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How we define the term “office” has loosened tremendously in the past few years. No longer does it bring to mind images of high-rise corporate buildings — instead it can mean a repurposed closet, a sliver of a bedroom, or the corner of a dining room table. Making your home office a productive, non-distracting space requires a delicate balance. It needs to be relaxing and comfortable but not sleep-inducing. We’ve put together this list of the best home office products that address a range of workplace complaints, from organization to back issues. It includes aesthetically pleasing furniture and desk accessories, as well as tech items and environment-elevating diffusers. A good office is one that enhances productivity and prevents you from seeking out distractions, but still has space for a bit of personal flair. These items will help get you there.
SideTrak Portable Monitor
An additional screen can make working significantly more efficient and enjoyable, but you typically have to choose between being tied to a home base with multiple screens and the portability of a single screen laptop. SideTrak offers a genius compromise: a portable monitor that attaches to your laptop to double screen real estate. It’s offered in 12.5” and 14” versions and connects to your laptop with a magnetic sticker. You can very easily detach the screen (though the adhesive sticker will remain on your laptop) and use it in freestanding mode. If you have a USB-C port, your laptop will connect to the monitor with one cable. If you have a USB-A port, then you’ll need to connect with both that port and an HDMI port.
Courant MAG-2 Essentials
If you’re someone who forgets to charge your phone, this elegant accessory from Courant will change your habits. The MAG:2 doubles as a phone stand and can charge two devices at once. You don’t need to plug in any cables — simply rest your AirPods on one charging pad and your phone on the other and you’re on your way to a full battery. The simple design is unassuming when not in use, which is an upgrade from unsightly cables. The MAG:2 also helped to boost my own productivity because I had less of an urge to indulge in unnecessary pickups when my phone was attached to the stand. Pro Tip: put your phone in Do Not Disturb Mode because notifications will be in your line of sight.
Logitech MX Keys Wireless Keyboard
When it comes to something as critical to your productivity as a keyboard, don’t make the mistake of prioritizing style over performance. The main complaint with keyboards is irritatingly clicky, loud keys, but this model is praised repeatedly for its silent keys. Other traits that users love are its long battery life (a full charge lasts up to 5 months with back-lighting off) and it has a comfortable, low-profile design.
Vssoplor Wireless Mouse
I will never get over how the Apple wireless mouse charging port is designed so you can’t use it while it’s charging — it deserves a tech Razzie. It’s kind of like a turtle that’s been flipped on its back and can’t get back up. In contrast, this Vssoplor model runs on one AA battery and has over 10,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. You plug the included USB receiver into your laptop or computer to use the mouse wirelessly. When you’re not using the receiver, it stores in the bottom of the mouse so you won’t lose it. It’s responsive, quiet and available in 27 colors.
VidaTeco Handheld Paper Shredder
Until I got this handheld shredder, I had checks and random documents with sensitive information scattered all over my desk. I always swore when I amassed a large enough pile to warrant a trip to FedEx, I’d pay to have them shredded (which is not recommended), but I never got around to it. This compact shredder is perfect for my sporadic shredding needs, and it can even chop up credit cards. It’s only a foot and a half wide, but it can accommodate seven sheets at once. It doesn’t come with a bucket, so I suggest holding it over a trash can while shredding. I’m only disposing of a few sheets at a time so I prefer this space-saving design.
MUNBYN Label Maker
My recent obsession is the shockingly detail-oriented world of home organization influencers. A constant I noticed in videos ranging from pantries to offices was this label maker. It’s a compact thermal printer (only 7.79 inches wide) that prints labels in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors so you can identify files, folders, and containers. It’s also great for shipping labels: you can use it for one-off shipments, though it’s equally functional if you run a small business that ships many orders. For more creative uses, it can also print stickers for gift-wrapping holiday presents.
Heating systems can do a number on your skin in the winter, so I prevent that dried-out feeling with this humidifier that doubles as a diffuser. My throat and skin were so dry after the radiators in my building kicked on, but within a couple of hours of plugging in this discreet machine, I felt back to normal. It takes less than a minute to fill the 2.5-liter reservoir, which can run for 36 hours straight. The replaceable filter ensures contaminates aren’t being spewed into your air, and the parts are dishwasher safe so you can wash them easily. While it’s running, place a Laneige aroma puck (a small blue disc that absorbs essential oils) on top of the humidifier’s grate, add a few drops of Lavender Dream or Peppermint Twist, and your office will smell like a spa.
Aera Mini Diffuser
If you’re looking for a diffuser that won’t take up precious surface area, consider this miniature plug-in version. With five settings (for small to medium room sizes), you can choose just the right concentration of scent. Fragrance options include a collaboration with The Laundress as well as aromatherapy and anti-odor scents. Aera’s aromas are dispensed as ultra-tiny scent molecules (rather than aerosol mist which can be irritating), which fill your space with clean, hypoallergenic fragrance that won’t fade over time.
Happy Wax Mod Wax Warmer
Candles may not feel like an obvious fit for a home office, but if you want to replicate their warmth and scent, try a wax warmer. This device melts scented wax on a silicone pad (for easy cleaning) and you never have to worry about remembering to blow it out. The Happy Wax melts are adorable teddy bear shapes that come in delicious and woody scents like gingerbread, apple jam donut, pine forest, and eucalyptus balsam. For a stronger scent (or a large room), melt a few extra bears and set the automatic timer to power down the device after three, six, or nine hours.
