Having a home office is a great way to ensure you have the space you need to be your most productive and efficient when it comes to getting your work done. While having the essentials (your computer, a surface to work on, and a chair) is a good starting point for working from home, if you’re going to do it long-term, you’ll want to expand on your setup to make it more efficient and comfortable.
Working from home is all about making money, so understandably, it can be hard to take some of that hard-earned income and use it to buy home-office equipment. However, the right office accessories can make a significant difference in your day-to-day, starting with these five affordable must-haves:
For many years, our only options have been the difficult-to-use laptop trackpad “mouse” or a limiting cord mouse—both of which can make things harder than they need to be. Fortunately, there are now wireless mice that provide you with maximum functionality and mobility.
Just make sure to charge it regularly or keep batteries on-hand (maybe in your desk organizer), so you don’t have to deal with a frustratingly slow mouse when you’re rushing to complete your project by the deadline.
If you’ve noticed that your neck and shoulders are bothering you, it might be because your laptop is too low. Based on proper ergonomics, it’s recommended that your laptop is raised at least 5 to 10 inches. This helps prevent excessive bending of your neck, which can lead to pain and other complications later in life. For reference, your eyes should be level with the top third of your screen.
While a stack of books can work in a pitch (or while you’re waiting for shipping to process), you should invest in a laptop stand if you’re going to be working in your home office frequently. If ergonomics are a big concern for you, you may want to consider saving up for a standing desk.
A desk organizer is an excellent way to keep things orderly if you work with a lot of paper documentation. Having a desk organizer allows you to arrange your paperwork and create a system that keeps you working efficiently, without ever having those moments of panic when you’re looking for something important you need to refer to. While there are simple organizers that look like files, you can also get as extravagant as you want with extensive organizers that have drawers, pockets, and even a docking station.
When picking out your desk organizer, just make sure you consider the amount of workspace you have. You don’t want to get something that’s going to take up too much space, leaving you with a tiny corner to conduct your work on.
Depending on your setup, you may have plentiful natural light, or you may have your desk set up in a corner of your apartment that gets little-to-no sunlight. If the latter applies to you, that doesn’t mean you have to work in the dark of using a harsh light that makes your eyes tired. With more and more people working from home, there are tons of smart solutions available to fix common problems, including lighting. Get yourself a daylight lamp to help with your sunless space.
Not only is natural light nice to have, it can actually help with your energy and productivity levels.
While it might seem frivolous at first, indulging yourself in some personalization for your workspace at home is important. It can help boost your creativity levels, motivation, and overall mood. Consider some of these popular desk accessories loved by work-from-home-ers everywhere:
- Pictures of your favorite memories
- Customized mouse pads
- Stress balls
- Succulent terrariums
- Miniatures of your favorite games
Take it a step further by giving your space a facelift, redecorating your home office when you have the extra cash can help transform your workday into a much more enjoyable experience. Try adding some shelving for storage and knick-knacks, mirrors to open up the room, some greenery to breathe life into the room, or even a ladder bookcase to keep your favorite books for inspiration. But for now, starting with these 5 accessories is a great start to creating a home office that works for you.