Since the pandemic started, the need for home office gadgets and accessories has been on the rise. But as businesses worldwide continue adapting to an ever-evolving health crisis, one thing remains clear: the term “working from home” is in constant flux. Long-story-long: Winter is here, and our home offices need to be on point, especially if we’re going to push this planet into the future together. In short, adapt or get left behind, folks.
Of course, adaptation is easier said than done. (And it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Mother Earth’s collective workforce, regardless of one’s metaphorical canoe.) But for many, now that we’ve dug our heels in a bit, the accompanying freedom ain’t so bad — if you can hang on to your general sanity, that is.
Creating a daily, weekly, and monthly structure for your (entirely subjective) home office lifestyle requires the proper tools, and that’s where Laptop Mag comes in. I’ve scoured our archives (and beyond) for the best cutting-edge home office accessories to keep you organized, holistically healthy, and ready to take on…well, whatever’s coming next. Read on for the best home office accessories to optimize your office space.
- The best business laptops will round out your home office
- The best workstations can handle the toughest multitasking
- The best video conferencing apps and software will keep you connected
1. Business laptop
This wouldn’t be Laptop Mag if we didn’t have at least one laptop recommendation for your home office, and most business-minded professionals will find a friend in the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen). As far as we’re concerned, the X1 checks off all our boxes when it comes to everyday productivity — and much, much more.
Thanks to 10th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to a whopping 1TB of fast SSD storage, this 14-inch laptop is fantastic for getting work done, each and every day. The starting price is a bit high (around $1,300 for the base configuration), but it’s the best business machine you can buy right now, and we’re willing to put your money where our mouth is.
2. Digital drawing pad
While premium drawing pads are often aimed at seasoned artists, the Wacom One is more affordable than you’d expect, and it’s a great tool for digital artists of all types. The beautiful 13.3-inch, 1080p anti-glare display works incredibly well with the Wacom One pen, making it easy to sketch or paint directly on the screen, create diagrams, annotate documents, and edit photos/videos. (Android compatibility is a welcome feature, too.) For budding photographers, videographers, and content creators, this drawing tablet is worth a look or three, and it’s definitely worth the investment.
See our full Wacom One review.
3. Note-taking tablet
Zoom meetings are often accompanied by the same note-taking chores as in-person meetings, and the reMarkable 2 was built with this one purpose in mind; think of it as a blank 100,000-page notebook that organically eliminates other distractions. That’s right, there are no downloadable apps to install, nor any social media integration to speak of. And at just 0.19 inches thick, the reMarkable 2 is classified as the world’s thinnest tablet. The end result? An ultraportable digital notebook that feels...err, remarkably like the real thing. Trust us, you’ll want one of these lying around your home office, and it’s more useful than you’d think.
See our full reMarkable 2 review.
4. External [gaming] monitor
Even if you’ve got a monster 17-inch gaming rig at home, you may find that there’s simply no such thing as “too much” screen real estate for basic productivity chores. And these days, you don’t have to break the bank to level-up your desktop to a dual-screen setup. The extra 24.5 inches of workspace will do wonders for multi-tab multitasking, allowing you to compare several windows at once without straining those oculars too hard.
Bonus: the Acer KG251Q bmiix supports AMD FreeSync technology, so when office hours are over, this monitor makes a seamless transition from productivity companion to gaming accessory. (You’re welcome in advance for the excuse.)
5. 1080p webcam
In the time of COVID, the best webcams are no longer an optional luxury. On the contrary, they’ve become downright essential for proper communication between business colleagues, families, and medical professionals across the planet — especially since we have way fewer eyeball-to-eyeball conversations than before.
For the first half of 2020, it was almost impossible to find a good 1080p webcam in stock. That goes (literally) double for the popular Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920: its normal MSRP of $80 skyrocketed to $158 last August, back when Logitech was at the peak of its webcam shortage. But now that prices have normalized, the C920 is still one of the best webcams you’ll find anywhere thanks to its wide 78-degree viewing angles, crystal-clear 1080p (30 fps) videos, and uber-accurate colors. It’s not exactly like being in the same room as someone, of course, but it’s about as close as we can get for now. (If you have a little extra money to spend, the Logitech C920e has wider viewing angles and additional video conferencing compatibility.)
