A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Here’s Exactly What You Need to Be Successful Working from Home

Increase your productivity, make yourself comfy, and improve your health by upgrading to this home-office setup.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

1 / 14
Desktop in modern loft interior with advanced computer for perfect creative freelance work and stationary, mock up PC standing near cup of coffee and croissant for breakfast in co working office

Dedicated workspace

Let’s start with the basics: It’s far more challenging to be efficient, focused, or creative without a dedicated workspace. Setting up shop in your bedroom, at your kitchen table, or on the couch allows for unwelcome distractions. Now that more people than ever are being advised to work from home, it might be a good idea to create a good workspace for yourself. “Ideally, you can designate a room with a door as your office so that you can have privacy when working, but also escape from work when it is time to be home with family,” says Liz Toombs, a Certified Interior Decorator and president of PDR Interiors. “If a room and/or door are not feasible, then carve out a corner of a space in your home to be your work area. The idea behind a dedicated workspace is to create boundaries between work and home life that can be respected. It’s not healthy to have work bleed into personal time or vice versa.”

2 / 14
Jarvis Standing Desk Bamboo Top - Electric Adjustable Height Sit Stand Desk - 3-Stage Extended Range Frame with Memory Preset Handset Controller by Fully...
via amazon.com

Standing desk

The human body was designed to move, but desk jobs have forced our bodies into a more sedentary lifestyle. And that’s exactly why standing desks were invented. “Even if you have a great ergonomic setup and maintain the perfect posture your grandma taught you, you’ll eventually develop aches and pains if your body isn’t consistently moving,” says Dr. Keaton Ray, co-founder of MovementX, who has a Doctorate of Physical Therapy and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. “Despite our best intentions, sitting inhibits your muscles from activating and eventually you’ll end up slouching. But when you are standing, there are instinctive signals to your brain to keep your muscles engaged—otherwise, every time you got lost in an email chain while standing, you’d end up on the floor!” She goes on to explain that when using a standing desk, your muscles are automatically engaged and pumping blood through the veins in your legs. The increased blood flow leads to increased oxygenation, which leads to a healthier cardiovascular system. Finally, when we stand we have more freedom to shift our weight side to side and rock back and forth on our feet, contributing to improved long-term balance.

Buy Now

By the way, did you know there are scientifically proven ways to be happier at work? Check them out.

3 / 14
Capisco Chair by HÅG
via fully.com


When your pelvis can move while sitting, Dr. Ray says your lumbar spine maintains mobility, your neck is in healthier alignment, your spinal discs are getting precious blood flow and oxygen, your core muscles are activating, your cardiovascular system is staying strong, and you are passively burning calories. “Even if you found the perfect ergonomic chair, the truth is you shouldn’t be sitting still on it for hours on end,” she explains. “The best chair is one that allows you to move and vary your posturing.” So find a chair that keeps you moving while working from home—one you can bounce on, or transition from sitting to standing, or you can rock your pelvis back and forth on. If you refuse to give you your traditional chair, then at least follow these tips for helping your body recover from a day of sitting.

Buy Now

4 / 14
Fellowes, FEL8080201, Lotus DX Sit-Stand Workstation, 1 Each, White
via walmart.com

Sit-stand workstation

If you want the flexibility of working while standing, but already own a desk that you like, then the Fellowes Lotus DX sit-stand workstation is an excellent addition to your current set-up. A built-in charging station with wireless charging stand will help keep your devices on 100 percent, and changing positions from sitting to standing and back again is a breeze. If you hate the clutter of unsightly cords, it has a core management system with rear USB ports for your keyboard and mouse to help free up your workspace.

Buy Now

5 / 14
HP Envy 27-inch UHD 4K IPS Monitor with Micro-Edge Bezel and AMD FreeSync (Black)
via amazon.com

Dual monitor

Many corporations see the productivity value in doubling up on monitors for employee workstations, so it stands to reason that you’ll want that same setup while working from home, too. “It allows you to be more productive with less switching from page to page,” says Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “It’s especially important for data entry and writers who need to do research.” And now that you have twice the desktop space, follow this advice on how successful people organize their computer desktops.

Buy Now

6 / 14
HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 (2UK37AA#ABA) Docking Station Port Replicator
via amazon.com

Docking station

If your employer has provided you with a laptop, that’s great, but working on one all day long can be a real drag. The screen is tiny, the keyboard is awkward, there’s no mouse, and its design causes you to hunch over. A docking station is your solution because it essentially converts your laptop to a desktop computer — simply connect your laptop to your dock and you’ll have access to a separate monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers. Gone are the days of bulky and ugly docks, when you choose the new HP Thunderbolt Dock G2. It’s a space saver with a sleek design that supports up to two 4K displays.

Buy Now

7 / 14
Halifax Cabinet For Closet/Office, 5-Drawers, White
via houzz.com

Organizational tools

Can’t find what you need? Do the walls feel like they’re closing in on you? Filing cabinets, bookcases, desk drawers, and baskets can help keep you organized and sane. “The type of organization you have will depend on what type of space is available to you,” says Toombs. “If you have a room in your home with a door that you can close so it is not visible to guests, your organization can be more utilitarian, such as filing cabinets or banker’s boxes. If you have a desk in the corner of your living room, your organizational tools should be more aesthetically pleasing so as not to detract from the appearance of the space.”

