Picture it: you wake up on a Monday morning, motivated and ready to fall in love with your workday. Your study is your favourite room in the house and you love every moment of being in it. Ready to make this a reality? Read on for the top 10 things you need to invest in to elevate your work-from-home experience and keep the good vibes going from 9 to 5 and beyond.
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Above all else, an ergonomic desk chair is of utmost importance in your home office. A chair that encourages good posture can help prevent compounding trauma to your back. Plus, a comfy chair isn’t just better for your health – it can noticeably improve productivity. Look for chairs with adjustable height, padded seating and a backrest with lumbar support. You may also find that you’re more comfortable in a chair with armrests. KERDOM Comfortable Computer Chair, Amazon, $323.
Take a Stand
If you’ve ever worked off of a laptop from the normal height of a desk, you may have found it a little uncomfortable. That’s not uncommon – ergonomically speaking, the top of your monitor should be level with your eye. To achieve this, elevate your device atop a laptop stand. We love the stylish option pictured but for added functionality, we recommend trying one with adjustable height. EPN Laptop Holder, Amazon, $49.
Check out more of our best work-from-home secrets.
The Bigger, the Better
An external monitor with a screen that is larger than your laptop’s may be a bit of an investment. But it’s well worth it for the sake of your eyes. Stop squinting at your tiny laptop screen all the time. Instead, connect your laptop via an HDMI cable to a wider monitor in order to enlarge everything you’re looking at. This will not only reduce eye strain but can help increase your productivity by reducing your level of discomfort at your desk. And like we said before, the more comfy you are in your office, the better your productivity.
Related: Cozy Home Office Ideas That’ll Inspire You to Work This Winter
Let There Be Light
A desk lamp serves two major functions in a workspace: Firstly, utility and secondly, style. We love the swing arm desk lamp pictures above – shine it directly down on your desk when you need direct light or push it out further to cast a wider glow. Pro tip: if your office walls are white or a light colour, swivel the lamp to face the wall and bounce indirect light around your office for soft ambiance.
Get inspired with the coolest lighting trends that’ll transform any room, from your home office and beyond.
Once your home office has a dry erase board, there’s no going back. This tool is key for brainstorming, organizing thoughts, working out problems, making general notes and so much more. But to really elevate your workstation, consider upgrading to a clear acrylic dry erase board. This chic alternative is as useful as it is beautiful. And if you’re missing the in-office experience while working from home, this stylish upgrade brings home an essence of a modern office. Audio-Visual Direct transparent board, Amazon, $129.
Take the Chill Off
The great thing about this workspace essential? You probably own one already: A cozy blanket. Keep a shawl or blanket handy in your home office to stave off the occasional chill. We keep bringing up comfort in this list of essentials because when it comes to productivity, comfort is key. Studies show that cooler temperatures can slow your circadian rhythm down and are actually conducive to sleep. So, beat the cold with a blanket in reach and get cracking in comfort.
Looking for blanket inspo? Try to spot every snazzy throw in this super-cozy Niagara home.
King – or Queen – of the Jungle
It’s not like we need an excuse to buy more houseplants. Who doesn’t love these green beauties bringing outdoor serenity into indoor spaces? But did you know that houseplants have science-backed benefits that make them the perfect addition to your home office? According to HGTV’s resident Plant Mama, Amanda Roberts, houseplants possess numerous health benefits, including reducing stress. Plus, studies show that working around plants can improve concentration and working with plants can be therapeutic.
An “Essential” Indeed
‘Scuse the pun but an essential diffuser had to make our work-from-home essentials checklist. Aromatherapy has been linked to reducing stress and boosting mood – two things we could all definitely benefit from, especially in terms of work. Your study is a place you should look forward to being in, where work doesn’t feel like an uphill battle. A little desktop diffuser can make a world of difference when it comes to elevating ambiance and adding a touch of Zen.
Want to take the Zen up another notch? Try these home decor items that’ll bring tranquility and stillness into your life.
Burning the Midnight Candle
When it comes to decor, we want to ideally keep our workstations as clutter-free as possible. That’s why, if you’d like to beautify your desk, we recommend opting for a simple scented candle. Not only is this an opportunity to add some personality to this space, but its flickering flame and mild aroma can also have a calming effect, making your workspace more enjoyable to be in. Pro tip: burn your candle until it forms a complete circle of melted wax. This will prevent your candle from tunneling over time and use.
Related: Add More Hygge to Your Home With These DIY Pressed Flower Candles
Work Hard, Play Hard
All work and no play? No way. If your workstation has the space, add a desk toy or two. Taking timely breaks for your work and unleashing your inner child can help to prevent burnout and improve creativity. We recommend a desk toy that encourages mindful, meditative play, such as the above Zen garden. Plus, some people find that their focus is noticeably improved when they can fidget with something. Do you ever find yourself, when deep in thought, clicking a ballpoint pen over and over again? You may be someone who could benefit from keeping a selection of fidget toys at close range in your workplace.
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