Organization and tools
Poketo Accordion Pro Filer
As a chronic scribbler, I take copious back-of-envelope (and receipt) notes and live in fear of losing these scraps. I keep them all organized with this multi-colored accordion filer. For those who don’t have file cabinet quantities of documents, this compact system is an easy-to-store solution that will fit discreetly on a bookshelf (or the Open Spaces rack mentioned above). It collapses into a self-contained notebook so you won’t have random papers scattered around your office, nor a massive cabinet taking up precious space. I use the colors in lieu of labels, but if you prefer clear markings you can add labels to the tabs at the edge of each of the 12 folders.
Notera Wedge Desktop Whiteboard
Before I discovered the wedge, sticky notes surrounded the edge of my computer. Now, I use a dry-erase pen and check off to-dos and notes to myself in a much neater fashion. The wedge is a tempered glass surface designed to sit between your keyboard and monitor for easy access and readability. It isn’t just a stylish desktop whiteboard, it’s also a storage compartment with a slot to keep your mobile device displayed. The wedge sits at an angle so it’s very comfortable to write on and has helped me minimize the use of wasteful paper products.
It’s easy to get used to a laptop trackpad, but using a mouse is worlds more comfortable for your wrists. That being said, a mouse pad sometimes feels like a necessary (aesthetic) evil. I’ve had a free mousepad for the longest time (with a huge, ugly logo from some sponsored event) and calling it an eyesore is an understatement. This tasteful faux leather pad from the Gathre collection at Anthropologie is the precise opposite of a branded freebie. The asymmetric shape and soft lines will blend in with other organic or sculptural desk decor. If you want to take it a step further, try the Gathre desk caddy, blotter, and more.
Soundance Laptop Stand
I purchased this laptop stand to keep at my parents’ house for week-long (plus) visits after I found myself straining my neck. The massages I’d get to correct the pain cost much more than the $40 price of this stand, and I wish I’d bought it sooner. The difference that elevating the screen to eye level made was huge — the tightness in my neck disappeared right away. A proper WFH setup can make all the difference in comfort and productivity so even though using a stand requires a keyboard and mouse, it’s well worth it. The stand comes in 10 colors (including silver, champagne and purple) and disassembles into three pieces so you can easily fit it in a suitcase for remote working vacations.
VIVO 32-inch Desk Converter
If you have a beautiful antique desk or a tight space that can’t accommodate a motorized standing desk, consider a standing desk converter. They’re not the most eye-catching contraptions, but you get the benefits of a standing desk with an apparatus that you can store in a closet when you need extra tabletop space. This 32-inch device is 28 pounds and raises and lowers smoothly with very little effort.
Open Spaces Entryway Rack
This is the most versatile rack in the home storage game. While it has ‘entryway’ in its name, I use it in my office to free up space on my desk. My printer fits perfectly on the bottom shelf and I use organizing bins for the other shelves to keep it looking tidy. I assembled this sturdy piece alone with the included tools in under ten minutes. Choose from six colors that include black, navy and a limited edition pastel pink.
A quality office chair can easily cost over a thousand dollars. However, If you want the polished look and comfort of one of those high-end beauties, you don’t need to spend a fortune. This Flexispot chair rivals the nicest office chairs at a fraction of the price. You need to assemble it yourself (it took my boyfriend a little over 30 minutes), but for $150 it’s a small price to pay. The super comfortable seat is extra wide (great for my habit of sitting cross-legged) and you can adjust the headrest, armrests, recline angle and height.
Cushion Lab Pressure Relief Seat Cushion
I was such a cushion skeptic before I tried this for myself. For the longest time, my desk seat was a hard acrylic ghost chair and I just accepted discomfort as part of my workday. It was drastic to introduce this cushion to my tailbone, which is still affronted by the fact that I let it suffer for so long. This cushion transforms any chair into an ergonomic dream, and if you’re unwilling to part with a stylish (but painful) chair, this is a genius compromise. It helps relax your hip muscles and improves your posture so eight hours of sitting and staring at a computer screen feels a little less strenuous.
Topo Comfort Standing Desk Mat
After a few days of using a standing desk, I quickly realized that a floor mat would be necessary unless I wanted to develop a new type of back pain. Standing for hours puts a different kind of strain on your body than sitting, but it can become equally achy. This not-too-firm, not-too-soft mat will immediately relieve pressure and feels comfortable both with shoes or barefoot. If you have a hard time distributing your weight evenly it’s much more forgiving than the floor. Use the bump in the center of the mat to massage the ball of your foot and eke out a little more standing time.
UREVO Under Desk Treadmill
Fidgeters rejoice! If you take any excuse to step away from your desk, this treadmill will keep you where you need to be. Consider it the equivalent of a large yoga ball chair with a bit more active participation. Pair this device with a standing desk and keep it at a low walking speed for just the right amount of stimulation. The 17-inch wide belt is enough to walk comfortably without constantly checking if you’re going to fall off. At the end of the workday, you can slide it out from under your desk, attach the removable safety bar, and crank up the speed.
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