Janice K. Lee
10 Work from Home Essentials
The top items you need on your desk for a pleasant and productive semester.
At the beginning of April, I had a hard time adjusting to my new work-and-study at home environment. My room wasn't very ergonomic (Google definition: "designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment") and I found myself easily fatigued and uninspired to work or push myself.
After renovating and re-structuring my room into an office & crib environment, I found myself able to focus, concentrate, and be productive during the day and stress-free at night. It was a major boost during my internships, reading time, and recreation! So here are the top 10 WFH essentials for students!
I've also done some hunting and researching to find the best priced, quality products for each item. You can find the Amazon links through the pictures or the links! Enjoy :)
1) A pair of blue-light blocking glasses! This helps to defend your eyes from computer vision syndrome, aka digital eye strain. This is super helpful so spending hours on your phone, tablet, or laptop doesn't give you fatigue and eye strains.
I got mine on Amazon and they have a variety of styles so you can feel great and protect your eyes at the same time.
2) A planner to keep everything organized and scheduled. The most popular and efficient planner style are yearly planners that include a monthly and weekly overview so you can jot down any deadlines, events, and notes!
I've been using a yearly planner for five years now so I can vouch for its effectiveness to keep everything organized and consolidated into one physical notebook. I've linked some Amazon finds so you can see which ones you might like!
3) To help with neck and shoulder pains, I got a monitor to fix my posture. It ended up being super useful since I could also open multiple tabs at once and multitask rather than doing a split-screen or rapidly exploring around different tabs. If a monitor (~$70-$100) is too pricey, consider a laptop stand for the same posture-fixing benefit!
I used an old monitor that my family didn't use anymore. It's not the fastest or up to date but it gets the work done pretty well!
4) I found that the one biggest thing that made a difference in my energy and mood was a well-lit room! These fairy lights brighten up my room and allow me to focus at night (which I normally couldn't do) when all of the natural light is gone.
Granted, natural lighting is extremely important. Studies have found that natural light in an office improves health, wellness, and productivity! But that disappears past sunset. Given that my room has navy blue walls, it feels extremely dark a night and it was difficult for me to concentrate. Putting these in was so easy and also added such a great touch to my room. A great alternative is using Christmas lights! I use both and they both do a wonderful job.
5) I use at least three notebooks every day (bullet journal, planner, notepads, etc.) and it can get easily crowded if you don't organize it! Even a simple rack makes a big difference, or if you want an all-in-one product you can get a more functional desk organizer.
6) A power strip! A simple and essential tool for your multiple chargers, lights, speakers, and whatever else needs to be connected to an outlet.
7) A pair of earbuds for Zoom calls and online lectures! If you have some extra cash, perhaps a pair of headphones for better sound quality that's safer for your eardrums. Earbuds are important for calls since you can listen to the other person without your audio echoing through to the other person.
This way you don't have to keep muting yourself when you're not the one talking. It's also great to have if you're not living by yourself and want to be considerate towards your family or roommates.
8) Going right off audio, next up is a portable speaker you can use to listen to music, watch movies, and enjoy Youtube with. It makes the listening experience so much better than your laptop speakers if you love listening to music.
I use my Google Home to connect to my laptop and music, but a portable speaker does the job just as well, if not better since you can carry it around for trips to the beach or picnic!
9) For staying hydrated or alert, keep a reusable water bottle, cup, and/or a mug at your desk for your favorite drinks!
I drink coffee or tea every day so a nice, functional, and aesthetic cup is the perfect cherry on top to starting my mornings strong!