Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, many people have made the move from doing occasional “homework” at the kitchen table to creating a dedicated workspace in the home. And many find that with the right support, this exclusive space can be a far better solution for staying focused and productive.
Dedicated space generally starts with a suitable desk, but what’s a computer desk without desk accessories? The right accessories for working from home (WFH) can make the workday even better. Below, we list some must-have home office accessories to create the ultimate workspace.
- Reusable water bottle
- Blue light glasses
- Cable organizers
- Ergonomic mouse
- Memory foam seats
- Keyboard cleaner
- Laptop stand
- Desk organizer
- External computer mic
- Mouse pad
- USB cable hub
- Desk calendar
- Whiteboard cleaner
- Desk lamp
- Gel wrist rest for your mouse
- Work planner
- Desk fan
- Power strip
- External hard drive
- Office plants
- Air purifier
- Wireless phone charger
- Charging station
- Exercise ball
Reusable water bottle
Becoming parched during the workday can slow down production and leave you feeling drained. Even mild dehydration can take its toll on cognitive functioning skills like attention, focus, and memory.
Maintain your productivity by keeping a water bottle filled and on hand throughout the day to stay hydrated, energized, and alert. If you’re unsure how much water you need, eight glasses a day is a good start.
However, amounts required can differ for your specific needs. For instance, hot weather and physical activity can increase your water demand. A good rule of thumb is to drink water whenever your body signals thirst.
Make it fun and choose a water bottle that fits your style or mood—funky print, quirky phrase, classic stainless, or one of the latest fruit infusion water bottles. While it’s easy to forget about getting enough water throughout the day, a water bottle within sight and reach can help you stay hydrated. Getting up to fill it every hour or so is good motivation to take a much-needed stretch break.
Blue light blocking glasses
Extended screen time can cause eye strain and even headaches. Since you likely spend a lot of time in front of your computer screen each day, you probably notice how maintaining focus becomes difficult after a few hours.
Eye strain typically stems from existing vision problems or can result from how we interact with our digital devices. Holding screens close to our faces or hunching over a desk for a closer look can create eye strain.
The 20-20-20 rule can help ease eye strain. This means that for every 20 minutes, you look away at something 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. In addition, blue light blocking glasses may help, although scientific evidence is murky. However, these glasses may be valuable for night owls, since blue light can interrupt our natural light cycle, making it take longer to fall asleep.
Our work environment can affect how we work. We can experience higher levels of stress and anxiety and limited productivity when our workspaces are cluttered. With the number of devices we keep on our desks, cables and cords can quickly become a mess and add to workday stress. Just think about problems you’ve had with untangling cables for chargers, headphones, and backup devices. Cable organizers help manage the clutter and keep the workspace organized and tidy.
You can find a wide variety of these helpful desktop gadgets, including pet-proof sleeve cord covers for those of you who are working at home with a pet. Sleeve type covers not only organize cables but add a layer of protection. They also come with inexpensive clips and Velcro ties.
Repetitive mouse clicks can cause muscle strain and discomfort. You may be able to minimize discomfort when switching from a traditional mouse to an ergonomic mouse.
The ergonomic mouse is specially designed to work with and fit the human body. Your hand can rest naturally on the mouse and help keep the wrist, elbow, and arm in a natural position, reducing the potential for developing carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other issues. An ergonomic wireless mouse also limits the number of wires on the desktop.
Memory foam seats
Sitting for long periods can become tiring and uncomfortable. A memory foam seat can add some extra cushion to your desk chair, reduce pressure on the hips and back, improve posture, and prevent lower back pain.
For those with achy backs, a memory foam seat cushion can be a beneficial addition to the office chair. You can find cool gel cushions for those sultry summer days. Add an under-desk footrest to work in even greater comfort.
Keyboards can get very dirty after a while and need a good refresh. Things like dust, food crumbs, and natural fingertip oils can build up on your keyboard and create sticky keys.
Create a more hygienic workspace by adding a quick keyboard clean into your routine. Canned air can quickly blow away dust or crumbs, and a non-static keyboard cleaning brush or putty for electronic devices can clear away any stubborn sticky bits.
Good posture reduces body aches and helps you maintain a high energy level. A laptop isn’t always the best choice for great posture while working.
Using a stand can position your back and shoulders in proper alignment and make for a much more comfortable workday. With a laptop stand, you can alternate between sitting and standing using its adjustable height feature. Its portability allows you to work anywhere in the house.
The top of your desk is prime real estate. With documents, planners, bills, and receipts, it's easy for organization in this space to quickly get out of hand. All too often the only system in place is a semi-chronological pile of papers.
A desk organizer can help eliminate the clutter and make things run smoothly. These little gadgets can manage your workday tools or paperwork and come in a variety of styles to match your home office.
External computer mic
We know how poor mic quality can negatively affect video calls and Zoom meetings. While many computers have an internal microphone, the sound quality may not measure up.
For workers who frequently record their voice or meet online, an upgrade may be the right solution. An external computer mic can reduce ambient and background noises and optimize your voice.
Mouse pads provide a high level of usefulness. For applications requiring precision, such as digital illustration or even creating a word document, the desk surface can interrupt mouse movement across the screen and create frustration.
A mouse pad can provide better control of the mouse while using these applications. Other benefits include protecting your desk from scuffs or scratches and providing a cushioned rest area for your wrist.
USB cable hub
USB port hubs are important to a number of professional creatives and business people. With many computers and laptops limiting the number of internal USB ports or even eliminating them, it can be difficult to get the connectivity you need for your workday.
With a USB cable hub, you can access extra ports for all your essentials. This often proves especially beneficial for multiple devices that take a lot of power from the computer, such as printers, scanners, and external hard drives.
