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Desk Essentials for the Home Office

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| By Amy Vagne | March 15, 2021

Is working from home working for you? These desk essentials will ensure you have a functional, streamlined and stylish home office.

Here are all the home office desk essentials you need for working from home.

With about one-third of Australians now working from home each week, it’s never been more essential to set up an office space at your place. Make the most of your WFH setup by grabbing that gear that will make you more comfortable, more efficient and more productive.

Tech Gear

These tech products are home office essentials for better productivity and efficiency.

Obviously, you need a good quality laptop or PC that’s suitable for the type of work you need to do. “Most companies are making smaller tech these days, however HP and Lenovo offer a good range of compact desktops and laptops,” says Anthony Hill, Head of Technology at Geeks2U. “Remember, your laptop or computer should always be kept on a flat, steady surface out of spill range of any drinks or food.” Next on the shopping list: a pair of headphones to wear during Zoom calls (and to keep noisy distractions at bay!). An easy way to get all the tech extras you need? A bundle pack. This one has a slim keyboard, contoured mouse, a webcam, cushioned headset, and mouse pad. A docking station is another must-buy, according to Anthony, “It allows you to have your monitor, keyboard, mouse and any other accessories plugged in all the time.” When you’ve got many tech gadgets grouped together, their cables and cords can look cluttered and untidy. Try cord wraps or cable ties to coil them up and collect them neatly together.

What To Try

SEE ALSO: The Best Tech Gadgets to Improve Productivity

Planners

Planners and diaries should be on your home office essentials list.

The key to having a productive day while working from home is having a schedule and sticking to it. Life & Success Coach Bree Boucher advises sitting down once a week to map the tasks you need to focus on, blocking similar tasks together for extra efficiency. “Keep a notebook or journal to track your progress throughout the day. To-Do lists are great, but try to keep it to a maximum of your top 3 things each day. Anything more should be in a master To-Do list that you can reference when you have completed your top 3 things. This master list can be in your journal/planner (I use the bullet journal method) or in a digital project management tool like Asana or Trello,” says Boucher.

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Desk Accessories

Home office desk essentials include good lighting and a laptop riser.

Make sure you curate a space that’s cosy and comfortable to sit at for long portions of the day. “Making your home office work space an inviting place to be will go a long way to enhancing your productivity,” says Heather Gibson, Director at Finer Details Lifestyle Management. A laptop stand or a riser will help you achieve ergonomic excellence – lift your laptop up to eye level and sit with proper posture. Good lighting is another absolute essential – if possible, set up your desk next to a door or window and let the sunshine in. If that’s not an option, invest in a lamp to give your space a good glow. Keep a drink bottle close by as even mild dehydration can affect your ability to concentrate.

What To Try

SEE ALSO: Home Office Ergonomics: A How to Guide

Storage Essentials

The perfect home office desk essentials setup includes document trays and magazine boxes for storage.

Keep essential stationery items like pens, highlighters and post-its within reach. “Items that are used every day can go on top of your desk. Those used only a couple times a week should go in a drawer to keep your workspace uncluttered. Grouping like-minded items together in containers makes them easier to locate and put away,” says Gibson. Prevent paperwork cluttering up your workspace by storing it in a magazine file or document tray. Or create a sorting system with three designated document boxes – one for “Needs Action”, one for “Filing” and one for “Recycling”. “Using containers, magazine holders and mail files to hold notebooks, iPads and laptops when not in use will free up desk space for note taking or typing on a keyboard as well,” Boucher says. “At the end of each working day, clear your desk and put away any stationery or equipment used throughout the day. Keeping the space clean and tidy throughout the day is key.”

What To Try

Digital File Storage

Want to cut down on paperwork altogether? Consider switching to a digital filing system. “With online storage being inexpensive and most documents being made available digitally it makes sense to keep valuable documents in digital form. This can protect them from being destroyed in the event of a disaster and means you can access them from any device and anywhere you need them,” Anthony says. To get started, you’ll need a scanner and a portable hard drive or solid state drive. A shredder is a sound investment too – “Paper clutter is really common, so always consider why you need to keep it. Ensure your shredder and bin are handy and be ruthless,” says Gibson.

Decorative Decor

Choose decorative items as part of your home office essentials for remote working.

Once you’ve got smart storage options and a paperwork organisation system in place, it’s time to pretty up your space. Display any items that make you feel happy and more creative – like family photos or art postcards. Plants are a positive addition to any workplace as they can help you feel less stressed, according to scientific research. Choose stylish desk accessories that look fabulous, as well as being highly functional – pastel and metallic accents are on trend, as are rattan pieces. If your desk looks lovely and feels inviting, it will become a place you’ll want to be.

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