ARTICLE – To combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many companies are asking their employees to leave the office and work from home. This might sound great in theory, because who wouldn’t want to work 8 hours a day in their pajamas while eating Cheerios? But in reality, not everyone’s home or apartment is set up as a work environment. Here are 5 items that you need to make working from home a little more comfortable.
1. Standing desk
You might not have a standing desk at your day job’s office, but adding one to your home office will definitely make those 8 hours more comfortable than hunching over your laptop on your couch.
Standing desks obviously get you up and out of your chair, which can help prevent back issues, and can even help you focus on the task at hand. We’ve reviewed several standing desks over the years and I personally like the ones that are designed to easily go from standing to sitting without special tools or much effort. As an example, the iMovr ZipLift standing desk is pictured above. Check out some of our other standing desk reviews.
If you don’t have an existing desk, table, or counter to use as a desk, you can buy a freestanding desk like the Edge Desk System kneeling desk. This desk can fold away when you’re not using it, which makes it perfect for small spaces.
If you want to really go over and beyond, you can add some exercise to your desk by checking into a portable treadmill like the Versadesk Ultra-Thin Office Treadmill or the Flexispot desk that has a built-in exercise bike that even tracks your “distance” and can be used as a standing desk.
2. External monitor
I have dual Dell monitors flanking my 15 inch Dell laptop at the desk where I work at Cummins. Trying to replicate similar setups at home might not be feasible due to space constraints, but you can add a smaller external monitor to your laptop like the Lepow 15.6-inch USB-C portable display shown above. These types of monitors don’t require an AC adapter which takes up another outlet in your office, because they only need to plugin to a USB-C port on your laptop.
3. Power strips
Speaking of power, adding another computer, extra monitors, etc to your home means you’ll need more power outlets, so consider getting an updated power strip that includes surge protection like the Eve Energy Strip power strip shown above. This particular power strip is also compatible with Apple HomeKit which means it can be controlled via Siri voice commands.
4. Amazon Echo or another smart speaker
I like to listen to music as I work and I typically use earbuds so I won’t have to listen to my coworkers while I’m trying to focus on fixing someone’s Matlab issue (yay for IT!), but at home, I’d rather just play music in the background and keep my ears free of buds. One way to do that is streaming music to a Bluetooth speaker from my phone, but I’m lazy and prefer to just tell my speaker what to play. My favorite smart speaker/voice assistant is Alexa and Amazon Echo Dot speakers. I love being able to say “Alexa play Old Dominion” and the tunes start flowing like magic. I also like being able to use multiple Echo speakers as an intercom to ask Jeanne to bring me a snack from the kitchen when I’m working downstairs. She’ll probably just tell me to get it myself, but sometimes I get lucky! 😉
5. Office chair
Just as a nice desk is important, you will also want a comfortable chair to make those long hours in from of the computer less painful for your lower back and your posterior region. 🙂 Pictured above is the Vanspace chair and you can read more of our office chair reviews for other ideas.