Although you can log important dates and meetings digitally, many people find something special about a handwritten desk calendar. Consider the size of your workspace when shopping for a desk planner.
Choose from a large-format, tear-away page calendar or something more streamlined and small for your space. If digital is your mainstay, you can access several workday calendar apps to help you stay organized day after day.
A whiteboard is a helpful productivity tool. You can use it to share information with colleagues, take notes, or brainstorm. Large whiteboards can mount to the wall, while smaller desktop versions lie flat or prop up with an easel.
Some whiteboards are multi-functional and double as a keyboard stand or desk organizer. Don’t forget markers, and be sure they are dry-erase, not permanent ink!
With all the brainstorming and use you get from your whiteboard, you need a good whiteboard cleaner to clear away old information. A commercially available dry-erase board eraser can remove marks from the whiteboard without scratching the surface.
For stubborn areas, specially designed wipes or sprays can clean and refresh the surface. If you’ve made the mistake of using a permanent marker, simply write over the area with a dry erase marker and wipe clean.
Working with overhead lighting or near a window can help brighten your home office setup. Even then, glare or dim areas can create a bad lighting situation.
Adding a desk lamp can help solve this problem. You may find that a swivel or adjustable desk lamp is an ideal solution for your work routine. A desk lamp is an essential desktop item if you frequently work into the night.
Gel wrist rest for your mouse
You may not realize it, but your hand and wrist get quite the workout each workday. Without support, you may notice fatigue from overworking those muscles.
A gel wrist rest can keep the wrist in its natural position and may reduce the risk of a repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
You likely keep a to-do list, but how do you plan and schedule the list’s tasks? A work planner can help you do just that. You can prioritize and schedule tasks daily, weekly, or monthly to help you with effective time management.
When in doubt, refer to the planner and modify as needed. This can help you increase productivity and minimize workday stress.
Pens have been an office mainstay for as long as we can remember. Even with technological change and advances, pens remain an essential and useful tool.
We use them for taking notes, signing signatures, and even doodling. Whether you like high-end fountain pens or colorful gel pens, keeping a stash of your favorites will help you stay prepared in the workplace.
Working under pressure can make it hard to keep your cool. A desk fan is a bargain way to stay cool and meet that deadline or stay comfortable in warmer temps.
Typically smaller than your run-of-the-mill house fan, desk fans take up minimal space and can help circulate the air. Some, like the Amazon Commercial 4-Inch Table Fan, include a power adapter and USB cable.
A power strip is a great gadget for plugging multiple electrical devices into one outlet. Many models include an internal circuit breaker to protect connected devices in the event of a short circuit or energy overload.
Consider a smart power strip for more energy efficiency. Unlike traditional strips, smart power strips power off when a device goes into sleep mode.
External hard drive
Large data files or multimedia can zap the memory space on your Mac or PC. Rather than use your computer’s precious memory space, an external hard drive can store your work product.
These devices can also be great for backing up your hard drive. With their portability, you can easily change devices or take them on the go.
Adding some greenery can liven up your work-from-home space. Aside from an aesthetic standpoint, plants can improve the indoor environment. They help clear the air we breathe by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that Americans spend approximately 90% of our time indoors, meaning we could all use a bit of fresh air.
Speaking of fresh air, an air purifier may help further clear the air of harmful particles. Things like dust, pet dander, and other pesky microscopic organisms can make us feel run-down and trigger allergy or asthma symptoms. An air purifier can help remove these from the air.
Additionally, an air purifier can also double as a white noise machine and block out distracting household sounds.
Wireless phone charger
These days, it seems we never let our smartphones leave our side, so it makes sense to add a wireless phone charger to the arsenal of desktop accessories. After all, a phone’s battery life is sure to run low after conference calls and brain breaks with TikTok.
Today, you can find a wide selection of wireless charging pads. Choose from minimalist, contemporary, and natural stone looks to charge in style.
Headphones can be a nice addition to your home office. If you’re like many people who work from home, you may find noise-canceling headphones a useful and perhaps essential gadget for your home office space.
Choices for headsets run the gamut from Bluetooth earbuds, such as AirPods, to full-coverage on-ear models, to headsets with built-in microphones. In the end, choose what feels best in, on, or over your ears.
With all the gadgets we acquire, a charging station helps keep us connected. A charging dock can simultaneously charge your headphones, phone, and other digital devices.
When shopping around, think about the size of your household and how many charging ports you need. A single charging station can better manage wires and cords.
Dry air can dry out the skin, nose, throat, and lips. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a humidifier can help improve indoor air quality and improve your breathing and respiratory health.
Setting up a humidifier in your workspace can help relieve asthma or allergy flare-ups, hay fever, and sinus congestion. If these symptoms plague you, consider adding some moisture to the air with a humidifier.
The exercise ball is another double-duty gadget. Not only does it offer a fun way to exercise, but it can double as your office chair. To avoid rolling off, engaging your core is a must.
While the exercise ball has a strong WFH following, you don’t need to give away your ergonomic chair. Rotating between the two and using a standing desk option may provide some health benefits.
Who doesn’t love a good scented candle? As far as functionality, candles can help in a lot of ways. Certain scents, such as citrusy lemon and orange, may stave off an afternoon slump. A nice apple pie scent can help lighten the day.
Benefits of having good work-from-home accessories
A well-stocked home office can make life easier. Consider these eight benefits of having good work-from-home accessories:
- Less clutter
- Increased productivity
- Improved office setup
- Fewer distractions
- Better air quality
- Enhanced organization
- Greater efficiency
- Better communication
Put all your home office accessories to good use
The right home office accessories can improve your workday. Save time and get things done by having all you need right at your fingertips. For more tips on improving your workday, visit the Upwork Resource Center for the most up-to-date articles for businesses and independent professionals.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.
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