Whether you are a stay-at-home mum or working professional, having an at-home office is crucial for staying organised, ensuring your focus and maximising your productivity. For many mums, a home office can be not only a space for work, but also a space for respite from the craziness of everyday life as a mum. If you are looking to create your first home office, or simply looking to revamp your current home office, it is key that you fit it out with the right accessories. This article will showcase some of best accessories for a busy mum’s home office.
Before buying any home office accessories, first think about the space that will be your home office. This is important if you are choosing that space for the first time or re-evaluating the space in which you currently have your home office. The needs you have for your home office space will be different for each mum. However, there are several things everyone should consider. First, how isolated do you want your home office to be? If you are a mum of small children, you may want an office in which you can leave the door open and still keep any eye on your children. For example, a home office that opens onto or connects to a playroom may be a good fit. If you are a mum of older children, you may want a home office that is set away from louder parts of the house and that has a door you can fully close. Next, think about the amount of space you need for your home office. You will want to make sure that you will have room for a desk and chair, as well as additional storage. Finally, you will want to pick a space that offers ample lighting, whether through overhead lights, plugs for lamps, or windows. While working, it is necessary to have enough light to comfortably be able to read whatever you are working on.
Office Desk & Chair
Now that you have considered the space in which your home office will be, it is important to select the right accessories for your home office. The most important thing you will buy for your home office is a desk and a chair, as this will be the spot from which you do your work. With a desk, it is important to think about your specific needs. The first thing to consider is the size of the desk. How much surface area do you need? The second thing to consider is if you want your desk to have built-in storage. Do you want desks and shelves built-in or would you rather purchase storage separately? Once you have selected your desk, you must pick a chair. Be sure to pick a chair that you feel comfortable sitting in for extended periods of time. Remember, you could potentially sit for hours working in this chair. When shopping for a home office chair, pay attention to special features such as lumbar support, extra cushioning, armrests and adjustability. Check that your chair be can be raised or lowered, as this will allow you to ensure that your chair is at the right height for whatever desk you have selected.
There are many great home office desks and chairs available on the market at a range of prices. Regardless of your budget, you can find something that perfectly suits your needs.
Desks such as the Coaster 800434 Nesting Computer Desk or the Songmics L-Shaped Corner Computer Desk Workstation offer style and space (both available on Amazon UK). Some potential chairs to look at as suggestion or inspiration include the LANGRIA Comfortable V Shape Medium Mesh Back Home Office Desk Chair and the Herman Miller Aeron (both available on Amazon UK). Both chairs offer comfort, support, adaptability and style. If you are shopping for a desk and chair for your home office on a budget, consider exploring options at IKEA or at your local charity shop. You can also buy a cheaper chair and add a supportive cushion for extra comfort. Great cushions for your home office chair include the LoveHome Memory Foam Lumbar Support Back Pillow and the Seat Doughnut Cushion (both available on Amazon UK), as well as any of the cushions available through retailers like Temper Pedic.
In addition to purchasing a desk chair, you may also want to consider purchasing a stability ball to substitute occasionally for your desk chair. A stability ball is a large, rubber exercise ball which you use in place of your desk chair. The stability ball helps you build and tone your core muscles, improves your posture while you work and prevents back pain. For busy mums, this means you can sneak in a bit of a workout while you work! Investing in a stability ball will not only offer you a choice of seating in your home office, but will also help you stay toned and ward off back pain while at work in your home office.
If you didn’t purchase a desk with built-in storage, you may want to consider purchasing additional storage accessories. There are countless options for home office storage accessories to choose from. Before purchasing, think about what your specific storage needs are. Do you have enough space in your home office for something large, like a bookcase, or do you need something small and compact that could fit under your desk? Also think about the décor in your home office. Do you want something sleek and modern or fun and colourful? When shopping for storage accessories, consider a classic wooden or sleek metal bookcase, small drawers which you can fit under your desk and fabric or wicker bins which you can stack. If you are on a budget, there are many DIY options for building your own storage bins. Many mums love the ease of storage bins, as you can simply toss things into them and close the lid, without having to worry about dusting or tidying bookshelves.
