10 Things You Need For a Better Working From Home Experience
It’s been an interesting time the past few months, with COVID-19 and everything we and our nations have done to keep us safe. Our lives as we know them have changed tremendously and our daily routines have been altered so much that we don’t know when we’ll go back to normal. This IS our new normal. It’s a weird time out there and my heart goes out to those who’ve lost loved ones due to coronavirus, those who couldn’t visit their loved ones due to the travel bans, those who’ve lost their jobs and those who’ve had to adjust their work and life schedules to take care of their kids or family members who’ve contracted the virus. We’re the lucky ones, those of us who’ve managed to keep our jobs or who’ve been able to find ways to work remotely. All you entrepreneurs out there too! I see you hustling and adapting to our situation, still finding ways to be creative, innovative and make your business bloom.
A large percentage of us still in the workforce have migrated to working from home. Something like 40% (of Canadian workers) are now working from their own bed/closet/living room and the majority of that 40% are loving it. These people have also stated that they’d prefer to continue working from home once the pandemic is over. (CTV News Canada) Our world is changing and so will our workplace! I know it’s been a couple of months that most of us have been working remotely, but as this stretches out to be longer than we expected – for some, a permanent migration from office to home – there are a number of things that have helped me have a perfect workspace at home and I just had to share the love!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, if you click the links and make a purchase, I’ll make a small commission.
1. Everyday Journal
Journaling was honestly never my thing until I started spending weeks, now months, at home. I became too used to crawling out of bed at the last minute and onto the computer without changing, brushing my teeth, having breakfast, or drinking water: literally the most important things you can do for yourself to set your day up for success! Taking a few minutes in the morning to go over your goals, intentions and things you’re grateful for are so important to revive your mind and spirit before starting your work day. This journal is the perfect place for me to jot down my daily reminders, some devotions, a to-do list and my food and water consumption. It’s easy to get in the habit of eating the first thing you find in the fridge or pantry, with no regard of what’s healthy. Trust me, I’ve had days where I somehow survived on popcorn and vegetable crackers. Having the ability to write it down encourages me to make healthier food choices throughout the day. Or making a goal in writing first thing in the morning to get outside or do a short workout keeps me accountable to accomplish it before I end my day.
The one daily journal that I love is the Everyday Journal made by Sarah McNaughton from Balance By Sarah (sold at Outside The Shape)!
To purchase this journal online, you can shop here!
2. Dry-Erase Calendar
I love love love calendars. Especially ones I can put up on my wall and reuse over and over again. There’s something about writing down important dates and deadlines throughout each month, and checking them off each day that goes by, that gets me giddy inside. Am I the only one who feels this way?
You can get them on Amazon:
- The gold framed calendar
- The black framed bulletin calendar
- The silver framed calendar (comes with dry-erase marker, magnets and self-stick pads)
3. Smart/Bluetooth Speaker
Being able to play music aloud in my workspace is one of the best things that has come out of working from home. A normal speaker is great to have to blast some tunes and get productive, a Bluetooth speaker is even better, but an AI smart speaker knocks the others out of the park. I do find joy in the simplicity of Bluetooth speakers: being able to play any music from your phone, whether downloaded or from YouTube or any video/audio streaming site/app. But a smart speaker does this and so much more, and they are highly affordable nowadays. Google Home Mini’s can be found for $35 CAD! Amazon’s Echo’s can be found at similar price points too. You can do so much with AI smart speakers: play music (of course), ask for directions, do a quick search, call someone… It’s your own personal assistant, and you can set it up to do so much more, but the bear minimum is enough for me to tell you: GET THIS PRODUCT. It’s so worth it!
My favourite and affordable smart speaker options:
4. Ergonomic Chair
One of the most important things to maintain as a desk worker is our back support. Sitting in one spot for 8+ hours can cause some major problems down the road if we’re not actively trying to keep good posture. Most chairs out there aren’t designed for an ergonomic workspace with proper comfort and lumbar support, so it’s tricky to find a chair within a reasonable price range that will help keep the tension out of your back. Here’s one that’s both more affordable and meets the criteria for an ergonomic swivel chair! If you’re looking for something better and are okay to fork up some more money for the benefit of your posture, consider investing in a gamer’s chair. There are tons of fantastic ones on the market!
Get this chair here!
5. Lumbar Roll
If you don’t have an ergonomic chair for your workspace (I know, they can be steep in price), the next best thing is a lumbar roll. These things are extremely affordable and make a world of a difference. Next time you go to the chiropractor or masseuse – it’s probably been a long time since your last appointment – you won’t be crying in agony when he/she starts digging into your back. Of course, a lumbar roll doesn’t excuse us from stretching regularly. Working from home makes us susceptible to tight joints and muscles because we aren’t in the habit of moving as much as we are when we get out of the house daily. But this lumbar roll will aid in keeping better posture when you sit at your home desk for eight hours a day.
This highly rated lumbar pillow is currently on sale!
6. Mousepad & Wrist Rest
This is something you should already have if you’ve ever spent more than a day working at a computer, but mousepads are a must (for mouse users) to not want to beat the crap out of your mouse when it doesn’t go your way. A desk mat is the perfect item to provide vast mobility for where your mouse goes, but it also protects your work desk and serves as a coaster for your endless cups of coffee. This PU leather desk mat not only looks aesthetically pleasing, it feels that way too and implements soft edges for your work area. For ergonomic purposes, I highly recommend getting a wrist rest for your keyboard and mouse. Your wrists and hands will thank you after your 12-hour day of typing and clicking away.
You can get them on Amazon:
7. Phone Stand
One of the benefits of working from home is the ability to watch things on your phone. There, I said it! If you haven’t thought of watching that episode of Tiger King or whatever binge-worthy show you’ve been craving to watch right from your desk, you’re lying. A phone stand will make a world of a difference for all your future video-streaming. But in all seriousness, as a drafter/designer, it’s incredibly helpful to have this tool when implementing information from my site visit photos straight to AutoCAD. A phone stand also makes it much easier to spot incoming phone calls, texts, emails if your phone is on silent. And any phone stand that has a charging cable or wireless charging capabilities is a bonus.
So many great options for phone accessories on Amazon:
I find that my feet get unhappily cold and clammy now that I work at home without wearing shoes. At the office, shoes kept my feet warm enough not to bug me, but at home, regardless of the season, sitting at a desk in socks doesn’t keep my feet cozy. To defeat cases of cold feet, I find that a pair of slippers or loungers does the trick.
9. Braided Charging Cord
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve run over my own phone cords, stepped on them or accidentally damaged them by forgetting my phone was still plugged in. Ever since I’ve converted to braided charging cables, I have not once needed a replacement. Dirt also doesn’t cling to braided cords like it does to the standard white ones we get with our phones. If you wreck your phone charger, don’t bother getting a new one – get a set of the braided ones for much cheaper and they’ll last you a lifetime (or at least until wired charging is a thing of the past)!
10. Note Pad
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Notes app on my Mac and Microsoft OneNote for work, but I find so much satisfaction, and better reminders, when I write stuff down physically and display it right on my desk to easily spot. To-do lists never go unchecked when I have a notepad with my checklists right in front of me at all times, whether my computer is open or not on the notes apps.
What keeps you organized, productive and focused when working from home? Did I miss anything that you cherish greatly day-to-day in your home office? Let me know downbelow what you would add!