Working from home

5 essentials for home office setup when you’ve no space

Home office desk and accessories - essentials for home office setup
Elsa Noblet on Unsplash (this would be a major step up from working at my kitchen table)

I really delayed getting the essentials for home office setup as I didn’t think it would be a permanent thing. Now I’ve got all the essential kit, I want to highlight the must-haves, in case you need the same and been putting it off.

These are the key things if space and money is limited for you too. If you live in a small space or house share and work from home, you may be keen to get the best and essential items to make your work base comfortable and functional.

Many of us have been working from home for a long while now but making do with laptops on top of a book or a cushion under our bums. But if you’ve not moved beyond that yet and sick of discomfort (or even experiencing pain) then you need to improve your workspace now.

Repeatedly working in an uncomfortable fashion can have long-term consequences. In an office, you’d likely get an assessment to ensure you were sitting correctly and had all the support you needed.

When we work from home (either for ourselves or for a company) we often just battle with things, meaning to get to it at a later date. This can make you miserable at best, or pose health risks at worse. Get your essentials for home office setup sorted today…

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1. An ergonomic home office chair

I can’t believe I was sitting at my hard kitchen chair for over a year before I decided, no more! The reasons for my delay were a bit silly. I really didn’t want an ugly chair ruining my nice kitchen and table layout.

I also thought it would look odd when I had viewings (while trying to sell my flat) but of course, people understand many of us are working from home now.

Ultimately I think I did my back some real damage sitting on a kitchen chair for so long. They are simply not meant to be sat at all day. Don’t make my mistake, get yourself a decent chair such as the Yonisee mesh ergonomic chair.

As I’m all about space saving, the arm rests go up so it can be tucked right into the table when you’ve finished work. I must admit I was a bit worried about assembling it myself but it didn’t take long (you can pay extra to have it assembled for you).

My back really benefits from sitting at a proper ergonomic chair now and it also makes me feel professional and in work mode! If you’ve not got room for another chair, consider getting a supportive cushion at least so your back is supported and in a better position.

2. Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse

I don’t know about you, but there are only so many cables I can handle, so I wasn’t sure about a separate keyboard and mouse but I found this wireless set and I love it. The battery lasts for ages and once you plug in the USB, it finds the devices quickly and you can get going.

This is another area where you are risking injury and strain so do consider a separate keyboard and mouse if you work a lot from a laptop. I felt immediate relief and it pairs well with the next item…

3. Laptop stand

As it’s not ideal to work off a laptop (because we hunch over and strain ourselves), a laptop stand is best if you also need to save space. It’s much kinder on your neck and shoulders to raise your screen/monitor.

Many people splash out for a separate monitor and just have their laptop sat there closed or open as a second screen, but that takes up more space.

When a colleague suggested a laptop stand to lift my laptop so it effectively becomes a monitor, I was happy to find a space-saving way that would also make for more comfortable typing and reading. With my separate keyboard and monitor (see above), it key for your desk setup essentials.

They are super lightweight and can be folded and packed away at the end of the day along with your laptop and other bits. This is great, if like me, you want to convert your work zone back into a living space to switch off. Read more about self-care when working from home and creating boundaries.

4. Wireless headphones

I love having my headphones to concentrate. If you live with others it can also be a good way of indicating that you don’t want to be disturbed or are concentrating.

I really like these headphones as they hook over your ear, they are Bluetooth and last for ages after a charge and if you take a lot of calls there is also a built-in microphone. I also use them for running and when I’m out and about.

5. A plant

Yes, I’m finishing off with a natural one, not a gadget because I think this is key too when we work from home and need a little green to look at. Essentials for home office setup should include nature too!

I don’t have a garden but I love plants and think we all need one on our desks (or kitchen table in my case!). I used to have a couple in the office so why not one now? This completes your home office essentials list.

If you aren’t particularly green fingered (like me) then keep it simple so you don’t have to feel bad when you over or under water it and it starts to die!

There are lots of easy to care for plant options such as a money plant, cactus, or my absolute favourite, an orchid with its beautiful flowers that return year after year.

Those are your essentials for home office setup!

