In Spring 2020, many of us found ourselves thrust into impromptu work-from-home spaces. Some have returned to their offices, but many have not with big companies like Google announcing an indefinite work from home program for employees. When quarantine began, it was easy to accept our kitchen table workspaces and home life distractions with the expectation that this was our new normal for the short-term. But now as we face the long road ahead, we are of the mindset that it’s become time to treat yourself with some necessary work-from-home office tech needs.
Work from Home Office Must Haves
We want to start by pointing out the Must Have list is longer than the Wishlist because we honestly believe that these items are essential to having a healthy work-from-home life.
- Desk – Get away from the kitchen table, breakfast bar, couch, or wherever else you have made your temporary office-at-home. Go ahead and buy a desk. You can find an inexpensive, basic desk for as low as $45 online. If you want to spend more, go ahead, but the point is that you need a designated workspace. Your mental health will thank you.
- Bluetooth Mouse – Much like Must Have #1, you do not have to spend a lot. You can buy a Bluetooth mouse for as little as $15. But if you are really wanting to treat yourself with an investment, we encourage you to spend more. You can get a lot of extra features and ergonomics for $60-$100. If you believe you might be at risk for carpal tunnel, then we encourage a little extra money spent for an ergonomic-friendly mouse.
- Good Monitor – We are trying to save your neck and your eyesight with this one. Invest in a good monitor that will keep you from looking down at your laptop (you may need a monitor stand as well if you are taller) and something 1080p with a good refresh rate to spare the strain on your eyes.
- Webcam – By now, it’s likely you have been on some Zoom calls with folks who appear out of focus and like they are in a very dimly-lit room. This is not the professional look you want to be putting out into the world. Invest in an external webcam that can give you that extra crisp appearance for your most important meetings.
- Office Chair – A lot of folks do not want to spend a lot on an office chair, and while for some of our other Must Haves, we have supported lower cost options, this is one we really aren’t up for negotiating on. You will not regret the money you spend on an office chair. Unfortunately, we are sitting more than ever, and if we are going to be sitting as much as we do, we may as well sit well. You cannot sit right without the right chair. Your back, neck, and shoulders need you to invest in them.
- Top Notch WiFi Router – Most of you are probably working via a remote login in or connection to your company’s VPN. Both of these cause extra strain on your WiFi connection, which can cause slow loading time or abrupt disconnection if your signal is not strong enough. Again, you will not regret this investment and if your spouse is working from home as well, you might as well replace your router with something faster.
Work from Home Wishlist
- Bluetooth Keyboard – If you have invested in the Bluetooth mouse and monitor, we encourage you to take it a step farther, close your laptop altogether, and use a Bluetooth keyboard. It is flexible, often larger, and offers healthier ergonomic options.
- Noise-Cancelling Headphones – Kids, spouses, pets, Amazon deliveries…there’s a lot of background noise when you are working from home all day.
- Dual Monitors – Maybe you think dual monitors is overkill, but our hunch is that’s because you have never used dual monitors. Once you switch, you will never understand how you ever worked without 2 monitors.
There could be so many more items to add to your Work from Home Wishlist. And of course, don’t forget about the importance of optimizing your home network’s speed. Beyond what we have listed above, we encourage you to find pieces for your desk or office space that really enhance your work-from-home experience on a personal level. For instance, an indoor plant for your desk, essential oil diffuser, or favorite framed inspirational quotes. We are living in unprecedented times and are being pushed in every aspect of our lives. Do what you can to make your new normal a little more bearable.