Remote Office Equipment You Need to Work From Home

Remote Office Equipment You Need to Work From Home

There is specific equipment you need to invest in when working remotely. When your home becomes your office, you realise it lacks some essential objects a traditional office provides. Making sure you get the necessary remote office equipment is crucial to ensuring your absolute comfort and productivity. 


Find out what equipment is needed to work remotely with our ultimate checklist.


Essential remote work equipment


  1. Ergonomic chair
  2. Laptop stand
  3. Desk lamp
  4. Blue-light-blocking glasses
  5. Good webcam
  6. Quality microphone
  7. Wireless earphones
  8. Printer
  9. Scanner
  10. Folders
  11. Planner 


  1. Ergonomic chair


First things first. Your comfort is your top priority when it comes to working from home. Memes about remote workers and their body postures are only funny in theory. In practice, you don’t want to be featured in one of them. 


This is why you should invest in a chair which will provide the optimal support for your body when working from home. They are not cheap, but put things into perspective. If you buy one now, it might save you thousands on potential future visits to chiropractors or - God forbid - orthopedists. 


An ergonomic chair is designed to provide comfort and help maintain a healthy posture while seated. It is the type of chair you often see professional gamers have - and for a good reason. As people who spend a lot of their time sitting down in front of a monitor, they know firsthand how important taking care of good posture is. 

  1. Laptop stand


Contrary to popular belief, a laptop stand is more than an unnecessary expense. Together with an ergonomic chair, it is your ticket to having a healthy spine.


Even the best-fitted desk won’t provide the optimal height for your computer or laptop. We are not meant to be tipping our chins down all day. When sitting down, your monitor should be level with your gaze when you’re looking straight ahead.


By placing the monitor directly on the desk, we need to bend our necks slightly. You should try to avoid that by getting a laptop stand which will elevate your monitor to the optimal height.


P.S. I recently got one of those bad boys myself and I cannot recommend it enough. As a content creator, I spend countless hours in front of my laptop - a fact confirmed by my poor posture.


As it turned out, laptop stands are not a big investment - you can get a solid one for up to €10. It's less than I pay for one physiotherapy session I attend weekly to save my S-shaped spine (or what's left of it at this point). 


Nobody (sadly) pays me to advertise laptop stands, by the way. I just hadn't believed how much they could improve the quality of work (and life in general) until I got one, so now I feel like I need to save as many other spines as possible. Go google a laptop stand now, if you haven't already!

  1. Blue-light-blocking glasses


Next to scoliosis, blue light is a remote worker’s worst enemy. The blue light filters you can turn on on your computer or phone aren’t enough to protect you against its harmful effects. 


Even if you don’t normally need glasses, you should think about getting a pair of blue-light-blocking ones. Wearing fake glasses with blue light protection will decrease the probability of you having to wear real ones in the future. 


Act preventively and take care of your sight before it’s too late.

  1. Desk lamp


Another way to protect your eyes is to ensure appropriate lighting. First and foremost, you should set up your desk close to a window, if possible. A source of natural light is essential for your home office.


What’s more, a desk lamp is crucial for working overtime or for short days in winter. It should provide soft, warm light and be regulated so that you can adjust its settings to your current position. 


Good lighting is not only beneficial for your health. It will also be an advantage during video calls, when it can improve the quality of your image on other’s screens. 

  1. Good webcam


Working from home often comes with participating in video calls. Most of them will require you to turn on your camera out of respect for your supervisors, colleagues, or clients. 


The default cameras in computers and laptops usually aren’t good enough. The image they generate is often grainy or smudged. Having a bad-quality camera might make you come across as unprofessional when meeting with potential clients and discussing future collaboration. 


Investing in a good webcam as part of your remote office equipment is crucial to maintaining effective communication with your employer or clients.

  1. Quality microphone


Just like a good camera, a quality microphone is an essential element of your remote work equipment. You don’t have to be a podcaster to purchase a good microphone. Attending frequent online meetings is a good enough reason to justify such an expense. 


Do you know the feeling of being in a meeting with an orchestra of undetermined whooshing, buzzing, and other annoying background noises? It’s hard to focus when somebody’s speech is overshadowed by creepy, disturbing feedback. 