I hope the above is helpful in setting up a comfortable and functional work hub when space is limited and you’re keen to pack all or most of it away at the end of the day and get your bedroom or kitchen back. This is also key if you are working from home with a baby or toddler!

I have stuck strictly to the essentials for a home office setup, rather than a long list of kit you don’t need or have space for. These are the top desk setup essentials! For more ideas check out gifts for working from home mums.

Please also see my post on staying productive when working from home which complements this one and will keep you on the straight and narrow. Now you’ve got your essentials for home office setup sorted, it’s time to work on your productivity, so you don’t just procrastinate while sitting comfortably in your new office chair.

Also, download my daily planner to get yourself organised and add to your home office productivity.

Remember if you work for yourself, you can claim tax relief on your supplies. If you work for a company or organisation and they permit or encourage you to work from home, they may pay for some of these things (not the plant!) so check before paying out first yourself. Read more on the claim back working from home costs post too.

Let me know which of these essentials for home office setup you can’t live without anymore? I know I can’t go back now. These desk setup essentials will improve your working day too.

The information provided is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. This site is not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information.

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Essentials for home office setup

23 Comments

  • Nicolle

    Yes to all of these, most importantly the plant!!! Makes the office space so much nicer and brings in some much needed colour and fun during the day 😉

  • Helen Story

    I love this and one hundred per cent think we should grant ourselves the same importance working at home as we would expect from an employer at work. If a boss told us to make do with a kitchen chair, we’d not accept that and yet I’ve done exactly the same as you and only recently invested in a good solid seat for working hours.

    I don’t have room for a seperate office space and tend to work in the kitchen so noise cancelling headphones and a Do Not Disturb sign for key periods is a must! As for plants I line the kitchen window sill with herbs. scennt and greenery makes my ‘office’ feel a bit nicer.

  • Lenora

    These are all important for an office. I thought you were going to list off supplies but these items are great especially since it’s hard finding the right chair or headphones etc. I love that you listed a plant because that does help make the room feel brighter.

  • Crystal Green

    I don’t have any plants in my office. But I’ve found that having proper lighting is also a vital thing to ensure you have in your office. These are some great tips to ensure your home office setup correctly.

  • Christine

    Great tips! I worked for years at my desk in a chair that always gave me back pain until the day I decided that enough was enough and went out to purchase an ergonomic home office chair. And boy, what a difference! Thanks for sharing.

  • Louise

    Totally agree with all these. I have a tiny work space, but my little plant brings the whole thing together 😀 I definitely need to get myself a laptop stand – I think it would be super handy for all the hours I spend typing!

    Louise x

  • Donna Giles

    Really interested in this post as I feel like a traveller in my own home; moving between my kitchen table, my son’s desk in his bedroom and a coffee table in the lounge whenever I want to get out my laptop. When we finished our conservatory I requested a desk but we decided it should be just a place to chill. Fast forward to the first lockdown and my husband started working from home – in the conservatory! Now no space for me in there!

    Hoping to get a desk for our bedroom eventually – not ideal but best I can hope for – so this post will be really useful to me.

    Thank you

    • thecuriousdig

      This is exactly why I wrote this. Even post-lockdowns we are still just making do and not allowing ourselves a proper (and supportive setup) when we’ve been working from home for ages now. You could get a narrow desk for the corner or even a fold up/down desk which I used previously (before it became a baby changing table!). Thanks for your comment.

      • Dispeller

        This post is fantastic, and gosh, I relate! I am sorry to say that I am still using a kitchen chair. Limited space, fears of an office chair looking ugly, etc. Exactly the same issues. I’m going to check out on the chair recommended here, thank you x

  • Caroline

    My houseplants have practically taken over my desk haha, but definitely love having them there and seeing the new leaves! I hadn’t ever thought of having a laptop stand, but that’s such a good idea. I’ve added it to my list, maybe I’ll ask for it for Christmas 🙂

    • thecuriousdig

      Sounds great! Got to limit things as I use the kitchen table. The laptop stand is great, lifting up your laptop but you need the separate keyboard and mouse to make it all work. Thanks for commenting!

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