Welcome to this epic guide with over 70 home office items and gadgets—handpicked and recommended by our team of 140+ remote workers!July 14, 2021
In our company, there are three types of people when it comes to home workspaces:
The at-home workers with advanced, ergonomic setups
Those who invested in a monitor, a proper desk, and an office chair
The nomads who take their laptops from Airbnbs to public cafes and coworking spots
No matter which type you are (even if you’re the third minimalist type), there are home office essentials that can make your daily workday a lot more comfortable and efficient.
In this article, we’ll guide you through all the best office supplies so you can create the most optimal workspace based on your unique needs.
We’ll start with the big stuff, like standing desks and chairs, and end with gadgets that can be easily stuffed in your suitcase. So whatever type of remote worker you are, we’ve got ideas for you!
Before we tell you about cool gadgets, let's start with the basics: a good office chair and a sturdy desk!
Tired of the kitchen table and ready to invest in a proper home office desk? The first dilemma to decide on is: Will you buy a static or adjustable desk?
Standing desks are more flexible, better for your posture, and help to prevent back pain. However, they come with a heftier price tag than regular work-from-home desks.
A great budget desk is the “Coleshome Computer Desk”, used by me, Megan (Hello! I wrote the text you’re reading right now).
This Amazon desk is sleek, simple, and sturdy—even with a couple of screws missing (building stuff is not my forte, nor is perfectionism). You can see in more detail how I styled my desk in this article, where our team shares their personal home office setups.
Did you know The Remote Company offers home office budgets?
Everyone that joins the team gets a $1,000 budget in their first year with us, to set themselves up for success. This is why many team members have standing desks.
A lot of our team members invested in a standing desk, so we have quite a few recommendations!
If you’d like to reuse your old desktop and transform it into a lifting table, the IKEA Bekant underframe is a beloved option in our team. It can also be bought complete with a tabletop.
Many team members also use IKEA’s IDÅSEN—a desk with a built-in lifting mechanism that can be controlled via a phone app. Developer Tadas says “it’s the best one they've got, from my experience. Pretty stable compared to other low-end alternatives.”
Below you can see this desk in Ashley’s (Video Editor) under-construction home office. The IKEA desk is spacious enough to fit his Apple laptop and monitor, and then some more.
Project Manager Amanda uses the FEZIBO Adjustable Electric Standing Desk. It has room for a laptop and two desktop computers. Since there’s a keyboard tray, you save space that can be used for your lunch, coffee mug, or water bottle.
“I thought I might have issues with this desk since it’s much cheaper than other well-known brands, but it’s been great. My sister ordered the same one (and loves it) and my husband plans to buy it too!”
Looking for a more compact desk solution? In our office space in Lithuania, we have a DeskView. This desk can be mounted to any tempered glass wall or window, allowing you to stand while working and enjoy a great view!
Other work from home desks our team recommends:
FRISKA DESK: “Happy so far, though there’s a bit of a squeaking noise when operating this standing desk.” — Customer Support Shift Lead Silvestras
Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk: “I bought the extended range legs with memory functionality and I’m using my own tabletop. I’m super happy with it, it’s really stable and quiet.” — Developer Pranciškus
Bamboo Adjustable Lap Desks Table: “We only had one proper desk while I was living in NYC with my partner. We took turns working on the bed using this foldable bed desk and it was actually quite comfortable!” — Sr. Content Writer Megan
Picking a desk chair can be tricky, especially because there are a million out there! Some are ergonomically designed and offer lumbar support, while others are more aesthetically pleasing (but a little less comfortable).
Let’s look at some models that our team happily sits down on:
If you’ve set your eyes on a Herman Miller Aeron office chair, our developer Tadas has advice:
“Prices for new ones are crazy, but they've been making them since 1994, so you should be able to find some second-hand models wherever you live. I was hunting down mine for half a year until I found one in good condition for $600, and it was worth it.
The way I justified the price to myself was that I can flip it pretty easily at no real loss since they maintain their value extremely well. If you want to get a new one, the Mirra 2 is a good alternative. You can find them for around $1,000, depending on the accessories.”
