Today a laptop or tablet and a Wi-Fi network are all you need to stay connected to work. And while slapping a computer on any horizontal surface—from the kitchen island to the coffee table—will support a MacBook, working efficiently means setting up a space dedicated to the task. A home office is a nice luxury, but all you really need is a space large enough for a proper desk. Once you have that, it’s time to outfit it with equipment and accessories that will optimize getting the job done as quickly and painlessly as possible.
From lighting to ergonomics, just about everything around your desk can either provide a boost or act like an annoying time suck that saps energy and productivity. We’d argue the investment in better gear is worth it. The faster you get it done, the sooner you can get on with the rest of your (non-work) day—and isn’t that the biggest perk to working from home? It’s time to equip yourself with these key home office essentials.
1. Harmati Rene Electric Adjustable Height Desk
While a standing desk is a cure-all, most studies agree mixing in some standing is healthier than sitting all day (and it also keeps your Apple Watch happy). This standing desk has everything you need without paying for bells and whistles. The dense, smooth, laminated wood top (23.5 x 47 inches) offers plenty of space for a laptop or a monitor with peripherals while leaving room for things like a notepad, desk lamp, and essential cup of coffee. The metal legs look clean and slide up and down (almost silently) from about 30 to 46 inches. A keypad remembers three heights for multiple users—and you can go from either standing or sitting with the push of a button.
[$229; harmati.com]Get it
2. West Elm Mid-Century Pop-Up Storage Coffee Table
If you’re lucky enough to have room for a coffee table in a home office, or you like splitting up the day in the living room, this design makes it easier to work from a couch. The 48-inch-long table has a 27-inch section that pops up to about 25-inches high—well above the height of a sofa—so you can tuck in your knees while using it. When the top moves, it reveals an 8-inch-deep cavity that’s perfect for stashing a tablet or clearing clutter. With the other side covered in marble, the look is as clean and handsome as it is useful.
[$899; westelm.com]Get it
3. Lume Cube Edge Light
Before the pandemic, a desk light really only needed to perform one job—flood the work surface with enough lumens to prevent eyestrain. Then video calls became the new norm, and that’s where this lamp shines. The 36-inch LED lamp clamps to the desktop with five points of articulation. That’s tall enough to crane over your keyboard while working, but it can also pivot to cast light on your face. Light intensity and color temperature controls enable you to customize the most flattering light during calls.
[$120; lumecube.com]Get it
4. Samsung The Freestyle Projector
A TV in a home office can be a good distraction or way to keep up with the news, but inevitably you’re left with a black rectangle on the wall. A projector, on the other hand, is there when you need it and invisible when you power down. This tomato can-sized projector beams a 30- to 100-inch high-definition screen on the wall. Speakers are built into the body for 360-degree sound. Beam just about any content you care to cast—or ask Alexa to toss up a screensaver-worthy beach view for some inspiration.
[$900; samsung.com]Get it
5. Anker AnkerWork B600 Video Bar
Arguably the biggest upgrade to a home office is a large monitor that makes working from your laptop easier—until you have to make video calls through your laptop’s camera. This streaming cam does more than just capture your face, which it does nicely with 2K video. Sitting on top of a monitor, it includes a pair of speakers so you don’t have to rely on a laptop and a microphone to filter out background noise. An additional lightbar feature corrects poor lighting to let you put your best face forward.
[$220; us.ankerwork.com]Get it
6. Netgear Orbi Quad-band WiFi 6E Mesh System
If you haven’t heard of Wi-Fi 6E yet—the latest home network upgrade—you certainly will soon. A lot of new tech now comes with Wi-Fi 6 enabled out of the box. This three-pack—consisting of a router and two wireless satellites—blankets 9,000 square feet in the fastest internet yet, capable of handling up to 200 devices. Plus, with the Orbi app, you’re now in control of that network—enabling you to set up guest networks, block devices, and even set time outs for others.
[$1,500; netgear.com]Get it
7. LG 27-Inch UltraFine UHD Monitor with Ergo Stand
Quality monitors are more affordable than ever. While the 4K, ultra-high-definition images on this 27-inch screen are as crisp and bright as you’d expect, that’s not the best feature. An arm connected to the back of the monitor allows the screen to move with you during the day. Clamp it to your desk and it pivots in any direction for the best view, whether you sit or stand. iOS users can plug in a USB-C cable to handle video and sound while reducing clutter. If you don’t plan on playing music, the downward-firing speakers built into the frame are all you’ll need for crystal clear video calls.
[$600; lg.com]Get it
8. Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones
Working remotely doesn’t always mean from the privacy of your house. If you plan to work from a café, library, or the airport, noise-canceling headphones are a must. These Bose beauties have enough battery power to last 24 hours with a comfortable, over-the-ear design that seals out ambient noise even before the actual microphones treat your ears to built-in noise-canceling technology. Because sealing out the world isn’t always what you need, an “aware mode” lets environmental noise in—so you know what’s going on around you.
[$330; bose.com]Get it
9. All33 Backstrong C1 Chair
A supported, ergonomic desk chair is one of the smartest investments you can make. The vegan leather on this chair looks great, but it’s the swing-like saddle built into the seat that helps relieve pressure points while supporting your lumbar through the day as you sit or lean all the way back. That pivoting swing also makes it impossible to slouch.
[$800; all33.com]Get it
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