My Six Work From Home Must Haves

Oct 10, 2023

I loathe working from home. I want to go into an office, dress up, see people, separate my work and home lives.  But alas, I work remotely.  And I love my job, so I need to make this WFH life work for me.

One // The Desk Cardigan // At home or at the office, I need to be warm.  If I’m cold, I’m sulking, and if I’m sulking, I’m not productive.  The perfect desk cardigan has three qualities: 1) it’s warm, 2) it’s big enough to wear over clothes (even a suit jacket), and 3) it always looks fresh, even if it hasn’t seen a dry cleaner since Pres. Biden was a boy.

This Vince cardigan has all of those qualities and more.  Discounted to a mid-price, I would rush to buy this piece whether you keep it draped on a chair or keep it in your closet.  Other options include that Barefoot Dreams cardigan that your MIL probably bought your for Christmas (or the cashmere Quince version).  Or go fully elegant office worker with this J.Crew shawl wrap.

Two // The Best Pen // For many years, I was a loyal user of the Papermate Flair.  But no more.  My friend Jayne converted me to Le Pen and I can never go back.  There’s just nothing like a good pen.

Three // The Blue Eye Glasses // My eyes cannot take the strain of 12-hours of computer monitor usage.  And since my second monitor is brighter than the sun, I need these Book Club specs.  They’re my absolute favorite.  Look good on everyone, and the clear makes them a versatile choice.  Plus, they’re on sale today.

Four // The Leather Notebook // A great pen deserves a great notebook.  These Graphic Image notebooks are my long, long, long time favorite.  They’re refillable, engravable, and they make an incredible gift.  Lots of colors.  And they look very professional in a meeting.  I also snapped up the leather portfolio at Verishop.

Five // The Noise Cancelling Headphones // Do you have a loud roommate, partner, child or dog?  Then you need these headphones.  Between my husband’s Zoom calls, my daughter’s (hopefully) happy screams, her nanny’s singing, or my dog’s barking, I would go insane without noise cancelling technology.

I own the full headphones from Bose, but if I had to do it over again, I would buy the earbuds.  These are on sale today and they’re amazing.  Also, if you have a friend who is about to become a Mom, get her these.  On those nights when the baby is changed, fed, safe, and just losing their sh*t for reasons unknown, these are what kept me sane enough to handle the 3:00AM soothing sessions.

Six // The Chambray Shirt // On a Zoom call, you need to look professional.  At home, you want to be comfortable.  This amazing chambray shirt from Caslon does both.  On screen, it looks like light blue poplin, but it feels like a soft, cozy dream.  And it’s sale-priced under-$50.  Petite, tall, or plus?  J.Crew has you covered.

So what are your WFH must-haves for hybrid days or straight from the home office days?  Leave them in the comments.

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Posts, Style, Work, Work From Home

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  1. Clara says:

    Lighting for my Zoom calls. I have three monitors and each gives off a slightly different light. I finally found the right combo of warm lights to looks great on Zoom no matter which monitor I’m looking at during a call

  2. Al says:

    Headphones definitely – and also a cute (but smart) water glass so that I have it close at hand on my desk, can keep hydrated even on calls and don’t feel quite as shrivelled after an 8hrs of calls day as I otherwise would. (Also I get super cranky when I’m thirsty.)

  3. strin012 says:

    A motorized standing desk has made WFH much more tolerable for me. I start the day standing and sit sometime in the afternoon.

    • Rachel Betts says:

      I have a deskcycle to burn some extra energy while I’m on calls. Not sure if it helps with actual weight loss but it keeps me moving!

  4. Jenn S. says:

    I am fully remote, too. I finally invested (well, employer reimbursed me) in an ergonomic keyboard and mouse for my workstation. I’m using a Logitech Lift, which is a nice vertical mouse for smaller hands. Their MX Vertical is great too, but definitely better-suited for larger hands. Logitech has measurement guidelines on their site. I also got their ERGO K860 keyboard – its a split keyboard to help with wrist posture and whatnot.
    Beyond that, a good chair is worth investing in if you can. I did the dining room chair thing for a year starting with initial CoVid lockdown and had to start seeing a chiropractor as a result! Some employers offer ergonomic/furniture reimbursement; check to see if yours does! If it doesn’t, you can get gently used *nice* ergonomic chairs second hand from office supply companies. They also occasionally pop up on FB Marketplace or Nextdoor super cheap from people selling stuff they have no concept of the value of. I have a Steelcase Leap V2 because it suits my needs, but this is very individual need-and-preference dictated.

  5. Laura says:

    Abra, are you still using your walking pad in your office? I’ve been debating buying one. Thanks!

    • Belle says:

      When I left my last job, a coworker bought it from me so I wouldn’t have to move it. I’ll replace it when I get my new space set up. I’d like something with a safety bar.

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