11 Work-From-Home Essentials to Turn Your Living Room Into an Office

Sony/HP/Logitech/Amazon
Sony/HP/Logitech/Amazon

There's the idea of working from home, and then there's the reality. While, yes, you can pretty much do everything you need to do in your pajamas with The Crown on in the background, you'll still need some office essentials to get you through the day. Of course, there are the computer accessories and gadgets just to do the basics, and then there are the products that make your home a bit cozier to toil away in from 9 to 5.

Without the everyday comforts of office supplies, copy machines, or even those pesky co-workers who heat up fish in the microwave every day, working remotely can sometimes be a difficult endeavor. But this list of items will help make the transition even easier than washing your hands.

1. Anker Quick Charging Station; $36

An Ankler charger.
Anker/Amazon

Working from home means staying seriously plugged in. After all, you’ve got to keep your computer going, your phone at the ready, and your tablet fired up so you can access everything you need without having to leave the comfort of your chair. Stay connected with this Anker Quick Charging Station. Its five charging ports generate 63 watts of power—more than enough for all of your gadgets—and can charge your devices up to 80 percent in just 35 minutes. Featuring cool blue LED lights that indicate your hub has power, this is the little assistant that will get you through any charging crisis.

Buy it: Amazon

2. SimpleHouesware Mesh Desk Organizer; $25

A desk organizer available on Amazon.
SimpleHouseware/Amazon

This mesh desk organizer from SimpleHouseware will make your kitchen table feel like an office desk. Made with a stylish and space-saving mesh design, it comes with two side-load letter trays, a tray with a three-compartment drawer, and five dividers so you can store papers, folders, notebooks, and more. And best of all? No tools are needed to assemble it, so building your own mini home office will be a snap.

Buy it: Amazon

3. HP Office Jet Printer; $100

A wireless HP printer.
HP/Amazon

One of the worst parts about working remotely is not having the tools that you use every day in the office. But this HP Office Jet 3830 All-In-One Wireless Printer will give your work-from-home setup a much-needed boost. Not only does this machine print in both black and white and color, but it can scan, fax, and make photocopies, too. The HP Smart app also allows you to order toner from your smartphone or print from the cloud. It even comes with an optional quiet mode setting, so your printing will never disturb any fellow “colleagues.” (Let's face it, cats make for grumpy co-workers sometimes.)

Buy it: Amazon

4. Amazon Basics Micro-Cut Shredder; $55

A high-security level shredder
Amazon

The cost of printing, of course, is physical evidence of any sensitive documents that you may not want circulated around your home. That’s why the Amazon Basics High Security Micro-Cut Shredder is a must-have for anyone working from home. Anything that goes into the machine—from papers to credit cards—turns into “confetti-like” pieces on the other side, ensuring that any confidential matters stay that way even outside the office.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Sony Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones; $278

Noise-cancelling Sony headphones
Sony/Amazon

Drown out of the sounds of any pesky roommates or neighbors with these wireless noise-canceling headphones from Sony. These are designed to create a “virtually soundproof” listening experience, and they’re Alexa-enabled for easy connection to music, podcasts, and news updates. They are equipped with touch controls and smart listening technology to adjust ambient sounds based on your activity. And these headphones will last for 30 hours after a single charge, so you'll get through most of the work week without needing to give it more juice.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Miroco Light Therapy Lamp; $40

A light that is an alternative to sunlight.
Miroco/Amazon

In the midst of social distancing, it can be hard to get outside. But with this Miroco light therapy lamp, you can receive the benefits of the sun without having to worry about getting within 6 feet of your neighbors. The UV-free light provides the medically recommended 10,000 Lux a day you need for effective light therapy—working to boost your mood and help with your concentration. It has three different light modes, and its built-in timer means you can decide how long you want your “sun exposure” to last. You might not be able to get as much Vitamin D right now as you’d like, but this lamp is the next best thing.

Buy it: Amazon

7. LapGear Home Office Desk; $45

A  portable laptop holder, so you can work anywhere.
LapGear/Amazon

While you can certainly work from the comfort of your bed in most cases, a hot laptop takes all that comfort and throws it out the window. Avoid that with this lap desk from LapGear. It fits most laptops and features a convenient slot for your cell phone and an integrated mouse pad. Plus, it’s designed to both ventilate your laptop and keep you feeling cool—something everyone needs during their shift on the couch.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Logitech Wireless Mouse; $22

A Logitech wireless mouse that can last for up to two years with the same batteries.
Amazon/Logitech

Give your wrists a break with this wireless Logitech mouse. This mouse comes with a USB receiver, which pairs perfectly with your laptop or computer to make your work-from-home experience a smooth one. It’s designed to conform to both right and left hands (a score for lefties everywhere), and will last for two years on just two AA batteries.

