If you are reading this, then you are likely already working remotely or well on your way. And it is no surprise that this is the case. In a recent study, 99% of respondents said that they would like to work remotely in their career. The benefits are obvious. Improved productivity, lower stress, greater work-life balance, and the shortest commute you have ever had.
But in order to fully take advantage of remote work, you need a clear set of tools, apps, and equipment to make sure that your work from home life is as productive as humanly possible.
It doesn’t matter where you work remotely full time, telecommute part-time or freelance full time, having a productive workspace can get you going as efficiently as possible. And we want to help to get your home office in tip top shape.So with that in mind, we bring you the essential list of the best tools for remote workers. Here is your must-have list for happy remote work:
Comfort is king. And this is true even for the non-remote workers out there. If you are not comfortable, then you are not going to be productive.
When planning your office, this is the key part. Get the big items in place (like your desk, chair, etc) in order before you start to spend on the other parts of your home office.
There are lots of different types of desks to consider. If you want to go with a standard sitting desk, then you are in luck. You have options ranging from executive desks, floating desks, computer desks, and more. This is a great resource to consider from the National business furniture guide.
What is important is to consider what else will go in your desk. Think about your laptop, monitor, lighting, stands, mousepad, and more. Once you have a rough idea of what you need, you can then start to think about what will go on your desk.
🧍 Standing desks
Many remote workers are opting for standing desks as there are lots of health and productivity benefits from a standing desk. There are also different types — you can take your pick based on your budget and needs
🔧 Adjustable standing desk
This desk allows you to adjust your desk to the height you want in a click of a button. There are few standing desk companies who allow you to fully customize your desk. You can choose the color of the frame and type of wood you want as the desk top. These options tend to be slightly more expensive, but are plenty worth it. Some of the best standing desk brands include Uplift, Autonomous, and Fully.
Standing desk converter
This is an economical path for those who want an adjustable desk height option. It is also a great option for spaces where you already have a desk and want to be able to stand and work. You can see a few great standing desk converter options here from ErgoDesktop, FlexiSpot, and RI6.
Fixed standing desk (or static standing desk)
Fixed standing desks are set to a specific height and cannot be changed.
They tend to be economical options though you should test them out to see whether the size fits your height.
🔲 Standing mats
If you opt for a standing desk, then you would be wise to consider purchasing a standing mat as well. You may have also heard them called comfort mats or anti-fatigue mats. These standing mats provide additional cushion for your feet and help to ease the strain of weight as you work through the day. The key is to help make standing less tedious and to help you relieve any pressure on your legs, heels, back, shoulders and neck. Some include a flat base, while others have a contoured terrain. Some of our favorites include the Royal Ergonomic, Muvmat by Aeris, Smartcells, or the Topo comfort mat.
Unless you going with the fixed standing desk, then an ergonomic home office chair may be the most important purchase for your workspace.
Many of you likely spend a large portion of your day sitting down. While we want to stress the important of taking breaks to stand or stretch or walk around, we also want to make sure you are comfortable. Not all ergonomic chairs are made the same, and you will want to consider retailers who have lengthy return policies.
Some of the most premium options come from brands like Herman Miller or Steelcase. Many of these luxury chairs are great options, but you have to make sure that they work for your posture, height, and weight.
There are also an assortment of office ball chair options like Trideer which provide good comfort and support.
⬜ Seat cushion
Seat cushions can help to make it easier to sit. They can help with your posture, which means that in the long run, you will have fewer issues with back problems or pain. In addition, better posture means improved focus and productivity. So make your body happy with a comfortable seat cushion. ComfiLife is a great highly rated brand on Amazon.
Once you have figured out what surface you will be working on and whether you will be sitting or standing (or bouncing on), then it is time to start thinking through what will make it onto your desk.
Having an organized and tidy desk is important as it will help you to keep your focus throughout the day.
The first question might be — why do I need another monitor alongside my laptop? The answer is more screen real estate. External displays can provide more space to increase your work productivity. You can use both displays simultaneously and configure them in a way which matches your workflow.
You may consider it as an additional expense, and another object which takes up room in a small space. But ultimately, it can make a large difference in productivity.
You can see some highly rated options from amazon here.
Similar to an external monitor, you might be wondering why it is necessary alongside your laptop. A full-sized keyboard can help you to be more efficient. And perhaps there may be some which fit needs from a look and feel or click perspective.
💻 Laptop stand
Laptop stands are useful for angling your laptop in a way which makes it eye level with you, thereby reducing screen glare. And that means less eye strain and headaches for those of you on your computer for long periods of time. There are also benefits to your laptop as it will help to keep it cooler. Samdi makes a nice wooden option. If you prefer an aluminum, sleek look, you can’t go wrong with options from Rain Design or Soundance.
Headphones are another area where a good investment is worthwhile. Not only will you be using them for music, but a good pair of headphones can make for better video and audio calls with your distributed team. You can opt for several different options:
- Bluetooth headset
- Bluetooth earbud
- Noise cancelling headphones
🔖 Headphone stand
So you’ve spent a few dollars on a beautiful set of headphones. Let’s make sure you aren’t just tossing your headphones onto your desk and adding clutter and damaging them over time. A headphone stand is a sleek and simple way to hold your headphones in a reliable manner.
The best remote teams spend their time communicating with one another via video. You could go with the webcam on your laptop, but you are better than that.
A dedicated webcam gives you a high resolution, good handling of low-light rooms. Some of the more advanced webcams even have a way to apply silly background themes, adjust colors, and more. Logitech is a great brand in the space.
Lighting plays a pivotal room for your home office. A poorly lit room can damper your mood. While a well lit room can energize you and make you more productive.
In your office, particularly when you are on your webcam, it is best to avoid any backlighting as this will darken how you look on camera. But if you must, there are ways to help with better lighting. You might consider a smart bulb to present a soft lighting experience. You could also consider light studio lighting to help.
Of course, installing your own studio light is on the expensive side, but there are better options like the Elgato key light.
It might seem funny to call an office plant a tool. But plants are a great to way to not improve air quality, but also to put a small on your face each day. Scientists suggest that having a plant in your office can help to reduce stress, increase productivity, and make your room feel more comfortable.
You can visit your local hardware store or garden center. There are also plenty of online stores like Leon and George.
🔴 Busy indicator
Science suggests that work interruptions can lead to major inefficiencies in productivity. It will typically take nearly 25 minutes to get back into the swing of things after an interruption.
Working from home leads to improved productivity. But interruptions can still take place, particularly for those who work from home with families or children.
Fortunately there is a solution. The Luxafor Flag is a USB light indicator which alerts those outside your home office to indicate whether you are busy or not. This is a great way of softly communicating whether you are available. Or whether you have your do not disturb sign on.
📹 Video communication
As we shared above in the webcam section, video is an important way to stay in touch with your team when you are working from home or telecommuting. Below are a few of the best video conference tools to help you to maintain a bond with your team, despite working remotely.
One complaint about remote work is that it is hard to brainstorm ideas together. You no longer have an opportunity to pull up the whiteboard and draw up some ideas with your team. Fortunately, there are solutions for this.
🕰️ Time Converter Tool
When you are part of a remote team with people across the world, you want to be considerate of the time of day. You wouldn’t want to call one of your colleagues at 4am, would you? On the flipside, would you want a 4am phone call?
With time converter tools, you can make sure that you know what time of day it is for anyone you work with.
So this is the list of the 34 best tools remote workers, telecommuters, or anyone who works from home.
What do you think of the list? Did we miss anything💺