Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Working from home: The future of business is remote
Our editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, ZDNet may earn a commission.

Here’s what remote workers need for their home offices

As many Americans continue to work from home, they want the best gear for their home office.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many Americans transitioned from full-time office employees to remotely working from home -- without the tools they needed to be successful. According to Japan-based team collaboration platform Nulab many workers had difficulty adjusting to remote work.

It surveyed over 850 people to ask what they needed to successfully make the transition to home working. The report revealed that almost 62% of people are working remotely with others in their home, yet over half (56%) were not allowed to bring equipment home from their employer to use.

Workers who were not allowed to bring equipment home reported spending approximately $35 more on equipment than those who were able to bring supplies home with them. However, some workers (37%) will not be reimbursed for these expenses.

Nearly one in three people personally purchased equipment to help them work remotely spending an average of $194.

Despite having difficulty adjusting to remote work, the study showed that a majority of workers (52%) want to continue working remotely once the pandemic passes. With this in mind, here is what we need most for our work from home office.

Office chair back support

Here’s what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Everlasting Comfort

When you make the transition from your expensive office chair to your make-do chair at home and sit all day at it, you realize that your change in posture is making your back hurt. Long-term home workers often have an expensive office chair -- but a much cheaper option is a back pillow correctly positioned to sort out your aches and pains and make you sit properly. The Nulab survey showed that almost one in three (32.9%) of home workers wanted, but did not have a back support pillow. It is well worth the outlay.

$29 at Everlasting Comfort

Standing desk

Here’s what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Flexispot

Standing desks have been popular for over 10 years now, yet most of us sit down whenever we want to do any work. Having an adjustable standing desk makes this a multi-functional piece of furniture in addition to being a useful workspace. Almost one in three (31.4%) survey respondents wanted a standing desk but did not have one and just one in five (19.2%) actually owned one.

$279 at Flexispot

Anti slip laptop desk

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Huanuo

With 11% of workers working from the couch, and 4.2% sitting with the laptop on their laps, perhaps it is time to get yourself an anti-slip lap desk for your laptop. No more lap burning, or overheating of the laptop, and an all-round more comfortable sitting position for work.

$40 at Huanuo

Bed laptop desk

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Saiji

Surprisingly, the survey uncovered that almost one in three (28.5%) workers work from their master bedroom and 6.9% actually work from their bed. If you like working from bed, then this bed laptop desk will stop things sliding off your lap and getting lost in the bedding. With adjustable height and tilt options, and a storage drawer for your bits and pieces, it is more handy than you think. Flatten the top and it can double up as a dining table for breakfast in bed too.

$96 at Saiji

Blue light blocking glasses

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Tijn

Blue light blocking glasses are purported to reduce fatigue and reduce eye strain when watching monitors or TV. The glasses themselves have yellow-tinted non-prescription lenses and can be worn all day to minimise headaches. The survey showed that over one in four workers (26.6%) wanted these glasses but did not have them.

$16 at Tijn

Filing cabinet

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
M&W

Almost one in five (18.6%) home workers wanted a file cabinet but did not have one. This lockable file cabinet on wheels can be loaded with up to 330 pounds of items to keep your workspace tidy.

$130 at M&W

Combined scanner and printer

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Lexmark

Although over half (51.4%) of survey respondents have a scanner at home, almost one in five want one but do not have one. This multi-function Lexmark CX421 color laser-printer will scan, fax, and operate as a copier too, to make your admin easier.

$475 at Lexmark

Headphones

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Mu6

I tried these Mu6 Space 2 headphones in March, for an audio gear roundup, and they are the best over-ear headphones that I have tried so far this year. They are also the most expensive too, but you certainly get what you pay for. If you are working and living with other home workers, all trying to do their job, then noise-canceling headphones are a must to help you concentrate and feel more productive.

$199 at Mu6

Tronsmart Apollo Bold ANC TWS ear buds

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Tronsmart

If you are not into over-ear headphones but need good quality earbuds to help you focus on your work, and cut out background noise during calls, then these earbuds, that I looked at in August, are excellent noise-canceling earbuds that deliver great sound. Like the Mu6 headphones, the price reflects the quality of these superb little buds.

$100 at Tronsmart

WD 5TB external hard drive

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
Western Digital

If you need to store files away from the cloud, or do not have a fast enough internet speed to use cloud software, then an external hard drive is a must. This model is Windows 10 compatible, so you can use it for backing up critical files or making copies for your archive. Buy the largest drive you can find. You will soon fill it up.

$110 at Western Digital

External monitor

Heres what remote workers need for their home office zdnet
HP

If working from home is going to become the norm for you then a nice large monitor will help your productivity. This 27-inch model from HP is reasonably priced and will be a nice addition to your home office setup. Just over one in 10 (12.3%) of survey respondents wanted a monitor but did not have one. At a low price like this, it is worth the outlay.

$185 at HP