You’ve been so busy cranking out awesome work that you’ve completely neglected your workspace. Yup, I’m looking at you! Sure, you might have a good computer and a decent set of collared shirts you can throw on for video conference calls, but it’s time for a few upgrades.
The next time you have a little extra cash to spend, remote working warrior, here’s what you should invest in to make your days nicer and more productive. Don’t max out your credit cards, just pick one or two things from this list and take the financial plunge:
1. A good, ergonomically sound chair
When it comes to office chairs, the price gap between not-so-great chairs and amazing, 100% ergonomically sound chairs is extremely wide. You can invest your money in a $700+ well-crafted chair that’s meant to last, but if you’re struggling for cash, consider a balance ball or saddle-type of chair.
2. A multi-brightness lamp
Unless you work outside or next to giant, floor-to-ceiling windows, there’s no way you’re going to get the full benefit of sunrise-to-sunset light. If you can, spend a little money on a lamp with more than one brightness setting — or even better — one with a dimmer.
3. Noise-cancelling headphones
Ambient noise can be a productivity killer, so noise-cancelling headphones are a godsend when you regularly work in proximity to children, cars, pets or noisy neighbors (including spouses, SOs and roommates). Do your homework, read the online reviews, and find a pair within your budget.
4. A second monitor
Trust me on this – you can never have too many monitors. However, if you’re going to splurge a bit, buy at least one more than the one you have. If you have a flatscreen TV, that’ll work too. The price of monitors has dropped precipitously so look for sales (or shop online) to get the most bang for your buck.
5. Something cheery
Is your work from home space dreary or dull? Buy something bright and interesting to look at when you need a break. A colorful piece of artwork. An attractive, low-maintenance plant. A colorful goldfish (well, if you have cats, maybe not a goldfish). When you just need to think or work out a problem, having something bright and familiar as a focal point really helps.
If you’re cash strapped or frugal, the fifth option is only going to set you back a little bit. If you’re flush, go buck wild on this list, and see how much these little (or not so little) things improve your daily working life.
Hope this helps!