See our full Logitech HD Pro C920 review.
6. Halo ring light
Most ring light manufacturers like to brag about great selfies, but that’s not all the ESDDI PLV-R120 10-inch Ring Light is good for. Now that so many of us are stuck indoors en masse, video chats can be the only human interaction some of us get on a regular basis. And from a professional standpoint, it’s always in your favor to enter a Zoom meeting with proper three-point lighting; this is the COVID equivalent of putting your best foot forward, even when you’re not wearing any shoes. (Bonus: you can attach your smartphone to the light itself, and the PLV-R120’s Bluetooth remote lets you take pictures from a distance.)
7. Docking station
If you’re serious about maximizing the productivity of your laptop, you’re gonna need a bigger boat...of ports. (Especially if your machine is more than a few years old.) And boy howdy, does Corsair deliver with the TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which happens to be one of the best USB Type-C hubs you’ll find anywhere — if you can afford it. This premium dock looks sleek as hell with its durable aluminum housing, and it’s packed to the brim with all the ports you could possibly need: USB-C (2), USB-A (2), HDMI (2), SD card, 3.5mm headphone jack, Gigabit Ethernet, and Kensington lock slot.
The whole thing is powered by a singular Thunderbolt 3 port, and it’s compatible with both Mac and Windows 10. If your laptop is lacking in the ports department (here’s looking at you, Chromebook users), this one accessory could be a godsend for your freelance hustle. The Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock is expensive, to be sure, but this is one understated home office accessory that’s totally worth it.
8. Mechanical/gaming keyboard
Just because you’re on the clock doesn’t mean you can’t make it rock. Plus, if you’re all alone in your home office anyway, the awesome RGB lighting of the Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard won’t be a distraction for your persnickety colleagues. This particular keyboard might be overkill for non-PC-gamers, but here’s a fun fact: the best mechanical keyboards and best gaming keyboards go hand-in-hand, and they’re universally the most comfortable keyboards for touch-typists; there’s nothing quite so satisfying as the clickety-clack of a quality mechanical keyboard, and it’s an easy upgrade for any home office setup. (Bonus: this’ll go great with your new external monitor.)
9. Bluetooth mouse
Some of the best business laptops and best workstations have some of the best touchpads built right in, but no touchpad can match the precision and flat-out functional ergonomics of the Logitech MX Master 3 Bluetooth mouse. Representing the combined evolution of its two predecessors, the latest iteration of the MX Master mouse has a unique scroll wheel with two different modes (one ratcheted, one free-scrolling), and it charges via USB-C (as opposed to micro-USB).
You can pair the MX Master 3 with up to three devices simultaneously, and it can connect via USB or Bluetooth to Windows, Mac, Android, and (with a few tweaks) even iOS devices. It’s comfortable enough for daily use, and the gesture controls might come in handy if you’re a graphic designer, video editor, or serial web page-scroller. If you have smaller hands, consider the MX Anywhere 3, a smaller version of the Master.
See our full Logitech MX Master 3 review.
10. Noise-cancelling bluetooth headphones
Unless you live by yourself, part of acclimating to the working-from-home lifestyle is adjusting to the (completely subjective) ambient noise levels around you, which can have a direct effect on your overall productivity. The best noise-cancelling cans, however, allow you to remain in your miniature bubble of (relative) seclusion, even if your noisy kids are just one room over. The Bose 700 headphones are our absolute favorite when it comes to noise cancellation, and if you keep them hooked up to your phone during office hours, it’s easy to create instant privacy (a miniature conference room, if you will) at a moment’s notice; the active noise cancellation feature works impressively well. If you spring for the Bose 700 UC model, you also get additional workplace compatibility with Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom. The Bose 700 are bulkier than the sportier Apple AirPods Pro (they are over-ear headphones, after all), but they’re also far better at noise cancellation if you don’t mind the heft.
See our full Bose 700 review.
11. All-in-one office printer
One look at the Canon Pixma TR 8620’s colorful 4.3-inch touchscreen and you already know this ain't your granddaddy’s color printer. (Which actually might not exist, come to think of it, depending on how old you are.) From scanning and faxing to printing and mailing, this printer has all the main features you’d expect from a solid all-in-one, and then some. Add in smart home support (via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant), and you’ve got yourself a digital taskmaster for the home office.
