It is safe to say that 2020 has been a pretty strange year for a lot of people. A pandemic has surged through the world's population, changing our daily lives significantly. One of the many things that has changed is our working habits. Many people have now, either through choice or through a change to their employer's policy, have made the switch to working from home. Of course, to people who are in fully remote positions already or who operate a flexible schedule with their employers, this is nothing new. However, to a lot of people this is a drastic change and something they are not used to at all.
In order to ensure you remain fully productive when working from home, there are some things you really need. A sturdy desk or table, a light and clean space to work in and, of course, caffeinated beverages to remain alert. However, there are some products available that will significantly improve your experience when working from home. We have spent a lot of time researching some of the products on the market, and combined this with our team's experienced when we transitioned to working from home during the UK's lockdown.
Here's our breakdown of some true 'home office essentials' which will elevate your workspace to the next level.
This guide features products that we believe will make your 'Work from Home' space even better. If you are looking for some tips and ideas for creating the best Home Office space you can, check out this brilliant guide from the British Academy of Interior Design here.
A Leather (Or Faux Leather) Desk Pad
One of the many essentials to make a great home office is a leather desk pad. Of course, you can choose to go with a faux leather option if that is your preference. However, in our experience real leather desk pads are much longer lasting, simply due to the fact that the material is a lot stronger and more hard wearing.
One of the many reasons a desk pad can be considered an essential to any home office is because it keeps your desk safe from damage! Think back to all the times in your working life where you've been working with a hot drink, sliding it across the desk, picking it u and putting it down as well as occasionally spilling your drink all over your desk. I know that's been me over the years. A leather desk pad protects your desk from all kinds of scratches, chips and other damage as it allows you to place all items that are constantly moved on your desk in one place.
Another reason to choose a desk mat for your home office is because it makes it very easy to keep your desk looking neat and tidy. When you have a mat placed on your desk, naturally you will place items like your keyboard, mouse, phone and other bits and bobs onto the desk pad, rather than the desk itself. Not only does this protect your desk as I explained above, but it also keeps a lot of space free on your desk, making it look cleaner instantly.
This handmade leather desk pad from Galen Leather will add a touch of sophistication and style to your workspace. It provides a smooth working surface to write on and can be personalized with your initials. Handmade from 100% vegetable tanned cow leather, its high quality will guarantee years of use.
A Great Floor Lamp
One of the biggest things you need to get right in your home office is lighting. I myself have worked in locations that have poor lighting and I can tell you for a fact that is hampers productivity and happiness no end. One of the easiest and most effective ways to fix this issue is to invest in a high quality floor lamp to place next to your desk. Of course, desk lamps are another way to go and a great option when you are working into the night and need more lighting. However, in our experience, floor lights offer the best lighting solution and are often the most aesthetically pleasing.
When working from home, people can often find themselves changing their working hours to suit other commitments, such as the school run or simply allowing themselves more time to spend with their family during the day. Because of this, working hours are often amended from the standard 9-5 to offer a more flexible solution. Some people will start work early in the morning so they can spend time with their family in the afternoon, whereas others will work longer into the night to give them more of a free morning. This means that they are often working at times when the lighting in their home office is not going to be ideal. Floor lamps can combat this as they are great for lighting up almost any space. Place is closer to your desk for a brighter solution when working, or further away to offer a little ambience and let your desk lamp do it's work, depending on your preference.
The Bamboo Tripod Floor Lamp from Sand Cornwall is a truly great option. Natural laminated bamboo strips are used to make the legs on this tripod and coupled with one of our linen shades giving the perfect look. Sold as a floor lamp tripod base only so that you can choose your shade from our range of shades.
Wireless Charging Pad
It is no secret that mobile phones and wireless headphones are becoming more of a staple in home offices. Many people will use their mobile phones to communicate with clients, employees and colleagues throughout the day, and wireless headphones are a great option when you need to get on with a serious stint of work and need to remain focussed. Due to all of this, devices will quickly run out of charge through the day. Of course, you can charge it with a standard charging cable, but this won't help you if you are a fan of keeping your desk clean and clutter free.
A wireless charging pad is a great option, place it on your desk and hide the one wire that comes with it and you are good to go. You can keep your devices charged throughout the day so they are ready to go when you need them. As working from home as become more prominent, more and more people are transitioning into different ways of communicating with their teams, and mobile is playing a big role in this. Keeping your devices with a good level of charge at all times is crucial.
