Work-From-Home Survival Guide: Eqipment for your Home Office

· 880 words · 5 minute read

First, the obvious

Some things for the home office has been mentioned in the previous articles, but it's worth mentioning here again.

External display, keyboard and mouse

In 2020, it is very likely your company provided you with a laptop, not a desktop computer for your remote working.

And now, do youself a favor. If you have any space available to set up your home office (room or corner of a room), grant yourself decent external display, keyboard and the mouse. In case you don't have special requirements on the hardware to begin with, you might be best off by replicating the setup you have in the office. That is for the reason not to have to get used to different display density, slightly different keyboard layout or feel or to get hit with some similar first-world-problem.

Even more - if you read this due to being forced to work from home for the reason of some weird global pandemic, IT department of your company could be able to ship you display, keyboard and mouse they use to equip offices. Check with your manager and IT department if that is possible.

External Webcam

Your webcam built into the laptop company gave you likely sucks. Not because your employer buys crap equipment, but simply because built-in webcams in laptops do not come even near the mobile phone selfie cameras.

I would like to link some of the Logitech evergreens, but they seem to going through significant surge in pricing, likely due to demand - so my recommendation is not about any specific make or model - look for something with good reviews and which fits your budget.

If you find Logitech C9x0 (C910, C920, C930) series webcams for 60-ish dollars or less (or equivalent in your local currency) - buy it. Those are great webcams for that amount of money.

Good (office) chair

You want this, mostly for the reasons I have covered in the post about physical health.

And while people tell me that Herman Miller chairs are worth every dollar/euro/pound, they are definitely on the expensive side. But if you don't want to cheap on the chair, it is a likely recommendation. Disclaimer: I do not own one, this is more like second hand recommendation.

Your local Ikea also has some options of which people talk surprisingly positively. As with anything Ikea, do not go for cheapest options though. Markus chairs are often seen equipment in European corporate offices though, and anything from Ikea in the range above $100 should be very solid option.

Or simply go with the cheap option you can find at the moment. But get a dedicated chair for working hours, if anyhow possible.

Beyond the Obvious

Replacement office chair wheels

There are numerous options, but this is fairly popular option. Even if your living space does not rock hard floors, replacement wheels like this will save your carpet and actually make your office chair more silent when you move it or wiggle in it. Very useful feature for online meetings.

Backlight for online meetings

As I've said, yes indeed - your webcam sucks - more or less. Specially if you use one built in to your laptop. But you can help your picture quality.

Cheap webcam backlights which are typically USB powered make all the difference. The main advantage here will not be for you, but for your clients/team matest, who will have much crisper view of your perfect home office tan.

Green screen

Zoom has a wonderful feature of replacing your backdrop with a custom background picture and/or video. And while the feature technically works with most of the backdrops without additional investments, having a green screen will provide much cleaner hiding of your kitchen counter or the boxes in your temporary warehouse turned home office.

Options vary, from the ones which attach to the office chairs, onwards to the ones with dedicated stand which can be easily collapsed for putting away when you don't need them.


Similar as it goes for webcams built into the laptops, most of the laptops have really shitty microphones built in. Disturbingly many headphones and earphones fail in this too. You will really improve experience of people who need to have virtual meetings with you if you purchase a microphone.

And I am not talking here of some expensive studio microphones. Due to the surge in streaming and number of social media influencers, there is a whole huge market of the computer-focused microphones, which typically connect to your computer via USB and will bring your meeting audio quality significantly up.

Popular options are Blue Yeti microphones due to their quality and cute R2D2-like design. I have picked more boring looking Razer Seiren X due to slightly lower price and comparable (if not slightly better) audio quality. Most important feature you should look for is dedicated mute button on the microphone - to give you ability to easily and quickly tune in and out - since your home office environment will likely at times get noisy.

Over and out (for now)

That is it for now. I have covered everything I've wanted to cover with this series of blog posts.

I hope some of you have found recommendations useful. Stay safe and healthy out (or in) there.