Equipping yourself with home office essentials has probably never been so important. With most of the world's office workers working from home right now, it's crucial to get your office setup spot on. This means not only making your desk area as inspiring as possible (after all, you're likely spending a lot of time there), but also properly comfortable – balancing on a dining room chair at the kitchen table just won't cut it long term.
It helps to have the right kind of chair, but also the perfect desk, office storage and office drawers, too, to ensure your setup leaves your body and mind in optimum health. And that's not to mention the accessories designed to tweak your positioning, such as monitor arms and stands. In this guide, we've selected some of our favourite things, which will make working from home a lot easier. Remember to carry out these desk exercises throughout the day, and check out our guide to the best smart home devices for products that could improve productivity in the house.
01. Standing desk (or the perfect desk for you)
If you're spending a lot of time at your desk, it might be time to invest in a standing desk. It's no secret that sitting down for long periods of time can have significant negative effects on your wellbeing, and although standing desks are relatively pricey, your health is probably one of those things that are worth shelling out for. This Herman Miller Ratio Sit-Stand Desk (opens in new tab) is particularly nice-looking.
Don't fancy standing up all day? Our guide to the best desks has options for whichever position you'd rather be in. And if you have the space, you can expand your workstation with any of the best L-shaped computer desks. And if you need something kind to your back, see our pick of the best office chairs for back pain.
02. The right chair
No amount of cushions or position adjustments will help you feel comfortable if you don't have the right chair in the first place. The one you choose will depend on your personal preferences, but if you want to go for one the first chairs made with a health-conscious design (and you'd rather your chair and desk brand match), that's the HermanMiller Mirra2 (opens in new tab). Deemed 'as responsive as your shadow', it adapts to your form when you sit down – you can't ask for more than that.
For a range of chair options (at all price points), head over to our pick of the very best office chairs around right now, or the best office chairs for back pain if you're concerned about your posture.
03. Store your stuff right
However much stuff you have dotted around your office, it's going to be better for your outlook if it's neatly tucked away, properly ordered and easy to access. Not only is it difficult to concentrate with piles of things everywhere, the thought of embarking on a task is a lot harder when you're not totally sure where the necessary materials actually are.
Finding the right office storage is the key to organisational bliss. Whether you need easy access wall racks, a desk with ample drawers or boxes galore, we've got a ton of other options in our best office storage solutions roundup.
04. Put clutter away in a drawer
Some of the simplest storage solutions are office drawers. Perfect for shutting away the clutter (in an organised fashion, of course), drawer units are versatile creatures. From filing cabinets for paperwork to units with deeper drawers, and combinations of drawers and shelves, there's a solution for everyone in our list of the best office storage drawers.
05. Arm your monitor
The angle of your monitor can make a massive difference to your posture and back health. Monitor arms like this Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm (opens in new tab) allow you to perfectly position your monitor so it's angles just right for your height, how far back you're sitting, glare from the light and so on. Our guide to the best monitor arms has some top options for all budgets and needs, as well as some handy tips for what to look out for when positioning your monitor.
06. Position your laptop perfectly
Do you know how your laptop should be positioned to allow for tip top body health? How your laptop is angled will do wonders for your wrist health, improve your posture and even make it more portable (work lying down on the sofa, anyone?). This Twelve South HiRise for MacBook (opens in new tab) is our favourite overall, but there are a bunch more options over in our list of the best laptop stands around at the moment.
07. Memory foam wrist rest
As a designer, you'll be too busy typing all those Photoshop shortcuts to notice that you may be hurting your wrists in the process. Turns out memory foam does wonders for the joints and this memory foam wrist rest (opens in new tab) will be perfect for keeping you clicking away happily for years to come.
08. Desk lamp
As a designer, you ain't nothing without your eyes. All those late nights in the studio need to be lit correctly to look after those peepers, so a light with a function to adjust brightness is a must. There are lots of options out there but we're particularly keen on the TaoTronics LED Desk Lamps (opens in new tab) due to the slick and stylish designs and wealth of features. With multiple lighting modes, your eyes will be thanking you.
09. Heated blanket
Now we're past the fundamentals of keeping you healthy and happy at your desk, it's time to get cosy. Whether you work in an office with temperamental uh, temperature control or you're trying to keep the bills down at home, a good blanket can make those long hours a little easier.
If you want to get really technical, why not opt for an USB-controlled blanket (opens in new tab)? They have multiple heating levels so you can tweak your comfort depending on how toasty (sleepy) you want to get.
10. Heated mouse cover
You won't be able to tuck your hands under your cosy blanket while you're busy working, so it's probably also worth investing in a heated mouse pad (opens in new tab). This one comes complete with a wrist rest – the perfect solution if your circulation isn't great and you've had your fill of fingerless gloves. And there are six different colours to choose from.
11. Desk organiser
We're all partial to chucking a few things on our desk and well, never really tidying it up. Mess can mean a lack of concentration or inspiration but it can also make your working day a lot less comfortable. No one wants to bash into a bunch of pens or last week's lunch receipt when creativity strikes. A desk organiser is your best bet and this one from Less & More (opens in new tab) is as pretty as it is practical. The handmade organiser consists of two bodies of heavyweight hardwood that assemble together like a snug-fitting puzzle.
12. Air purifier
If you suffer from allergies, a build up of dust, pollen, and hair from the office dog could really be affecting your productivity and comfort on a day-to-day basis. While it's not always practical to grab some fresh air every hour or so, you can purify the air around your workspace. The Pure Cool Link (opens in new tab) from Dyson is pretty much the messiah of clean air – but you'll need to shell out a fair bit for it.
13. Ergonomic footrest
So we've already established that as a designer, you tend to sit down for long periods of time. We've taken care of your back, your eyes and your air but we haven't yet focused on your feet. The HUANUO Under Desk Foot Rest (opens in new tab) comes with a textured surface and massaging beads, to help improve your circulation when sitting down too long.
14. Desk fridge
Even designers deserve a little down-time and why not start that at your desk? The ultimate comfort is a cold brewski and with a desk-sized fridge (opens in new tab), you won't have to walk anywhere to grab your much-deserved drink after a long day dealing with clients.
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