Many of us have been working from home for the better part of the year — with no end in sight. But after all this time, we’ve all started to get the hang of it, and over the past several months we’ve consulted dozens of experts to help you dial in your work-from-home setup, whether you’re the work-from-bed (or couch) type or the person who has turned your bedroom into a proper home office. And here, we’ve rounded up all the best products to make working from home comfortable, including noise-canceling headphones, lighting for Zoom calls, ergonomic office chairs, standing desks, and more.
One good place to start is our guide to the best work-from-home essentials, according to people who do it every day (long before the pandemic started). And several professionals we spoke to recommended this desk lamp, which has five brightness levels and a built-in USB charging port. “When I’m working, I put it on the whitest lighting for an office feeling, then turn to a softer tone for when I’m chilling at the end of the day,” says Nehemiah Blackburn, a product manager who works from home. Read more here.
Headphones are another must-have gadget for improving your work-from-home setup because they’re essential for focusing when there are minimal distractions during meetings and for other times when you have to concentrate — especially if you live with roommates or other humans who are working from home. These are “supremely comfortable and lightweight, with pillowy ear-cup padding and just the right amount of head grip.” Read more here.
If the noice-canceling headphones aren’t doing it for you, try a white-noise machine, which comes highly recommended by work-from-home crisis-services worker Lena Beckett and Strategist editor Alexis Swerdloff. According to Beckett, it’s crucial for “keeping your room quiet from the sounds of unemployed roommates who no longer need to go to bed before 2 a.m.” Read more here.
Even if you’re more of a work-from-bed type, you should consider creating a proper workspace with a real chair. “If you’re sitting for a long period of time in one position that’s not natural, or a bad position from a postural standpoint, over time that’s going to break down your spine,” says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Marc Agulnick. This adjustable, temperature-sensitive chair has three different size options and has been a favorite of computer-bound tech workers since 2006. Read more here.
If you can’t afford to invest in an expensive, ergonomically designed chair, this chiropractor-approved cushion can be placed on any chair or seat to offer back support, and it comes highly recommended by sports-medicine experts Dr. Stephen Liu and Dr. Joseph Herrera. Read more here.
This height-adjustable standing desk was recommended to us by chiropractors, a pain expert, and a physical therapist. It’s large enough to hold a monitor or two, accommodate lots of different body types, is easily adjustable for switching between sitting and standing, and has a lower shelf (to prevent wrist strain) for keyboards and mouses. Read more here and here.
Let’s face it: When you look good, you feel good, and most of the time Zoom angles aren’t the most flattering. We talked to experts about the best lighting for video calls, and they told us that ring lights are a favorite of TikTokers and beauty vloggers alike for their ability to match with indoor or outdoor lighting (and we think it will help you feel a bit more put together in your Zoom meetings). Read more here.
Chances are when working from home started, you may have already had a personal computer, but if you’re like many professionals who had to leave their work laptops at home, you may be struggling to balance your personal life and professional life on one device. The Apple MacBook Pro has a little bit more computing power than the popular MacBook Air, can handle lots of programs like photo and video editing, has built-in speakers, and only weighs 3.1 pounds. Read more here.
This tilting, swiveling, and rotating monitor is the same one we have in our New York offices — it’s compatible with all different kinds of laptops and is a nice choice for a small home office due to its moderate size (21.5 inches). And, at under $200, it’s no wonder it was recently ranked best overall monitor by experts. If you’re looking for something more ergonomic or larger, we found lots of other options, too. Read more here.
A mesh Wi-Fi system helps you to avoid wireless dead zones in your house, and the system strengthens your Wi-Fi connectivity if you’re sharing a network with lots of roommates or family members. The easily set up, simple-looking Google Nest Wi-Fi system comes with three nodes for easy around-the-house placement and has Google Nest capabilities with a built-in speaker and Google Assistant. Read more here.
If you don’t already have some kind of desk or designated workspace, and you’re not working from your bed, you’ll need some kind of way to organize. We like this one because you can use it on or under a desk — or even mounted on a wall. Read more here.
Even if you’re going to be wearing sweatpants or loungewear while working, it’s important to make your work-from-home getup feel as fun as if you were going out as normal. We talked to several stylish people who praise these UGG slippers for their easy slip-on style, soft ankle strap, and fun pastel colors. Read more here.
Let’s face it: You’re going to need more than just that one pair of ratty sweatpants now that you’re living and working at home most of the time. We talked to several stylish women about their favorite loungewear, including artist Gabi Abrão, who recommends Hanes for its inexpensive, easily washable, and durable cotton-blend sweats, like this fleece-lined sweatshirt. Read more here.
And let’s not forget the men, who also might need a new pair of joggers after wearing the same ones for months on end. If you’re really looking for a touch of polish, these Uniqlo sweatpants have cuffed ankles and a not too lazy look. Read more here.
It’s no secret that we love Patagonia Baggies at the Strategist, which top our lists for best men’s and women’s lounge shorts. But Strategist writer Louis Cheslaw wanted to find the best Baggies-ish lounge pants for the cooler weather. These plush Patagonia pants come with a built-in belt and are made of fleece for peak comfort and coziness while still offering a more polished work-from-home look than regular sweats. Read more here.
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