For many of us, our homes are now becoming our offices as we begin to practice social distancing. It can be tough to stay focused while working from home, but sometimes all you need is the right setup to keep you motivated.
Many TODAY editors are dealing with this transition at the moment, so we put a list together of the products that have helped us adapt to our new home offices.
From helpful tech to comfortable leggings, these items have made working from home a little more comfortable and a lot more productive.
Sometimes a good pair of slippers is all you need to get comfortable. Director of e-commerce Jen Birkhofer loves that these are super soft, yet durable enough to use outside too.
"I'm cheap and wanted some comfortable slippers I could wear around my house because my feet are always cold," she said. "I wanted something with a hard bottom (mainly so I could take out the trash) but that was also easy to slip on and not too hot. These are perfect. I love the neutral color too. Warning: they run a bit big."
Rather than work at your kitchen table or on the couch, consider a desk to help you focus. This modern design comes with one drawer for storage and the narrow style allows it to fit in smaller spaces.
"While I work from home for a while, I’ve used this desk as part of my routine," TODAY's associate commerce social editor Kara Quill told us. "It’s helping me feel like I have a place to work that is separate from my bed and couch. When I sit down here in the morning, I feel like I’ve gone to work and can focus. Creating this space is definitely helping me distinguish between my home life and my work life.”
Drown out any background noise and distractions with these noise-canceling headphones. Designed to charge fast, these headphones last for up to two hours with just five minutes of charging — and an impressive 30 hours with a full charge.
TODAY's associate commerce SEO editor Camryn La Sala and editorial assistant Stephanie Larratt find that a good pair of noise-canceling headphones help them maintain focus.
"These wireless noise-canceling headphones have changed my life!" La Sala told us. "After someone recommended these to me, I was a little apprehensive due to the inexpensive price tag but boy was I wrong! Not only does the battery life last for days on end, but the noise-canceling aspect of these headphones is amazing. Since I’ve started working from home alongside my sister and her boyfriend (who are always on conference calls), these have been a major game-changer in a house full of people. They're also great while traveling by plane, you can barely hear any turbulence."
If you're looking for in-ear headphones, you may enjoy the wireless Apple Airpods. NBC News social media editor Mary Cathryn Suhocki loves how she can walk around her house and multitask with them without the wire getting in the way.
"They’re great to use when working from home because I’m able to get up and walk around and do other things," Suhocki told us. "I also like the flexibility of being able to walk into other rooms without having to bring my phone or laptop with me, but still hear what’s going on."
Now that you're in the comfort of your own home, it's easier than ever to incorporate some exercise into your work routine. TODAY's weekend editor Maura Hohman finds using an exercise ball to be the best alternative to a traditional desk chair.
"I absolutely love the exercise ball I sit on," Hohman told us. "It keeps you moving and helps with posture ... you can do sit-ups and other exercises throughout the day. I used to set an alarm for the top of the hour and try to do 20 sit-ups when it went off."
Write out your daily routine using this bullet journal, or use it as a creative outlet to draw. Its multi-functionality is TODAY's associate commerce editor Megan Foster's favorite aspect.
"This nifty bullet journal helps me stay organized throughout the day," Foster told us. "It has a unique grid design that makes it easy to draw tables, sketch a weekly calendar and write in an organized fashion. I appreciate the durability of the pages and the faux-leather cover. I’ve thrown it in my bag, tossed it on the floor and haven’t treated it all that well. Despite the rough-handling, it still looks like it's in great shape."
Enjoy cappuccinos, hot chocolate, lattes and more from the comfort of your kitchen! You can froth your milk in less than two minutes thanks to the stainless steel design and quick temperature functions. Birkhofer has been loving the amount of money it's saving her on daily lattes.
"It's so easy to use and makes coffee at home taste like such a treat," Birkhofer said. "I love almond milk lattes, but it's hard to justify paying $6 for them every time. This lets me make them at home using whatever kind of milk I want. You literally just fill the top part to a line and hit the button, it takes about 30 seconds to work its magic and froth the milk."