Now that you’re set up with the basics, let’s walk over to the home office equipment department. Here we talk about work from home essentials like monitors, laptop stands, keyboards, mouses, lighting, and headphones.
The Remote Company gives everyone a MacBook Air or Pro when they start. As part of our employee benefits, people can donate their laptop after four years and buy a new one. Though a laptop will set you up for success, many love to work with an additional monitor (or two).
Our team uses a variety of displays, though the iMac seems to be the most popular one.
Developer, Tautvydas, enjoys his Philips Curved UltraWide display. And CTO Nikola? He’s been on a journey to find the perfect monitor!
“I used the 34-inch Dell U3417W monitor for years and loved it (they discontinued this model). I then decided to expand to a Dell 49WL95C-W (49 inch, ultrawide). I thought it would be easy to adjust, but oh boy, was I wrong. My head hurt all day long. 🤯 I tried it for a week but ultimately decided to return it because too much head movement is not comfortable when working.
After that, I bought the LG 38WK95C-W (38 inch). This is the sweet spot for me! It’s taller than the 34 inch and 49 inch (3840x1600 resolution) and it has just the right width to be comfortable and spacious enough. Pro tip: you can use the Magnet app to split your screen in half or thirds.”
Shift Lead Silvestras recommends this USB C to DisplayPort cable to connect MacBooks to external monitors. It supports 4K at 144 Hz, and comes in handy if your monitor doesn’t have the latest HDMI 2.1 or 2.0.
If you’re looking for a screen on the go, Customer Support Manager Harmony loves her Mobile Pixels Trio Portable Monitor for Laptops.
“This second screen magnetizes to the back of my MacBook. All you need to do is slide it out, plug it in, and it connects! It’s super portable too, in the picture below I’m using it for remote work in a cafe.”
Pana opted for one that he can travel with. The MagicHold 3 in 1 Stand is easy to assemble, lightweight, and portable. The swivel arm lets you position your phone and monitor screens in different directions.
Apart from the Rain Design mStand, most of our team mentioned compact, lightweight, foldable stands when asked about their favorite models. If you pick the right one, foldable versions can be equally as sturdy—with the added benefit that you can easily throw them in your bag when you decide to change office spaces.
We’re using these portable laptop stands:
There are three teams at The Remote Company:
Team Magic Keyboard
Team mechanical keyboard
Team “I’m fine with my laptop keyboard”
Let’s talk about the first one. The Magic Keyboard is Apple’s own accessory for Macbooks, iMacs, and iPads. It does not only look sleek, but it also offers precise typing and a smooth trackpad.
Then there’s team mechanical keyboards. In these keyboards, you can swap keys for artisanal, custom keycaps. Though an expensive hobby, it’s also a really fun one. Developer Adam uses the Keychron K2 and recommends drop.com for keyboards and keycaps.
This is what his keyboard looks like:
CTO Nikola recommends the Ducky One 2. He says:
“It’s the best one I’ve had thus far. I’ve used Das Keyboard, Cooler Master, Varmilo, and some no-name brands. I found that MX Brown switches work best and are not too loud.”
In the category “keyboard mouses”, we have a clear winner here at The Remote Company: The wireless Logitech MX Master mouse (3 or 2/2S). It’s ergonomic and slightly angled so that your arm is supinated (which prevents computer-related RSI).
The Apple Magic Trackpad 2 gets an honorable mention, as well as the Apple Magic Mouse. Many of us use this beautifully designed mouse, though some criticize it for not being very ergonomic and having its charger at the bottom.
And lastly, if it’s your thing, go for a trackball. SRE Alex says it doesn’t get more ergonomic than that and 100% recommends his Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball. Though there’s a small learning curve, your back and hand will thank you in the long run.
Admittedly, our team’s desk lamp choices are mostly random. But we do love some good mood lighting!
iOS Developer Adam uses the Philips Hue lights, an investment that’s not cheap, but so worth it, he says.
Customer Support couple Jen and Matias have neon and mood lights to switch up the vibes in their home. The colors on the left picture come from the Nanoleaf Light Panels (with a built-in rhythm module, so the lights can dance to your music).
Can you spot the banana LED neon light? (if you love it too, here’s where to buy it).
