The 20 Best Work From Home Essentials

May 12, 2020

Category: Tech

Though it may be obvious to some, it’s becoming more and more clear to everyone else that the world we live in is in the process of changing vastly and rapidly — thanks in no small part to the spread of COVID-19. And while there are a lot of side-effects of that change, one of the broadest is that more people are working from the comfort of their own homes than ever before. That also means people are having to figure out how to upgrade their living spaces to suit their new work-from-home lifestyles.

If you’re amongst those who have been forced to turn a guest or living room into an ad-hoc office, you’ve probably been scrambling to gear up to suit. In case you’re struggling with that, we’re here to help. This guide was designed specifically to help you get your home situated with the best WFH tech gear on the market so when you can focus on work, you’ll be efficient, comfortable, and ready for whatever the world throws at you. Whether you’re newly working from home or you’re already remote and looking to upgrade, the following 20 items should suit you perfectly.

Spotify Subscription

While not for everyone, it’s been proven time and time again that listening to music can improve both productivity and morale. And you’ll have plenty of access to all your favorite tunes with a Spotify streaming service account. Sure, you could get the free option and suffer through ads — or you could pay $10 per month and have unfettered access to hundreds of thousands of songs without interruptions. Your choice.

Purchase: $0+

Satechi Multi-Port USB Adapter

Especially if you work in the tech sector, you may become abundantly aware that your computer doesn’t have enough USB ports to manage all your peripherals. Luckily, you can remedy that problem (to a point) with Satechi’s Multi-Port USB Adapter — which takes up only one USB port and grants users access to an additional trio of USB 3.0 ports, as well as an SD and Micro card reader, a 4K HDMI port, and even an additional ethernet port. All you have to do is plug it in and you’re ready to roll.

Purchase: $80

Eve Smart Energy Strip

Working from home full-time, you may see a pretty big spike in your electric bill. However, if you plug your PC, laptop, or whatever else into the Eve Smart Energy Strip, you can actually help curb your unnecessary power waste. The three ports can be controlled together or individually, it’s compatible with Siri on your phone, and (of course) it will still protect your tech from power surges.

Purchase: $96

Grovemade Monitor & Laptop Stands

Especially if you’re being forced to work on a laptop, craning your neck to look down at your screen can have some serious negative long-term side-effects. Thankfully, the folks at Grovemaade have a series of simple, beautiful solutions in their monitor and laptop stands. Crafted from premium hardwoods in the USA, these stands will elevate your monitor/laptop to an appropriate height and save you a good deal of strain.

Purchase: $100+

Logitech MX Vertical Wireless Mouse

Traditional mice, as clever and helpful as they are as computer interfacing tools, are not entirely ergonomic — meaning using one has the potential to result in everything from mild discomfort to chronic carpal tunnel. Do away with that risk by swapping your traditional mouse for Logitech’s MX Vertical Wireless Mouse — which was built specifically to adhere to the human body’s natural wrist-hand positioning. As an added bonus, it features an optical sensor that’s 4x more efficient and accurate than a traditional mouse.

Purchase: $100

Echo Show 8

If you’re super old-school, you might keep a calendar and/or a day planner at your desk. If you want to go all-digital in one of the simplest ways possible, you can replace them with Amazon’s Echo Show 8 smart display. This device can step in and do all your calendar tracking and planning, as well as make video calls, play music, display cooking recipes and/or photo albums, and so much more. And it can do all of that either via its touchscreen display or via the onboard Alexa AI assistant with just the sound of your voice.

Purchase: $100

WD 5TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive

If your job requires you to store a lot of data (and perhaps that data is quite sensitive), you’ll need a spacious hard drive. And while your computer itself may have enough room, the WD 5TB My Passport portable external hard drive almost certainly offers more storage in a more portable package. Not to mention, it comes with password protection and 256 bit AES hardware encryption for extra security. If you want to store a lot of files in a safe, secure, portable location, this is the device for you.

Purchase: $115

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Keyboard

Out of courtesy for your coworkers, it’s best not to use a mechanical keyboard as, while satisfying to the touch, they can be very loud and disruptive. But, if you’re working solo from home, you can indulge yourself in the tactile beauty of the Das Keyboard 4 Professional with its Cherry MX Brown switches. Designed to withstand 50+ million keystrokes and equipped with a two-port USB hub, this might become your new favorite computer accessory.

Purchase: $169

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

You might not immediately realize this, but the temperature in your home can actually dictate a measure of efficiency and productivity. Simply put, if you’re too cold or too hot, you’re likely not going to get as much work done. Take out the guesswork and manage your home’s climate with Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat. Now in its 3rd generation, this smart home device — alongside your A/C and heating unit — will ensure your house is more comfortable and energy-efficient than ever before.

Purchase: $199

Nintendo Switch Lite

Work isn’t always all work all the time. Sometimes, you need to take breaks to clear your head of the cobwebs. For the time between, we suggest picking up something to help you unwind a bit, like the Nintendo Switch Lite. The second iteration of Nintendo’s latest console, this device packs all the functionality of the full-sized Switch into a much more portable format. And yes, it still has online functionality for playing against your friends in Mario Kart, even remotely.

