With some companies announcing “WFH forever,” extending remote work until later on in 2021 or offering flexible schedules where remote work is more accepted, you may want to create a more efficient workspace in your home.
Or if you work as a freelancer, you may want to create a space in your home where you can get your work done more effectively.
Before we get started on home office product ideas, I want to clarify that you don’t need a whole separate room to build yourself a cool home office! If you can carve out a corner of your living room, bedroom, or kitchen to dedicate to a small home office setup, you can still benefit from some quality home office furniture and accessories.
In this article, I’ll go over some of the key things you can use to turn any area of your home into an office—including home office furniture like the best desks for home offices and the best home office chairs, things you need for a dual monitor setup, the best keyboards for programming, and much more.
We’ll also look at “nice-to-have” things to keep you productive, energized, and comfortable in your home office, like desk accessories and home office decor.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- What Do You Need for a Home Office?
- Best Desks for Home Office
- Best Home Office Chairs
- Setting Up Your Computer Workstation
- Storage and Organization
- Home Office Lighting and Acoustics
- Home Office Decor & Desk Accessories
- Your Turn to Build Your Dream Home Office!
What Do You Need for a Home Office?
I’m going to start by recommending the most important home office essentials (e.g. desks and chairs!) to get an ergonomic workspace set up, then progress to categories like workstation setup, lighting, storage, and decor. I’ll be mentioning some of the products that I personally have, but for more details, go check out my home office tour!
Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the resources mentioned in this article. If you buy a product through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!
Best Desks for Home Office
Your desk setup will be one of the most important decisions you make, as it will be the center and ultimate computer station of your home office. Let’s go over the different kinds you can choose from!
A traditional desk is a great option if you like to stay seated while you work and don’t want to spend a lot of money. If you’re looking for small home office ideas, another perk is that most normal desks have built-in storage like drawers and shelves—which standing desks typically don’t have.
Some options to consider that won’t break the bank:
- Aaliyan Desk at Wayfair ($69.99): super affordable, wear-resistant, scratch-resistant, waterproof
- Micke desk at IKEA ($79.99): compact, can fit in a lot of spaces, comes in black or white, comes with storage drawers
- No Tools Student Desk at Target ($112.99): steel frame, lots of storage areas, unique assembly that requires no tools (hence the “no tools” in the name)
If you want to rework your desk setup later on and work at a raised desk, you can always get a standing desk converter:
- Unique wood standing desk converter on Etsy (starting at $137.00): lots of sizes to choose from to fit your needs, unique/modern design, space for laptop and keyboard
- FlexiSpot standing desk converter on Amazon ($99.99): raises your laptop up to 17 inches off your desk; super easy to lift, lower, and adjust
Best stand-up desk (or sit-to-stand)
Within the category of stand-up working stations, there are a few different kinds to consider.
Sit/stand workstations, also known as adjustable desks, offer the best of both worlds, with a desk that raises and lowers so you can change between standing or sitting in a chair while you work. These are pricier, but come with a lot of flexibility. Most top coders have adjustable desks for standing and sitting.
Best adjustable desk options include:
- Smart Desk 2 from Autonomous.ai (starting at $379.00): Self-taught programmer Alex Kpot (@alexkpot) uses it. See it in action on Instagram. 4 programmable height settings, comes in finished wood or natural bamboo, capable of lifting up to 300 lbs, almost silent motor.
- Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk from FlexiSpot (starting at $249.99): Web developer Cara Stellato (@caracodes) uses it; see it in action on Instagram. Comes in 4 colors: black, mahogany, white, or maple. Capable of lifting up to 154 lbs, spacious top, sturdy.
Non-adjustable standing desks don’t offer as much flexibility as an adjustable desk or a normal desk with a standing desk converter, but can be a good option if you enjoy standing while doing your work. They effectively force you to stand, which can be good for your posture—but the downside is that you might get tired of it after a long day.
Raised desk options in this category include:
- Stand Steady Joy Desk on Amazon ($199.99): stands at 41.5”, stabilizing crossbars so it doesn’t wobble, modern design, offers cord management and cubbies, you can also put your monitor on the raised shelf
- Dempster Standing Desk on Wayfair ($279.99): you can fold or unfold it in a few seconds without any assembly — perfect if you need to set up a desk and be able to take it down every day, modern, sleek design
A floor mat or balance board is almost essential if you have a standing desk. Floor mats make it easier and more comfortable to stand all day, while balance boards essentially let you “work out” while you’re working and improve your energy and balance.
- Standing mat from Amazon ($45.99): Perfect if you have a standing desk. Reduces pressure on back, hips, knees and ankles.
