HGTV Editors' Top WFH Must-Haves and Tips

Our editors share their work-from-home essentials and tips 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.

$159.99

"I was looking for a stand-up desk that was small enough to move around because my current WFH spot may change in the future. This one had everything I was looking for; it came fully assembled, it was white and even though it’s pretty compact, it’s got enough surface area to hold multiple devices. This desk didn’t disappoint! Within minutes of unboxing, I was using it. It's fully adjustable at the height of your choosing, and I even used it to get my phone at the right level to record an interview of myself for a project." — Michele Purcell, Executive Producer

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$39.95 $33

"Working from home on a kitchen chair for 9-10 hrs. a day was taking its toll on my back. I found this pillow because I just couldn’t commit to getting a nice office chair yet, but knew I needed something to bump up the comfort of the stiff chairs I had at home. This cushion is great because it doesn’t only add comfort to the seat, but the design really helped take the pressure off of my back. It was a great affordable way to create comfort in my own home office without shelling out lots of money for a fancy office chair. Once we can travel again, you bet this cushion is coming with me for long car rides and flights." — Karen Webb, Associate Producer

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$129.99

"Around month three of working from home, I snapped. Or rather, my back did. The cumulative effects of sitting in a dining chair while working left me laid out flat with only a heating pad to comfort me. It was officially time to buy a real desk chair — but I didn’t want to spend a ton. I ended up with this one and it checks a lot of boxes: decent lumbar support, a comfortable seat and arms you can flip up if you want." — Marianne Canada, Executive Producer

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$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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$19.99

"This little ring light has done wonders for my Zoom-call lighting. No more bad shadows or accidental backlighting that makes me look like I'm in witness protection. It has three color temperatures — cool, warm and a mix of both — and it’s dimmable so it can be set to 'just a glow' or cranked up to 'spotlight on Broadway.' I’m in a well-lit room with a window, so I have mine set to the warm light setting and about a third of the way up the brightness scale. The clip-on style and long flexible neck mean I can position it just above my camera for best lighting." — Mariel Clark, VP Editorial & Programming

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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

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$34.99

"Using a stack of my husband's fitness books as a computer riser worked for a while — until it didn't. This aluminum laptop stand provides ventilation and features an ergonomic design that keeps my computer at perfect eye level. Plus, it's portable, so I can tote it to the kitchen and use it as a makeshift standing desk when I need to stretch my legs." — Kayla Kitts, Managing 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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$19.99

"Likely tired of seeing coffee rings all over the desk, my husband gifted me this faux leather desk pad for my birthday. I don't even need to clutter up the desk with a mousepad because it allows my wireless mouse to glide around with ease." — Kayla Kitts

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$29.99 $20
33% Off!

"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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"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 $14
13% Off!

"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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$49.95 $38
24% Off!

"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

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"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

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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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4 Work-From-Home Essentials 01:04

Upgrade your space and make working from home more comfortable with these handy products HGTV staffers use and love.

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

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

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

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

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