34 of the Best Home Office Essentials

By Jennifer Herrity

Updated November 16, 2022 | Published September 25, 2020

Updated November 16, 2022

Published September 25, 2020

Jennifer Herrity is a seasoned career services professional with 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting and leadership roles with the purpose of helping others to find their best-fit jobs. She helps people navigate the job search process through one-on-one career coaching, webinars, workshops, articles and career advice videos on Indeed's YouTube channel.

A person sits at their desk in a home office decorated by potted plants and lit by natural light.

When you set up a home office, it's important to have the right tools for optimal productivity. Knowing some common home office essentials can help you create a more focused environment, especially as more workers opt to go remote.

In this article, we list 34 of the best home office essentials for your designated workspace and explain some benefits of setting up a home office.

34 home office essentials

While what you need for your home office ultimately depends on your job duties, there are some basic items nearly everyone can utilize. Here's a list of home office essentials to consider purchasing:

1. Computer

Many jobs require the use of a computer to perform the necessary responsibilities. Find the right computer that meets your needs in terms of screen resolution, speed and storage space. Consider using or purchasing a laptop if you prefer the flexibility it provides. Some employers also provide their employees with company-issued desktop computers or laptops.

2. Ergonomic or standing desk

When you work from home, you need an ergonomic workstation. Find a desk where you can comfortably perform the majority of your work. While you can select a standard desk, a standing desk or standing desk converter gives you the option to stretch your legs throughout your workday. Make sure the desk you use has enough space for your computer, monitor and other items you need within reach.

3. Office chair

To sit in front of your desk, you’ll need a comfortable and ergonomic office chair. While you can opt for a more cost-effective option, investing in a higher-quality chair can provide greater back support. Before you make a purchase, consider testing the chair out to determine if it meets your needs.

Related: ​​How To Set Up a Home Office

4. High-speed internet

Most office jobs require the use of high-speed internet. A quality Wi-Fi modem and router provide you with speed and flexibility to move around your office when needed. No matter the internet connection you choose, make sure it offers the speed and features you need to perform your job effectively. You might also consider using a free Wi-Fi locator app, a hotspot or other free or reduced internet connection options.

Read more: Virtual Interview Tips and Resources if You Can't Connect From Home

5. Monitor

Depending on your personal preference or how often you might need dual computer screens in your job, consider investing in a separate monitor. A graphic designer, for example, may prefer a dual-screen setup so they can work with their laptop on one side and perform graphics work on a large monitor on the other side. Someone who works with numbers or is otherwise in spreadsheets often may also want an additional monitor for optimal document viewing. Keep in mind that if you use a monitor, you’ll need a compatible USB or other cables to connect to your desktop or laptop.

6. Wireless mouse and mousepad

If you're using a desktop computer or want an additional option aside from a laptop trackpad, you’ll need a mouse that can offer you plenty of speed and precision. Consider a wireless mouse so you have less cord clutter on your desk and can easily transport it should you choose to work in a different location or while traveling. A comfortable ergonomic mouse pad also can help prevent wrist pain.

7. Wireless keyboard

If you opt for a desktop computer, or use a laptop and want a more ergonomic option for typing, you’ll need a keyboard. Consider opting for a wireless keyboard that may be compatible with multiple types of computers or laptops, and make sure it's easy to use and comfortable overall. You may also want to consider an ergonomic wrist-wrest set for your keyboard.

8. Noise-canceling headphones with a microphone

If you plan to make video calls with your manager, team or colleagues, you need a pair of headphones with a reliable microphone. While a decent microphone allows you to hear everyone on the call better, it also allows them to hear you more clearly. You can also opt for noise-canceling headphones that can provide greater focus despite outside distractions. Make sure the headphones you choose, whether wired or wireless, sit comfortably on or in your ear.

9. Good lighting

Depending on your workspace’s proximity to natural light, you may need a desk lamp to help you work. Consider purchasing LED bulbs for your desk lamp to prevent eye strain and headaches. If you hold a lot of video calls or video presentations where you need to look your best, you can take it a step further and invest in an LED ring light to help illuminate your face.

10. Phone or tablet stand

If you need to communicate a lot at work, you’ll want a stand to hold your wireless phone and be able to glance at it quickly for incoming messages, calls or calendar reminders. Some people also may prefer using tablets for work, which can be displayed on a separate stand.

Related: ​​7 Tips for Laying Out Your Home Office

11. Laptop stand or support table

If you use a laptop at home, consider purchasing a laptop stand to prop it up on your desk. Not only is it a fairly inexpensive contraption, but it can help you see the screen at a more comfortable angle. You’ll want a wireless keyboard with this option. If you plan to work from different areas of your home for a change of scenery, consider a portable laptop support table that’s adjustable and can easily move with you.

12. Cables and cable clips

Make sure you have the right cables for the items in your home office that aren't wireless. Consider if the length of the cable matters to you when making a purchase, especially as you set up charging additional items such as a phone or tablet on your desk. Cable clips can help keep your cables neat and out of the way.

13. Wireless phone charger

If you want to reduce the number of cables in your home office and you have a compatible smartphone, consider investing in a reliable and easy-to-use wireless phone charger. You can hide this device under your monitor or anywhere else you see fit.

14. USB power strip with surge protector

If you have several cords from various equipment, add a USB power strip to your shopping list. This gadget adds an extra outlet space and keeps your cables and cords more organized, and you can charge your phone or tablet via USB. With a surge protector, you can prevent possible damage to various electronics in your home office.

15. Filing cabinet

Consider purchasing a filing cabinet if you need to store and organize important documents. If you don't have that many documents to store, opt for a file folder and scan the rest of your documents to keep them digitally.

