These days, more people than ever are starting to work from home. Making the transition to remote work can be a big adjustment, especially if you’re used to the structure of a traditional workday. One way to make that process smoother is to make sure you have the right gear for a comfortable and productive remote work set up. In this post, I’ll talk about my top 9 work from home essentials to get you started.
My Favorite Working From Home Essentials
The first section will cover helpful gear and gadgets for a cozy home office set up. The second section will cover some of my favorite digital tools for staying focused and getting things done.
What do I need to work from home?
Laptop Lap Desk
Even if you have the most perfectly designed, HGTV-worthy home office, the reality is that you’ll probably end up working from your couch, your bed, or the floor more often than you might expect. I’m guilty of working from the couch for hours at a time, which can be painful on your back and shoulders.
A padded, elevated lap desk for your laptop or tablet can improve your posture, even when you’re working from an untraditional office space (aka, in bed).
I recently bought this lap desk so I wouldn’t hunch so badly on the couch, and I was so impressed with how it turned out. For a low price point, this lap desk had comfortable leg padding and an adjustable tabletop.
I started using it from the moment it arrived and now I can’t imagine life without it! In fact, I’m using it as I write this blog post right now!
Compare lap desks on Amazon here!
A Good Headset With Microphone
You’ll probably need to make phone or video calls while working from home. Having a high-quality, noise-blocking headset with a microphone can make these calls more comfortable and professional.
When shopping for a headset with a microphone, look for the following features
- Noise cancellation: helpful if you have a noisy household with distractions
- Unidirectional microphone: only your voice will be picked up, not outside sounds
- Compatible with your device: make sure the headset you pick has a port that is compatible with your devices. If it’s not, remember you might need to grab an adapter as well.
Roost Laptop Stand
When I do manage to work from a desk or tabletop, my Roost Laptop Stand is a true hero. This laptop stand elevates my computer to a more comfortable height so I don’t have to hunch over. It has three adjustable heights and the quality has held up even after over a year of use.
My Roost is also very helpful for teaching English online and other video calls. I don’t like looking like I’m towering over my computer while on a call, so the laptop stand keeps my camera at eye level.
Compare laptop stands on Amazon here!
Reusable Water Bottle
When I work from home, I find it really easy to lose track of the day. This means that sometimes I go for hours at a time and forget to drink enough water. When I do drink enough water, I end up with about thirty cups scattered around the house at all of my different workspaces, which isn’t ideal either.
Having a designated reusable water bottle helps me remember to drink more water and prevents me from using every single cup in the house in the process. This water bottle by Joseph Joseph even tracks how many bottles of water you’ve consumed throughout the day, making it easier to stay hydrated and healthy!
Compare reusable water bottles on Amazon here!
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
It’s no secret that looking at a computer screen all day is bad for your eyes. Take extra steps to protect your eyes and your vision by wearing Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
I tried these blue light glasses from Amazon and they did the job. I noticed a huge difference after wearing these for my online classes, and they looked cute on too!
The lenses are a light amber color and you’ll be able to see the color on the webcam. Also, they are very lightweight and feel a bit fragile, so you’ll need to be gentle with these glasses.
Overall I’m happy with them and I never had any issues, but if you need a clear glass or are rough on your glasses, these might not be the best pick.
Another option is to order glasses through Zenni Eyewear. With Zenni, you can pick out your glasses and even put a prescription in them if needed. After you’ve chosen your style, you can opt to have blue light blocking lenses put in. My main glasses are through Zenni with this blue light protective glass and I love them!
Comfy work pants are, without a doubt, a working-from-home necessity! I see a lot of posts suggesting that people get all dressed up for the day when working from home, but even after three years of working remotely, I’m still a sweatpants gal through and through.
Invest in a good pair of leggings, sweat pants, or comfortable joggers that make you happy to wear. You’ll be spending more time in cozy clothes while working from home, so you might as well have a bit of fun with it!
These jogger sweat pants from Baleaf come size XS to 5X in a variety of colors. They even have pockets!
Digital Products for your Home Office Set Up
If you want to be more productive while working from home, you’ll probably need some tools. Unless you have laser-like focus and the attention span of a surgeon, you’ll probably be faced with some distractions while working from home.
I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve been there real hard. And as a result, I’ve tried pretty much every digital organizer, tracker, and productivity system under the sun. These are a few of my favorite tools to keep me on track, even in the tantalizing presence of Netflix, snacks, and Instagram.
Toggl is, in a word, magical. This tool is used for time tracking. You can see how long you spent on different tasks down to the second, and you can sort your tasks by categories and tags.
Toggl is absolutely essential if you do freelance work and charge hourly. It’s also excellent if, at the end of the day, you feel like you don’t know where your time went.
With comprehensive reporting, you can see exactly how much time you spent on a certain task or category of tasks each day, week, or month.
The Toggl Basic plan is free forever, but they have more advanced features available if you need them.
Amazing Marvin is probably the only way I get anything done.
Remember that time I said I’ve tried every productivity tool under the sun? Well, my search for the perfect to-do list finally ended with Amazing Marvin.
Amazing Marvin is a to-do list and calendar tool that uses psychology to help you achieve more throughout the day. The design is simple and the interface is perfect for solo-preneurs who don’t have a team they need to coordinate with.
Amazing Marvin has
- Daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists
- Hour-by-hour and Long-term planning
- Super-focus mode
- Task and project notes
- Built-in rewards and incentives (like getting fireworks on the screen when you complete a big project)
- Stats and analytics
I’m planning to write a full review of Amazing Marvin soon (in fact, I’ve got it on my Amazing Marvin to-do list!) but in the meantime, you can try Amazing Marvin a try for free for the first year if you sign up through AppSumo.
I use Evernote to brain dump my ideas before I turn them into to-do list tasks in Amazing Marvin.
You know how sometimes you’re just sitting there, eating popcorn, watching project runway, and you get the perfect idea for your business? Now you can jot that down in your digital notebook, Evernote!
Evernote is a note-taking app. Think of it like the notes feature that comes standard on your phone, but elevated. You can arrange your notes in notebooks or with tags, giving you getter search features and organization.
I love how Evernote syncs between my phone and computer so that I can add to an idea regardless of what I’m doing.
The basic Evernote plan is free forever, so you can give it a try here!
Want to start working from home?
Want to start working from home but don’t know what job to do? This post covers 10 legitimate work from home jobs you can check out today! Below I’ll highlight two of my favorite ways to earn money online: teaching and blogging
Teaching English Online
Teaching English online might be a great place to start! As an online teacher, you can set your own hours and work from the comfort of home (and you don’t even have to leave your cozy new sweat pants!)
Click here to read about 25 of the Best Online Teaching Jobs you can apply to right now. Many of these companies will require that you get TEFL certified. This post will cover the Best TEFL Companies where you can get certified online.
Remember you can always send me a message if you need help getting started!
Have you ever dreamed of making money by writing on your own website? Starting a blog could be for you! While it can take a while to make money blogging, it’s definitely possible to earn income from a blog if you’re committed and set it up the right way.