Purchase: $200

Gina Smart Coffee Brewer

Whether you call it motor oil, rocket fuel, go-go juice, or whatever else, there’s no denying the power of the caffeine found in coffee. Of course, brewing the perfect pot for whatever the occasion can be made a lot simpler (and better) if you use something like the Gina Smart Coffee Brewer. With its three potential methods — pour-over, cold drip, and french press/immersion — you’ll have more control over your java than ever before. And you can monitor and carefully control every step of the brewing process thanks to the included phone app.

Purchase: $245

Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam

If you own a laptop, there’s a pretty good chance it has a built-in webcam. However, it might not be of the best quality. If that’s the case, or you own a PC with a display that’s not already equipped with one, you may want to invest in a good webcam for all those video conference meetings we seem to be having now. This one from Logitech is professional-level, with up-to full 1080p HD streaming capability, autofocus, light correction, and dual microphones for stereophonic sound.

Purchase: $260

Marshall Monitor II ANC Wireless Headphones

For those who can’t blast music over smart speakers or a home theater system, a pair of noise-canceling headphones might be a necessity when working from home. And you could do a good deal worse than Marshall’s Monitor II ANC Wireless Headphones. Not only do they look spectacular, but they have a 30-foot effective radius, 30 hours of playback per charge, and they’re even compatible with Google’s AI assistant for an added bit of control and functionality.

Purchase: $320

LG 27UK850-W 27″ 4K UHD IPS Monitor

Even if you already have a killer display hooked up to your PC, you may want to invest in a second one to create a dual-screen workstation — which can help you keep things organized and make your work much simpler to manage at-a-glance. If that sounds good to you, you can’t go wrong with the LG 4K-capable UHD IPS monitor you see here. It’s beautiful, offers 99% of all visible colors on the spectrum, etc.

Purchase: $450

Amazon Eero Pro Mesh WiFi System

Many folks have recently discovered, much to their chagrin, that their in-home WiFi is not quite as good as it could or should be. And while you can pay for better speeds, you can’t extend coverage to the entirety of your house in the same manner. That’s where the Amazon Eero Pro Mesh WiFi System comes into play. This collection of devices works together to ensure you get the best connectivity whether you’re at the front, back, top, or bottom of your house. Sure, it’s pricey, but you’ll never have to fiddle with a bad connection again.

Purchase: $499

Dyson Lightcycle Morph Desk Lamp

Depending upon where and when you work, you may want to invest in a desktop lamp. And like all pieces of gear, some are better than others. Well, if you jump straight to the pinnacle, you’ll find Dyson’s Lightcycle Morph — which was made to mimic the warmth of sunlight, lasts for 60+ years without the need to replace a bulb, and can even change the way it lights up a room by tracking local daylight and learning from it. It even offers smart app control via your smartphone or other mobile devices.

Purchase: $650+

Herman Miller Cosm Desk Chair

Technically, a chair is not a piece of high-tech gear (unless your throne of choice is a gaudy, expensive gaming chair). However, the health of your spine and your overall comfort are both of the utmost importance when working from home and will affect your ability to use your high-tech essentials. As such, we’re calling a good chair, like the Herman Miller Cosm, a necessity. Balanced between beauty and functionality, this is the kind of chair you could spend all day and night in if you had to.

Purchase: $895+

Apple MacBook Pro

Especially for those in the media and design industries, there are very few contenders for the best all-inclusive workstation laptops around — and the Apple MacBook Pro is definitely amongst the best of them, thanks to its clean design, impressive capabilities, and user-friendly ecosystem. And now, with its up-to 16″ Retina display, up to 8TB of onboard storage, up to 64GB of memory out-of-the-box, AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics, and six-speaker surround sound system, this laptop has never been better.

Purchase: $1,299+

Shinola Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Barring a roommate or significant other situation that keeps you from being able to blast tunes, a pair of bookshelf speakers is one of the best ways to blast your productivity tunes. And few sets are as beautiful and high-quality as these wireless Bluetooth ones from Shinola. Produced by Barefoot Sound, these hi-fi speakers boast active sound, a customized woofer for booming bass, and work with both wireless and USB connectivity. And if you happen to own Shinola’s gorgeous Runwell Turntable, they also match.

Purchase: $1,500

Woolsey Smart Desk

People don’t typically think of home desks (or any desks, for that matter) as pieces of tech. But those people probably haven’t seen the Woolsey Smart Desk. Not only is this a gorgeous piece of furniture, but it was specifically designed with modern tech in mind — including charge ports in the drawers, a desktop built-in Qi charger for wireless device charging, a built-in surge protector, and it has onboard motors to lift or lower the desk on-demand. And that’s just a small peek into what makes this desk so impressive.

Purchase: $3,000

The 10 Best Smart Home Devices

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That’s why we’re firm believers that, if you’re going to upgrade your office tech, you should upgrade your leisure gear, as well. And you’ll find plenty to manage that on our list of the best smart home devices.

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