Other Decorative Items
Once you have your desk and desk chair (or ball) sorted, it is time to focus on other accessories for the walls and surfaces of your home office. One of the most important accessories for your home office is a calendar. A calendar is necessary for visually keeping track of your schedule. Consider a large, paper calendar for your wall, which will help keep detailed account of your daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Paper calendars are available in a wide variety of themes and many online retailers will even let you customise your calendar. That means mums can feature their own family snapshots on their home office calendar. If you are looking for something more minimalist than a wall calendar, consider a desktop block calendar (available online through retailers like Etsy and Amazon UK). Made up of interchangeable, stacked wooden blocks, this calendar lets you track the month and date with style. Another stylish yet playful option is a weekly planner pad. Each sheet of the pad is divided into seven sections, one for each day of the week. Jot down your meetings or list of things to do, then at the end of the week, simply rip off that sheet and throw it away.
Once you have chosen the best calendar for your home office, it is time to focus on lighting accessories. Even if you have chosen a space for your home office with lighting in mind, you will still want to purchase a lamp. A lamp will help you to see better at night, supplement any overhead lighting and allow you to move your light source closer to you or your work as necessary. With lighting, consider whether you want a standing floor lamp or a lamp that you can place on top of your desk. You may also want to consider purchasing a floor or table lamp that has dimming capabilities. A dimmer will allow you to customise the brightness of your lamp. This is useful for ensuring that the light is at a brightness that is comfortable for you to work within. You can also make the light brighter in the evening and lower during the day.
If you don’t have the floor space for a floor lamp or the desk space for a table top lamp, consider a wall light. A wall light mounts easily to the wall, allowing you to benefit from the additional light without having to worry about clutter from a lamp. A wall light is a particularly good option if you have a tiny home office or if your home office is part of another room.
When selecting a lampshade for your lamp, you must consider both form and function. Your lamp shade should match your home office’s décor. Lampshades are available now in a range of fabrics, textures, colours and patterns, ensuring that you will be able to find one that works with your home office’s décor. Second, you will want to consider your lampshade’s function. The lampshade should softly diffuse the light throughout the room, so that there are no pockets of darkness or pockets of extremely bright light. The lampshade should soften any shadows and create a soft, ambient light.
In addition to purchasing lamps, you can arrange your home office to enhance any natural lighting. If your home office has windows, leave them open during the day to usher in the sunlight. Also consider purchasing blinds or curtains that easily open, allowing you to quickly and conveniently adjust the natural light in the room. When arranging your home office, try to place your desk facing either north or south, as this will eliminate any harsh shadows from the natural light. If the natural light is too bright at certain times of the day, consider investing in a set of sheer curtains. Not only are sheer curtains a tasteful addition to any home office, they also allow the natural light to filter into the room without any harsh shadows.
In addition to lighting, you may want a speaker for your home office. A speaker will allow you to conveniently listen to your favourite music, podcast or radio programme while you work. For many people, having background noise – such as music – enhances their productivity and makes working in their home office more enjoyable. When shopping for a speaker for your home office, the first thing to consider is size. Do you want your speaker to be small and portable or larger and louder? The next thing to consider is if you want your speaker to be wireless. A wireless speaker means that your speaker will connect to your smart phone or computer through Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to play music on your speaker without connecting the speaker through cords. While wireless speakers are convenient, they can be frustrating to use should you encounter technical difficulties, such as an inability for your Bluetooth to properly connect. Wireless speakers are also dependent upon a Wi-Fi connection to play music.
There are numerous speaker options, both wireless and non-wireless, at a range of price points available at retailers such as Amazon UK. Brands such as Bose, Sony and Beats by Dr. Dre offer small yet powerful Bluetooth capable speakers. The UE Boom 2 speaker was recently cited by technology website techrader.com as the best Bluetooth speaker of 2017. Features such as portability, loud and clear sound and easy to understand design elevates this speaker. The UE Boom 2 is even waterproof, meaning that if you decide to take this speaker outside the home office (or even lend it to your children), you don’t have to worry about accidents or spills.
In addition to a speaker, there are many other electronic gadgets that are useful and necessary accessories for any home office. The first is a set of cable ties. Cable ties will help sort your various electronic cords, such as laptop chargers and phone chargers, and prevent them from getting tangled. Anyone who has spent hours untangling their various electronic cords knows the value of such a tool. Cable ties come in a range of styles and colours, many of which will blend in seamlessly with or even enhance your home office’s décor. For example, Amazon UK offers countless cable ties in any colour imaginable. You can even get cable ties shaped like a dog or a cat (available on Etsy UK).
