Favorite Things: Work-from-home Edition

Agnella writing in a notebook
Agnella wishes this was her home office.

If you’re new to working from home, or now find yourself sharing a home workspace with a partner and/or kids, there are some essential items you’ll need in order to survive.

Here are my top tips for working from home that I’ve gathered over the last 8 years from my home office (I have no financial incentive with the links below).

  • Gear
    • Headphones – I’ve really enjoyed the Jabra Evolve stereo headset for clear conference calls, and Apple AirPods Pro for their sound quality and noise cancelling feature
    • Webcam – make eye contact again with another human being! Try the Logitech C615 HD Webcam for a good quality, inexpensive option
    • Keyboard – turn your tablet into a quasi-laptop with the Logitech Bluetooth K480 keyboard, which also has a dial to easily switch between your phone and tablet
    • Sit-stand desk – If you’re gearing up for the long haul and getting comfortable working from home, I suggest transitioning to a sit-stand desk. I have a manual sit-stand desk from Ikea and it’s worked beautifully for the last 5 years
  • Software/Services
    • Web conference software – Zoom is my current favorite for multiple users with screen sharing capabilities, but if you just need to make a call with video, try Skype or FaceTime (if you’re an Apple user)
    • Large file sharing – If working outside of your company’s intranet causes emails with large file attachments to bounce back, try HighTail, which offers free basic file emailing/sharing
    • Background music – When you need to mask some noise or gear yourself up for work, try putting on some music. I prefer Spotify focus playlists, but I’ve had good success with free music lists through an Amazon Prime membership
    • Data backup – I use DropBox for my critical and day-to-day items, and then a local Seagate hard drive for regular backups of everything
  • Logistics/Organization
    • Separate work area/room – It’s good for your mental health to have a special “office” area in your home to go to (and to leave!), if possible. Also, if you’re kids or partner are also now home, it can help with the noise and distraction levels
    • Get dressed – Some people dream of working from home because they don’t have to get dressed up, do their hair, put on make-up. I get it, but at least get our of your pajamas and brush your teeth. It will help
    • Have a schedule – Get yourself ready for your day before you go into your “office.” Try to take a break at least every couple of hours for a snack or brief walk/stretch. When you’re done for the day, shut off your computer, put away your things so it feels like you’re leaving the “office.” If it helps, make a to-do list for the next day and leave it on your workspace