Eggtronic’s Wireless Charging Stones can transform home offices into a neat space that exhibits elegance and organization. They are a Qi compatible device for charging Apple and Samsung smartphones and wireless earbuds with 10W of charge. Instead of featuring the design of a typical wireless charger, Eggtronic’s product features real stone and marble finishes, with 5 to choose from that match any office aesthetic. They are perfect for keeping the mess of wires beneath anyone’s desk to a minimum, while maximizing functionality and beauty in a home office space.
A Hanging Vase
It's proven that investing in plants for your home office can improve your mood and increase your productivity, however, sometimes people are working with limited space on their desk and on the floor surrounding their desks. With that in mind, the best solution for this would be to invest in a wall-mounted vase to hold some greenery! The greenery itself can either be real or fake, it has the same effect. Fake greenery is, of course, not going to potentially wilt and cause a drop in your mood. So this is something to consider.
Create a relaxing and homey atmosphere for your Zoom meetings by adding a wall-mounted vase to your home office. This Hanging Bud Vase has a 13.75"(H) x 4.5"(L) rectangular wooden back to add a rustic touch to your décor. The metal accents and glass vase provide the ideal holder for long-stemmed seasonal flowers, both real and faux.
A Great Storage Box
Most people prefer a clean desk when they are working, whether that is working from the office or their home. Of course, there are always a few people out there that function better when their desk is cluttered, however this is not the norm. Making sure you are working in a clean and tidy space is an essential to increasing productivity and general happiness when working from home. With that in mind, a great storage box to keep miscellaneous items such as pens, charging cables, business cards and post-it notes stores away neatly is a must.
Not only this, but a storage box can also reduce the risk of items being lost. I cannot possibly tell you how many pens, pencils and other items I have lost simply to not having a clever way to store them, and my work from home situation has been transformed no end since I invested in one.
The acrylic 2 drawers storage box from Minima Basics is the perfect solution for anyone who is looking to start organizing for their dream home office because it is multi-functional. Both aesthetically pleasing and functional, their versatile stackable storage box helps her find exactly what you need while also reminding yourself of what you already have.
A Lovely Rug
Of course, you knew this one was coming. However, the reality is that incorporating a rug into your home office can improve its character and charm no end. There are so many types, sizes and materials available when it comes to choosing the right rug. Whether you are looking for a very hard wearing rug to protect your hard floor from damage caused by task chairs, or a soft rug to add into your space to create a warmer feel. There are so many options.
Another advantage of using a rug, especially if you don't have a spare room available for your home office, is the fact that they help create vital separation. Especially useful if your living room, dining room or bedroom combine as a home office. Using an area rug and placing your desk and chair on top of this can help everyone know the difference between your workspace and your space for everything else. Eliminating blurred lines is key to remaining productive.
To shop all of our available rugs, click here.
A Wall Calendar
No matter whether someone is working from home or the office, they are still as busy as they have ever been. In some cases, even more so! Some people may have chosen to leave jobs to pursue another career or spend more time with their family, others may have simply changed their role since working from home. Not only this, but when a significant number of staff are working from home, the number of phone calls and meetings that need to take place throughout any given day increases. Employers want to ensure their staff are remaining productive whilst being at home.
Because of this, purchasing a large wall calendar is a great way to keep your days, weeks and months organised no matter where you are working from. Easy to hang above your desk or somewhere else that is easily accessible means it is easier than ever before to understand what you have to do and who you have to speak to when working from home.
This super-functional, minimalist wall calendar from Plan the Things comes in two sizes, 24" x 32" (large) and 30" x 40" (giant) so that you see everything you have going on in 2021 in one (long) glance.
Printed on crisp, heavy-weight matte paper, this spacious calendar helps you keep track of all the things, whether you're a parent, student, business owner, side-hustler, maker, or all of the above, all at once.
There's ample room for daily events and deadlines plus dedicated space for monthly focus and notes, so you can plan your things and get them done. There's space for you to make a key if you're a fan of color-coding, plus a section to remember notes or a or theme for the year. When you choose this calendar, you make a plan and a difference; for each calendar sold, one tree is planted.
