10 Items to Upgrade your Home Office
by Amy Meadows
Several years ago, working from home was seen as a luxury. These days, however, it’s not only a common option, but also an essential one. If you’re among the growing number of remote workers, you’ve hopefully found the perfect place in your house to serve as your office, whether it’s a separate room or an area carved out of another living space. With the location set, you need to make sure the space is as welcoming and streamlined as it can be, so you can be as productive as possible.
Here, we look at 10 items that will help give your home office a bona fide upgrade. The products cover a range of price points, so you can choose the items you want to splurge on and those that are an inexpensive investment. Take a look, pick your favorites and get to work.
Big-Ticket Treasures: Items Over $100
Take a Stand
It’s a well-known fact that too much sitting can be detrimental to your health. Of course, when you work, you’re typically sitting. But that’s changed in recent years with the advent of the standing desk, which allows you to raise the height of your desk with the flip of a switch, going from a sitting position to a standing one. Making this adjustment throughout the day not only can help you lower your blood pressure and reduce back pain, but it can also improve your mood and boost your energy level.
Humanscale’s eFloat One is a compact desk that can fit seamlessly into any space and features electronic height adjustment via a user-friendly touchpad. You can move easily between sitting and standing throughout the day, and the bamboo work surface is a sustainable alternative to traditional wood. What’s more, the desk is free of Red List chemicals like formaldehyde, which is often used on other sit/stand desks. The eFloat One is available for $650. Find Humanscale at Brickworks Atlanta in Midtown. www.humanscale.com
File It Away
Paperwork is a fact of life, and you need a stylish place to keep all of your business files. Fortunately, The Container Store has the perfect product for your paperwork needs. The Poppin 3-Drawer Stow Locking File Cabinet features a spacious bottom drawer that fits both letter- and legal-size hanging folders, as well as two utility drawers with adjustable dividers to help keep your supplies organized. What’s more, the cabinet offers a modern look with rounded corners and stands 24 inches tall, allowing it to fit neatly under nearly any standard desk.
The file cabinet comes in an array of colors, from matte black and slate blue to blush pink and orange. It retails for $269.99, and you can purchase a separate set of casters for $25.99 to transform it into a rolling cabinet. The Container Store has three metro locations in Buckhead, Perimeter and Alpharetta. www.containerstore.com
Ready For Your Closeup
Without a doubt, if you’re working at home, you’re participating in virtual meetings. Instead of using the webcam that’s attached to your laptop, why not invest in a high-performance external webcam that will take your video conference feeds to the next level?
The Razer Kiyo Pro offers crisp, clear quality in any location and any lighting setup. It goes beyond 4K resolution with a larger pixel size and has an adaptive light sensor that allows it to adjust to bright or dark surroundings for excellent clarity. It also has a wide-angle lens, flexible mounting options, a privacy cover and more. The Razer Kiyo Pro can be purchased at Best Buy for $199.99. Best Buy has numerous locations through the metro Atlanta area. www.bestbuy.com
Have a Seat
Obviously, you need a pleasing place to sit in your home office. According to the Humanscale ergonomic consulting team, the chair you select should not only be comfortable, but also support the body and spine. The team observes, “Ideally, it should have an adjustable seat height, seat pan depth, lumbar support, recline tension and armrests.”
An excellent option is Humanscale’s Freedom Headrest. The first chair designed specifically to encourage frequent, spontaneous changes of position without locks or tension springs to negotiate, the Freedom Headrest automatically reclines and moves with you as you change postures. The chair offers the height of ergonomic comfort and is at once functional and attractive, fitting the aesthetic of any home office. The chair sells for $1,249 and can be customized to fit your specific needs with unique additions like a gel seat, soft casters and fireproofing. Find Humanscale at Brickworks Atlanta in Midtown. www.humanscale.com
Get On Board
If you don’t like having a messy desk, then you need to find an organization system that allows you to take advantage of the wall space in your home office.
Pottery Barn has an ideal option with the Trenton 5-Piece Deluxe Organization Set.