- Anti-fatigue mat from Autonomous ($49): inclined design helps reduce back pain and massage your insteps while standing.
- FEZIBO Balance Board from Amazon ($69.99): creates low-impact rocker movement to keep your mind and body engaged while you’re working. Also comes with anti-fatigue foot massage points
- Autonomous flow board ($109): A unique balance board that combines concepts from both Yoga and Tai Chi, offers 360 degree movement, increases the time you can spend standing by over 30%
- Fluidstance decks ($189 – $439): soothes stiff joints, burns calories, keeps you awake, stabilizes your body. This design has 13 patents.
Sofa desk/laptop tray
This last kind of “desk” is more an end table or tray, but they’re great if you have limited space at home and need to turn your living room into your office (via the couch).
Check out these two:
- HOMFA sofa laptop desk from Amazon ($59.99): because of how the legs are designed, you can pull the table extremely close while sitting on a couch, more space than a typical “tv tray”, sturdy
- Cleveland foldable laptop tray from Wayfair ($48.99): so you can work from the sofa or bed! folds for easy storage when not in use, multiple incline levels so you position it for maximum comfort
➡️ My personal home office desk: Autonomous.ai Smart Desk 2 Home Office (the ones with the white base + bamboo top) ($429)
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Best Home Office Chairs
Getting the right office chair is really important, since you’ll probably be spending 8+ hours in it each day. Here are a few of my picks, based on what your priorities are for your home office chair.
Best ergonomic office chairs
Perfect if you need help maintaining a good posture, spend long hours sitting down, or experience back/neck pain.
- Pursuit ergonomic chair by Uplift ($299): Full-stack developer Anna (@anna.tech) uses it; check out her unboxing video. Ergonomically designed, comes in white or black, height adjustability via pneumatics, mesh back provides breathability to keep you cool, allows you to tilt backwards a bit, adjustable armrests, super comfortable
- ErgoChair 2 by Auonomous.ai. ($369): Tech YouTuber Andres Vidoza (@andresvidoza) uses it and reviewed it on Instagram. Designed to provide back support, prevent back pain, and improve sitting posture. Bright colors to choose from including blue and green. Italian-designed tilt mechanism. Comes with a headrest. A really great quality chair.
Pretty/stylish home office chairs
You may want a more stylish chair for your home office if aesthetics are important to you. Many stylish chairs are also super comfortable, so you won’t necessarily be sacrificing ergonomics completely!
- Cooper mid-century leather swivel office chair (starting at $499.99) from West Elm: A more expensive chair, but high quality and will likely last a long time. Vintage-y look. Comes in several types of leather colors; choice of genuine top-grain leather or animal-friendly vegan leather, base swivels and tilts, adjustable height.
- Mila Task Chair from Wayfair ($99.99): comes in lots of stylish colors (green, pink, blue, etc.). raises up and down, swivels, armrests can’t be adjusted.
Unique/modern home office chairs
These options might not be the thing that comes to mind when you think “chair,” but they’re great for trying out different ergonomic options.
- ErgoStool from Autonomous ($99): designed to strengthen your back and core and is great if you have a standing desk.
- Fully Balans Kneeling Chair from Fully ($379.00): super unique design drops your legs to a 120 degree angle, opening the hips and taking pressure off your tailbone, back, and neck.
- Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair from Amazon ($69.98): makes sitting at your desk fun. Basically a yoga ball but with a backrest. Promotes micro movements and constant stimulation of the body which can lead to heightened sense focus and concentration.
Setting Up Your Computer Workstation
In this section, I’ll cover the various products and tools that will help you set up an efficient and ergonomic workspace in your home office.
Looking for the right laptop? Check out this podcast episode on choosing the best laptop for programming.
Lets you raise your laptop screen height to your eye level. Important for reducing physical strain in your neck, shoulders and upper back.
- Nexstand Laptop Stand from Amazon ($31.94): Fullstack dev Luna (@coding.woman.dz) uses it and featured it on Instagram. Universal fit for almost all laptops 11.6 inches or larger, offers from 5.5 inches to 12.6 inches of lift, folds up when not in use.
- OMOTON LA02 Portable Laptop Stand from Amazon ($15.99): supports most devices from 10 to 15.6 inches, 6 different heights, prevents your devices from overheating, foldable, not bulky.
My laptop stand: Soundance Laptop Stand ($25.99)
Whether you have a single or dual monitor, this stand raises it to the right height and also often comes with storage so you can put your keyboard under your monitor when you’re not using it.
- Well Weng Large 3 Shelf Monitor Stand from Wayfair ($67.99): Perfect if you have dual monitors. Made with 100% eco-friendly bamboo. Lots of storage areas.
