This post is all about work from home essentials you need right now to stay healthy and productive.
With more and more people starting to work from home – both due to COVID and those wanting more flexibility in their life – I wanted to put together a list of work from home essentials that boost productivity, improve ergonomics, and help you work more effectively and happily.
I’ve been working from home for seven months now and, while there are a lot of things I like about it, I’ve also started to feel the effects of sitting more and staring at a screen all day.
My neck, shoulders and back were starting to hurt every day. Typing all day was bothering my wrists and hands – making me worried about carpal tunnel in the future.
One day I got the worst headache I’ve had in my entire life, that lasted for about three days and felt like someone was jabbing me with a knife at the base of my head over and over again.
That was what made me start to take all this ergonomic stuff seriously and I started to look into it.
Should I have been more proactive? Definitely!
Was I? No.
Don’t be me lol.
I know some of you are probably reading this thinking – “Stef, you’re in your 20s – don’t talk to me about aches and pains!”
And that’s totally valid.
But my thinking is: If I’m already feeling this much pain now, then if I keep doing the same things in the same way, I’m kind of screwed for the future because it will only get worse with time.
Pay now or pay later, as they like to say.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Why make this work from home essentials guide?
I want to share all the research I did on work from home essentials with you guys so that you can make informed decisions, based on your needs and budgets, on how you want to be proactive about changing your work space to be healthier and happier.
All of these products are the cream of the crop and I searched all over Amazon to find the products with the best prices and reviews (because who doesn’t have Amazon Prime these days?).
A lot of these are products that I personally use in my own home office, or that someone I know uses and loves.
Why recommend so many ergonomic work from home essentials?
There’s A LOT of ergonomic equipment below, but that’s because it’s so insanely important.
People don’t usually pay much attention to ergonomic products, because they often think they don’t look the prettiest, or most aesthetic.
Trust me – I love fashion and design as much as the next person. So I’ve done my best to find ergonomic solutions that function the way their supposed to (in order to give you all the benefits), and also look good in your work space.
As people have started to care more about ergonomics, the designs of these ergonomic work from home essentials have become increasingly attractive and I was pleasantly surprised by a lot of the options.
I’ll be the first to admit that my set up still isn’t perfect, but all of the work from home essentials I’ve recommended below have definitely helped out a lot!
Now – without further ado, let’s hop into the 24 amazing work from home essentials you need right now to stay healthy and productive:
Best work from home essentials:
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but a desktop computer or laptop is priority #1 for beginning your work from home journey.
I prefer laptops for their portability, but the size and specs for your computer will vary depending on what you need it for.
Both laptops are powerful, have great feeling (and sounding) keyboards, perfect graphics, are aesthetically pleasing and weigh almost nothing.
The PC recommendation is my personal laptop of choice. I’m typing this blog post on it at this very moment and I absolutely love its functionality and design.
When I was in the market for a new laptop I did some heavy research – and bugged my big brother who’s in IT – to find a laptop that had fantastic specs, but also had the sleekness of a Mac (without the hefty price tag).
This laptop checked all those boxes then, and I’m happy to report it continues to live up to those standards a few years later.
This Mac recommendation will come as no surprise to you I’m sure, but it might to your bank account.
I’d say about 70% of the people I’ve met in my life have had this computer (or some variation of it), love it, and would spend the money on it again and again.
It’ll hurt when you buy it, but if you’re in a position to splurge, I promise you won’t be disappointed (or so I’ve heard – I have yet to give in to this one, but I’m sensing I will at some point in my life).
After a laptop, the next most crucial thing that is a MUST in my opinion, is a good quality, high resolution, larger screen monitor.
It is one of my most important work from home essentials!
I’ve worked in an office my whole working life and I’ve always had a second monitor.
It lets you have multiple screens going at once, so you can reference one page and type in another (super helpful for copying and pasting).
It also reduces eye strain and fixes your ergonomics and posture, by allowing you to put whatever you’re looking at most on the bigger screen.
Although you don’t need to get the monitor I use at work and home, you definitely need a monitor of some sort (and don’t forget an HDMI cable or whatever your monitor requires to plug into your laptop if it doesn’t come with the monitor!).
3. Noise cancelling headphones
One of the hardest things about working from home is working through distractions or with other people who may also be working (or just living) at home with you.
Whether that means they’re making food in the kitchen, are on a zoom call in another room, or are typing right beside you – an excellent pair of noise-cancelling headphones that double as a headset (built-in microphone) is imperative to staying productive and working effectively from home.
