Over the last few years, I've transformed a humble corner of my living room into a comfortable office space where I can type away for hours on end. Prior to the pandemic, I only occasionally worked from home, but like many of you, my home has now become my permanent office. It was a difficult transition, in part because my one-bedroom apartment was so ill-equipped to become a workspace.
When coffee shops and WeWork offices got old, I created a better long-term solution by buying some necessary pieces of office furniture -- awith sufficient storage and an -- and a number of workspace extras that are big on comfort and convenience but small in size.
Here are my five favorite accessories that are set up for how I like to work -- and how I use them to make working from home more productive and fun. Maybe they'll find a home in your office, too. For more items worth splurging on, here areand .
Before I had a phone stand, I just used to set my phone flat on my desk next to my computer keyboard while I worked. If I received an important notification, text message or phone call, I would crane my neck straight down to check it out. And it just added to the pain and stiffness I already had from "tech neck" -- which you get when you constantly hunch over to check your device.
My most recent phone stand purchase (it's the third stand I've purchased in the last few months) is by far my favorite of the lot. The Lamicall Foldable Phone Stand is an adjustable stand that works great with pretty much any smartphone (like the iPhone 14 or Galaxy S22) and smaller tablets, but unlike my other stands, this one is foldable. If I need to pack up my stuff to work outside of my house, I just fold the stand and toss it into my backpack.
And it's not just for work. In the last few weeks, I've used my phone stand to watch World Cup matches while I cooked in the kitchen, read about Artemis' historic trip around the moon during breakfast, and caught up on the latest episodes of White Lotus on a very long flight.
I can't sit in my office all day without taking a few short walks outside. And even then, I find it difficult to sit for a few hours straight without fidgeting or having my legs fall asleep. Of course there are many ergonomic office chair options out there, but they can get quite expensive. So while I wait to find an affordable one in the secondary market, I decided to just upgrade the office chair I already have -- with an ergonomic seat cushion.
Purple's Double Seat Cushion is a durable two-layer seat cushion designed for extended sit time in an office chair. It's made of temperature-neutral material, so that the cushion doesn't get swampy, and it's easy to wash -- I can throw the cover into the washing machine and clean the cushion with water and dish soap.
And the Double Seat Cushion features built-in handles, so it's perfect for toting if you split time between working from home and in the office (as I sometimes do). If you have some lower back pains and need lumbar support, you can also pair it with Purple's Back Cushion.
I just recently moved to a new apartment and placed my router in the living room, which is roughly the mid point between my office and bedroom. And while my apartment isn't extremely large, I somehow still couldn't get a good Wi-Fi signal from anywhere besides my living room. So I decided to go for a mesh Wi-Fi system instead.
Amazon's Eero 6 Plus, which CNET's router expert Ry Crist recommended to me, has been a game-changer in my home. While I had several dead zones with my previous router, the three Eero 6 Plus mesh routers help cover all 1750 square feet (the three routers are actually overkill, but I don't mind), so I have strong and reliable internet from everywhere in my home -- even my garage in the back. And yes, you can travel with your mesh routers to improve internet wherever you are.
The Eero 6 Plus is currently 30% off on Amazon right now, so take advantage if you're looking to upgrade your existing router setup.
I've got way too many items charging at once on my desk. Of course there's my MacBook, but then I'm also charging my iPad (which I also use as a second monitor), as well as my iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch. It can quickly get messy, with cables tangled all over the place and all USB ports filled -- which is why I decided to invest in a charging station to simplify all of that.
The Scosche BaseLynx Modular Charging System Pro Kit comes with modules that can be mixed and matched to charge all of my devices from a single place (you can buy modules separately to expand the system even more). The pro kit comes with three modules: a flat wireless charger for my phone or headphones, a raised magnetic charger for my watch and a vertical charging station for my tablet. And it comes equipped with ports and cables so that you can also charge your other devices -- it's also how I charge my Nintendo Switch.
I alway wanted my office to have zen-like qualities to it. A few plants to breathe life into my space, an oil diffuser to help with relaxation and a speaker to play classical music to improve my productivity. But something was missing, and I quickly realized what it was when I stepped outside my office to grab a package on my doorstep -- I needed better lighting.
My office space can get dark sometimes -- my windows aren't very large, and there's a huge tree that blocks a lot of the sun from coming in. No light can lead to low energy levels or a bad mood, which is why a sun lamp made sense for my desk.
The Verilux HappyLight Luxe is a compact LED light with three different color temperatures and various brightness levels to bring some light to your office space. All you have to do is prop it up on your desk and set a timer, and you'll have a bright light that can help to improve your mood, focus, emergency and sleep.