Mother and Baby

WFH essentials - everything you need for the ultimate working from home setup

WFH essentials

Life is a bit different for everyone now, with more people than ever working from home indefinitely. 

If you're anything like us, suddenly turning your home into an office has come as a sudden shock, and you've been managing with the dining room table and your laptop propped up on a shoebox. 

But, if your office isn't reopening any time soon, and you're predominantly going to be WFH for the foreseeable, you need to invest in some essential equipment to make your home office really workable. 

We've pulled together a shortlist of the essential gear you need for the ultimate WFH setup - including what you need if you have a baby or toddler in the background, too, because being organised is vital. 

And trust us - us working mums really do need a mug warmer, alongside a Disney+ subscription, just as much as you need an Apple Magic Mouse. 

If your new WFH setup includes a baby or toddler in the background, then you'll want to invest in a good playpen for those moments when you need to do a video conference without your little one climbing into your hair. This one from BabyDan is flexible and can also be used as a room divider - which might also be necessary while you work. Read our guide to the best playpens here

Your house probably doesn't have air conditioning, unlike your office, so you'll need a desk fan for when the days get humid. If you're limited on space, this vintage-inspired mini fan is light and portable, plugging directly into your computer or laptop. Available in three colours.

 

Logitech's wireless bundle will declutter your workspace. The keyboard makes typing a breeze and offers three tilt angles to maximise comfort. The mouse is versatile too, with a rubberised grip and ambidextrous design. 

If you're using an Apple Macbook, seriously consider the Magic Mouse 2. It's functional and efficient, like the trackpad on your laptop, but speedy and accurate like a normal mouse. Functions can be customised, and the battery lasts ages - and is quickly charged up with a Lightning cable. 

The Apple Magic Keyboard has a low-profile design meaning it's comfy to type on, and it's spaced in such a way to reduce how many mistakes you make. The Magic Keyboard offers a wireless connection, and is charged via a super-fast Lightning Cable.

If you need to concentrate on meetings or spreadsheets without Peppa Pig in the background, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones is a must. 

While you're busy working away or in a video conference meeting and you need your little ones to stay entertained for a guaranteed amount of time, perhaps invest in their own tablet to watch cartoons on, or to play games. You'll want a sturdy version that can withstand life with a child, and this one has its own super-protective case. Check out our guide to the best kids' tablets here

It's been proven that having a second screen increases your productivity, and saves you switching between thousands of tabs on a single screen. Asus's Eye Care feature is included to control light frequencies and reduce eye strain – perfect for a long day in the home office (especially if you've been up with the kids in the night). 

Honestly, this got me through lockdown, and not just because it opened my little boy's world up to the wonders of Disney movies, but because I could then binge on Pixar favourites in the evenings too. This, frankly, is a must if you're trying to conduct meetings while your toddler is at home. 

Video chats can't happen without video, and while laptops typically carry inbuilt webcams, if you have a desktop then you might need a new webcam. This offers a clear picture and audio, and the camera auto-adjusts the lighting balance of an image to guarantee you can always be seen. 

If you're working all day on a laptop, it's time to give it a lift. This stand raises the screen 15cm, reducing the strain on your neck and back, and helping the laptop keep cool. This stand is our top choice because it's sturdy, there are two holes for cable management and the extra space underneath is ideal for a little extra desk storage.

Correct desk lighting is going to keep you alert and reduce eyestrain, making for a much happier workspace. The TaoTronics desk lamp has five light colours and seven brightness settings, allowing you to select the combination that works best for your setup. The LEDs are flicker-free, and the goose-neck design offers versatile positioning.

Once you invest in a mug warmer, you'll wonder how you've ever done without one. This gadget will keep your cuppa warm for up to one and a half hours on a single charge, or all day when you use the coaster. The newest version of this mug has a longer-lasting battery than before. You can control it with an app, allowing you to choose the temperature you'd like your drink to be at. It turns itself off when empty, and is safe to handwash.

 

If you have the space, setting aside an area as a dedicated 'working from home zone' is one of the best things you can do. It'll provide you with a real workspace to go to, and step away from. A desk is the first thing you'll need. This option from Ikea is affordable, and gives you a large 160cm wide, 80cm deep work surface – which is ample for any need. The height of the desk can be adjusted to sit between 60cm and 90cm.

The easiest way to keep you and your family organised is a weekly planner - and this is even more vital if you're WFH and need to block out time for work. This one has a sheet for each week of the year, with magnets for important things. 

If you're looking for an inexpensive, reliable printer that's going to operate efficiently and take up very little space, then the M15W might just be for you. Despite being one of the smallest printers around, the print speed is more than acceptable, and the laser ink is long-lasting. Connection includes USB, Wi-FI, Apple AirPrint, and Google Cloud Print.

A wooden kitchen chair was OK to begin with, but anyone working from home for more than a day will have realised the importance of a proper office chair. Our pick here has a very comfortable mesh backrest, forming to your shape and keeping airflow to a maximum. The fold-up armrests are handy too, allowing the chair to fit nicely under the desk after work.

Did our top picks help you make your choice? Let us know on Facebook - we'd love to hear from you 

 
  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited motherandbaby.co.uk before moving on to write about family cars for Parkers.co.uk - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and WhatsTheBest.co.uk 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

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