Only a few years ago, working from home was a privilege reserved for a select few. Today, it has become almost par for the course. And whether you’re staunchly for it or against it, WFH is here to stay and stay for good. So it’s time to think for the long term. If you’ve been rolling with a makeshift workspace and haven’t yet given thought to creating a dedicated home office, you’re clearly due for an upgrade. Investing in your home office and ensuring an ideal WFH environment is a worthwhile use of your time, money, and effort, and pays lasting dividends to your health, happiness, and career success. From ergonomic chairs to laptops to mounts and stands, here are the best home office upgrades you need to elevate your WFH setup.
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1. Height-adjustable desk
When considering upgrades to your home office, the first thing to focus on is your desk. It only makes sense, as it is where the bulk of your work happens. Naturally, you want to invest in a desk that helps you achieve peak productivity without compromising your health and comfort. In that case, consider a height-adjustable desk. As its name states, it’s a desk that allows for an effortless change of working posture, from sitting to standing and back again, simply by increasing or decreasing its height or elevation. A big-ticket upgrade, sure, but it comes with plenty of benefits, from helping alleviate eye and neck strain and avoid preventable back complaints to improving your concentration, performance, and overall productivity.
2. Ergonomic chair
Another big-ticket item to consider is your chair. For all the hours you spend in front of your desk, for all the hard work you put in, you need a home office chair to match. You need an ergonomic chair. Engineered to complement the human spine and provide ideal back and neck support, an ergonomic chair is perfect for long hours of immersed work. It features adjustment mechanisms that allow you to fine-tune your seat to your exact needs and find the seating position that feels most comfortable to you, enabling you to work pain- and fatigue-free for extended periods of time. An ergonomic chair promotes good sitting posture, reduces back pain, relieves stress, increases comfort, and ultimately improves productivity.
No doubt the most significant but also the priciest upgrade you can have is a brand new laptop. After all, your laptop is the single most important thing you’ll need when working from home. While your tablet or phone might serve some functions, they’re not really meant for work. In most instances, your laptop will still be your primary workhorse. So if you still don’t have a laptop, or you need a new replacement, then now’s the time to buy one. While choosing a good work laptop depends on many factors, it is true that regardless of what type of work you do, or where you do your work, it’s important to find a suitable laptop that meets your demands.
4. External monitor
Sometimes, your laptop screen simply isn’t enough space to display all your work. When you find yourself getting lost as you rapidly switch between dozens of windows and tabs, that’s when you know you need to upgrade to an external monitor. Having a second screen provides a better layout of your tabs and windows, ensuring a clearer overview of your work and enabling you to complete tasks more efficiently and effectively. A larger screen also offers a better viewing experience because everything is more readable and you don’t have to strain your eyes to see what you need to see. Also, an external monitor encourages an ergonomic sitting posture while working since you aren’t hunched over your laptop as much.
5. Laptop stand
If you have a laptop, then you’ll most likely need a laptop stand. A laptop stand does what its name states: it provides an elevated position for your computer. Though it might seem trivial, having a laptop stand can make a world of difference, to you and to your machine. It allows you to adjust the height and orientation of your laptop, making it easier for you to view your screen, to type, and to sit, thereby giving relief to your eyes, back, shoulders, neck, wrists, and entire body. Not only that, a laptop stand also facilitates better air movement for your laptop so it doesn’t overheat. Plus, it keeps everything organized and makes your desk look neat and tidy.
6. Docking station
While working with a laptop, there are times when you’ll find that you don’t have enough available ports for all the devices and accessories you need to connect. Fix this issue by investing in a docking station. A docking station is a nifty tool that allows you to plug in multiple accessories to your laptop simultaneously, thereby increasing its functionality and essentially upgrading your portable machine into a desktop. It saves you time and effort because you don’t have to plug and unplug your accessories individually – simply disconnect the laptop from the station once your work is done. It also frees up your desk from the tangle and mess of wires and cables, and keeps everything safe, secure, and organized.
7. Live plants
Just because most offices are cold, barren, lifeless places of work doesn’t mean your home office has to be one, too. Adding a plant is perhaps one of the best ways to give life to any space. So add a houseplant to your home office – or two, or three. Indoor plants will spruce up your workplace instantly and make it less sterile. What’s more, bringing in greenery isn’t only an aesthetic upgrade – it offers plenty of health benefits, too. Studies have shown that having live plants in your office can help reduce dust, bacteria, and toxins and improve air quality, relieve eyestrain from mobile and computer screens, reduce stress, increase productivity, and boost your overall mental health, among other things.
8. Desk lamp
Optimal lighting is essential to any home office. Poor lighting can dampen your mood, drain your energy, cause eyestrain and headaches, and ultimately impair your ability to work effectively. But by investing in a desk lamp, you can create the perfect working environment that is not only conducive for productivity but also looks and feels warm and comfy. The ideal desk lamp should give you directed light to help you see what you’re doing, and it should illuminate your entire space without creating undue glare and contrast while avoiding casting shadows. Equally important, the ideal desk lamp should have a fully adjustable lighting so you can find the right color, intensity, and warmth that fit your needs for the moment.
9. Phone holder
If your phone is crucial to your work, and not merely a distraction, then it deserves its own proper place on your home office workspace. That means finally getting yourself a phone holder. A phone holder will keep your phone safe, secure, and easily accessible, not to mention keep your desk clutter to a minimum. It also offers other amazing conveniences – the perfect viewing angle for your Zoom meetings, hands-free phone calling, etc. And when it comes to phone holders, you have a range of options, from the simple yet sturdy phone stands that prop up your mobile device on your desk, to the highly flexible gooseneck phone holders that allow for a variety of mounting options and viewing angles.
10. Headphone mount
Headphones are more important to your work than ever before. When not in use, don’t leave your pair just lying around, risking damage by accident and cluttering up your workspace. Give your headphones a fitting place on your desk with a headphone mount. As its name states, a headphone mount will provide your headphones a convenient yet non-intrusive storage, keeping them safe and secure while allowing easy access for when you need them. Most headphone mounts have a clamp or adhesive for sticking or mounting, so you can find and choose the most favorable spot for you to tuck your headphones away – on the side or under your desk, on the side or under a shelf or a cabinet, etc.