It also helps everyone not get upset with each other haha.
Both I and my boyfriend can vouch for these noise cancelling headphones.
I bought mine for college and they worked wonders to block out noise while I was in my first year dorm, kept things quiet when I was trying to study and my neighbours were throwing parties in my second to fourth year, and now are still serving me well almost six years later while I’m working from home.
My boyfriend works in construction and does snow plowing in the winter. He uses them around heavy equipment and uses the app feature on his phone to toggle the different levels of noise cancellation.
He uses the first setting to take away the loudness of the plow engine – so that he can listen to music, while also still staying alert and being able to react to sounds around him.
At times outside of work when he wants complete noise cancellation, he’ll crank it up to the highest level which muffles virtually everything going on around you.
He’s had his for three years now and says they’re superior in sound quality to the Beats he had before these.
No other noise-cancelling headphones come close to these. I know the price sucks, but trust us – they are so worth the splurge!!
4. Stand up desk
Sitting all day HURTS. I’ve always worked an office job, but lately with working from home due to COVID, I find I’m getting up even less frequently than before.
Without those walks between meeting rooms or going to grab a coffee from the machine in the lunch room, our bodies aren’t getting the same breaks they were used to.
Because of this, standing desks are rising in popularity since they help reduce the amount of sitting people do.
They also boost productivity and eliminate back, shoulder and neck pain.
Below are two of the most highly rated standing desk set ups: one is a fully adjustable stand up desk, while the other is a table top monitor riser you can put on your current desk to modify its ergonomics.
Here is an L-shaped standing desk by the same company, if your desk is tucked into a corner:
- Electric lift system
- Pull out keyboard tray
- 3 programmable memory pre-sets
- 2 desk hooks (for your bag, headphones, jacket)
- Cable management tray (to hide unsightly wires)
Why people love these desks:
- Beautiful aesthetic design
- Intuitive to use
- Easy assembly (takes around an hour)
- Eliminated back pain
- High quality and long lasting
- Ultra quiet motors
- Dual tier
- Adjustable tray and height
- Minimal assembly
- Spacious tray
Why people love it:
- Great value (cheaper than a full stand up desk)
- Well built
- Easy to use and assemble
- Long lasting
5. Standing desk mat
To go with your new standing desk, or converted standing monitor, it’s always a smart idea to have a good foot mat for grip and comfort.
- Ergonomic foot design with anti-fatigue foot massage points (improves focus, reduces fatigue, and relieves foot tension by keeping your legs and core engaged)
- No assembly
Why people love it:
- Makes it much more comfortable to stand for long periods of time
- Well made and durable
- Great value and fair price
6. Ergonomic desk chair
If you opt not to go for the standing desk, or still want the option of sitting down when it’s brought down lower, an ergonomic chair is an absolute MUST to prevent any aches and/or health consequences later in life from being sedentary.
For those of you looking for an alternative to a traditional office chair, below is also the best kneeling chair for those of you looking to switch things up.
Best Value: High Back Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair
- Lumbar support
- Ergonomic design
- Memory foam seat
- Padded armrests
- Adjustable headrest
- Clothing hanger on the back of the chair (I thought this feature was a cool addition!)
Why people love it:
- Comfortable and great lumbar support
- Reduced back and neck pain
- Amazing value
- Clear instructions and easy to assemble
- Breathable mesh helpful for staying cool
- Everyone LOVES the hanger option for sweaters and suit jackets
Best Splurge: High Back Desk Chair
- Ergonomic design
- Adjustable headrest
- Flip-up arms (to save space so you can push it under your desk fully)
- Tilt function
- Lumbar support and quiet rolling wheels
Why people love it:
- Comfortable and supportive
- Great on back and neck
- Worth the splurge
- Spacious seat
- Easy assembly
- Well built and sturdy
Best Kneeling Chair: Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- Tilted seat (provides the posture benefits of standing with the relief of sitting)
- Thick comfortable cushions
- Modern and sleek design
Why people love it:
- Good quality
- Easy to assemble
- Helps eliminate hip, back and neck pain
- Gives nice breaks between standing at your desk or for times it’s more professional to be sitting
7. Support cushions
If you’re still on the fence about changing your desk or chair set up, or you can’t afford to make those changes right now, a great alternative is to invest in a supportive and comfy seat and/or back cushion to go on your current office chair.