Related: Best Home Office Organization Ideas

16. Water bottle

Having a water bottle near your desk can help you stay hydrated and focused throughout your workday. Make sure to purchase a leak-proof bottle to prevent spills on your workspace or computer, and consider one that keeps drinks cold all day.

17. Coffee or tea with mug warmer

If you need an energy boost, have a cup of coffee or tea nearby. Consider keeping a coffee pot or tea in your home office so you can have quick access whenever you need a boost of productivity, or purchase a mug warmer for your desk.

18. Cube timer or productivity apps

If you need some additional motivation to stay on task, consider a desktop cube timer or download productivity apps. The Pomodoro Technique, for example, is a common method suggesting a specific block of time for work with 5-minute breaks to maximize productivity and focus.

Related: Work from Home Productivity Tips

Jenn, an Indeed Career Coach, explains how to "hack" the home office and maximize efficiency.

Read more: 10 of the Best Time Management Apps for 2021

19. Notepad and writing utensils

While you can always take notes on your computer or laptop, it's important to have a notepad nearby to quickly write down notes as you think of them. You’ll also need the right writing utensils, such as a set of pens or specialty markers that feel comfortable in your hand and as you write. You can also purchase highlighters to emphasize certain parts of your notes or any portions of important work documents.

Related: ​​11 Time Management Tips for Working From Home

20. Desktop organizer

Purchase a desktop organizer to store all of your writing utensils and notepads to keep clutter at bay. You can also choose an organizer with additional space for charging cords or built-in phone stands.

21. Posture support

To increase comfort while sitting most of the day, consider a few posture support items like a pressure-relief chair cushion or lumbar support pillow for your back. An acupressure mat or anti-fatigue mat for standing desks also may reduce pain and improve all-day support.

22. USB microphone

If you are on phone or video calls often, especially ones that are recorded or broadcast to a large number of people, you might want to consider investing in a USB microphone that can stand on your desk. People who give presentations often, or who work in audio-focused jobs like musicians and podcasters, could benefit from a USB microphone.

23. Bluetooth speakers

If you enjoy listening to music while you work, purchase a set of wireless speakers. While your computer or laptop comes with speakers to play your favorite playlists, a separate speaker setup can create an even greater sound quality for your home office. If you like to work in different spaces of your home, opt for Bluetooth speakers that offer you greater flexibility and great sound quality no matter your location.

24. External hard drive

When you work from home, you need a plan to save your data in case your computer fails. While cloud-based backup services can store your files automatically, an in-house backup system provides additional protection. Consider purchasing an external hard drive or personal server to prevent you from losing valuable work.

25. Fire-proof safe

If you have really important or sensitive documents, store them within a fire-proof safe or box in your home office. You can also use a safe to store expensive equipment and other valuables.

26. Essential-oil diffuser or candle

If you want to lift the mood in your home office, purchase an essential oil diffuser or candle in your favorite scent. Small additions like this can keep your office fresh and help create a more pleasant, decorative work environment.

27. Plants

If you want to add visual interest to your space, opt for a few low-maintenance plants. Not only do they provide you with air purification, but they can also help your office feel less stuffy and sterile.

Related: ​​Why You Should Consider Working Outside (How To and Tips)

28. Unique prints and personal photos

Add some personal flair to your office space by incorporating some unique prints on either your wall or desk. Digital photo frames also are an updated option for keeping loved ones in view and can rotate through your online photo albums automatically.

Related: 40 Tips for Decorating an Office

29. Desk pad calendar or planner

Having a calendar or planner can help your organization and time management. This is because they allow you to keep track of your various appointments and deadlines.

30. Laser printer

Depending on your job, you may need a reliable, multifunction laser printer. Having this in your home office can save you the hassle of going to a local printer when you need to make hard copies or scan documents.

31. Paper shredder and trash can

If you need to get rid of sensitive or confidential information and documents, invest in a paper shredder. You should also have a trash can or recycling bin for your other disposable documents and garbage nearby.

32. Music subscription

Consider subscribing to any number of digital music services to keep your playlists fresh and have some fun while working. Music also can help make you more productive by sharpening your focus and keeping your mood upbeat or light.

33. Blue light filtering lenses

Whether or not you wear prescription glasses for vision improvement, you might consider investing in blue light filtering lenses to help ease eye strain while looking at a computer screen several hours a day. You can also change the settings on your computer and other devices to reduce blue light during certain times of the day.

34. Throw blanket or rugs

For days your home office is chilly or you just need a little extra comfort, consider purchasing a cozy throw blanket. You might also want a rug or two to accent your space and provide extra warmth.

Related: 18 Simple Ways To Improve Your Office Design (Plus Benefits)

Benefits of a home office setup

Setting up a high-quality work environment at home comes with several advantages. Once you find the right space that's conducive to your work style, it can help increase your productivity and provide you with other benefits, including:

  • It’s cost-effective. When you have an office space outside of your home, you have to pay for rent and other utilities. With a home office, you can forgo these expenses. Having a home office also means you can save money on gas that you would have used to drive to another workspace.

  • It has tax advantages. A home office can provide you with different tax advantages. For example, you may be able to deduct some of your utilities or the part of your home you use for your office on your taxes.

  • It’s convenient. When you work from the comfort of your own home, you might have greater flexibility in your work schedule, such as more easily meeting with clients in different time zones. It also means you don't have to spend your day in rush-hour traffic getting to and from an outside office.

  • You can personalize your space. While any office space can be decorated, a home office gives you more options to be yourself and incorporate your style. If you rent or lease an outside office, you might not be able to customize the space as much as with a home office.

  • It can provide a better work-life balance. Having a home office allows you to spend more time with your family and friends since you don't have to commute. This can lead to greater job satisfaction overall, although it can sometimes be more difficult to separate your work and home life while working from home.

Related: ​​50 Ways To Work From Home (With 21 Tips)

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