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Must-Have Home Office Supplies

01 January 2024

An effective, comfortable, and productive work-from-home setup requires a number of home office supplies. Now, people either underestimate or overestimate their home office requirements, and find themselves struggling in either of these cases.

For this reason, it is important to be able to distinguish between the items that you have to have, and those that you can forgo for the time being but might need later on. This comprehensive guide will help you make these distinctions and create a home office that is functional and efficient.

Must-Have Home Office Supplies:



Laptop:

A laptop offers a great deal more versatility than a conventional desktop – the kind of versatility that is invaluable when it comes to working from home. With a laptop, you can change your working areas within and beyond your home, and even keep tabs on your work while you are on holiday in a different country or continent.

If you want added flexibility, you can choose an ultraportable laptop. These laptops are more lightweight than regular laptops, which makes them far easier to carry and store.

Keep in mind that a laptop is a long-term investment, which means that you should carefully consider the needs of your work or business before purchasing one.



Laptop Stand:

If you do buy a laptop for your home office, we also recommend complementing it with a laptop stand. We know how common hunching over a laptop is, and we are equally well-aware of the negative health repercussions of this posture –especially when it is maintained for extended periods of time.

Not having an ergonomic laptop stand can lead to neck, shoulder, and lower-back pain. And the longer this problem goes unaddressed, the tighter and more painful these muscles become.

Sometimes, it can take years of medication and physiotherapy to address this issue, while more severe cases leave sufferers with no option but to take the surgical route. Even then, none of these treatment methods can promise a complete reversal of the problem, and people are often left with some residual and permanent pain, stiffness, or immobility.

Hence, like always, prevention is better than cure, and one of the best ways to prevent this problem is by using a laptop stand. Laptop stands elevate the laptop screen so that it is parallel to your eyes. This means that you can work in a healthy, upright position without having to hunch over.

An added benefit of a laptop stand is that it remedies the airflow issues that often stem from keeping the laptop on flat surfaces for hours on end.



Keyboard and Mouse:

Observing our emphasis on healthy working postures has probably already made you deduce that we do not recommend using the default track-pad and keyboard on the laptop. A laptop track-pad and keyboard is quite damaging to your posture and wrists – damage that only magnifies with time.

Hence, whether you go for a desktop setup or a laptop, you will need the right kind of mouse and keyboard to effectively operate your computer.

There are numerous models and brands to choose from, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. For instance, while wireless models offer greater flexibility, they will require you to have extra batteries handy at all times.

On the other hand, wired models might be messier and harder to set up, but you will never have to worry about running out of batteries right in the middle of an urgent project.

Also, regardless of the type of keyboard and mouse you go for, we strongly recommend you to invest in an adjustable keyboard tray. This tray can significantly boost the ergonomics of your home office, reduce your risk of musculoskeletal problems, and increase comfort and productivity. If you are looking for recommendations, the Clamp-On Adjustable Keyboard Tray by FlexiSpot is one of our personal favorites.



Adjustable Desk:

The desk is at the very heart of any work-from-home setup, and is an essential determinant in your productivity, comfort, and efficiency.

There is no dearth of information about the harms and dangers of prolonged sitting, and how standing during the workday is a much healthier substitute. As per Healthline, standing can:

Reduce blood sugar levels

Reduce the probability of weight-gain and obesity

Reduce the probability of cardiovascular diseases

Prevent and alleviate back pain resulting from prolonged sitting

This is just a small bunch of the benefits associated with standing. However, although standing is definitely advantageous, prolonged standing comes with its own set of problems. Hence, movement, or alternation between sitting and standing, is what you should be aiming for – and this is where an adjustable desk comes into the picture (or, rather, comes into your home office).

These adjustable desks allow you to increase or reduce their height by manually turning a handle or, in the case of more expensive options, by pushing a button.

With adjustable standing desks, you enjoy the freedom of switching between standing and sitting positions throughout the workday and, as a result, steer clear of the fatigue, pains, and aches associated with spending too much time in the same position.

Needless to say, then, an adjustable standing desk is a worthwhile investment for anyone working from home (or planning to do so in the near future).



Ergonomic Chair:

As far as your health is concerned, your desk chair is perhaps even more important than the desk itself. Often, office chairs do not have what it takes to keep you in the comfortable and in the correct position while working.

Ergonomic chairs present the solution to this problem. Even though these chairs are generally larger and more complexly designed than their un-ergonomic counterparts, this is not without good reason.

Ergonomic chairs actively address the specific areas of pain and discomfort in the human body and, as a result, provide optimal comfort and support.

Below are a few factors to consider when buying an ergonomic chair:

Lumbar (lower-back support), especially with regards to your lumbar curvature

Whether the chair and armrests height is adjustable or not; ideally, the feet should be flat on the floor (no dangling) and the arms should make a 90-degree angle with your shoulders

Whether the chair rolls (rolling chairs are allow you to move around and reach for things without straining yourself)

Whether the chair comes with a swivel base (this, too, helps with strain avoidance)



Noise-Canceling Headphones:

Distraction and procrastination are often two of the biggest concerns for work-from-home employees and employers.

With noise-canceling headphones, you can get right into the work zone. Whether you use these headphones to play your favorite music, or to create a sense of focus and silence, the noise-cancellation feature itself makes these headphones a valuable presence in any home-office.



High-Speed Internet:

That is an obvious one, isn't it? However, high-speed is the operative term here.

Many people who are new to working from home tend to overlook the considerably higher internet speed required for work-related tasks, in comparison to the internet speed needed for browsing through Facebook or doing a bit of online shopping.

Working from home means that you will have to conduct and participate in video conferences involving your clients and colleagues.

If you are writing up code or preparing a presentation for a client, you will need to frequently send large MBs or GBs of files.

None of these tasks are possible without a high-speed internet connection. The last thing that you want is to have your video call disconnected or to have to spend hours downloading a file that would have taken minutes with a speedier internet.

Hence, if you are preparing to work from home, you should revisit the internet packages that your provider offers, and consider upgrading to something faster. This will save you a lot of stress and frustration down the road, and will keep you from having to compromise on your efficiency.



File Cabinet:

Every work-from-home journey begins with a spotless desk. However, it is not long before that spotless desk turns into a desk-less spot, the desk disappearing under piles and piles of notes, documents, and folders. Not only does this make your home office messy and disorganized, it also causes you to lose valuable time as you try to find a single needle of a document in a haystack of papers and files.

Hence, file cabinets are essential to keeping your home office tidy and organized, and for making the most of every minute that you spend working.

Thankfully, file cabinets are no longer the gray sterile boxes that they used to be. Today, you have any number of design and style options at your disposal, allowing you to choose a file cabinet that complements your office furniture and color scheme.

Final Word:

To sum up, working from home comes with a lot of advantages, but only if you do not shy away from investing in your home office. The eight essentials discussed in this guide will go a long way in helping you create the kind of home office that you look forward to working in every morning.