- Samdi Wooden Monitor Stand from Amazon ($49.99): unique, sleek design. Holds up to 200 lbs.
My monitor stand: Custom-made 2-Tier Acrylic Monitor Stand from Etsy (around $80)
Laptop/monitor desk mounts
Desk mounts are another way to raise your laptop/monitor screen height to the right level. One of these may be a better option than a laptop stand if you have minimal desk space, since mounts allow your laptop to hover over your desk, leaving more room on your desk than a stand would. They’re also great for a dual monitor setup for the same reason.
- Fleximounts laptop desk mount from Amazon ($69.99): Suitable for 10.1-17.3 inch laptops, supports clamp or grommet installation. 360º horizontal rotation.
- Zilker Single Monitor Arm by UPLIFT Desk ($99): you have the option to also get a laptop mount with it. Supports screens weighing as little as 4.4 lb and as much as 11 lb, a range that suits the majority of monitors. Can rotate 360 degrees.
- HUANUO Adjustable Monitor Mount with Tiltable Tray ($59.99): all in one monitor + laptop mount. Compatible with 13-27 Inch monitors up to 22lbs and laptops up to 15.6”.
Choosing the right mouse for working from home is more important than you might think. A good mouse can make tasks easier and faster and help prevent injuries such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse ($61.25): Tech enthusiast Spencer Ryan (@thespenceryan) uses it; see his Instagram post here. It has an ergonomic design and supports your hand and wrist in a comfortable, natural position, with up to 70 days of power on a single charge.
- Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse ($27.99): unique vertical design that encourages healthy neutral “handshake” wrist, alleviates pressure in wrist joint, and glides really nicely on the desk (no need for a mouse pad).
- X-Bows Nature Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard ($150): Mia (@mia.codes) uses it; see it in action on Instagram. Promotes more natural typing angles for your arms, wrists, and fingers and helps you type faster.
- Ducky One 2 Horizon with Cherry MX Blues ($102.00): great for typing and programming, heavy and solid construction, easy to tell when you’ve hit a key which allows you to pick up on accidental key presses more quickly (great for avoiding mistakes when coding!)
- iClever Foldable bluetooth keyboard ($46.99): Allows connection with up to 3 Bluetooth enabled devices at the same time, battery capacity of 60 hours working time and 90 days standby time, can fit in your pocket
➡️ My personal keyboard: Apple MC184LL/B Wireless Keyboard ($74)
WFH life led me to finally buy my own printer, since I can’t go to my coworking space to use theirs anymore. Granted, I use it rarely, but these days getting a home office printer is cheap enough to make it worth having one on hand when the need does arise.
- HP LaserJet Pro M15w printer ($108.99): small and compact laser printer, holds one hundred sheets of paper, great for at-home use.
- Brother HLL2395DW Compact Monochrome Laser Printer ($169.99): prints quickly, prints up to 36 pages in a minute, however it’s limited to black and white ink only.
➡️ My personal printer: HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
Noise-blocking headphones are crucial for staying focused when your home office is in a shared space, there are kids in the house, etc.
- Apple AirPods Pro ($199.99): Great while working from home because you can just get up without having to take off your headphones. Also has active noise cancellation. They’re also great to use while running or at the gym.
- VANKYO Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones ($59.98): reduces ambient noises by up to 90%. Great quality noise cancelling headphones especially if you’re on a budget.
➡️ My personal headphones: I have JBL bluetooth ones ($199.99), which were a gift but have come in handy during Covid!
Built-in computer/laptop mics can do the job, but you may want to upgrade to an external microphone if you take a lot of work calls/record videos from your home office and want your audio to be crystal clear.
- Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic ($49): sits low on your desk and angles up so it won’t appear in your video calls. The USB cable allows you to plug right into your PC or Mac.
A quality set of speakers is perfect for hearing people in your work calls better, and for listening to music while working from home.
- Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker ($149.95): 15 hours of battery life, 360-degree sound quality, small and portable, drop-proof, easy to pair your phone/laptop.
- Sonos One smart speaker ($198.87): small and compact so it won’t clutter your desk, voice control with Amazon Alexa, and you can also pair two of them together to simulate surround sound.
Storage and Organization
Nothing can make you lose focus faster than a cluttered space. A good home office setup should include a dedicated home for each of your supplies and a way to keep them tidy. Here are some of my recommendations.
Cord organizer/cable tray/cord concealer
Cord tray to hides cords and makes your desk less messy:
Cable management box organizer:
➡️ What I have: Autonomous cable tray ($25). I got ours from the desk manufacturer so I knew it would fit/work with the desks.
