Since making the shift to remote work, I have discovered a few things around my house that have become essential to my work-from-home routine. Here are 9 work from home accessories staples: a wired headband, slippers, statement earrings, blue-light glasses, a water bottle, a travel mug, a scented candle, a light scarf, and a calming crystal (yes, really).
1. A Wired Headband
Though I try to enjoy a little me time every morning, I have been known to occasionally roll straight out of bed and onto a zoom call. That’s why I keep a few hair accessories in my desk drawer, like Japanese bobby pins (if you know, you know) and spiral hair elastics. But it’s my wired headband that I reach for most often. My amazing hairdresser friend sold me on the white-and-pink striped one from this super affordable collection that she had recently purchased after I complained about headbands always giving me headaches. Now my unwashed hair is kept tucked away under the band with something so chic no one can believe I was hitting the snooze button just ten minutes prior. I am already looking to grow my collection, and I currently have my eyes on this white and grey one with a subtle asanoha pattern, as well as this beautifully vibrant Kitenge one. My wired headband is by far one of my favorite work from home accessories.
2. Room Slippers
I never really liked wearing shoes in the office. I don’t know if it’s my Canadian upbringing that makes me reject the idea of wearing heels indoors, but I have been much happier wandering around in socks while working from home. Unfortunately, this newfound foot freedom has come at a high price: back pain. Spending more time walking around barefoot on the hardwood floors in my home has definitely taken a toll on my back. For a happy compromise, I reach for these room shoes from Uniqlo. Super cushioned and lightweight, these slippers make me feel like I am walking on clouds all day. They are so comfortable I have almost accidentally worn them outside of the house on more than one occasion (seriously)!
3. Statement Earrings
My colleagues rarely see below my shoulders these days as all of our “face-to-face” interactions take place over video calls. Though I happily take advantage of the fact that I can now wear sweatpants while discussing strategy, there are days when I want to step out of my work-from-home fashion rut. I love throwing on a pair of statement earrings to show off a little bit more of my personal style while bringing some sparkle and shine to our zoom grids. I don’t wear statement earrings too often, so I tend to stock up on trendy but affordable styles from sites like Asos. I currently have these lemon-inspired ones from Topshop in my cart, as well as these adorable peace sign cut-outs and palm tree hearts. They’re so affordable that I might just get all three!
4. Blue-light Glasses
A few months ago I noticed that I was leaving my office with headaches more often than not. I thought it might be from all the time I spend staring at my screen for work. This was around the time that blue-light glasses were becoming trendy so I picked up a cheap pair from J. Crew Factory (no longer available), to see if they would help. Turns out, there is little evidence that blue-light glasses do anything for digital eye strain. The best thing you can do to prevent screen headaches is to limit the time you spend looking at your electronic devices (I find the Pomodoro technique very helpful for this). But the blue light glasses stuck around for me because of a very strange and unintended benefit: they helped me focus. There is something about the ritual of putting on my glasses that sends a signal to my brain that it is time to get down to business. Plus they look super cute (I get compliments all the time)! If you’re curious to see if blue-light glasses can work for you, I recommend checking out this well-reviewed and affordable pair from Amazon.
5. A Water Bottle
Since working from home, I have consumed more water on a daily basis than probably any other time in my life. As a result, my energy levels are up, my skin is glowing, and I’m generally feeling happier and healthier. But it still takes a bit of effort to hit my daily water goal. I always make sure to have my Hydro Flask handy so that I don’t have to slip out of virtual meetings for another glass. I use a water tracker app on my phone to log how many bottles I go through a day and, with my Hydro Flask always within arms reach, I usually hit my goal of 80 oz by dinnertime.
6. A Travel Mug
Even though my work station is just 34 steps from my coffee maker, I like to drink my morning coffee and afternoon tea slowly. I usually only drink one of each per day to limit the amount of caffeine I have in my system. Having a travel mug, even when my travel route is just walking up the stairs, helps keep my beverages warm so I can savor every sip. I really love my KeepCup, which is the perfect size for just one cup. They are also made responsibly, non-toxic, and made to last. I only wish I knew of them when the Star Wars collection was available! I mean, talk about the best office mate.
7. A Scented Candle
Of course having an open flame in an office setting is a big no-no. But there are few things as soothing as a scented candle. Since I’ve started working from home, part of my work-day start up ritual includes lighting a candle that fills my office space with a fragrance that will inspire the mood I need to get my work done. Feeling stressed about a deadline? I grab a sweet lavender-scented candle to help calm my nerves. Feeling the effects of #WineNotWednesday? I light an invigorating citrus-scented candle for a little extra energy (and then I made sure to re-hydrate with lots of water, see #5)!
8. A Light Scarf
One of my absolute favorite things about working from home is the fact that I get to work in a room with open windows! I feel so much more productive when I have a breeze of fresh air (so much so that I often take my work outside). But, in the summer months, the heat and humidity can be too much even for me, and the occasional blast of air conditioning is required. On those days, I like to keep a scarf handy in case things get a little too cool. I have a habit of collecting scarves when we travel, so most of mine I picked up in market stalls across Asia and Africa. I also love this simple linen cotton one from Uniqlo (where I tend to buy my heavier fall scarves). And I was surprised to see how many cute options there are on Amazon, like this pretty blue floral one.
9. A Calming Crystal…Wait, Really?
I know a lot of people believe in the healing powers of crystals. I am not one of them. I did, however, pick up a beautiful heart-shaped chalcedony crystal while on vacation in Sedona, Arizona (the crystal capital of the US) because I thought it looked so pretty. The store clerk told me it was the “stone of creativity” and that it would facilitate the acceptance of new situations; restore calm, balance, and centeredness; and release feelings of panic and anxiety. Although I don’t think there is anything inherently special about this little gem, I do believe in the psychology behind channeling positive emotions. Now, when I am feeling anxious or stressed out during a work call, I hold this little souvenir in the palm of my hand as a physical reminder to myself to be more open and calm. If you’re into that sort of thing, you can find a similar version on Etsy here.