A good microphone will tune out background noise and transmit only your speech. You can set it up outside of the camera’s sight and enjoy flawless communication with your colleagues or clients. 


Headsets are another valid option - though you have to admit, they are becoming obsolete. The sight of someone answering a video call wearing a headset is not that common anymore and may make one wonder whether they’re stuck somewhere in the previous decade.

  1. Wireless earphones


Most remote workers will agree on one thing: there are too many wires in your home office. Phone charger, laptop charger, computer and monitor wires if you work on a PC, lamp cord, scanner, printer, and God knows what else. 


Each wire you can bid farewell to is a relief. Wireless earphones are one of the best places to start due to their availability and price not exceeding traditional, wired ones. 


Earphones are a standard element of your remote work equipment. They provide a better quality of your online meeting, block out all noises, and even allow you to stream a podcast while you work without disturbing others in your home.


Not to mention, they prevent others from disturbing you in return. 

  1. Printer 


Even in the digital era, it still often happens that we need to print something. Print studios for personal use are becoming few and far between. Locating the nearest one - which might be miles away - and getting there could waste too much of your precious time. 


A printer is an investment that will pay off sooner than you think. Make sure it’s part of your equipment for remote working.

  1. Scanner


Once we print something, we often need to quickly send it back into the digital world. We are slowly making our way towards a paper-free bureaucracy, but we’re still not quite there. 


Scanner apps for your phone are a good option when you have no alternative. They are true lifesavers when you need to scan a document while on holiday or away from home. 


However, they are not good enough a solution for scanning on a professional scale. The quality of scans made by phone apps is much worse than that of an actual scanner, so it’s an investment you should make to keep your reputation as a professional remote worker.

  1. Folders


It is incredibly easy to lose things when working from home. Especially if you don’t have a dedicated office and work from various spots around the house. 


There is nothing more frustrating than misplacing an important document and fervently looking for it in the heat of the moment. Prevent a catastrophe from happening by keeping your files neatly organised in folders.


How you group your paperwork is entirely up to you. Work out a system that makes sense to you and stick to it. Go through your files every now and then to see whether you’re not hoarding any documents you don’t need anymore. 


Remember that working from home, you are responsible for keeping track of all your files. No one will do it for you so it’s in your best interest to keep them organised.

  1. Planner


Digital calendars are handy in a way that all meetings scheduled by others requiring your attendance automatically pop up there. However, it can get problematic when different people use different providers.


Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Apple Calendar and others don’t always synch. Having to regularly check and update each one separately is tiring. Not to mention, it’s very easy to miss a meeting or a deadline when forgetting about a particular calendar you don’t use as often but others prefer. 


Writing everything down in your own personal agenda is a safe solution. Additionally, you can also include your personal comings and goings such as doctor's appointments or children’s rehearsals.


By entering both your personal and professional plans, you will keep track of all of them and prevent those two sides of life from potentially interfering with each other. 


It’s up to you whether you choose a traditional paper journal or a planning software such as Asana. A digital planner has the additional bonus of sending you notifications and reminders, but there is something irresistible about the good old pen and paper. 


Non-essential but recommended home office equipment


  1. Wireless mouse
  2. Mousepad / deskpad
  3. Second monitor
  4. Plants
  5. Extension cord / power strip
  6. Pinboard / whiteboard
  7. Pen holder


  1. Wireless mouse


Life with a remote job is possible without a wireless mouse. But it can be easier when you own one. 


We can all agree that we try to avoid wires when working from home. A wireless mouse saves you the trouble of untangling its wire several times a day and keeping it plugged in. It can be a hassle if you need to move your laptop.


When working on a laptop, a mouse isn’t necessary, but it does provide additional comfort for many. This is why it makes it to our list of recommended remote work equipment.

  1. Mousepad or desk pad


When buying a mouse for your remote office, don’t forget the mousepad. Scraping the mouse over your desk isn’t good for the mouse - or for the desk.


Some people find it annoying to keep the mouse within its pad. They are often too small, so a desk pad is a nice alternative. 


