. You should also use it for keeping track of your own appointments, school, or work projects. We recommend this day to day one.
Having something to decorate your desk is important because it will make you feel more comfortable when you are working. It’s interesting how colors play a role in the way we think and act. If your office feels cold and grey it might affect your mood. So, you should think about your decor and how it makes you feel.
Photos of Family and Friends
When you need a little pick-me-up, put a picture of someone near you that will make you happy. It can even be a picture of yourself as a child, which is funny because it shows how much you have changed. When you look at that picture it can inspire you to be better or even just for laughs.
Photo Frame with Monogram
Having a photo frame with your name on it is great because when people see it they will know whose office they are in. It’s also a good way to let them know who is responsible for things in the office.
Desk Organizer or Supplies Drawer
Having a desk organizer or supplies drawer allows you to keep pens, batteries, pads of paper, and other items within reach but out of the way. This is important because most people have their phone, keys, wallet etc all within reach while sitting at their desk so why shouldn’t desk supplies be in the same location. We recommend this one.
If you get a laptop you may want to be able to move around your own home to work. Lap desks are a great option so you can have your laptop on top of it while you work and give you some mobility when you want to change your working atmosphere. We love this one.
Desk light or Blue Light
It’s important to have natural light while you work. Depending on your set up you may not have a window in your office so having proper lighting is important. If you are looking to get an affordable light that provides natural light
Bookshelf or Bookcase
Having books in your office can help provide inspiration as well as decor. If you like to read, it’s good to make sure your favorite books or those that can provide insight are near you in case you need them for reference. We love this look.
Paper Wall Calendar
If you plan on having a home office and running a business out of it, Paper calendars are going out of style because technology has allowed people to have a digital calendar as well as a smartphone. But, it’s important to see the month at a glance, and having a whiteboard can be great for leaving yourself reminders or notes.
A white board might be one of the more important items on your list. It’s a great way to keep yourself organized and has quick access to important dates. It’s great for brainstorming, flow-through of ideas, or just keeping track of things to do. We recommend this one.
Surge Power Strip with USB
This is a must-have from day one. Your work life is on the computer and it’s peripherals are all valuable and worth protecting. A surge power strip with USB helps protect your home office from surges and if it has an on-off switch allows you to shut everything down with the flick of a button when you need to. This is an affordable option.
In this day and age, you need reliable internet service. Many home offices include home businesses that rely on the web to make sales and get new clients. So, you need fast internet for your home office. It’s important to have reliable internet while working in your home office because many home businesses rely on it for sales and new business. There is nothing worse than having your internet not be able to support a fast upload when the team needs something or dropping zoom meetings because you have a spotty provider. We recommend:
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Having a bluetooth speaker in your home office is important because you can listen to music, audiobooks and podcsts while doing other things. The speakers are usually small and don’t take up too much space so they won’t clog the area. They’re good for relaxing while doing work too.
Upgrade to a Sonos speaker, they work off Wifi, have amazing sound quality and it is a system that can be added too. We loved the sound quality so much of our first Sonos speaker that we went all in and started adding them to other rooms in the hours. That way if we are working at the kitchen table we can still listen to our favorite music as background noise. This is a versatile one and it’s waterproof.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you can’t do the whole speaker thing the next best thing is noise-canceling headphones. They don’t take up much space and can be put into a drawer for safekeeping. A good pair will block out the household noises and allow you to focus on your work more easily. Airpod pros are great for this, they allow you to block out the sound for important deep focus moments and you can turn off the noise-canceling feature when you need to hear the people around you. We recommend these Airpod Pros.
Unless you are working in coffee shops every day you are going to need a coffee machine. Having your fuel (ie coffee) is a home office essential. There are many home coffee brewers out there to choose from, but a good home brewer should be used every day. There are all different kinds of home coffee brewers that can make a home office work a lot better!
Coffee Mug Warmer
Having coffee is great ( I need my bean juice to get my creative juices flowing), but if you can’t keep it hot all day it’s not much good. A home coffee mug warmer is a home office essential that should be used every day. Coffee warmers heat your coffee and keep it hot for as long as you need, simply pop on your home office desk and you’ll always have a nice hot drink to enjoy (and they’ll also come in handy for all those tea drinkers out there!). If you are short on space you can always go with a Yeti Rambler, they keep your coffee hot all day long too.
Working from home can lead to some deep work hours and that’s great but you need to remember to stay hydrated. Often times staying hydrated means drinking water throughout the day. Keeping your water within reach is very important, having it on your desk will help you remember to drink it more often and stay healthy. That’s why I got a Yeti that can hold a lot of water, I use one to drink in the morning and then refill it at lunch so I know I’m getting my 8 glasses a day.
Having plants in your home office are a great way to improve the look of your work space. Green plants also improve air quality, making it easier to breathe when you sit at your desk! Green plants make a wonderful addition to any home office and will keep you relaxed while working in your space. If you don’t have much time or are short on green fingers, consider artificial plants. They are great for home office essentials as they last longer than real plants and you don’t have to worry about changing the water or replacing them! We recommend:
A home office means lots of paper, so naturally you need a place to put it. A fire proof box is an essential item for your home office as it gives you a safe and secure place to keep all those important documents from being exposed to fire or water damage which can cause them to be lost forever.
Paper shredders will also make a great addition as they’ll help protect your sensitive files and documents by reducing the risk of identity theft. Paper shredders will protect you against burglars too. Paper shredders are a great investment as they’ll help to protect you from any person who might be trying to take advantage of the information you’ve gathered over the years. We recommend this one.
Stationary Bike with Fan
If you are planning on using your office as an exercise room, which is a great idea because it will save space, then you might want to invest in a stationary bike that has a fan. You can keep your fitness goals.
When it comes to finding ways to save space in our home offices, a Murphy bed is an ideal option. This type of bed can be folded up against the wall when not in use, or pulled down for sleeping. This versatility makes it a great choice for small rooms or homes where every square foot counts.
Learn more in our: What is a Murphy Bed article.
Final thoughts on home office essentials
Setting up an office space in your home isn’t as hard as it used to be. I absolutely love working from home and over time I have turned my office into the perfect home setup. Working remotely can also be a great time management tool as it cuts out your daily travel time and mental health. Working from home is a great way to improve your quality of life and you will immediately start to see improvements in your production when you are outside of an office setting.