12 Work-From-Home Essentials You Definitely Need in 2022
It’s been two years since the pandemic has changed the way we work and live. For those of us who worked in an office, our routines dramatically changed. Many of us went from fighting morning traffic to battling with our WiFi routers and improvising workspaces at home. As companies continue shifting to hybrid working models, it’s clear that the way we work has changed for good. If you’ve resisted investing in your home office set-up, consider this the push you need to take the plunge.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 products to help you design an efficient and comfortable long-term workspace to carry you through 2022. You’ll be surprised at how just a few changes can boost your productivity and comfort to new levels.
1. Ergonomic chair
Many of us find it tempting to spend most of our working hours in bed, cozied up under our blankets. Unfortunately, studies show that combining our sleeping and working space can lead to short- and long-term health problems.
Susan Hallbeck, director of healthcare system engineering at the Mayo Clinic, says that soft surfaces don’t support us “in a way that’s conducive to work.” It can lead to occasional headaches and lasting stiffness in your neck, back, and hips. Moreover, mixing your work and resting spaces can worsen sleep hygiene. As you start to associate the stress of work with your bed, your body will need more time to fall asleep.
Having a designated table and chair for work with ergonomic possibilities proves crucial for your productivity and health. Sihoo's ergonomic chair provides lumbar support for your lower back with adjustable seat heights and armrests. According to Mayo Clinic’s research, you’ll want your feet to rest flat on the floor. Your wrists ideally should be straight with your hands at the level of your elbows.
2. Standing desk
To further increase your productivity and prevent health issues, researchers suggest using standing desks. Dr. Mark Benden, a professor in the department of environmental and occupational health at Texas A&M School of Public Health, found that those who worked at standing desks stood about “1.5 hours longer per day and were 42 percent more productive” than those at seated desks.
This Jarvis Bamboo Standing desk is easy to assemble and can adjust to different heights for both sitting and standing. Jarvis also offers various customization options from different colors to table finishes that can complement your office space.
3. Under-desk footrest
In the same study, Dr. Benden found that avoiding standing or sitting in one place helps with mental clarity and posture issues. An under-desk footrest promotes both good posture by keeping your knees level with your hips. When you flip it over, it turns into a rocker, which is great for occasional movement.
Dr. Cariann Paul, a chiropractor in NYC, recommends the ErgoFoam adjustable foot rest to his countless patients who suffer from neck and back pain from sitting too long at a computer. The product can alleviate issues such as sciatica, glute, hamstring, low back and knee pain.
For those with standing desks, having a mat where you can move around helps with the fatigue that comes with static standing. The Topo Comfort Mat “drives subconscious movement, stretching, and massage - unlike distracting balance boards and treadmills.”
4. Meditation cushion and app
As important as it is for our back and legs to be comfortable, our minds can also use quality breaks throughout the day. Pair this cushion with the free meditation app Insight Timer, and you’ll be calm enough to handle at least three back-to-back meetings without a sweat. The Zafu floor pillow’s velvet cover is also removable for easy washing.
5. Portable board game
With so much time spent in front of the screen, finding fun offline becomes a real treasured experience. You’re missing out if you haven’t tried Bananagrams. You can compete with yourself or others (2-8 players) to create words out of letter tiles. The first player who uses all their letters calls out “BANANAS!” and wins the game. You can whip out this game during a quick lunch break with your roommates or family. It’s also portable enough to pop out at a park during a picnic day.
6. Monitor stand
According to Mayo Clinic, your ideal sitting position requires the top of your monitor screen to be at or slightly below eye level. Otherwise, your neck and lower back will strain if you’re looking too high or low for long periods of time. A Grovemade monitor stand is an easy and beautiful solution to organizing your desk space and optimizing your sitting position. They also offer desk organization upgrades for other devices, like your extra monitor.
7. Noise-canceling headphones
Excessive sound in your workplace can be both distracting and draining. With active noise-canceling devices, you can tune out clinking, clattering, and chatter in the kitchen or traffic noises as you’re taking calls on your way to the grocery store.
The wireless capabilities of both headphones allow you to walk around freely so you can take breaks from your chair and screen. Although on the pricier end, both options provide a comforting fit and crisp sound quality that make them easy to wear for long periods of time. Their use of multiple microphones also picks up on your voice more than background noise, which is ideal for professional calls.
8. Ergonomic split keyboard
A split keyboard allows your hands to rest in a more natural position that decreases strain on your wrists and forearms. The ERGO K860 has been “proven to reduce muscle activity by 21% in the upper trapezius muscle–key muscle in the center of the back that stabilizes and facilitates shoulder and neck movement.” The keyboard also comes with a memory foam wrist rest.
Whether you’re a Mac or Windows user, this keyboard can connect up to 3 devices; you can easily toggle among all of them with just a tap of a button. The F-Keys are also customizable depending on your shortcut needs.
9. Written to-do list
Having a tactile way of organizing your to-do list and crossing off tasks can help you stay focused in your workflow. Ugmonk’s analog system works as a companion to your digital tools, whether it’s Asana or Jira. Their elegant notecards provide a tangible way for you to keep an eye on your most important tasks and limit your tasks to the size of the card so you don’t overbook yourself. Use task signals on the left side of the card to mark each task according to what you need.
10. Blue light blocking glasses
The blue light emitted from our computer and mobile screens reduces our melatonin production, making it more difficult to fall asleep naturally. Blue light also increases eye strain, which can lead to headaches and migraines. These glasses filter out 99.9% of the harmful blue light. With these lenses, you won’t have to worry about sleep disruptions if you ever need to stay up in the evenings doing work (or unwinding with a movie). Cyxus gives you a free trial period of 30 days to see the benefits for yourself.
11. Air purifier
While you’re working from home, air quality can make a drastic difference in comfort if you’re sensitive to allergens and other airborne particles. This air purifier can clean your air and reduce allergy symptoms like sneezing and congestion. If you’re a pet owner, this product will help reduce or even eliminate your allergies.
You can also use “sleep mode,” which brings down the noise level to near silence. There are different filters available as well, depending on your needs.
12. Ring light
They say that beauty is all in a good lighting setup. This Ring Light is easy to place on your desk and comes with different colors and 10 brightness settings. You can also attach your phone to the tripod and take your meetings to your living room or your backyard as you enjoy some fresh air.
Good luck out there, and remember that an investment in a healthier, more organized workspace is an investment in yourself.