Not only does it eliminate the issue of a too-small mousepad, but it also protects the entire desk. Scrapes, spilled coffee, or ring-shaped water stains won’t be a threat anymore if a desk pad joins your list of equipment needed for working from home. 

  1. Second monitor


You don’t know how much you need a second monitor until you get one. Many find it difficult to learn to divide their attention between two screens at first. But once they get used to it, they will never want to go back to working on a single screen.


Two monitors are useful in many areas. You can keep your eye on something while working on your primary screen. Stream a webinar or a video call without having to pause your activity. Keep a tab with notes open while you type out a report or an article on your main screen. 


A second monitor is not as necessary an expense as a good camera or a printer. You can go without it, but it’s a good option for expanding your remote work equipment when you’ve set some money on the side with that goal in mind. 


  1. Plants


Plants may be very low on the list of essential equipment for remote working for many. For some, they may not even make it onto the list at all. 


But hear us out here.


Plants are not just an element of decor. Studies show that it is beneficial for everyone working in front of a computer to take their gaze off the monitor for a few minutes every few hours and look at something green.


If you’re not lucky enough to have a park or forest view from your home office window, get some plants. If you weren’t born with a green thumb and worry about killing them, get succulents. They are not immortal, but they are harder to kill than other plants. And many of them are also green. 


Before you wonder, painting a wall green will not have the same effect as placing a few plants in your home office. We, humans, are programmed to be around nature, and we all need a bit of its presence in our lives.

  1. Extension cord / power strip


In an ideal world, sockets would be placed exactly where we need them, when we need them. In the real world; however, it is not uncommon to rent a place with only one outlet per room - often located in very questionable spots. 


An extension cord will solve the struggle of reorganising your entire office to plug your charger into the nearest outlet. Additionally, you will likely have more devices that need constant access to a socket than the original outlets available in the room. 


There is no need to unplug your computer while you use the printer. An extension cord or power strip will allow you to plug in all your devices at once. 



  1. Pinboard / whiteboard


You may think pinboards stop being essential once you graduate from high school, or maybe university. But in truth, they are perfectly good tools for adults, too.


Sticky notes are a good way for writing down reminders, but they are not entirely trustworthy. Have you ever forgotten something and blamed the unreliable glue on a sticky note which has unsuspiciously fallen off and fluttered to a dark corner?


This won’t happen if you pin your reminders to a pinboard, or attach them to a whiteboard with solid magnets. 


A whiteboard gives you the additional option to write and draw directly on it. It’s great for brainstorming or writing down your daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists.

  1. Pen holder


Picture this: you’re on the phone with a potential client. The conversation is going well, you’re getting along, and it looks like they might choose your services. Then they say something you need to write down. 


You automatically reach out to where your pen usually is, patiently waiting next to the stack of sticky notes.


It’s not there. 


Stunned, you stop paying attention to what the person on the phone is saying as you frantically look around, searching for the pen. It’s nowhere to be seen.


Panicked now, you duck your head under the desk, thinking that maybe it’s rolled off the edge. Failing to find it, you raise too quickly and bang your head against the bottom of the desk.


You curse - loudly - straight into the speaker. The client cuts off and you begin apologising, hoping you didn’t just ruin a collaboration you have spent the past week building. By the time you hang up, you still haven’t found your pen, and you’re not entirely sure if you’ll hear from the client again.


All that could be avoided if you get a pen holder for your home office. And if you actually keep your pens there. 


This is the standard equipment needed to work from home. All of those items are supposed to ensure your maximum productivity and make your life as a remote worker easier.


Some of the remote office equipment is pricy, but unless you are self-employed, it is likely your employer will provide them for you. Make sure to inquire about a laptop or earphones. Some companies also supply their remote workers with cameras and microphones. 


At the end of the day, it is you who decides what you need most for the type of activity you perform. Define your budget and decide which pieces of remote work equipment are necessary now, and which can wait until later. 


The ultimate goal is to ensure your comfort, safety, and top performance while you enjoy the privilege of working from home. 


P.S. If you're loving working from home and looking for a new remote job, check out our remote job offers in Europe at Europe Language Jobs!