Buy it: Amazon

9. TIJN Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses; $17

Glasses that block out UV light from the computer.
TIJN/Amazon

For anyone who’s been staring at a screen more often than usual, these blue-light-blocking glasses are the antidote to any dry eyes. The lenses, tinted a soft yellow to make digital reading less harsh, block 100 percent of UV rays and relieve any eye fatigue. Durable in construction and with many colors to choose from, these glasses will always keep you looking stylish—even if the only person to see you all day is your pizza delivery guy.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Zeetra Mini Desk Humidifier and Diffuser; $22

An essential oil diffuser.
Zeetra/Amazon

Anyone working from home deserves to breathe easy, and a desk humidifier and diffuser is just the ticket to finding a moment of Zen. Just add a few drops of essential oil, choose one of the seven different light options to create some ambiance, and bingo—you have your own personal oasis. This humidifier will last six hours, so it can go for as long as you do.

Buy it: Amazon

11. Rubix Cube; $9

A Rubik's cube
Winning Moves/Amazon

When working from home gets to be too much, take a break—but still keep your brain sharp—with the original brain teaser. This 3-inch-by-3-inch Rubix Cube, which has 43 quintillion possible moves, will give your eyes the rest they need from staring at a screen all day. Check out some of these Rubix Cube hacks in case you get truly stumped.

Buy it: Amazon

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

You Could Get Paid to Watch Disney+ While Social Distancing

She’s excited to belt out both parts of Aladdin and Jasmine’s "A Whole New World."
She’s excited to belt out both parts of Aladdin and Jasmine’s "A Whole New World."
demaerre/iStock via Getty Images

In October 2019, Reviews.org chose five lucky couch potatoes for its “Disney+ Dream Job,” a position that paid people $1000 and gave them a year-long Disney+ subscription to watch 30 Disney programs in 30 days.

Now, the technology review site is accepting applicants for a similar (albeit less time-consuming) role: 10 people will receive a $200 Visa gift card and a free year of Disney+ to watch one single Disney film. Since most Disney movies are around 90 minutes long, your one-time wage works out to about $133 per hour.

To enter, all you have to do is send an email to giveaways@reviews.org with “Dream Job” in the subject line and your name and the title of your favorite Disney film in the body of the email. Winners will be selected at random, so you don’t have to worry about trying to pick the “right” movie or explaining why you’re the right person for the job. You do, however, have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. Submissions will be accepted through Thursday, April 10, and winners will be notified by email on the following Monday, April 13.

While October’s dream job was more about drumming up excitement for Disney+, which was a brand-new platform at the time, this one is all about encouraging social distancing and supporting people through the coronavirus crisis. With Disney+’s wide array of entertainment at your disposal—from National Geographic animal documentaries to animated classics you loved as a kid—you might feel a little less bored while you’re camped out on your couch.

If you want to check out Disney+ for yourself, head here to learn how to get a free seven-day trial.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

This 'Practically Impossible' Clear Jigsaw Puzzle Is the Perfect Antidote to Boredom

While looking for relaxing activities to do at home during quarantine, many people have broken out their jigsaw puzzles. But if you prefer your puzzles to be more challenging than relaxing, check out this one from ExpressItBest, which is available on Amazon for $22. The puzzle for adults consists of 150 clear pieces, and it takes a lot of brain power to put it together.

Every .75-inch piece in this set is perfectly transparent, which means the only clues you have as to what goes where are the outlines. The makers call the "practically impossible" brainteaser "our hardest puzzle for the most hardcore dissectologist." It's so difficult that ExpressItBest gives away one free custom puzzle a week to someone who posts a picture of the completed puzzle with the hashtag #Puzzibility on social media.

Clear jigsaw puzzle.
ExpressItBest/Amazon

If you succeed in solving it, you won't get a full-color photograph or a soothing landscape to display on your coffee table. Instead, you'll have a 10-by-12-inch clear rectangle and the satisfaction of conquering the near-impossible.

If this one still looks too easy for you, the wooden fractal puzzle, the infinite galaxy puzzle, and the 1000 color puzzle on this list may pose more of a challenge.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

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