It seems impossible these days to scroll through our timelines without seeing another story about the push to return to office. We get it, the urge for pre-pandemic life is strong. And spending days on end talking to nothing but a laptop screen and your dog can get old. But we know that working from home isn’t going anywhere – we are still in a pandemic and uh, monkeypox is a thing — and that Black women especially are benefitting from the switch to remote offices and are reluctant to head back to in-person work (back to fielding microaggressions from Karen while huddled around the coffee machine? No, thank you). Even as more companies turn to hybrid work models where employees are slowly returning to IRL offices a few days a week, the reality is that working from home is here to stay.
The new reality of the past couple years has undoubtedly come with new routines — like instead of that daily drudge through the sticky streets to catch your train, your commute now may consist of moving from your bed to your couch. No judgment! Everyone has their work-from-home routine and their go-to items that make getting through 9-to-5 from the comfort of your very own abode more enjoyable.
So if you, like us, are continuing to live your best inside inside life while you work from home and need some inspiration for maximizing your WFH life, we got you covered. Here are five picks from Unbothered editors for our must-haves while working from home.
"Not to be the one who picks the most vain product of the bunch, but my work-from-home staple is my ring light! She is truly That Girl™ and I couldn’t live without her. Whether it’s for late Zoom calls with the west coast when my natural light is no longer hitting right or for when I just need a little pick-me-up lighting during our Go, Off Sis podcast recordings, this light is a lifesaver. Good lighting not only makes you look more professional, it also will give you a confidence boost on even your most blah days (and we all have those days). Investing in a good light will be the best thing you do for your home office, I promise!" - Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Deputy Director, Global
“The pandemic era has not been one of my favorites, but it did lead to one of my favorite things: working from home. I am a certified working from home fan, but it would be impossible to do without my Apple headphones. My headphones have been a blessing throughout this, in fact, I don’t think I’ve written even one article without them playing music. They are so useful for drowning out outside noise, from the incessant drilling outside my window, the sounds of the TV playing, to even the smallest noises like rain falling on the window. They keep me focused, instead of my mind flitting all around the different tasks I have to do for the day, I can just put my headphones in and work on one thing, like an article.
My headphones are also really helpful when I’m working in an open space and have to do meetings. I have so many meetings every day, and if I didn’t have my headphones, it would be so hard to play it out loud and have the sound fighting for dominance with the sounds of a cafe. It’s become so integral to my work routine, pulling out my laptop and then connecting my headphones, that at this point, I’m not sure I could do work without having my headphones which is why my must-have for work from home is my headphones.” - Wisdom Iheanyichukwu, Editorial Intern
“My must-have work from home product is a Project 62 woodgrain essential oil diffuser from Target. In addition to putting some necessary moisture back into the air in my apartment — the air gets really dry in my apartment — the diffuser is great at circulating refreshing scents like eucalyptus for when I need some centering and lemongrass for days that I need a pick-me-up.” - Ineye Komonibo, Culture Critic
“For my work-from-home set up, I try to keep my desk as neat as possible. I like to think I’m old fashioned when it comes to note taking because I prefer to physically write my to-do list instead of typing it out, which is why I have so many notes at the end of day from brainstorming and jotting down thoughts during meetings. So, one main way I keep myself organized when it’s time to refer back to my notes is using a drawer exclusively for my papers. This paper drawer is perfect to have on top of your desk so your notes are right at your fingertips. They have a variety of colors to fit the theme and aesthetic of your work-from-home space.” - Venesa Coger, Style and Culture Specialist
“My must have work-from-home piece that I can't live without is my planner/notepad. Now that we're no longer in the office and meetings happen a lot more frequently, my planner is the only way I stay organized. I'm training myself to take less mental notes and put pen to paper more.” - Sandy Pierre, Branded Execution Manager