Trust me, I do this full time.

By Stephanie Perry
March 13, 2020

Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? Given recent health concerns and developments around the coronavirus outbreak, many of us now find ourselves working from home. And while taking these necessary precautions to keep you and your community safe is a wonderful thing, working remotely is definitely an adjustment, and your space may not feel as office-ready as you might like. 

RELATED: You Can Still Shop These Coronavirus-Killing Disinfectants

But I’m here to help. As a full-time remote employee, I know a thing or two about making your home feel conducive for an 8-hour workday. And while a desk and comfy office chair are great places to start, it may not be worth the splurge if this is a temporary solution for you—or if you live in a tiny city apartment. Instead, scroll on for the top 10 work from home essentials that have helped me stay motivated, focused, and comfortable all day—and can do the same for you. 

LapGear Home Office Lap Desk

Amazon

If you live in an apartment, you may not have room to fit a spare desk. Despite not necessarily having the space, I’ve still found it helpful to carve out a little spot that’s solely reserved for work—which is why I love this lap desk. The innovative design provides a dedicated spot for your laptop, phone, and mousepad while allowing you to work from the comfort of your couch or bed. Plus, the under-$30 find is a great travel companion for future work trips (it comes with a carrying handle for easy transport!). 

Available at amazon.com, $30 (was $35)

Everlasting Comfort Lumbar Support

Amazon

If you do plan on working from your kitchen table, might I suggest some added comfort? Kitchen chairs are notoriously stiff and uncomfortable, and clocking 8-plus hours sitting on one will do your spine no favors. This lumbar support pillow is made of 100 percent pure memory foam and has a contoured structure to help support your back and lower spine. The adjustable straps move to fit your needs and can be secured tightly to any chair that calls for a little extra support.

Available at amazon.com, from $25

Intelligent Change Productivity Planner 

Amazon

Want to know the biggest pro—and con—of working from home? No one is there to micromanage you. I find I can actually be much more efficient while I’m working from home, but only if I set myself up for success—which is why I love my productivity planner. This planner allows you to get focused, rate your tasks by importance, and stay mindful of your goals—so by the time you shut your laptop at night, you’llfeel like you made the most of your day. 

Available at amazon.com, $25

Theralite Aura Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Amazon

Typically, office buildings have high ceilings, large windows, and plenty of natural sunlight. The same can not always be said of homes and apartments. To combat the drowsiness or laziness you may feel when working at home, opt for a light therapy lamp that mimics outdoor sunshine. Not only will it illuminate your space with its glare-free white light, but it can also help boost your energy and mood so you can feel more productive. 

Available at amazon.com, $47 (was $70)

COWIN Noise Cancelling Headphones

Amazon

One surprising thing I learned from working out of my apartment every day? I’m not the only one. Plenty of people forgo typical 9-to-5 office jobs, which means I’m often left dealing with crying babies next door, noisy upstairs neighbors, and the occasional piano lesson or two while I’m trying to take a conference call. Do yourself a favor and invest in a quality pair of noise-cancelling bluetooth headphones. I suggest this pair that has over 15,000 5-star reviews and is available in 6 fun colors. 

Available at amazon.com, from $60

TIJN Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Amazon

Blue light blocking glasses are a great accessory for anyone staring at a screen for a long period of time—but they’re especially effective if you’re working remotely. I find I spend more time on my laptop and less time getting up and walking around when I’m working in my apartment, and my eyes certainly feel the effects. These blue light blocking glasses have saved me more than once from an impending headache. Plus, they’re affordable and stylish.

Available at amazon.com, $17

MaxKare Electric Heated Throw Blanket

Amazon

If you’re going to hunker down in one spot all day, you might as well feel comfy and cozy while doing it. The MaxKare Heated Blanket comes with 3 customized heating levels to best match your preference, is machine-washable, and shuts off automatically after 3 hours in case you forget to turn it off. Plus, the power cable is nearly 10 feet long, so you can carry this blanket with you wherever you go. 

Available at amazon.com, $42 (orig. $70)

Zeetra Mini Desk Humidifier and Diffuser

Amazon

You know what they say, a cluttered space causes a cluttered mind. And while I can’t provide you with tips for keeping your home immaculate (I’m still working on this myself) I do find keeping a diffuser by my laptop has helped me feel more calm, relaxed, and focused. I love this humidifier and diffuser duo because it not only makes my space feel zen, but it also prevents the air from becoming too dry, which can result in chapped links and parched skin. Bonus: Humidifiers have been shown to ease some common cold and flu symptoms caused by dryness in the air, which is especially helpful this time of year. 

Available at amazon.com, $22 (orig. $30)

BuildLife 1 Gallon Water Bottle

Amazon

My biggest work from home tip? Hydrate, hydrate, and then hydrate again. There’s been too many days when the clock hits 5 p.m. and I realize my only beverage of the day was my morning cup of coffee. Instead of making this mistake, fill this motivating, 1-gallon water bottle in the morning and use the encouraging markers to ensure you’re hydrated throughout the day. Editor tip: Add a straw to sip throughout the day—lifting a full gallon water bottle is no easy feat. 

Available at amazon.com, from $19

Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes

Amazon

Last but certainly not least, these electronic cleaning wipes are a work from home staple of mine. Unlike other electronic wipes that will only pick up dust and finger print streaks, these wipes also work to safely remove germs and bacteria from your surfaces. I keep mine by my laptop as a reminder to routinely wipe down my screens throughout the day. At only $17, I suggest stocking up on the 210 count and keeping some in your purse for your smartphone as well. 

Available at amazon.com, $17 for 210

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