See the full Canon Pixma TR8620 review from our friends at Tom’s Guide.
12. Standing desk
If you’re mostly working from home, you better believe that swapping out your conventional office desk for an electric standing desk is an absolute game-changer. But the Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk takes things to another level — quite literally, in fact. This desk is made from sustainable materials that lend a sophisticated air; the dual motors are quiet, and switching between heights is a quick, seamless process. Best of all, the frame can support up to 350 pounds. That means you can load up your new workspace with plenty of the best home office accessories from this list.
Why should you test-drive a standing desk? Well, the more time you spend hunched over a laptop keyboard with poor posture, the worse it is for your neck, spine, hips, and knees. (And psyche, no doubt.) From a holistic standpoint, an uncomfortable workstation can become a ticking time bomb for potential injury — both short- and long-term.
13. Standing desk converter
If you don’t have the extra cash for a full-size standing desk, there are plenty of other standing desk converter options to help fend off bad posture (and a sedentary lifestyle) in your home office. The Flexispot Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter has a 35 x 23.2-inch work surface, which is big enough for a dual-monitor setup, and then some. The heavy-duty steel frame raises between 5.5 and 19.7 inches, and the vertical rising mechanism keeps your tech secure with each adjustment. This one upgrade might be the best purchase you ever made for your personal health.
14. Desk bike
For anyone concerned about an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, the Flexispot Home Office Height Adjustable Cycle Desk Bike could be just the fitness-furniture you’ve been waiting for. Half desk, half stationary bike, the Desk Bike is a deceivingly basic workstation that stays perfectly stable when in use, allowing you to burn through calories and emails simultaneously.
The 22.8 x 20-inch desktop is fully adjustable between 34.5 and 47.2 inches high, and the surface can be moved forward or backward to suit your body type. The bike seat’s height adjusts between 29.6 and 37.2 inches, which is designed for users between 5-foot-1 inch and 6-foot-2 inches tall. It’s by no means a miracle machine when it comes to personal fitness, but overall, it’s a fantastic tool for holistic home office health.
15. Home gym treadmill
Some employers will pay for your gym membership, but if you’re suddenly your own boss, that workout routine is on you. And hey, if money is no object, having your own treadmill at home makes it easy to squeeze in some socially distanced cardio at will. You can’t do much better than the Peloton Tread, which comes equipped with an eye-catching 32-inch touchscreen display for super-dynamic live training sessions galore.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, this isn’t just a treadmill: it’s an all-in-one fitness tool that will (help) keep you in pinnacle shape all year round. It’s a pricey prospect, perhaps, since all the premium Peloton perks pressure you into a pesky prescription, but this particular treadmill can easily add fitness and (safely distanced) socialization to your weekly routine. And how.
16. Casting device
If you’re got a 1080p TV lying around your home office that doesn’t have any smart features built in, Google’s latest Chromecast dongle adds an instant upgrade to your aging tech. For example, you can mirror your smartphone to the TV to create an ad-hoc Powerpoint board during your next Zoom meeting. (This is also the perfect way to stream fireplace simulators to your TV while you work, if you like the background ambiance of crackling wood.) The Google Chromecast is surprisingly useful to have around, since you never know when you might use it.
See the full Google Chromecast (3rd Gen) review from our friends at Tom’s Guide.
17. Smart speaker
Every home office should have a dedicated timepiece of some kind, and if you don’t own a decent clock already, the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker has one baked right in. This discreet digital device makes it easy to check the time and weather on the fly, but it does a whole lot more than that, thanks to Alexa. Amazon’s trademark digital assistant is great for setting alarms, checking in on the news, and automating routines with other Alexa-compatible devices. Oh yeah, there’s one more thing: the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock is sleek as hell.
See the full Amazon Echo Dot with Clock review (2020) from our friends at Tom’s Guide.
