HGTV Editors' Top WFH Must-Haves and Tips

Our editors share their top work-from-home tips and tricks to keep you comfortable and productive (even if you don't have a home office).

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March 20, 2020

As more and more people around the world settle into a work-from-home lifestyle, many are trying to figure out how to stay productive with distractions like a kitchen, bed and TV just feet away. While it may be difficult to recreate your natural workspace at home, you can still set up a dedicated spot that will make you happy and keep you productive. From gourmet coffee at home to ergonomic computer accessories, our editors share their must-haves for successfully working remotely.

OUR ESSENTIALS

$22.96

"I don't have a home office, and my dining room chairs hurt my back after a while, so I created a cozy workstation on the couch. I bought a tall C-shaped table that slides under the sofa and has just enough surface space for my computer and coffee cup." — Chelsea Faulkner, Editor

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$149

"I'm an ardent stand-to-work creature; you'll rarely find my hydraulic desk in the sitting position when I'm at the office. Standing to work helps my blood flow to my brain and keeps me on task, and I simply couldn't do it at home without my NORRÅKER. Paired with a laptop stand that I use for DJing, this setup is an affordable option for those who work better at an elevated height. The table can also serve as, well, a table, when it's not being used as a desk, so it's extra appealing to those with limited or multi-use space. Laura Susong, Social Media Editor

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$11.99

"My favorite work-from-home accessory is my wireless mouse. Working, eating and sleeping all in the same quarters can feel overwhelming at times, so I like to break up the monotony by setting up a work area outside on my patio (my dog loves it, too!). I'm not a fan of using the trackpad on my laptop, so that's where a wireless mouse comes in handy. For all you other trackpad haters out there, this will be your new best friend." — Morgan Faulkner, Editorial Assistant

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$18.99

"My old house doesn't have that many accessible outlets, so this extension cord is a must-have. This one, in particular, comes with two grounded outlets and two USB ports so I can work from just about anywhere in the house and keep my laptop, phone and more charged up and close by." — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor

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$22.99

"I can't stand working on a laptop all day long. I've recreated my office setup at home with an external monitor, a keyboard and a mouse, which is great for my productivity but a lot to squeeze onto my small desk. A wireless keyboard and mouse are the key to fitting all my essentials on my tiny workspace without it feeling cluttered." — Shannon Petrie, Managing Editor

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$37.80

"This is not your average planner—I promise. I've been using my Day Designer since January, but it's become my lifeline while working from home. The pages are laid out in a way that helps me organize my workflow but also allows me to keep up with household tasks, my exercise schedule and other activities that have become more important while spending so much time at home. The best part about my Day Designer is that each page has an inspiring quote and a special spot to write down one daily gratitude—which makes all the difference during these uncertain times. Plus, every planner comes with stickers. Enough said!" — Caroline Alkire, HGTV Magazine Editor

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$34.99

"My 30-ounce Yeti tumbler is my WFH essential. It keeps my water cool, even when I get busy and forget to hydrate, and I love the large size so I can get a lot of water without 100 trips to the fridge. Plus, it's easy to clean. I got the extra straw lid, too, and love it for sipping while I work." — Jordan Lawson, Editor

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$15.99

"For me, a successful work-from-home day starts with coffee. When I know I'll be home all day and not able to grab a latte from a coffee shop or at the office, I try to make my basic morning coffee more special by using a handheld milk frother for cream. This PowerLix milk frother is affordable, battery-operated and easy to use and store, and it lets me make lattes at home; no expensive espresso machine required." — Laura James, Editor

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"Another thing that makes coffee at home better? A favorite mug. I bought this beautiful ceramic mug a few months ago from East Fork, a pottery studio based in Asheville, N.C., and it's truly the one I reach for every day now. It's heavy-duty, hand-glazed and clearly made to last for years to come. Plus, it's dishwasher and microwave safe." — Laura James, Editor

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$34.95

"A good yoga mat is a must-have! You might not be getting as many steps in, and at home, you may spend more time hunched over a laptop. Do some stretches in the morning and again in the evening after you're done working. Keep it up every day and you'll really notice a difference. You can find free yoga and meditation videos on YouTube. (I follow SaraBethYoga.)" — Jessica Yonker, Editor

Buy It
$44.25 – $48.75

"I live in these leggings when I'm not in the office. They're so comfortable to wear around the house and nice enough that I can throw on a button-down and loafers to look put-together if I need to step out in public." — Molly Miller, Assistant Editor

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"Burning a really nice candle while I work feels so luxurious and cozy. A flickering flame and warm comforting scent relax me even if work is crazy and my child is fussing. It's like a gentle reminder to slow down, breathe deeply and take a break." — Molly Miller, Assistant Editor

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$52.99 - $89.99

"A cozy, not-too-big pet bed that works in my small-ish home office is essential for me. If I don't provide one for my dog, he will cuddle up next to me on my small sofa, which isn't exactly conducive to getting work done." — Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor

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$29.99

"Working from home with a five-month-old is ... tricky. This vibrating bouncer keeps him stimulated and entertained for a bit so I can hop on conference calls without any fussiness in the background." — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor

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PLUS, OUR TIPS TO MAKE IT WORK

FRESH AIR: "I'm often guilty of working through lunch, but I make a point of taking a lunch break while working from home to keep myself from feeling cooped up in my tiny office. I typically eat a quick bite, then get some fresh air by taking my dogs for a walk around the neighborhood." — Shannon Petrie, Managing Editor

STAY HYDRATED: "I'm really bad about filling up my water glass when I work from home, so using a gigantic tumbler ensures that I stay hydrated on my busiest desk-bound days." — Molly Miller, Assistant Editor

PLAN YOUR DAY: "I find that sitting down in the evening and creating a to-do list of both work and at-home tasks that I want to accomplish the next day helps me wake up with purpose and stay focused and energized. Plus, there's something super satisfying about crossing to-do tasks off of my daily lists."Caroline Alkire, HGTV Magazine Editor

FRESH FLOWERS: "I live in a small apartment with no dedicated outdoor space, so I try to bring in fresh flowers to have something nice to look at while I'm working away on my laptop. Last week, I stocked up on groceries at Trader Joe's and was delighted to find they had ranunculus, my favorite spring flower, for sale. If you don't have a backyard garden either, I highly recommend adding flowers, or even fresh eucalyptus, to your shopping list." — Laura James, Editor

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