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Working from home went from a temporary result of the pandemic to a way of life. While there’s no surefire method of knowing how long it will take for employees to permanently return to the office and students to get back in classrooms, working or distance learning from home comes with its own set of perks and challenges. To streamline the process for you, we put together a list of work-from-home essentials that will upgrade your workspace and (hopefully) make your life a tiny bit easier.
See our picks below.
Provided that you already have a desk (click here if you don’t), a proper office chair should be one of the most important pieces in your workroom setup. This Branch Furniture ergonomic chair is a moderately priced investment piece at just over $300. Designed in Italy, the adjustable chair provides exceptional support for different shapes and sizes. It has 3D armrests plus height, tilt and tilt tension, seat depth, a removable lumbar rest, a double-layered mesh backrest and high-density cushion that supports up to 300 pounds and eight hours of work. There’s also an option to add a mesh headrest to your order for an additional $50.
Buy: $339 at Branchfurniture.com.
Headphones and earbuds are a necessity, especially if you have multiple people in or around your work area. Regardless of what the workday throws your way, it’s always nice to have a pair of noise-canceling headphones within arm’s reach. The Lenovo ThinkPad1 Active Noise Cancellation Headphones are a great choice at a budget price. These headphones feature 14 hours of play time and quick-charge capabilities (15 minutes of charging gets you two hours-worth of power) and comfortable earmuffs for long work sessions. If earbuds are more your speed, AirPods are on sale for $100. Other options worth considering: the Jabra Elite 75t True Wireless Earbuds ($99) and Beats Fit Pro earbuds.
Buy: $125.99 at Lenovo.com.
Zoom and other video conferencing apps will be the norm for the foreseeable future, so why not invest in a webcam? An external camera can help you appear clearer onscreen in comparison to a built-in camera. Although webcams can range in price from $10 to $1,000 for more advanced models, you can find a decent option for around $50. Logitech’s C920 Pro webcam is one of the best camera options in its price point. The camera features a dual mic to capture more realistic sound from a wider-angle range of angles, a 78-degree diagonal field of view to perfectly frame you and your space, adjustable autofocus and RightLight 2 technology that automatically adjusts to your lighting needs. The camera records in full HD at 1080p/30fps or 720p/30fps, and there’s a lens cover to protect your privacy when the webcam isn’t being used. And if your work space happens to be far from your router, purchase a WiFi extender to strengthen your Internet connection.
Buy: $69 at Amazon.com.
Video Conferencing Light
Ring lights and square-shape video conferencing lights can double as mood lighting for your space, and they’ll make you appear brighter onscreen. If you want an all-in-one package, try the Video Conferencing Lighting Kit from Lume Cube. The kit comes with a mini LED light with laptop monitor mount, a silicon white softening diffuser, USB adapter and charging cable. For something less pricy, check out this Selfila lighting kit.
Buy: $69.99 at Lumecube.com.
Laptop stands are designed to relieve strain on your neck, shoulders and back for a more ergonomic work experience. They also help with your posture and you can use them to raise your computer up a few inches to see the screen more clearly. The stand pictured above comes with three adjustable buttons that can raise screen height between 5 to 8 inches. The aluminum stand holds up to 8.8 pounds and is compatible with Macbooks, Lenovo, Acer, Dell, Chromebook and other laptops between 10 and 15.6 inches.
Buy: $28.99 at Amazon.com.
Studies have shown that lighting levels can affect your mood. When searching for a perfect desk lamp, be sure to note price, durability and overall function. Some lights have charging stations included so that you can power up your devices while illuminating in the room. For a no frills, budget-friendly option try the Valencia Desk Lamp by Project 62. The stylish lamp comes with an energy-efficient light bulb.
Buy: $45 at Target.com.