18. Indoor smart lights
As long as we’re making your home office smarter, you may as well upgrade the lighting, too. (Ambiance is important, after all.) The Philips Hue White and Color LED Smart Button Starter Kit comes with three A19 60 W LED smart bulbs, which are compatible with most lamps and overhead lights, but the included hub can control up to 50 total Hue lights as you expand your smart bulb collection. Once installed, your new office lighting becomes voice-activated, and you can personalize your workday atmosphere to your heart’s content. For example, you could set your lights to change color and/or brightness after 5pm to gently signal the end of your workday.
19. Smart plug
The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug can control lights and appliances from anywhere, making it one of the best smart plugs around. With the help of its accompanying app, you can pair Wemo with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest, and IFTTT to create a variety of useful smart home routines.
See the full Wemo Wifi Smart Plug review from our friends at Tom’s Guide.
20. Universal remote
There are a variety of smart home gadgets on this list, and if you want to keep them all under your thumb (heyo!), you may want to invest in the Logitech Harmony Elite universal remote. From living room entertainment to home security, lights, and thermostats, the Harmony Elite is your one-stop shop for harmonious interactions between you and all your tech. With functionality this slick, it’s pretty much as close as you’ll get to owning that nefarious universal remote from Click.
See the full Logitech Harmony Elite review from our friends at Tom’s Guide.
21. Dry erase board
Not all of your home office tech needs the word “smart” in the name, and when it comes to basic brainstorming, there’s just no replacement for a good ol’ dry erase board. This one comes on (lockable) wheels, so you can scoot the Maxtek Mobile Dry Erase Board around wherever you need it. It also comes with a 25-sheet flipchart pad, which can be hung from the top of the board.
Bonus: This thing is perfect for family game night (life-sized Pictionary, anyone?), and if you keep it stocked with colorful markers, it’ll keep your kids entertained for hours when you need them out of your hair.
22. Air purifier + space heater + fan combo
If I need to extrapolate why owning an air purifier might be beneficial this year, your home office oxygen quality might already be worse than you think. All jokes aside, regulating the temperature of your office can be tricky depending on the time of year, where you live, and what kind of insulation you’re working with. The Dyson HP01 has you covered from every angle — literally — and it’s never been more important to pay attention to your home’s air quality. This air purifier-space heater combo is a bit of an investment, sure, but you’ll get your money’s worth, especially if you live somewhere with finicky weather.
23. Robot vacuum + mop
Keeping your workspace squeaky clean is annoying, but it’s still essential; a decluttered home office is usually a more productive one. (My barometer is thus: If I can set my phone down and then lose track of it within ten seconds or less, it’s time to tidy up.) But since we live in the future, digital companions like the iRobot Braava jet m6 are here to help. This super-smart robot vacuum (plus mop!) is Alexa-enabled, and its mapping capabilities are well above average; you can designate “no-go” zones for the Braava jet m6, and schedule cleaning times for when you’re not around.
See the full iRobot Braava jet m6 review from our friends at Tom’s Guide.
24. Bluetooth tracking device
Speaking of home office organization, enter the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag. (Which isn’t just for finding lost keys, by the way.) This is the smartest, most foolproof way to keep track of easy-to-lose valuables (bags, wallets, earbud cases) around your home, and the extensive range is superior to competing brands. Samsung will be shipping its SmartTags soon, and they’re currently available for pre-order. If the Tile Pro isn’t scared yet, it should be.
25. Room divider
I’m not pulling any punches on this one: sometimes you need a little extra space from the other humans you live with. This can be easier said than done in the time of COVID, of course, but Giantex makes it easier with its Wood Room Divider, which gives you an elegant way to say, “I’m in Office Hours Mode.” The built-in display shelves leave some room for decoration, or even a smart speaker.
26. Binaural beats app
What are binaural beats, you ask? Here’s the idea: you play two audio tones with slightly different frequencies into each of your earholes. Depending on how you tweak the frequency, you can alter your mental state to some degree. At least, according to science (note: noise-cancelling headphones work best).
Atmosphere is one of the best sound therapy apps you’ll find today. In addition to 15 different categories of binaural beats to help ease anxiety, relieve headaches, or even help you sleep, Atmosphere includes a variety of soothing white, brown, and pink noise options. If you could use a friendly frequency to unplug at the end of the day, this free smartphone app is here to help. And there’s nothing ironic about that at all.