You will also want to purchase USB drives (also called flash drives) in order to save and share your files. Rather than a traditional plain black USB drive, consider ones shaped like smiling pieces of toast (available at Firebox.com), an ice cream or a fish (available from Amazon). Not only will these USB drives safely store and share your files, but they will also look adorable while doing so.
In addition to cable ties and USB drives, accessories such as a bright mousepad or keyboard cover can liven up any home office, as well as give you a chance to customise your electronics and workspace. There are mousepads available to suit any taste. However, the real fun is in customising them. Online retailers will let you upload your own image, which is then printed on the mousepad. This means that you can upload a family portrait, a silly picture of your children or even a photo of the family pet if you want. This means that even when you are hard at work, your loved ones are with you. A keyboard cover is another way to customise – and protect – your electronics. A keyboard cover protects your keyboard from damage, crumbs or spills. Cleaning is also easier, as you simply lift up the keyboard cover and wipe it down. Keyboard covers come in a range of colours and patterns, letting you choose whatever best suits your taste.
You can also express yourself through other home office accessories. Consider purchasing cute or fun alternatives to the normal, humdrum office supplies. For example, rather than purchasing plain, plastic drawing pins, consider purchasing a set of delicate, butterfly drawing pins. If that’s not your style, get your hands on some quirky moustache drawing pins instead (available on Etsy UK). Rather than a black, plastic tape dispenser, use an adorable otter tape dispenser or a chameleon tape dispenser (both available on Amazon), with the tape serving as his trademark sticky tongue. If you need to jot down some notes, there are countless options for fun notepads and sticky notes. Whether it’s a notepad with a built in tiny catapult; sticky notes shaped like miniature beards; see-through sticky notes shaped like ghosts – convenient for notating and underlining text; sticky notes shaped like sprinkled doughnuts; or a notepad shaped like three-dimensional pieces of fruit. These whimsical office supplies will help keep your home office fun as well as functional.
No home office would be complete without writing utensils. Even though you may take the majority of your notes on a computer, writing utensils are still crucial for jotting down notes and reminders for yourself. Luckily, your writing utensils don’t need to be boring. Remind yourself of your upcoming holiday with a quirky palm tree pen or keep a smile on your face with an adorable puppy pencil, for example. Correct any mistakes you may make with brightly coloured zoo animal erasers.
You may also want to consider purchasing storage accessories for your desk. Desktop storage will allow you to easily sort, store and locate the odds and ends – like pens, drawing pins and sticky notes – that accumulate within a workspace. While there are many traditional options for desktop storage available at retailers like IKEA, you can also seek out more playful, unique storage options. For example, let a fleet of tiny construction vehicles hold your business cards, paperclips and pens (Available at Uncommongoods.com). These also double as a toy for your little ones if you’re at a pinch! For something more refined – yet still fun – consider a delicately painted wooden desk organizer, styled like a vintage letter rack (available at Etsy UK).
Finally, for busy, multi-tasking mums of young children, there is one more crucial home office accessory. Many mums use their children’s nap time as a chance to catch up on a few minutes of work. To do so with peace of mind, consider investing in a high-quality baby monitor if you don’t already have one. Many baby monitors even offer video streaming capabilities, ensuring you can both see and hear your little ones. This will allow you to keep an eye on your children from the privacy of your own home office. If you still want to keep the look of your home office professional, there are numerous baby monitor options that will stylishly blend in. For example, the Angelcare AC517 is a compact, sleek, minimalist white device with a video monitor and baby breath tracker (Available at angelcarebaby.com). This device fits just as well in a home office as it does in a nursery.
For many mums, a home office is a sanctuary in which you can get work done in a space that’s all yours. When designing and outfitting a home office, there are numerous accessories to consider. Whether it’s a desk chair, a lamp, a speaker, electronic accessories or a baby monitor, each purchase is an opportunity to both ensure the best function and to insert your own personality and style into your home office. Whether you prefer a chameleon tape dispenser or butterfly drawing pins, there are home office accessories out there for you. It’s just a matter of finding and purchasing the best accessories for your home office.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
GET INSTANT ACCESS TO 100+ ONLINE COURSES
- Courses provided by New Skills Academy
- Over 200k students already trained
- Study in your own time and from any device
- CPD certified qualifications
- Verifiable certificate upon completion of the course
- Gain 12 months access to over 100 courses for a one-off payment