It’s been more than a year since WFH became the norm and we’ve had to build resistance towards the siren-like calls of our beds, now only a three-second commute away from our ‘workplaces’. I know some of us have been praying for the WFH situation to stay indefinitely, while the other camp is itching to get away from all the distractions at home.
Make yourself comfortable, because I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be sticking to the status quo for the foreseeable future. If you’re ready to invest in making your home office as productive and conducive as possible, here are 10 gadgets to make working from home, work for you.
1. Standing desks
The sore backs and shoulders from sitting hunched in front of a computer screen for hours on end are no stranger to us all. We’re all guilty of less-than-ideal postures, I know I definitely am. While using the occasional Salonpas has helped to alleviate these WFH-induced woes, a long term solution might be more prudent, and it comes in the form of an adjustable standing desk. Not only does it help to reduce back strain, but alternating between sitting and standing may also lower blood sugar levels, risk of heart disease, and reduce fatigue, studies suggest.
2. Anti-fatigue mats
If you’re investing in a standing desk, add an anti-fatigue mat to your cart and check both out together. Aptly named, these mats help to eliminate leg strain when standing for long hours, and also reduce the risk of varicose veins, heart disease, and joint pains. A good quality mat can help to triple the amount of time spent at your standing desk each day, making sure that you remain at peak productivity for the entirety of your WFH day.
3. Polarising desk lamps
Do I hear a unanimous agreement for how lighting is the most important factor in setting the mood? If the aforementioned mood means hours of sitting (or standing) at your desk, complete your repertoire of WFH upgrades with a polarising desk lamp. Don’t be fooled by its unassuming role—a proper desk lamp will ease eye fatigue and give you a much-needed productivity spurt. These lamps commonly come with various light tones, perfect for both work and post-work hours.
4. Laptop stands
I purchased a laptop stand around a year ago and haven’t gone a single day without using it since. This nifty gadget helps to bring your laptop screen to eye level, thus reducing the stiffness you feel in your neck after a long day of WFH. At just a 30-degree bend, the most common angle at which we’re staring at our laptop screens, our necks must support approximately 18kg of weight. Using a laptop stand also comes with the added perk of preventing your laptop from overheating, and preventing the battery from draining too quickly—a win-win for both you and your trusty ol’ laptop.
5. Ergonomic office chairs
Gamers will agree when I say that having an ergonomic chair is a lot more important than we all think it is. I definitely know the cheap old chair I’ve had in my room since secondary school is due for an upgrade, and yours might be, too. Ergonomic chairs are known to boost productivity, but come with a host of health benefits such as posture and lumbar support, and even alleviates hip pressure with their supportive padding. It’s certainly a pricey investment to make, but health is wealth, am I right?
6. Blue light-blocking sunscreen
We’ve all heard of glasses that help to reduce the effects of harmful blue light on our eyes during long WFH days. Take it one step further by protecting your entire face from those harmful rays, by adding blue light protection into your skincare routine. Yep, you heard me correctly. Sunscreens that not only protect you from the sun, but also from oxidative stress caused by prolonged exposure to blue light emitted from your laptop screen. Bid fine lines and wrinkles adieu, because we’re emerging from this pandemic with a glow-up in the form of healthy, radiant complexions.
7. Vertical mouse
Investing in a vertical mouse might rank low on your list of WFH life-upgrading priorities, but we’re talking about a real David and Goliath situation here. This small but mighty gadget is likely the main culprit of your sore wrists and the tightness between your shoulder blades. Using a vertical mouse your forearm is positioned in an anatomical rest position with reduced muscle use. This means that your wrist stays in a comfortable neutral position, without any compression of soft wrist tissue, thus reducing your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
8. Lap desk
Okay, I’ll admit it––sometimes it’s just a lot comfier to stay in bed and write articles like I’m doing so now. While some people believe that work and relaxing should be kept separate, I believe that comfort equals productivity. Investing in a proper lap desk has been on my to-do list for a while now, especially because it allows for much better posture, protects your lap from direct heat generated by your laptop, and even helps to reduce glare emitted by screens. It also provides a stable surface to work productively whilst surrounded by your soft toys, all of which are cheering you on for long WFH afternoons.
9. Posture corrector
Improving your posture definitely requires a lot of commitment, and we’re not just talking about during office hours. This posture corrector tilts your hips upright and comfortably floats your spine above the seat. Its small size comes with the added perk of being convenient enough to join you on car rides to tapau food after back-to-back WFH meetings or even bring along to the office for hybrid working weeks.
10. Anti-glare screen protectors
This goes out to everyone who’s seen record-breaking screen times across their various devices, whether it’s from hours of Zoom meetings, or maybe just mindless scrolling on TikTok (not speaking from personal experience). The glare emitted by screens is definitely something our eyes could do without. Luckily for us, this is easily remedied with anti-glare screen protectors that don’t cost much but will go a long way in reducing eye fatigue through enhanced dark colour vibrancy.
I know we all miss our pre-pandemic lifestyles, but take this WFH opportunity to channel your energy and resources into creating a healthy workspace that will help you feel good and perform better.
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