Given the current pandemic and that most people are now being forced to work from home, there has never been a greater emphasis on having a home office until now.
Pre-pandemic, the idea of working from home, or working out of a home office was mainly associated with people such as entrepreneurs, freelancers, or business owners.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably used to working in an office with the hustle and bustle around you.
Yet now, we’re all alone.
We’ve all been forced to commit to the confines of our home, with the expectation that we remain equally as productive as before.
Working from home has been a radical change for some.
For others, it’s a change that has been most certainly welcomed. The opinions vary greatly.
I, like one of many, had to quickly adapt to the change in environment, and although I had worked from home previously, it was never for a period as long as this one and neither was it forced.
Nevertheless, with top companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft expecting their employees to continue working remotely until at least 2021, we need to learn to embrace our new, makeshift home offices and try to optimise the experience as best as we can.
After all, if the growing expectation is to continue working remotely until 2021, then it is imperative to ensure that we provide ourselves with an environment where we can work productively and for the long-term.
To be able to work durably, we need to ensure that our bodies are comfortable and ergonomic.
Besides, who would want to work uncomfortably?
As a result, I figured I needed to invest in only four essentials.
With just these items, not only have I seen my productivity improve, but I’ve found I can work for longer and more comfortably.
So today, I’m going to share with you these four items I invested into that have bettered my work from home experience. I’ll also be sharing the links to the ones I purchased for myself!
An Ergonomic Mouse
There are two main reasons as to why I would recommend an ergonomic mouse as essential.
The first is that it can be extremely frustrating, time-wasting and counter-productive trying to do your work with a tiny laptop trackpad.
In my case, sometimes I deal with spreadsheets and large amounts of data. Being able to scroll through and go from cell-to-cell using a trackpad honestly can take a while.
It was only after I purchased a mouse on Amazon where I found I was able to navigate on my laptop a lot faster, meaning that I could do more in a shorter amount of time and hence, be more productive.
The second reason is that it’s most likely that you are spending approximately 6 to 8 hours working every single day, 5 days a week.
That’s a lot of time to be putting constant stress and pressure on your fingers and wrist.
As a result, purchasing not just a mouse, but an ergonomic one can save your hands from chronic pain and damage.
So not only did I find that using a mouse led me to become more efficient in my work, but my hand felt a lot more comfortable doing so.
My Ergonomic Mouse: https://amzn.to/30grrMR
A Seat Cushion
After long periods of time, I often experience strong lower back and tailbone pain from sitting in my office chair.
Of course, the obvious solution would be to stand up and have a walk around the house. However, more times than I would like, I’m often caught in back-to-back meetings from morning to the late afternoon.
This means that I rarely get an opportunity to go for a quick walk around the house, or even stand up, as I’ll be occupied dialling in from one meeting to the next.
When I was in the office, I at least had the opportunity to be able to stand up and walk from meeting to meeting. Now, that’s more of a luxury.
After continuous aches and tailbone pain, I eventually discovered the wonders of an ergonomic seat cushion.
The cushion acts to relieve the pressure caused by your body weight compressing against the surface of the seat.
I’ve honestly found this item almost vital for my day-to-day, and I believe it should be a staple for every home office out there.
My Seat Cushion: https://amzn.to/3h48nHy
A Monitor Stand
If you’ve taken any ergonomics course ever, something that is always recommended is to position your monitor height at eye level (or slightly below).
As such, I’ve found that investing in a monitor stand not only places my monitor at an appropriate viewing position so that it doesn't put a strain on my neck or shoulders, it also saves desk space, meaning that desk clutter is reduced.
There’s a plethora of monitor stands on Amazon; however, I am personally a big fan of the Jelly Comb monitor stand (link below; not sponsored).
Not only does it elevate my monitor, but it also has a built-in phone stand, drawer for storage, as well as a tablet stand.
I use a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet for work, and so I love that I’m able to place it right into the tablet stand in front of the monitor.
This means that I don’t constantly have to be looking back and forth between my tablet and the monitor, potentially placing strain on my neck.
I can see both screens in one go, and with minimal movement from my neck.
Of course, this is just my personal favourite, any other monitor stand should do the job!
My Monitor Stand: https://amzn.to/3h3msFb
If you’re like me, my house is never quiet.
This means I’m constantly being disrupted, either when I’m trying to focus on desk work, or in a meeting.
Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, sometimes it’s downright annoying.
As a result, investing in a good quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones will do you a definite service. It will allow you to work in peace and comfort.
You don’t need to purchase an expensive pair with superior audio quality (unless you’re an audiophile).
As you’ll most likely be primarily using it for meetings (and blocking out background noise when you’re doing desk work), you should prioritise finding a pair that is comfortable and has great noise-cancellation.
My Noise-Cancelling Headphones: https://amzn.to/3f31MeQ