My mom unfortunately has some pretty serious back problems and she swears by her ObusForme cushions to help relieve some of that pain when sitting for long periods of time at a desk (or even when travelling on a plane).
This ObusForme sit back cushion can be used as a back rest or seat cushion, has a memory foam design, and is compact and portable.
This ObusForme backrest support is larger but offers complete back support with its extra tall, high back design.
8. Under desk foot rest
A foot rest for under your desk (if you’re opting to sit) elevate your feet when you’re sitting and improve your foot placement for enhanced comfort and proper ergonomics.
It also helps with foot, sciatica, leg and hip pain.
This basic foot rest is a great value and has a textured surface which also massages the soles of your feet for stress reduction.
Personally, under my desk, I have a memory foam foot rest.
This one has a teardrop shape and can be flipped over to the other side to use as a rocker to get your feet moving as well.
9. Laptop stand
If the stand up desk and tabletop monitor riser are both still out of your budget, this laptop stand is another great alternative.
If you have no desk at all, or only work on a laptop occasionally, what’s great to have is a lap desk.
This lap desk comes the most highly rated, has a few different colour and finish options, and also has a mouse pad area and phone holder (which I didn’t find as features in many other designs).
It also allows your laptop to keep proper ventilation (without the airflow being suffocated on your lap) and props up your laptop slightly for better – you guessed it – ergonomics.
10. Ergonomic keyboard
Jeez… more ergonomic stuff Stef!?
I’ve got another one for you (and quite a few to go) – but it’s SO IMPORTANT GUYS!
A traditional keyboard’s design isn’t intended to be the most comfortable, or healthiest, for your hands and wrists.
Therefore, ergonomic keyboards, like this wired one or this wireless one, either allow the keyboard to split in half and be put on an angle, or are designed with this angle in mind, in order for your hands to remain in the most natural position.
These ergonomic keyboard suggestions have the best key placement and quality, along with many raving reviews about the positive and reversing impact they’ve had on their users’ carpal tunnel and wrist pain.
11. Ergonomic vertical mouse
Like the ergonomic keyboard pitch I made above, your hands aren’t meant to curl over the shape of your typical mouse for long periods of time, without feeling the effects in the long term.
Vertical mouses, even though they look a little untraditional, were designed to reduce overall strain and put your arm and wrist in a more natural, “handshake” position.
This vertical mouse is the best value and has a cool, futuristic-looking design. The mouse is marketed as “sleek and sexy” – don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad looking mouse. However, I don’t know if I’d go as far as calling it sexy.
You be the judge lol.
This vertical mouse is the best splurge and has a more premium design and advanced features.
It pairs with the wireless keyboard in the section before if you’re like me and enjoy a good matching set.
12. Lamp / good lighting
What’s the point of having all this other great stuff in your work from home set up if you don’t have the proper lighting?
Depending on what look you’re going for, this sleek and simple LED desk lamp comes with a USB charging port for your phone and has several brightness and colour temperature settings to customize the perfect lighting for your space.
This vintage style desk lamp is super cute, has more of an old-fashioned feel and is the type of desk lamp I have at home!
Working in an office was always great if you ever needed to print anything off – presentation decks, work forms, sometimes even personal documents (shhhh don’t tell!).
When you’re working from home, you may still need to print stuff off for work (or if you have planners and printables you purchased for blogging for example) – so a good printer is another work from home essential.
You don’t have to jump straight into a colour printer if you don’t anticipate needing to print a lot in colour.
However, keeping that option open may save you from having to switch printers in the future.
If you are in the market for one though, this colour printer comes with a scanner and copier as well.
This is great for when you need to send in signed documents for work or school (if you’re a student yourself or your kids are in school).
Alternatively, this simple black and white printer has duplex double sided printing and is the printer that I have in my own home office and that I used all throughout college.
I’ve had this printer for six years now and it’s still going strong – so I’d highly recommend it to all of you looking for an affordable and lasting printer.
14. Coffee machine
You love coffee. I love coffee. Who doesn’t love coffee!?
I’ve had both a Tassimo and a Keurig in the past and nothing beats a Nespresso machine!
They’re so worth their difference in price and, especially since you’ll be using it every day when you’re working from home. It’s even more reason to invest in yourself and that first cup of happiness in the morning 😊
My boyfriend has this Nespresso machine which is smaller in size (great for limited counter space) and uses the original Nespresso pods.
