Working from home has its perks, but if you're new to WFH life, you might find that it takes some time to get into a productive groove. There can be so many distractions (like your TV, pet, kids, bed). You could be itching to do all the housework you've been putting off instead of completing that work project. And the general temptation of slacking off is very much real when you don't have co-workers or your boss around you. WFH vets have mastered all of this, but it takes some discipline and practice.
We've highlighted what you can do to stay productive and tips for setting a routine that you can stick to, but another factor that you should think of when you're trying to navigate WFH life is your actual workspace. You'll want to set up your spot for success so you can get your work done. To help, we've rounded up some tools, gadgets, and products that could help.
Sure, you might have a calendar app on your phone and laptop, but sometimes it helps to actually have a physical one to look at to keep track of your schedule and to-do list. Plus, the act of crossing things off your list is just so much more rewarding when it's done on paper.
Again, you have a clock on your phone and laptop, but an actual clock is nice to have on hand, too. If you remember to look up at the time occasionally, it's a good reminder to take a stretch break or stand up, which is so important when you're working from home. When you're in the groove with no distractions from co-workers, it can be so easy to sit for hours on end, staring at your computer.
3. Pen and Pencil Holder
Not only will a nice pencil cup add some interest to your workspace, but it will keep your surface clear of pens, pencils, scissors, highlighters, and more. A decluttered workspace might help your productivity.
4. File Organizers
If you're dealing with a lot of paperwork and important files, you want to make sure you have an organization system so you can easily find everything.
5. Cord Organizer
You're probably working with a lot of tech gadgets, so most likely you've got a lot of cords. Untangle and keep them under control with these clips that you can stick to surfaces, like your desk or floor.
6. A Desk
Having a dedicated workspace is important, but you might not have a desk at home or can't use your dining table to do work. This desk is compact, comes with wheels to move it around easily, and is adjustable so you can use it as a standing or sitting desk.
7. Supportive Chair
You're going to be sitting for long periods of time, so you'll want to make sure that you have a working chair that supports your back. This one from West Elm is simple and chic and comes in different colors to go with your current décor at home.
8. Chair Support
For extra back support, you can add a lumbar pillow to your desk chair. It will help you sit up a little straight during the workday.
9. Ergonomic Wrist Pad
Comfort is key when you're working, whether you're in an office or at home. A wrist rest can help reduce fatigue and any pain from working at the computer for a long time.
Another gadget that can add some comfort to your workspace, this footrest can be adjusted at different angles and has a pebbled surface so you can give yourself a quick foot massage by rubbing your feet over it. It's supposed to help your overall posture by making sure your feet are placed correctly.
11. Extra Monitor
An extra monitor can really help with your productivity, especially if your computer desktop normally has a ton of tabs open. Plus, it can be tough to stare at a small laptop screen for hours a day.
12. Wireless Mouse
That trackpad on your laptop won't cut it. Plus, a mouse will be a little easier on your hands, especially if you find that using the trackpad leads to hand cramps or fatigue.
13. Bluetooth Keyboard
Like the trackpad on your computer, you might find it difficult after a while to type on your laptop keyboard, so this is where a wireless one comes in handy.
14. Wi-Fi Booster
Spotty Wi-Fi can really mess with your productivity, and you wouldn't want to cut in and out when you're in virtual meetings. This system comes with a "beacon" that can extend and boost your Wi-Fi coverage in another room of your home.
15. Extension Cord
When you have a lot of gadgets and tech devices, a trusty power strip will ensure that it can support all of them safely. This one is great because it's affordable at under $20, and it has two USB ports.
If you live with other people who are also working from home, headphones are a must. Noise-cancelling ones can help you focus on the task at hand.
17. A Lamp
Good lighting can improve your mood and is also important for your eyes. Bonus points if your desk lamp is as stylish as this one.
19. Desk Décor
An interesting object might not exactly help your productivity, but it might make you happy. This tray also serves as a spot to corral items like keys, paper clips, or pushpins.
Again, artwork is just another nice thing to look at and adds a little bit of character and personality to your workspace. Your environment can affect your mood, so make sure you're creating a workspace that makes you feel good.
A candle is a mix of décor and wellness. It makes a nice vignette, and if you choose the scent correctly, it can be both calming and inspiring. And isn't that what you need for a long, stressful day ahead?
22. Water Bottle
When I'm working at home, I find I don't drink as much water as I do when I'm at the office. I think it's because I take more breaks to walk to the water fountain in the office. A water bottle can help remind you to drink more throughout the day.
While your space might not be as cold as the office air conditioner, it's still nice to keep a blanket on hand in case things get a bit chilly inside.
24. Stress Ball
You can relieve stress by getting up and taking a walk, drinking water, or stretching. Another trick is to use a stress ball to help yourself calm down or take a break.
25. Blue-Light Glasses
While more research needs to be done on the effectiveness of blue-light glasses, many people swear by them as a solution to combating eye strain. Personally, I think mine help with eye tiredness.