Desk supply organizers
Chances are, you have things like tape, scissors, pens and pencils, and things like that at your desk, and you’ll want a solution to keep them organized.
These are great if you have a smaller desk and need to find creative ways to organize your office supplies:
- VIVO Large Keyboard Under-desk tray ($49.99)
- Safco Products 3244BL Onyx Mounted Under-Desk Hanging Storage ($39.09)
- Self-adhesive under desk storage drawers ($22.99)
These are plastic trays you can use to organize stuff in your drawers and make things easier to find. Great for “junk” drawers:
- Welaxy felt office drawer organizer trays ($45.99)
- Clear Stackable Organizer Trays ($1.99/ea. – $4.99/ea.)
Other creative desk storage ideas:
- Turntables: iDesign Linus Divided Lazy Susans ($17.99/ea. – $24.99/ea.)
- On desk drawers/organizers: White Poppin All-in-One Desktop Organizer ($26.99)
- Desk riser: Franklin Desk Risers ($19.99/ea. – $34.99/ea.)
- Hammock organizer: Umbra Large Hammock Tech Accessory Organizer ($24.99)
Even in our digital world, we still need paper documents at times. It’s important to find good methods to store and keep track of them.
Filing cabinets (if you have the space):
- 22″ Metal File Cabinet ($139.99): comes in lots of colors, great for smaller home offices
- HIRSH 3-Drawer Filing Cabinet ($55.99): Built-in lock secures top two drawers
- Poppin White 2-Drawer Stow Locking Filing Cabinet ($249.99): great quality, easily fits beneath most standard desks, fits both letter- and legal-size hanging file folders
- Bigso Steel Blue Stockholm Desktop File ($19.99): comes with metal label holders, lid to protect from dust, and a pull tab helps you remove it from a shelf
Extra storage / cabinets / drawers
- Bretagne 3 -Drawer Storage Cabinet ($94.99): rolling cart drawer organizer, has one larger drawer and two smaller ones.
- Lennart drawers from IKEA ($14.99): great for those on a budget, drawers hold letter size paper, fits under most desks.
- Desktop printer stand from Yamazaki ($95): has removable wheels, space to store extra printer paper.
- Tower Desktop Printer Stand from West Elm ($95): small, has removable wheels, comes in black or white.
➡️ What I have: PB Teen Hampton Wall System Cabinet ($249)
If you want a bookcase, it’s key to measure for the space you have. I had really specific measurements that would work with my home office setup, and those led me to the one I ultimately chose. Mine was a bit of a splurge, but I have some smaller/more budget options below.
- White Solid Wood Folding Tower ($99.99): you can fold it flat when not in use, making it great for small spaces.
- 13″ 8 Cube Organizer Shelf ($85): compatible with 13″ storage bins, can be used vertically or horizontally to accommodate your space.
➡️ My personal bookcase: PB Teen Beadboard Tall Bookcase ($599–$649)
Useful office accessories
- Giant Dry Erase Wall Calendar ($79.97): 36″x96”, space for 12 months of planning.
- U Brands Magnetic Dry Erase Calendar Board ($19.95): great for posting notes, messages, memos, etc.
- Professional Desk Calendar ($19.95): can be hung on the wall or placed on your desk, thick paper that prevents ink bleed-through.
- Uplift desk brand has a desk that IS a whiteboard top ($499). Coder Laura Medalia (codergirl_ on instagram) has it; see her post here.
- Dexboard Mobile Dry Erase Easel ($125.90): portable; on a rolling stand, height adjustable, flip chart hook.
- Magnetic 11’’ x 14’’ Small Dry Erase Board ($14.95): comes with 6 markers, magnetic, small enough that it’s easy to store when not in use.
- 3M Precise Mouse Pad ($6.10): surface enhances the precision of optical mice at fast speeds, battery-saving design, non-skid backing.
- SteelSeries – QcK Gaming Mouse Pad – Black ($9.99): cloth material with texture that promotes smoothness and glide.
- VictSing keyboard and mouse wrist rest pad ($9.99): alleviates wrist discomfort after long hours at a computer, made of soft memory foam.
- Aelfox Keyboard Wrist Rest ($13.99): keeps your wrist straight in a neutral position while typing and helps you use minimum force while striking keys.
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Home Office Lighting and Acoustics
Time to plan your home office to factor in two of your most important senses: sight and hearing.
Home office lighting ideas
Proper lighting is super important. It can reduce eye fatigue and headaches, help you work longer without feeling tired, and boost your mood. Consider using different types of lighting to brighten up your space.
