In the past, organizations used to look upon working from home with more than a fair bit of skepticism. They believed that the office was still the most productive place for employees, where they could go about their days free from distractions. However, everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. With offices closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many companies were faced with few alternatives, finally allowing their people to work from home.
One year later, vaccines are being rolled out, and life returns to some semblance of normalcy. However, businesses have discovered the immense value of flexible work arrangements for their employees and are not likely to abandon them to return to the traditional office setup. That means there will be many more professionals working from home for the foreseeable future, and they’ll need a few essentials to make the experience more comfortable.
That said, it can be overwhelming to figure out what items you should invest in. From men’s compression socks to ergonomic desks and chairs, there are plenty of products on the market that are essential for setting up an efficient home office. Read on to find out which ones you shouldn’t go without:
Unless you have to attend a video conference, you can wear pretty much whatever you want when you work from home. This means that even shoes are optional. However, wearing socks while working is a great way to keep your feet feeling warm and toasty, especially when it’s cold out. But why stop there? You can take things a step further by purchasing compression socks for maximum comfort.
Unlike regular socks, compression socks offer the additional benefit of stimulating blood flow around your lower legs, thus improving circulation. They are most often used by pilots but can be helpful for anyone who has to stay seated for long periods, such as people who work from home.
Wearing them can also bring you various other advantages. For one, it can reduce orthostatic hypotension or that lightheaded feeling you get when you stand up from a sitting or lying position. They also reduce leg swelling and prevent the development of deep vein thrombosis.
Of course, compression socks are not and should not be considered a replacement for taking frequent breaks to stretch and perform light exercises throughout your day. However, they can help a lot, especially if you already experience pain in your legs from sitting too long or some other underlying condition.
A Good Power Strip
One of the most common issues encountered by those who work from home for the first time is not having enough outlets for all of the devices that they need in the same location. Power sockets in homes tend to be distributed throughout, and you may only get one or two in your designated working area.
Most people use power strips to get around this problem, but basic ones may not be able to keep your sensitive electronics safe in the event of a sudden power surge or outage. Consider investing in a power strip that has built-in surge protection and enough sockets for all of your gadgets and devices. You’ll thank yourself later.
The simple fact of the matter is that our furniture at home isn’t designed to keep us comfortable while working. Dining chairs aren’t comfortable to sit in for long periods, tables usually aren’t the right height, and doing work from bed isn’t actually as comfortable as you might imagine.
If you are transitioning into working from home on a more permanent basis, it might be good to invest in furniture designed for the purpose. Combat the detrimental effects of sitting too long with a standing desk that will allow you to do work while standing up or sitting down. Your spine will also appreciate the comfort that an ergonomic chair or cushion can provide while going through your daily responsibilities. For those who primarily use laptops rather than desktop computers, you may want to shop for a laptop stand. These can raise the keyboard to a more comfortable typing position, thus preventing strain on your wrists and hands.
A Home Coffee Setup
Free-flowing coffee (or tea) is one of the perks at the office that most employees working from home miss the most. Fortunately, you can replicate or even have a better experience at home by putting together a sweet coffee setup that will keep you perky and alert throughout the day.
The options out there are endless, whether you’re a casual coffee drinker or a true caffeine connoisseur. A simple French press can turn the humdrum process of making your first cup in the morning into a moment of meditation. You can also go for a basic coffee maker that can do all the work for you. For the tea drinkers out there, a rapid-boil electric kettle will ensure that you always have fresh hot water on demand.
The world has changed, and how we do work has changed with it. Working from home will undoubtedly be part of the new normal, so it’s worth putting in the effort to make it as pleasant and enjoyable for yourself as possible.
Featured Photo by Tomáš Hustoles from Burst