A Reusable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is key, to most things. Wellness, efficiency and productivity being some key examples. It is incredibly difficult to function at your best, whether you are working from home or anywhere else, if you are dehydrated. With this being said, one of the best things you could invest in for your home office is a high-quality, reusable water bottle. Not only do plastic bottles harm the environment, they create general waste and clutter as well. Not a great solution all round, however a reusable water bottle means you can refill as many times as you wish whilst creating no additional waste for your home.
Reusable water bottles make it easy to stay hydrated, as well as make your desk look cleaner.
This hand-crafted copper water bottle from Copper H2O. In addition to the environmental benefits of a reusable water bottle as I have explained in the section above and the aesthetic qualities of this bottle, recent studies have shown that copper is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral, which makes copper water bottles ideal for an active lifestyle during COVID-19.
A Sit / Stand Desk
The risks of sitting at a desk all day, every working day have long been discussed. From obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and increased levels of fat around the abdominal area. In that same vein, more and more people are now starting to discover that there are risks for standing at a desk too long also, namely an increased risk of heart disease. So, what's the solution? A sit / stand desk is a great investment for your home office due to the simple fact that they allow you to seamlessly transition between standing and sitting. Meaning you can combine your time effectively to mitigate the risks of both sitting and standing for too long.
Of course, not all sit / stand desks are created equally, and some will be worse than others. But there are also many, many great options out there. Despite the higher price, electric sit / stand desks are great options as they tend to be longer lasting, and allow you to set your perfect desk height for sitting and standing, meaning less time is spent finding the perfect height for the desk and more time is spent working.
The Shift Desk 2.0 by ergonofis is a sit / stand desk that absolutely oozes quality and modern aesthetics. The top of the desk is made out of a smart and soft-touch material that is highly resistant to heat and scratches. It's also, note this, anti-fingerprint and anti-microbial which is extremely handy if you want to keep your desk looking clean. You have five sleek matte finishes to choose from that are sure to fit-in to any type of theme that you're going for in your home office. The legs of the desk are very sturdy, quiet, and are able to carry about 300lbs of weight. Another unique feature of this desk is the control module, which is activated by a touch sensor where you can adjust and control the table's height. The buttons are laid out on the top of the control module, so you don't have to worry about accidentally pressing them. Overall, a really great product that will take your home office to the next level in both design and functionality.
A Smart Desk Lamp
Following on from our mentions above of a wireless charging pad and a lamp to ensure you always have the right amount of lighting for productive work, for those working with really limited space, why not combine the two? There are a wide array of smart desk lamps out there to ensure you can keep your vital devices charged and ensure you are not straining your eyes working in low light. This really is the perfect solution for those who only have a limited amount of desk space to work with, but still want to ensure they have all the features they need.
The LumiCharge transforms your workspace from cluttered to organized with its multi-use functions. This lamp features a built-in LED screen that displays helpful information like the time, date and temperature to keep you on time and prepared for most anything. With its motion sensor feature you will never have to worry about stubbing your toe on the corner of your dresser. The LumiCharge is compatible with major smartphones for easy charging and easy storage for smart watches, headphones and more.
A Wellness Journal
Whilst this might seem like a very left field suggestion, it is equally as important as the other suggestions we have made in this blog post. 2020 has been one of the most difficult years for many people, in many ways, not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic surging through populations worldwide. In times like these, it is so incredibly important to ensure you are keeping on top of your wellness and mental health, even during busy days working from home.
A wellness journal is a great way to monitor a wide array of things that should be high on your list, such as your feelings when you wake up in the morning, your nutrition, what you are grateful for and many others. Wellness journals allow you to quickly note down your thoughts on these important topics, without taking too much time out of your day.
The Morning Sidekick Journal from Habit Nest is a great product. It's a guided morning planner that helps you have the best mornings of your life, every day suggests a new tip or idea to try that works great for both early birds and night owls. Each day, you’ll get guidance to, self-reflect with engaging questions, plan your morning in 5 steps, map out your biggest task of the day and get held accountable & beat snoozing.
So there we have it, some essential products to ensure you make a success of working from home, no matter how long you end up working from home for. Some people may make the switch to working from home full time, and that's great! Whereas other people will eventually start moving back into the office as if it was 2019 again. Good times, huh? However, just because you stop working from home eventually, does not mean that you need to stop using these products. These products are very easily transferrable into an office environment in most cases and will ensure you remain as productive as possible wherever you work.
If you have any more suggestions as to what would make a home office great, feel free to get in touch using [email protected].