Whether it’s to listen to your favorite jam, comfortably have Zoom conference calls, or cancel out any external sounds: good headphones are a blessing! Let’s pass the mic to our team:
Project Manager Agathe: "I love the all-in-one Aukey K5 wireless earbuds. They’ve got noise cancellation, a rechargeable case, and Bluetooth speaker pairing. Plus, they're much cheaper than Airpods!"
Developer Nikol: "Two words: Marshall headphones. No explanation needed."
CTO Nikola: "If you want a wireless overhead headset with a mic and noise cancellation, I recommend two options: Sony WH-1000XM3 or Bose QuietComfort . Bose has better noise canceling, but if you plan to listen to music a lot, pick the Sony headphones."
Are you looking for a gift to congratulate someone on their first remote job? Celebrating the birthday of a career-driven person?
Here are some of the best gifts for people that work from home.
There’s nothing better than waking up to a clean desk! Desktop organizers can help to achieve this goal. If you’re looking for vertical storing space, pick one from Jerry & Maggie (they come in different sizes). Millennials will love the pastel-colored Poppin series from The Container Store.
During the pandemic, many attempted meditating as a way to keep cool, calm, and collected. A subscription for apps like Headspace and Calm can be a great gift! They help people to focus better, reduce anxiety, increase productivity, and improve their sleeping habits.
iPhones always seem to always A) have a broken screen and B) be on 1% battery. Yet we still love them. 💁♀️ The latter issue can be solved with a charging phone stand. The Anker Wireless PowerWave Stand is one such gift. More compact models (without a stand) are made by TOZO and Yootech.
Granted, after eight hours of hard work, the room can be a little iffy—especially when the office is also the bedroom! Air purifiers can make things more breathable. Our favorite budget purifiers come from brands like LEVOIT, PARTU, and Kloudi. If you have a bit more budget to spend and are a sucker for aesthetics, pick Molekule.
Notebooks, paper clips, pens—sometimes it’s good to get crafty and put pen to paper, instead of creating a new phone note. Stationery can be oh so pretty and a joy to give. Among our personal favorite brands are Cloth & Paper, Papier, and Appointed.
Is the birthday boy or girl either always tired or addicted to coffee? Meet the single-cup coffee maker. For example, this one by CHULUX. With the simple press of a button, freshly brewed coffee will pour straight into the coffee mug. Bliss!
Move your chair back and take a look below your home office desk. Do you see a power strip filled with plugs and a bunch of cables? If the answer is yes, you’re like 90% of people. That’s why cable organizers are such a good gift. No one would buy them for themselves, but they’re so appreciated. On Amazon, there are plenty to choose from!
Does the person receiving your gift have trouble staying hydrated? A stylish water bottle can do the trick! Many rave about the durable models from Simple Modern that keep your beverages nice and cold. If you’re looking for bottles with a fruit infuser, check out Hydracy.
Is your friend always complaining about unstable connection issues? A WiFi range extender can boost the router signal and make working online faster and video calls more reliable. Trustworthy brands for extenders are TP-Link, rockspace, and NETGEAR.
No, they’re not just for Instagram influencers! Ring lights are perfect for Zoom video calls, especially those 9 AM ones. This video conference light from Cyezcor can be clipped onto your laptop and dimmed to your liking.
Books are always a good idea! You can go in all sorts of directions with this gift. Some ideas:
Babytot’s Creativity Journal, for pick-me-up exercises when feeling stuck
Basecamp’s REMOTE book, aka the remote work bible
Piccadilly 300 Writing Prompts Journal, to combat writer's block
For more recommendations, check our blog post below:
Need privacy? Keep kids, partners, and roommates out with a door sign. This sign from Kichwit Store has four settings: do not disturb, out of office, in a meeting, and please knock.
Adding greenery to a home office can really make a difference, both for the interior and people’s mental health. If you’re not sure how much space someone has, opt for a hanging planter. They look great and fit in any space. We bought and love these woven planters.
We’ve told you about our favorite home office accessories and now we’d like to hear from you. Add the work from home gadgets that you would 100% recommend in the comments below and tell us why.👇
We share our real experiences and actionable advice on how to work remotely and grow your remote business. Subscribe with your email.
2021 © The Remote Company