And suddenly, I started wearing masks, cleaning my hand 10 times per day, and working from home…
if you were working in a corporation back in March 2020, chances are high similar thing happened to you.
My life and routine changed from working from the office every day to suddenly working from home every day.
With these changes, I discovered pains in parts of my body I was not even aware of.
Pain in my back – thank you to my wooden kitchen chair.
The pain in my shoulders and neck – using my knees as a table was not a great idea.
Even more painful was my performance after March 2020,
I was not able to focus neither to deliver consistent business results.
Do you know why? I did not have the proper equipment while working from home.
If you are doubting what to get for your work-from-home setup,
I bring you here (from my experience) the best items for a remote work office.
The best items for a remote work office
According to a study from ILO Statistics, only 7% of the world’s population was working from home before the pandemic.
Everything changed right after.
Let’s see some statistics on how we are looking nowadays.
16% of companies worldwide allow complete working from home.
Do you see that green icon on your smartphone?
Probably you are tapping there every time you want to listen to your favourite music, Spotify would be included in this full remote bucket.
There is a second group of companies that go for a hybrid setup.
40% of companies prefer to operate for 2-3 days working from the office and the rest of the days working from home set up.
Did you change the diaper of your baby today? Have you brushed your teeth? What about the pods in the washing machine? Chances are high that today you have used a Procter and Gamble product. Most FMCG companies are operating in a hybrid setup.
Last but not least,
there is still 44% of companies that do not allow employees to work from home.
The owner of Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX.
Does it ring a bell?
Mr Elon Musk does not allow his employees to work from home (unless very exceptional case)
Okay, the trend seems clear. More working from home is coming.
But are companies more productive when employees are working from home?
Let’s see it
Benefits of working from home
When you work from home, commuting goes down to zero.
Do you remember that feeling of stress and anxiety when being stuck in traffic knowing you will be late for an important meeting?
This is gone while working from home.
You can combine better your work with your private life.
Your kid suddenly got sick, and you don’t have anyone to look after the little girl?
Working from home is the solution, you can work while looking after the queen of the house.
Money for fuel, the daily lunch menu downstairs, the office attire … all these expenses suddenly disappear when working from home.
There is no need to be living in the city. You can choose to live in the mountain, or in the beach or to go abroad for some time. The sky is the limit. And in this case, the world is the limit
Okay, I get it,
working from home seems like a potentially good idea.
So which items would I need in my work-from-home set-up to be as efficient as I was when working from the office?
The Best Home Office Equipment for Remote Work
I would differentiate between three main categories:
- Must have items
- Good to have items
- If budget allows, items
Let’s start with the must-have items.
Must have work-from-home accessories.
From my experience working from home,.
A comfortable desk chair, noise-cancellation headphones, a second screen and an ergonomic mouse are a must-have.
No doubt about it.
A comfortable desk chair.
An apple per day keeps the doctor away.
A comfortable desk chair keeps the physiotherapist away.
If your budget allows and you are planning to spend many hours sitting (meaning +12h/daily) on your chair, with no doubts I would go for a Herman Miller chair.
If you are on a budget a SIHOO ergonomic chair or a Markus IKEA chair would be as well a safe option.
In my case, I started with the Markus chair, and after some time I moved into a Herman Miller.
The neighbours starting with the renovations, the car’s engine on the street, the baby asking for attention … noise, there is noise everywhere.
Best way to cancel the noise? Noise-cancelling headphones.
My two favourite options regarding noise-cancelling headphones.
If you are planning to be travelling around and catching many flights, I would recommend going for the wireless Bose QuietComfort 35 series II.
I have had them for already 5 years, I loved them.
Attending meetings? With my Bose.
Watching a film on a plane? With my Bose.
Meditation time? You can imagine, of course with my Bose.
I am using my Bose an average of 10-11hours per day.
One of the best purchases I have ever made. Worth every penny.
If you are worried about your hearing, I can tell you they are safe for your eardrum.
On the other hand,
if you want your headphones to be used in every aspect of your life – let’s say both at work and at your training sessions,
I would go for a lighter and smaller version, in this case, I would strongly recommend you the Airpods Pro 2nd generation
I have been running, cycling, and in CrossFit with them and not a single incident… they stick to my ears as if they would have glue! I love them!
The best about it, they take up almost no space in my pocket.
In case you want to go for something simpler and don’t need the noise cancellation, the Apple AirPods would serve the purpose.
Working from home normally means working on a screen Laptop.
