8 Under-$50 Products to Make Your Home Office Feel More Like a Workspace

published Mar 21, 2020
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Being able to work from home is certainly a privilege, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges. When you’re used to going into an office every day, it can be tough to get into the same mindset from the comfort of your living room. The good news: There are some small tweaks that you can make to help you be more productive—and more content—during your home-bound 9 to 5 hours. Some key advice: Open curtains (and a window, if you can). Take breaks. Have a set schedule. But a few products can help you, too. Here, eight picks under $50 that will help you turn your home office into a productive workspace.

Credit: OttLite

Add a lamp to brighten things up

If you’re working from a makeshift home office that only has overhead lighting, it’s time to beef up your lamp situation. This lamp, made by Ottlite, has a bulb that’s made to mimic sunlight—so it’s easy on your eyes, and helps portray colors more accurately, too.

Buy: Avery Table Lamp by OttLite, $49.99 at Amazon

Credit: Best Buy

Get a wireless keyboard and mouse to make working from a laptop easier

Laptops are great for portability, but working on their tiny keyboards and trackpads can be cumbersome. You can make your laptop more functional by adding a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse.

Buy: Logitech K380 Wireless Keyboard, $39.99 at Best Buy

Avoid the desk hunch with a laptop stand

Once you have a wireless mouse and keyboard, you’ll be able to raise your screen to see what you’re working on. An adjustable stand works no matter your height; this one’s great because you can use it as a standing desk, too.

Buy: AirSpace Adjustable Laptop Desk in Black, $39.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Credit: Target

Make things easier on your wrists with a cushioned mouse pad

It’s not necessary, but it will make your day more comfortable—and at less than $10, it’s a worthy investment.

Buy: Handstands Memory Foam Mouse Pad, $4.99 at Target

Credit: FOMI

… And make things easier on your body with a seat cushion

Best option: a real-deal desk chair. But for less than $50, a gel seat cushion can do a lot to make a rock-hard dining chair more palatable for 9 to 5 use.

Buy: FOMI All Gel Seat Cushion, $49.99 at Amazon

Credit: Poppin

Hang a white board to map out your to do list

Keep precious desk space clear by taking advantage of wall space. This wall-mounted whiteboard is made of steel, so it works with magnets, too.

Buy: White Magnetic Dry Erase Board, $20 at Poppin

Credit: Cowin

Stay focused with noise-canceling headphones

You’ll be better able to tune out your partner or roommate’s conference calls with an over-ear set that helps filter out background noise. Nice options can reach into the hundreds, but you can find them for under $50, too. These wireless ones can give you up to 30 hours of listening per charge.

Credit: The Sill

Brighten up your new office space with a plant

There’s lots of debate about how much having a houseplant or two can actually do for our physical wellbeing, but there’s little doubt that adding something pretty to your desk space can improve your emotional wellbeing. If your work space is windowless, try for something that thrives in low light, like a snake plant.