Buy Now

8 / 14
HP Tango Smart Home Printer – Designed for your Smartphone with Remote Wireless Printing, Instant Ink Ready and works with Alexa (2RY54A)
via amazon.com

Wireless all-in-one printer

Working from home can sometimes mean that space is limited, so you’ll want to find double-duty, space-saving accessories that will increase your efficiency. “An all-in-one wireless printer is a great example of a tool that can print, scan, fax, and make copies without requiring different electronics for each job,” says Kayla Hein, creative director for Modern Castle and practicing interior architect and designer for Tulsa design and architecture firm GH2. Plus, it’ll save you from wasting time running up to the local print shop every time you need to sign a document or print a spreadsheet. Choose a wireless one, like the new HP Tango, and you can even print hands-free with Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Buy Now

9 / 14
LEVO Deluxe iPad Floor Stand for all Best Tablet PCs, iPads, iPad Mini, New iPad Pro, Galaxy, Nexus, Xoom, Surface Pro, Miix, Nook, Fire, and Other Tablets...
via amazon.com

Tablet stand

If you spend a great deal of time working on a tablet, then your arms are probably tired from propping it up all the time. LEVO’s tablet stand is great for holding a tablet in any position for reading in a chair, sofa, bed, or standing. It works with all iPads and other tablets up to 12 inches across—just know that it doesn’t hold a keyboard, so you’ll have to place that in your lap.

Buy Now

10 / 14
HAGERSTOWN, MD, USA - MAY 5, 2017: Image of an Amazon packages. Amazon is an online company and is the largest retailer in the world.
Julie Clopper/Shutterstock

Amazon Prime Membership

Unless you stole a Swingline stapler from your last in-office job, working from home generally means that you’ll need to provide all of your own supplies. Hein suggests an Amazon Prime membership, which makes it easy to get the supplies that you need without having to go to the store or wait for weeks on your shipments to arrive. Some markets even offer a two-hour delivery, in case your boss is really breathing down your neck. Plus, it’ll make the rest of your life easier too—check out these 17 Amazon Prime benefits you might not know about.

Buy Now

11 / 14
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville, Chrome
via amazon.com


If you’re used to relying on an office coffee machine, then you may be in for a rude awakening when you transition to working from home. “Keeping a coffeemaker in your home office helps you avoid running into distractions on your way to the kitchen,” says Claudia McLaughlin, an interior designer and the founder of CMF Transitional Organization, LLC. “It’s easy to want to quickly unload the dishwasher or pop in that load of laundry when you’re working from home, but keeping a separate coffee machine in the office will help your productivity skyrocket.”

Buy Now

12 / 14
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video Calling and Recording, 1080p Camera, Desktop or Laptop Webcam
via amazon.com


Whether your employer has mandated video conferences or you just want to have a more personal connection to the outside world, a webcam is a must-have item for your home office. “Installing a webcam to your desktop or laptop can be a great way to stay relevant and ‘in person’ to people who work outside of your home office,” says Hein. “Logitech webcams are one of the best in the business and are easy to set up and effective at connecting people worldwide.”

Buy Now

13 / 14
Jeffrey 1-Light Desk Lamp, Black And Antique Brass With Natural Rubber Wood
via houzz.com

Proper lighting

Are you squinting, getting headaches and struggling to see details? It’s time to climb out of the dark. Lighting designers at Houzz say a home office should have layers of light rather than a single light source. “Layered lighting brings in light from multiple sources throughout the room,” says Anne Colby, Houzz senior editor. “Be sure the lighting is diffused and the fixtures are positioned to avoid creating screen glare, which can lead to eyestrain.” Consider all options to determine what’s best for your home office, including recessed ceiling lights, a pendant light, a desk lamp, and a window with a blind.

Buy Now

14 / 14
Two areca Palm plant Dypsis lutescens 4'' pot Easy to grow!! unique from Jmbamboo
via amazon.com


We all know that plants turn the CO2 we breathe out into oxygen we breathe in. “But many people don’t realize that indoor plants can actually filter out volatile organic compounds and other harmful pollutants,” says R. Terry Cline, SpaceBehavior Specialist and Licensed Architect. “And, of course, there are aesthetic and soul benefits—we feel more calm, happier, and more spiritual as we look at living things in our environment, take in their colors, and their fragrance.” And because working from home can feel claustrophobic if you never step foot outside, Cline suggests projecting shadows of the branches and leaves onto the ceiling by using a small light fixture with a clear filament bulb to create a sense of sitting under a tree. Next, check out these 14 jobs where you can be your own boss.

Buy Now

Jill Schildhouse
Jill is an award-winning travel writer and editor with 23 years of experience. She covers travel cruises and hospitality for Reader's Digest and regularly contributes to Travel + Leisure, Brides, TripSavvy, Insider, USA Today, Taste of Home, and Southern Living. An avid traveler, Jill has visited 37 countries but makes her home in Phoenix, where she lives with her fiancé and toy schnauzer.