For sending and receiving emails this can be good enough for the screen of the laptop.
However, if you need to run calculations in Excel, or prepare PowerPoint presentations … a second screen is all that you need.
Your productivity will skyrocket with this second screen – go for it!
I have been using quite some screens in my career so far, both at home and in the office,
my top 3 screens would be Lenovo C27-20 27-Inch, HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-Inch and the SAMSUNG 23.5 CF396 curved monitor (this is, by the way, the one I am using while writing this post).
Why use an ergonomic mouse? They are designed to fit your hand, arm and wrist like a glove. Thanks to an ergonomic mouse you will improve your posture, avoid unnecessary pressure on the wrist and decrease muscle tension in the forearm and wrist.
Any Logitech mouse would serve the purpose – my recommendation would be the Logitech MX Vertical Advanced Ergonomic Mouse.
Good to have work-from-home accessories
No matter how much ambition you have, how hard you are willing to work and how much you want to promote in your company … There is one thing that can’t prevent you from achieving all this.
An unhealthy body.
A study from ergonomicshelp.com, reveals that 41% of Americans reported feeling new or increased shoulder, back, and wrist pain since they started working from home.
This is purely connected to using the wrong equipment while working remotely.
What do I like about the Logitech keyboards?
Long battery time, up to three years of life (yes, the number is correct),
I can rest my palm on the keyboard while typing. Wireless and included the numerical keyboard.
The human body is not designed for sitting 8h – even though got used to it.
The more time you spend standing the healthier will be for your spine and your overall well-being.
Which better way of working than using an adjustable standing desk?
My favourite, no doubt the OUTFINE Dual Motor Height Home office Stand up.
You can adjust the desk to any position between the minimum and the maximum height,
meaning you can either work sitting on the floor, sitting on your chair or fully standing.
A standing desk I can tell you,
it will be a game changer for your health while working from home.
Blue light glasses
Blue light glasses (sometimes called blue light-blocking glasses) are glasses (the same as they could your sunglasses) that have special lenses designed to reduce the amount of blue light that reaches our eyes.
You may think, oh this is not for me! If you are working on a laptop, you are being exposed to blue light.
Which glasses to choose?
Glass + style. This depends on you.
As inspiration, I am using the Ray-Ban Rx5283 round model.
Elegant while protecting my eyes – 2 in 1!
If budget allows – Webcam and Microphone when working from home
With the current technology available most of the laptops provided by corporations are more than enough to effectively communicate in your Teams/Skype/Zoom meetings.
If you ask me for my opinion, at this point in time, I am not using any webcam or a Microphone when working from home.
I find the combination of Macbook Air Pro and AirPods Pro is good enough while working from home.
On the other side,
if you plan to record some videos/training and you want to have top quality, you may want to consider getting a separate webcam and Microphone (similar setup as the streamers you can see on Twitch)
Benefits of having an efficient work-from-home set-up
If you think about the time prior covid,
most of the offices were designed in order to get the most out of the employees.
In simple words, designs are oriented to make employees produce as much as possible.
The list of benefits of having an efficient work-from-home setup are:
- Top-class communication and cooperation with the team (with a proper microphone)
- Manage more data in less time (with a second screen)
- Pain-free work experience (with a comfortable chair and a standing desk)
- Healthier eyes (with blue light glasses)
- Better one-to-one experience with your employees (with a high-quality camera)
All in all,
if you manage to have a proper work-from-home setup,
you will become more and more efficient while contributing further to the business while enjoying all the benefits of working from home.
What equipment do you need to work remotely from home?
The essential equipment for working efficiently remotely is a second screen, a comfortable chair, an ergonomic mouse, and noise-cancellation headphones.
What should I buy for remote work?
If you are working remotely and you will be spending a lot of time in front of the screens, you should buy a pair of blue light glasses to effectively protect your eyes from the screens.
What is the top 3 work-from-home accessories you need?
The top 3 accessories when working from home are a standing desk, a second screen and noise-cancellation headphones.
What are the 4 tools that are used for remote success?
The 4 tools that are used for remote success are a second screen, an ergonomic mouse, a comfortable chair and a good internet connection.
Which tools are most useful to remote employees and coworkers?
When working remotely and actively cooperating with your coworkers is key to being able to understand them and be understood. The most useful tool would be a headset with a microphone for example Bose QuietComfort 35 series II gaming edition.
Now you have the perfect set up,
If you wonder, how to stay productive when working from home, this is here.