Looks like working from home is here to stay. In an October 2021 Gallup poll, nine out of ten remote employees said they wanted to keep clocking in from the couch at least some of the time. Our advice: do it right with the best tech and accoutrements you can get HR to sign off on. We tested a variety of home office gear promising better ergonomic support and a more pleasant nine-to-five. These six made it through the interview process.
Work from Home Desks WFH Desk ($549)
Made of sturdy birchwood ply, this standing model is easy to assemble and takes up less room than other designs, making it perfect for tight spaces. And with 16 add-ons, including a bookshelf ($229) and hooks ($21 for two), you can customize it to suit your every need. We especially liked the Laptop Lifter Wing ($95) and Top Shelf ($199), which upped our ergo game and cleared desk space for doodling and note-taking.
FluidStance Lift Laptop Stand ($79)
If there’s one must-have for home workers, it’s this sturdy steel riser. It lifts your laptop nine inches off your desk or (more likely) kitchen table, helping you keep a straight spine. We loved the thoughtful design, which includes an integrated whiteboard and ample space underneath to stash a keyboard, mouse, and notepad when the day is done.
Apple AirPods Pro Earphones ($249)
Home office, trail, café, bodega—in the months we tested these active-noise-canceling earphones, we brought them everywhere the day took us. Featuring an outward-facing microphone to monitor ambient noise, they were key for helping us concentrate amid the bluster of loud cafés and housemates.
Aeris Muvmat Anti-Fatigue Mat ($145)
Now that you have a standing desk, you’ll want a mat to help reduce foot and knee strain. We found this one to be sturdy, cushy, and able to withstand long hours of fidgety procrastination without showing signs of wear. Small subsurface bumps provide stimulation and promote movement throughout the day. While the mat can support sneakers, flats, and even wide heels, go barefoot for the best experience.
Ember Mug2 Heated Coffee Cup ($130)
Slow sippers know the drudgery of repeatedly nuked coffee or tea. Embr’s mug keeps your beverage warm for hours: place it on the charging coaster, then select the desired temperature in the app. Migrating from desk to porch? Fully charged, the mug will keep things warm for up to 90 minutes. We especially liked the app’s presets for coffee, tea, and more.
Purple Back Cushion ($59)
If an ergonomic task chair isn’t in your budget, at least get a little lumbar support. This back cushion from Purple is semi-firm and features adjustable straps to keep it in place. After a week of using it with Purple’s Royal seat cushion ($99), we felt noticeable relief from the lower-back pain that plagued us during lockdown.