Whether you're looking to adjust to current events or simply want to telecommute more frequently, you'll want a home office setup that's designed to help you get stuff done. To that end, you'll need more than the obvious stuff. You'll need more than a computer, some monitors, and a desk.
But you also don't need to dive deep into your finances to afford those amenities. If you know where to look, you can get all the equipment you need on a tidy budget. To that end, here are a few of our recommendations (and top picks).
An ergonomic office chair
If you're working from home, that likely means you're spending at least twenty to forty hours a week in front of your computer screen. More if your computer is also a source of leisure. Trust us when we say that if you're sitting in a low-quality office chair that entire time, you will start to feel it in your back.
Ignore the problem for long enough, and you may end up dropping several thousand at a chiropractor to fix the damage you've done to yourself. While most ergonomic chairs tend to run you at several hundred dollars or more (the top-end ones often retail at over a grand), you actually don't need to spend that much unless you're looking for luxury. Furmax offers a mesh-backed chair that not only provides excellent lumbar support, but also breathability.
Furmax Office Chair Mid Back Swivel
Although the lack of a dedicated headrest may be a problem for some users, this chair nevertheless offers excellent lumbar support, with a padded seat for extra comfort.
$58 at Newegg
A high-quality multi-function printer
No home office is complete without a printer and a scanner. From printing off tax forms and business receipts to scanning important documentation for clients, print technology is an essential part of any small business. Moreover, everyone knows printed documents are easier to read, work through, and remember.
Unfortunately, most printers are, for lack of a better phrase, productivity killers. From complex setup processes to highly-priced cartridges, they seem to come prepackaged with a laundry list of reasons to avoid them. Not so with the HP Neverstop Laser Tank 1202w.
For one, it offers massive savings, both upfront and long-term. HP's new Toner Reload Kit, which contains enough for 2500 pages, costs only $16. The printer itself comes with enough toner to print up to 5000 pages right out of the box.
Compare that to typical laser cartridges, which can cost upwards of $60 or $70 - some may even cost several hundred. No matter what you print, you'll be able to enjoy a net cost of less than a penny a page. Factor in that the Toner Reload Kits are made from recycled materials, and you've got a recipe for complete sustainability.
Factor in the extra functionality of the HP Smart App, which includes remote setup, printing, and scanning, and the Neverstop Laser Tank 1202w is a clear winner for any home office.
HP Neverstop Laser Tank 1202w
With its incredibly low cost per page, excellent print quality, and added productivity features, the HP Neverstop Laser Tank 1202w more than justifies its price tag.
$330 at HP
A filing cabinet for documents
No matter your line of business, you'll need to maintain some physical documents. Hard copies of contracts, financial statements, receipts, and so on. Don't make the mistake of trying to stuff these important files in your desk drawer.
Purchase a dedicated filing cabinet instead. You don't need to shell out a ton on one, either. Space Solutions offers a three-drawer cabinet which, while not necessarily as durable as some other models on the market, is perfect for general home-office use.
Space Solutions 3-Drawer File Cabinet with Pencil Drawer, black
Compact and affordable, this filing cabinet can fit just about anywhere you need it to and features a lock that can be used to secure the top two drawers.
$64 at Walmart
An external hard drive
A lot can go wrong with your computer. Ransomware can lock you out of critical files. Hardware can fail. A software bug can wipe your data out.
Unless you're keen on losing countless hours of work (and likely a ton of business records) you need to maintain backups. While you can feasibly use a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive, we'd also recommend keeping a physical backup handy as well. Western Digital offers an excellent option in that regard.
Western Digital My Passport 4TB
Sporting hardware encryption, USB 3.0, and an ergonomic case, this drive will keep your most important data safe, especially when paired with WD's backup software.
$119 at Best Buy
Most people don't drink enough water. As a matter of fact, we'd wager many of you subsist almost entirely on coffee and spite. That isn't healthy.
Not only can it have a ton of long-term adverse effects on your body, but in the short term, dehydration wreaks havoc on your productivity. Given that you can't exactly be expected to constantly get up from your desk to go to the sink, the clear solution is to invest in a water bottle, preferably one with a sealable lid so you don't end up spilling it all over your electronics. Why not try a mammoth mug?
Although these massive jugs are meant for the gym, they work just as well in an office setting. Fill one up with some ice and water in the morning, and you'll have a cold drink within arm's reach throughout the workday. Just don't make the mistake of putting it in the dishwasher.
This 1.5-liter water bottle is just the thing to keep you hydrated throughout the day and is surprisingly durable given its low price tag.
$18 at Mammoth Mug