- Crosby Schoolhouse Desk Lamp ($35): adjustable stand, stylish and modern
- Light Rods LED & USB Table Lamp ($179 – $358): unique design, dimmable, integrated LED design; average lifespan of 25,000 hours, built-in USB port
- TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp ($39.99): 5 color modes & 7 brightness levels, built-in USB port, tilt the head up 135 degrees & swivel 90 degrees; the base tilts down to 150 degrees & swivels 45 degrees
- Ranarp IKEA floor lamp ($49.99): lamp arm and head are adjustable, stylish/modern
- Verilux SmartLight Full Spectrum LED Floor Lamp ($69.99): similar to natural daylight, reduces eye strain and fatigue, 5 light intensity levels and 3 color temperature settings
Lots of people put bright colored lights behind their laptops. This can help reduce eye strain. Here’s an example from @ycodeveloper.
- Philips – Hue White and Color Ambiance Lightstrip ($79.99): you can bend, shape, cut, and extend these light strips to adapt to your home office. 16 million colors. Also bluetooth compatible.
Home office acoustics & privacy
Sharing an office with a partner? Kids? Family? Don’t even have a proper office? #PandemicProblems, right? When you’re working from home along with someone else, sound becomes a big consideration for your home office setup.
My husband and I share a home office, and he does a ton of calls during the day. My work, on the other hand, requires more focus and alone time, so we started looking into solutions.
- Rhino Acoustic Absorption Panels ($54.99): attach to walls to dampen and absorb sound. This is what we ended up getting; it works best when I’m in another room instead of in the office.
- Acoustic Phone Booth by UPLIFT Desk ($399): a unique solution perfect for making calls—mounts on the wall, includes a small shelf inside the booth, and absorbs over 86% of noise.
- Suptikes Door Draft Stopper ($8.99): seals the space under your office door to prevent sound from leaking in.
I have one from Wayfair I bought pre-pandemic to separate our cats’ litter space. Now, I use it to separate the office when my husband is doing a call. It’s foldable & easy to move. It’s not sound-blocking, but makes it feel like a separate space.
- Freestanding Acoustic Privacy Panel Holder by UPLIFT Desk ($199): adds a flexible layer of privacy and acoustic noise and echo dampening, panels come in four sizes and five colors, absorb over 86% of the sound that reaches them. Uplift has tons of other room divider options here.
- Tension rod room divider curtain ($77.99): doesn’t soundproof but creates privacy, and you don’t have to drill anything in your walls (just use a spring-loaded tension rod)
Home Office Decor & Desk Accessories
Decorating your home office can make working a lot more fun, comfortable, and welcoming. Find pieces that suit your personality and make you happy.
Indoor plants (real or faux)
If you’d like to get real plants, check out your local home improvement store or nursery. There are also tons of plant subscription/delivery services such as Desk Plants and The Sill that will deliver indoor plants right to your door.
If you’d rather go with faux plants to decorate your home office, there are also tons of options, such as:
- Romam Snake Plant in Planter ($41.99)
- Veryhome Fake Succulent Plants ($11.99)
- Faux Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant – 5′ ($200)
- Dieffenbachia Faux Plant ($69)
➡️ What I have: Artificial Rubber Leaf Tree from Target ($45)
This one’s up to personal preference and style! Etsy has tons of prints/artwork you can choose from.
➡️ What I have: Artwork by my mom, Tina Cantelmi!
Productivity office/desk accessories
Finally, it’s a good idea to have some tools on hand you can use when you need to focus and get through a coding problem!
- Driini Wooden Desk & Table Analog Clock ($22.90)
- Aomago Digital Alarm Clock with calendar and temperature display ($27.88)
- TimeCube Plus Preset Timer ($23): keeps you on task by helping you block out scheduling chunks for better productivity and performance; great for those who like using the pomodoro technique.
Programmer debugging duck:
- “Rubber duck debugging” is a fun method of debugging code. Explain your coding problem to the rubber duck on your desk, and the idea is that you’ll be able to understand the problem better and come up with a fix. Get a programmer rubber duck on Amazon ($5.34)
Do Not Disturb door sign:
- If you live with others, let them know when they can and can’t enter your home office with a “do not disturb” door sign/door hanger. Get one on Amazon ($9.99)
Your Turn to Build Your Dream Home Office!
That was a lot, but remember you don’t need everything on this list. Pick and choose based on your priorities and needs.
💡 And another reminder that you don’t need an actual office in your home to create a productive, efficient workspace! You can transform any space into a great home office setup with a little creativity and the right products. I hope these home office ideas help you start building a cool home office where all your work-from-home career goals will thrive!