I have this Nespresso machine which is slightly larger, has a bit more water and capsule ejection storage capacity, and uses the newer Vertuo capsules.
Both machines are available as a set with an aeroccino (which is just Nespresso’s fancy term for a milk frothier).
I’d recommend going with the set since that’ll allow you to make cappuccinos and lattes with the espresso from your machine and its cheaper as a bundle than buying each component separately.
Ultimately, the model you go with will depend on personal preference about which machine design you like best and how much counter space you have.
Regardless of which one you decide on, I promise you won’t be disappointed!!
15. Magic bag
Despite all of your best efforts to create a perfectly ergonomic work from home space and remembering to move around throughout the day – you’ll still probably find your neck, back or shoulders (maybe even all of the above) will get sore from time to time.
I know this doesn’t perfectly fall into the work from home essentials category, but it definitely helps with the aches and pains of working from home!
This magic bag is what I, and my family, use at home to soothe sore muscles quickly and effectively.
It can act as a hot or cold compress and comes in a few different sizes – but this one is my favourite because it covers your back and shoulders simultaneously without falling off!
Additional home office organization essentials:
While essentials for your home office are important, I thought I would also throw in some additional home office organization essentials that will help your workspace stay neat and looking pretty.
16. Cork board
Mine is a split board – half cork and half whiteboard – but I couldn’t find it online since I bought it over six years ago for college (and I still have the same one today!)
This linen cork board that I found though is really highly rated and is super unique looking because of the linen feature.
I think it would not only look beautiful in a lot of your home offices, but from the reviews people are extremely happy with its functionality, size, and quality as well.
If mine ever goes, then this is the next one I’m buying for sure!
17. Desk organization set
Every desk needs a set of desk organizer accessories to segment things by their purpose and make sure everything has a home.
I have a rose gold organizer set on my desk that comes with:
- a mail sorter – I use this to separate smaller papers like receipts and coupons, because a majority of my mail has an “e-“ in front of it
- pen cup
- magazine file holder
- document tray
- sticky note holder.
18. Office suppply set
It comes with push pins, paper clips and two sizes of binder clips.
19. Writing tools set
If you don’t already have the basics at your desk, then this set of writing essentials has everything you need to get started.
It come with ball pens, mechanical pencils, erasers, highlighters and dry erase markers – all in one set!
20. Planner and to do list
I make a lot of lists on my computer, but nothing beats a pen and paper for getting thoughts and tasks down.
Then being able to physically cross them off as you get them done (LOVE that feeling!)
I have a weekly planner notepad that I use to write down everything I need to get done in the week in both my personal and professional life.
When I’m done filling it out, I either leave it on my desk or I’ll pin it to my cork board so that I can keep it in my line of sight.
21. Wall calendar
I know you have one on your phone, but again, nothing beats the feeling of physically crossing things off – and a wall calendar is no exception.
I have it pinned to my cork board as well and highly recommend it if you love sloths too!
22. Fake plants
I love the look of plants, but I’m terrible at keeping plants alive ☹
Also, if your desk isn’t near a window, even if you’re good at taking care of plants, they probably won’t last without light.
So, I’m glad that fake plants like this gold pineapple succulent
and this trio of succulents with customizable motivational quote stickers exist.
If you’re like me, save yourself the money and time and just get a good fake plant!
23. Cute Funko! pops
This one may not fall under the work from home essentials category for everyone.
However, I enjoy having a few Funko Pop characters on my desk to give it some personality and make me smile.
There are SO MANY OPTIONS out there!
You can search for any character/show/movie/series you love and there’s most likely a Funko Pop out there for you.
A few fun ones I found that you may enjoy are:
Currently, on my desk I have: baby groot, olaf, mr.knowsmore and sailor moon!
24. Motivational art
Last, but not least, having some quotes around your home office space do wonders for your motivation.
You can always look around Pinterest (please follow me if you loved this post – I appreciate the support!) and print off your own to put up on your cork board.
Alternatively, you could get something like this neat changeable art quote stand that comes with really pretty gold stamped inspirational cards on a wooden base.
Or this daily flip calendar that works for any year and has beautiful background images and new quotes for each day to start your day off right!
Pin these work from home essentials for later
That’s it folks!
I hope you found this list of work from home essentials useful!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any items that are essentials for you that I may have missed!
You can also pin this post to refer back to it later or to share it with your friends who may be looking for inspiration with their home offices.