Rather than take multiple trips to refill your water, consider investing in this BPA-free water bottle. It's helped TODAY's video producer Sara Snyder stay hydrated while at home.
"For the first few days I was pretty bad about hydrating," Snyder said. "My Nalgene was super helpful!"
"It’s so important to take care of yourself and stay hydrated," La Sala told us. "I am someone who really takes my water intake very seriously, so a good water bottle is a must and I can’t seem to get enough of my Simple Modern water bottles! The one that hasn’t left my side is the 40-ounce insulated option. It holds a ton of water, keeps my beverages cold for many hours and it’s cute!"
If you have tons of conference calls and virtual meetings planned, a good notepad can definitely help you stay organized.
"While you could definitely use any boring notepad for your to-do list, why not use something stylish?" La Sala told us. "This fun folio notepad has been my go-to notebook for a while, but it’s also been imperative while I transition myself to a new life of working from home. I love it because it’s sleek and compact. It has a side pocket to put any extra loose notes you may have and while it comes with a white legal pad, when you’re done you can also replace it with your own."
If you're used to using multiple screens throughout the day, then adjusting to one screen may make it harder to multitask, but Larratt has found a solution that works for her.
"I connected my laptop to a TV in my house using an HDMI cord," Larratt said. "It has been so helpful since I am used to working off of three monitors in the office."
This pack is made to be compatible with any device that has an HDMI port and stretches 20 feet to make moving around easier while you work.
These four-way stretch pants were designed to move with you throughout the day. The style is supposed to promote breathability in the pants, while Lycre fibers were also added in to help retain shape and style for longevity. Birkhofer says they're perfect for staying comfortable while you work.
"I am living in my Lululemon Align Joggers," senior commerce editor Adrianna Brach told us. "They're incredibly comfortable and I feel put-together enough to wear them out to walk my dog."
Indulge in some me-time and color during your breaks from work. It's helped audience development coordinator Halle Proper when she needs a moment to relax.
"I also use one at night for some stress relief and am surprised at how relaxing it is!" Proper told us.
These double wall glass mugs were made to provide insulation to keep your drinks hot or cold, while also preventing any condensation buildup. Birkhofer uses them to keep her drinks at the perfect temperature throughout the day.
This portable chair can be placed in any room, whether it be your living room, bedroom or office. If you're looking for comfort other than your couch or bed, then consider using this sturdy linen chair.
"Sitting on my bed for the time being seemed like a great idea, but it eventually became uncomfortable. Plus, working from my bed made it hard to turn my brain off at night," TODAY commerce intern Jillian Ortiz told us. "Then I tried sitting in my desk chair to work, but that also caused my back to ache. So, I resorted back to a saucer chair. This chair uses bungee cords to create an angled seat, which takes the strain off of my back and makes it comfortable to sit with my laptop and do work."
A relaxing fragrance can help you focus your mind, and Birkhofer swears by these reed diffusers from Nest. Available in 24 scents, these diffusers were made with an alcohol-free formula to provide a perfectly dispersed scent.
If you're more into candles, Birkhofer also loves this affordable option from Target. You can use it as a decorative piece for your home and to rejuvenate you with its lemon fragrance.
Take advantage of your time at home to mix in some self-care as you prep for meetings and write out any reports. This eye mask was made to help take away some of the stress your skin go through and provide nourishment. The plant-based collagen aims to decrease puffiness around the eyes and smooth out any fine lines, and Birkhofer always has them on-hand.
While you work the day away, allow your face to get the treatment it deserves with the help of hyaluronic acid, which helps retain moisture in the skin. Birkhofer says her skin's never felt softer thanks to her frequent use of these masks.
With seven different colors to choose from, cuddle up with one or two of these polyester blankets.
"I own way too many throw blankets, but when I saw this sherpa blanket for less than $10, there was no stopping me from taking out my debit card," Ortiz said. "It is the softest blanket I have ever owned and has made it easy to snuggle up in my chair and get work done."
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