This modular system features a mixed-material design that includes a corkboard, chalkboard, whiteboard, three-tiered organizer and even a foldout table that gives you extra desk space. The look is modern and will fit with any design scheme, thanks in large part to the light wood and black powder-coat-finish elements. Additionally, the set is Fair Trade Certified, which ensures that its manufacturing is done in a way that follows fair and safe work labor practices and allows workers to invest in their communities. The five-piece set sells for $599, although pieces can be purchased separately as well. Pottery Barn has numerous locations throughout the metro Atlanta area. www.potterybarn.com
Thrifty Finds: Items Under $100
There’s no doubt you have more than a few electronics in your home office. One of the biggest challenges is finding enough outlets to plug them all into, as well as ensuring their safety with a surge protector. APC by Schneider Electric has an excellent solution with its APC Essential SurgeArrest Desk-Mount Power Station, which features six outlets, as well as three USB charging ports.
The U-shaped design of the product allows it to fit under a monitor, clip to a desk or stand alone on a desk surface. It can manage 1,800 watts and will protect your devices from unexpected surges or electricity spikes. What’s more, because it’s desk-mounted, you won’t have to bend over throughout the day to plug and unplug your electronics. The power station sells for $57.99 at Walmart. Walmart has numerous locations throughout the metro Atlanta area. www.walmart.com
Light It Up
If you haven’t had a chance yet to upgrade your webcam for all of those virtual meetings, then what you need right now is an effective lighting strategy. A ring light is one of the easiest and simplest choices, as you can direct the light where you need it to be while flooding the area with just the right amount of brightness to boost the clarity of your video feed. Additionally, you have options when it comes to the types of devices you use for those online gatherings.
The Sunpak LED 448 19” Bi-Color Ring Light Kit is used by home office workers and vloggers everywhere. You can set it up near your desk and your laptop or mount your smartphone onto the ring to conduct your virtual meetings. The stand extends to 70 inches high, and the light features an array of color temperature options. There’s even a Bluetooth remote that lets you manage the setup from a distance. The kit can be purchased at Best Buy for $79.99. Best Buy has numerous locations through the metro Atlanta area. www.bestbuy.com
You Name It
There’s nothing like a tidy office where everything is in its place. To help make it so, a must-have item is a good label maker. Of course, today’s high-tech versions can do just about everything.
The Container Store’s P-touch CUBE Plus allows you to create and print labels from your desktop, tablet or smartphone and works with both Apple and Android devices via your wireless network. It’s compact and offers a range of templates, symbols and fonts for all of your label-making needs. The P-touch CUBE Plus retails for $99.99 and uses P-touch TZe tape (sold separately). The Container Store has three metro locations in Buckhead, Perimeter and Alpharetta. www.containerstore.com
Point and Click
Working at your computer is not only taxing on your back and neck, but also on your hands—thanks to all of the typing and mouse-clicking you have to do. Humanscale offers a sophisticated solution: the Pro-Click Ergonomic Mouse.
A collaboration between Humanscale and Razer, the mouse is designed to minimize the health risks associated with long-term mousing, including tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s ergonomically contoured to position your wrist at a neutral 30-degree angle and accommodates the ideal comfort zones for both small and large hands. Its durability is proven for up to 50 million clicks, and it has eight programmable buttons that allow you to easily set up secondary functions. It sells for $99. Humanscale has a location at Brickworks Atlanta in Midtown. www.humanscale.com
Roll With It
If you’re a visual person, then you probably want to be able to see all of your office supplies so you can grab what you need quickly and easily. Of course, you also need those supplies to be organized so your home office doesn’t look like a mess. Enter The Container Store’s 3-Tier Rolling Cart.
Available in both standard and large sizes, the cart offers the perfect level of stylish storage. It’s constructed of steel, features mesh bottoms on each shelf level for ventilation and fits an array of items, including letter- and legal-size file folders. It rolls seamlessly so you can place it at various locations throughout the day, and comes in a variety of colors, including white, black, mint, blush and teal. The standard size costs $29.99, while the large retails for $49.99. The Container Store has three metro locations in Buckhead, Perimeter and Alpharetta. www.containerstore.com