AFF | Now COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, many of us who’ve adapted to working from home are reluctant (or unable) to return to the old way of working. According to this research on work trends in 2022, new virus variants will continue to emerge and may cause workplaces to temporarily go remote again. Hybrid work will create more uncertainty around where, when, and how much different employees are working too. But how you set up your home office is something you can control. And as a seasoned homeworker of over 12 years, I though I’d share my list of 12 must have items for a work from home survival kit that make my life easier.
- 1 What exactly is a work from home survival kit?
- 2 What work from home survival kit ideas from Amazon are actually good?
- 3 What will the workplace look like in the future?
What exactly is a work from home survival kit?
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you’ve already got the basics like a desk, decent Wi-Fi, and enough sockets to charge your laptop and phone. Whether that’s in a purpose built stand alone office, a spare room, or on the corner of your dining table. So, what kind of products are we looking at in a work from home survival kit? Well for me, they’re products that make working from home more comfortable, more professional, and more fun. And although I try to support small businesses elsewhere, in terms of price, availability, delivery and being able to shop for everything all in one place, Amazon is my go to.
What work from home survival kit ideas from Amazon are actually good?
Speaking from experience, these are my 12 work from home survival kit essentials that are good for remote employees. And as you’ll see, some are also lightweight and portable enough for hybrid workers to take to the company office too, win win.
Probably your biggest homeworking investment will be your chair. Choosing one with the right support is key as you’ll spend a LOT of time sitting on it. But properly supportive office chairs don’t come cheap, whereas an ergonomically contoured, premium memory foam, lumbar support pillow that straps onto any chair is definitely a must have. Plus you can use it on a car seat, wheelchair, or any other chair you desire. For only £18.99, I think it’s a steal, especially when you consider all those potential osteopath bills…
This is a fairly recent purchase of mine and I’m absolutely LIVID that I didn’t buy one earlier. It’s an extendable aluminium stand that raises your laptop screen to perfect eye level and your keyboard to a more comfortable typing level. Since I’ve had mine, my neck ache has gone, and my laptop doesn’t overheat as much thanks to the open design that allows more airflow. It folds down into its own little pouch so you can take it with you to the office, or wherever you choose to work. At the time of writing, it’s just £12.98, and I can highly recommend it.
On the very rare occasions that I’ve had to film myself, I couldn’t do it without a phone tripod to hold my phone steady. This £10.99 one has octopus style legs that can be bent into any shape you need and can be rotated 360° for different shooting angles. It also has a Bluetooth remote fob and the wireless range is up to 10 metres – perfect for on the go or outdoor shooting too.
One of the standout features of pandemic work life has been the inexorable rise of Zoom team meetings. Love them or loathe them (“Can you hear me?”, “You’re on mute,” “Shall I share my screen?”), they’ve massively facilitated homeworking. But laptop cameras aren’t the best quality so anything that makes me look more alive gets a big tick in the box. Step forward this little USB-powered Clip On Ring Light for £9.99. With 10 levels of brightness to choose from, you too can look healthy and wide awake, even if you’re not.
Not just a work from home survival kit staple, notebooks are one of those stationery items makes fab work from home gifts too. My personal favourites are wire bound ones so it’s easy to tear out pages without wrecking the spine. I have both A4 and A5 versions of this stylish NU notebook, which has high quality FSC certified paper and a sturdy manilla card cover made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste. Practical and sustainable, they start at £5.99 each.
While I’m happy to use Trello with my clients to keep track of our To Do Lists online, I wouldn’t be without a hard copy paper planner. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels great satisfaction in physically crossing off items with a pen, am I? I love this £7.99 Daily Plan Tear Off Sheets Pad with a Top 3 Priority section, space for notes, and water intake reminders. Plus it’s undated, which means you’re not restricted to calendar months either.
As a huge fan of colour coding, I adore these smooth writing, quick drying gel pens for only £8.09 per pack of eight. You can categorise your notes and projects, see at a glance what needs doing by when, and what relates to each client or topic. The best thing about these ones though are that they’re erasable. If you make a mistake, you can simply delete and rewrite. I usually have a pack in my Amazon shopping basket saved items as Flora loves them too and keeps pinching mine!
If you’re not blessed with a large desk, or you need to clear the dining table at the end of the day, then a smart desk tidy with lots of compartments for pens, pads, paper clips, etc is a must. Colour is down to personal preference, but this £10.19 multifunctional silver one would suit most home offices, I think.
I don’t know about you but any mug of freshly brewed tea will usually go cold long before I remember to drink it. And although it’s not a long way from my upstairs office to the downstairs kitchen, I think this little USB powered mug warmer would save me reboiling the kettle so often. Possibly more of a novelty or fun item at £12.99, but still a welcome addition to any DIY work from home survival kit.
If you’re looking for remote work desktop gift ideas for a care package, this is a great one for only £12.99. You get a month’s worth of thoughtful and motivational quotations on coloured paper in a little glass jar. A company I worked for at the beginning of the pandemic sent one of these to all their staff and freelancers. We used to message each other on the company Slack channel to exchange our daily quotes. A great team builder for remote workers and a lovely morale boost if you work by yourself. Plus you can recycle the quotes and jar at the end too.
As a huge fan of essential oils, which I use in skincare and to help me sleep, I absolutely adore this £15.00 set of four mini rollerballs. Perfect pick me ups during the day, you simply apply to your pulse points (temples, neck, behind ears and wrists) to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy on your mind and body. Smell is one of the most important of our five senses, with the olfactory sensory neurons connecting directly to our brain. So it’s no wonder the right fragrances can uplift us, motivate us and give us confidence.
Not just a pretty prop for photos, plants have great value in any office, including a home office. And some of them, like succulents, are fantastic allergy-friendly air cleaning plants to grow indoors as well. So this little gift box with everything you need to grow six different types of beautiful succulent plants in one starter kit is ideal. Perfect for beginners, you get seeds, pots, succulent soil, clippers, spray, name tags, plastic pot, and an instruction booklet all for £12.99. I think this last item on my list is an absolute bargain.
OK, you may not want to invest in all 12 of my favourite work from home survival kit items, but I hope they’ve given you some food for thought. Because given the way the current labour market has shifted power to employees, pre-pandemic work structures are likely to become a relic according to this BBC article.
Did you know that if you’ve worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks, you have the legal right to request the right to flexible working, which could include working from home? Then it’s up to your employer to decide whether you need to be physically present all the time, or whether at least some of your work could be carried out at home.
Although some companies won’t have the office space to accommodate all their workers in the building at the same time. For example, a lawyer friend of mine works at a firm with 400 desks and 600 staff. Which means there’s inevitably going to be some hybrid working involved. And an engineering consultancy I freelance for has also agreed a 3 days in the office and 2 days work from home way forward.
Bearing all of this in mind, most of my work from home survival kit essentials are not only great investments for your remote office but would also be perfect for you to take into your company’s office as well. So tell me, which ones do you think you’d like to make part of your working life now? 🙂
Do you think the work from home trend is likely to continue? Are you considering a return to the office or hybrid working? What items have you found most useful as a remote worker? And what suggestions would you add to my WFH survival kit list?
* This post contains affiliate links, please see my Disclaimer.