It was over a year ago when the working world was suddenly forced to go remote. Any sudden, seismic shift to the global culture at large is bound to end up with more than a few impulse buys. These may or may not have included:
But now that we're more than a year through the remote work cultural shift, we wanted to find out which WFH essentials were actually essential — meaning they're actually used daily, and not collecting dust in a closet.
So we turned to a group of the most knowledgeable office equipment connoisseurs slash WFH experts in the biz — our fellow Xoloans. Here's a list of the WFH essentials that they swear by:
Simple, unobtrusive, yet surprisingly complicated. An office chair must keep you comfy and relaxed yet alert and productive. It must be easily adjustable so you can customise it at a moment's notice. It must provide superior lumbar support so your body isn't left feeling like it was hit by a freight train at the end of the work day. It should provide arm support, too, unless you plan on typing for 8 hours straight, 5 days a week.
And if you're not looking to make that much of a monetary commitment right now, this ComfiLife Memory Foam seat cushion will make you feel like you're sitting on a cloud!
Even if you exercise every day, studies have shown that sitting too much can elevate your risk for everything from heart disease, to obesity, to back and neck pain.
That's why some sort of standing disk is essential for anyone who spends a significant amount of their work day in front of the computer! It keeps you active while increasing productivity and alertness. And if you're not ready to go all-out and splurge on a standing desk, a standing desk converter can be a more economical option!
There are about a million reasons to have multiple monitors, which is probably why it was one of the most-mentioned WFH essentials on this list. Having multiple monitors gives a NASA-level boost to your productivity while reducing eye strain and back pain. We're guessing it's probably because you don't have to hunch over a single teeny tiny laptop screen.
Another under-recognised reason to invest in multiple monitors? The number of screens you have is directly correlated with how cool and important you look.
You've likely seen these giant water jugs floating around in promoted posts on social media. You know, the ones with markers on them that help you monitor how much water you should be drinking throughout the day. They're also big enough to comfortably house all the pet fish on your block!
But what if less really is more? Our Customer Onboarding Manager (Spain) has a unique, some would even say retro — approach to the daily battle to remain appropriately hydrated. Instead of a military grade canteen, he suggests using something you already have in your kitchen: a simple, elegant water glass.
No, it won't aggressively communicate that you're way behind on your water consumption quota. But the action of getting up to fill your glass throughout the day forces you to periodically take a break from your screen and stretch your legs. And that's not such a bad thing, either!
Because productivity. Our Marketing Manager recommends investing in a mousepad with wrist support. First, it'll instantly eliminate those distracting clicking and dragging sounds that slowly sends your partner into a daily rage spiral.
And second, because "Carpal tunnel is no joke."
A good microphone is a must, especially if you're working with a global team and navigating different accents. A semi-pro mic will be a slightly higher price point — around €100. But crystal clear audio with no feedback or ambient sounds make it worth every penny. The Rode NT USB mic and Blue Yeti USB mic were specifically recommended as they're universally compatible, low-maintenance, and fantastic quality.
The value of a good pair of noise cancelling headphones has probably never been more universally understood than after this year. If you're trapped in a building with a screaming infant, an over-dramatic dog, a construction crew — or even all of the above (thoughts and prayers), a good pair of headphones will help you leave it all behind. Bose was a noted favourite for silencing the noise and finally getting some work done.
You're probably thinking, "I already have one of those and it's built right into my laptop!" And that's the beauty of the webcam. First, you don't have to worry about readjusting your laptop for every zoom call. Second, you can keep the webcam closed all the time which protects your security, and eliminates the panic of joining a call without realising your camera is on.
A quality Wi-Fi mesh system (TP Link Deco is a noted favourite) means you can pace around your apartment or house to your hearts content without losing signal connection.
A camera light, such as the social media influencer must-have Ring Light, will help show you and your surroundings in your best light. If the reviews are to be believed, this little light will make you look younger(?), more alert, and less like a person who has been trapped inside all year.
Dry, controlled air can quickly dry out your skin, no matter how much water you're drinking (see above). That's why it can be a good idea to incorporate a desk humidifier into your home office repertoire.
This cute little cactus desk humidifier doubles as something pretty to look at to give your eyes a break from the screen (this was another insightful product suggestion we received).
To sum up, home office essentials will help you maintain peak productivity and streamline communication with your team — without making your body feel like you recently took a tumble off a cliff.
Oh, and we wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't mention one last home office essential....
Gotta send out an invoice to a client? Have you been procrastinating because that client is located in another country and you're worried it'll turn into a huge hassle? Xolo Go is a one of a kind, pay-as-you-go solution that says, "Why don't I take this off your hands?" in response to all those annoying freelance admin tasks. Find out how Xolo Go can make your life as a freelancer 100x easer, here.
Disclaimer: Xolo is not earning affiliate money from any of the products featured in this post. The author simply enjoys shopping for home office equipment.
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