Before the pandemic, many of us worked outside our homes. Now, more than a year has gone by since the first lockdown, and a large percentage of people are still teleworking. If you’re one of the many workers in Middle Tennessee who have been informed that they’ll be working from home on a permanent basis, or at least will be expected to remain at home for an indefinite period of time, some home office must-haves are essential for creating a comfortable space that supports you in wellness and productivity alike. 

We’ve assumed that anyone working from home already uses a computer, has high-speed internet, and has a cell phone. However, we submit that this bare-bones setup needs a few additional items to be sustainable in the months—or years—to come. Read through our top 15 suggestions and choose the items you know will help you keep your work-from-home burnout at bay.


1.) Office-Grade Surge Protector and Power Strip

Whether you’re using a work-issued laptop or have invested in your own telework setup, it’s vital that you protect your gear with a robust surge protector. Choose a model that has as many outlets as possible. This small tweak can eliminate the need for you to duck under your desk and swap out cables throughout the day.


2.) Waterproof Desk Mat

Unless you’re the rare person who never spills your coffee or scuffs your desk, a high-quality waterproof desk protector is a necessity. Keep your desk looking sharp for years to come with this one affordable purchase.


3.) Several Tone-Adjustable LED Lamps

Throughout your workday, you’ll likely want to adjust your lighting. Especially if you are doing video conferencing, broad-spectrum indirect lighting is key. You don’t want to be backlit, and you may want to change the tone of your lighting throughout the day. 

An LED lamp that has an adjustable neck and head along with a tone adjustment option is an energy-efficient way to ensure that your home office is well-lit for any occasion.


4.) Printer/Scanner/Fax Combo

Like it or not, there’s not yet an app that can truly replace this “old-fashioned” machine. If your work involves filling out or signing any forms, bite the bullet and splash out on a model that fits your needs and your budget.


5.) Cable Management

One of the least aesthetically pleasing and inconvenient aspects of working from home is the mess (or tangle) of cables that sprout from every wired device. Fortunately, there are cable management tools that can take your mess from wild to mild in just a few minutes. Cable clips, horizontal cable managers, flexible cable zippers, and sleek cable boxes are all great options to minimize your mess.


6.) Ergonomic Chair

If you’re still perched on the edge of a hard, straight-backed chair, your back is no doubt telling you that it’s time to make a change. Good ergonomic chairs are expensive, though, so take your time choosing the model that’s right for you. 

The following steps will help you narrow down your best options:

    • Choose a chair back and seat that fit your height and leg length.
    • The placement and depth of the lumbar support is the most important factor. The right configuration will feel great, while an ill-fitting lumbar curve will increase your discomfort.
    • Choose the wheel type that suits your flooring.
    • Consider a kneeling chair if you are prone to back pain.

7.) Buy a Comfortable Mouse

Your best mouse will depend on your hand size, work style, and any areas of pain you may have. However, it’s always worth choosing a very good mouse! Don’t rely on a laptop trackpad or standard-issue basic mouse; once tendon or nerve pain develops, it often takes a lot of time and effort to reverse. 


8.) Ergonomic Wrist Support and Mouse Pad 

Consider this duo your wrists’ ergonomic chair, only much more affordable. If you can get your hands on several materials, squish them, test them, and figure out which one feels best. Then, promise yourself you’ll never work without them.


9.) Standing Desk Converter

You may not have the space for both a standing and sitting desk, but there are several companies that manufacture standing desk-top converters. Your back and legs will thank you if you can switch back and forth between configurations throughout the day.


10.) Headphones with a Microphone

Let’s face it: you’re going to use these a lot. Choose a comfortable set with a clear microphone, then keep them clean and untangled to get the most life out of them.


11.) Under-Desk Footrest

Simply propping the bottoms of your feet up against an angled footrest can take a lot of strain off your lower back. If you have been struggling with leg pain or back pain, this may be the best way to enhance the comfort your new chair delivers.


12.) Coffee Maker

If you’re missing the convenience of office coffee, invest in a nice coffee maker to add some luxury to your day. If you’re someone who runs out to the coffee shop several times a week, you could offset the cost of a high-end coffee machine by swapping coffee runs for delicious homemade joe.


13.) Electric Kettle

Prefer tea? An electric kettle is convenient, quiet, and swift, ensuring that you’ll have a delicious cup of tea in less than 5 minutes.


14.) Large Whiteboard and Markers

You probably ditched your paper planner for an electronic one many years ago, but a large whiteboard is still unparalleled for laying out your day’s activities. If you used a whiteboard at your company’s offices, go ahead and purchase a large one for your home setup. You’ll wonder how you’ve gone so long without one!


15.) Cell Phone Stand

If you pick up your phone several times an hour, consider an inexpensive cell phone stand that will prop your phone up and hold it for you. This small change can make your workflow smoother and make your desk look more organized. We suggest a model that will allow you to plug in your phone while it’s in the holder.


By making some small yet powerful changes, your home office will be more comfortable, functional, and enjoyable - leading to improved productivity and a more positive outlook on working from home.

Posted by Parks Real Estate on

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