While you are trying to perfect your work-from-home desk setup, picking the right products can be a bit overwhelming.

There are a lot of different options for keyboards, monitors, cable management, charging options and other home office must-haves for the place where you do the most work: your desk at home.

I’ve put together a list of all of my favorite essentials that I have in my work-from-home setup, in this work-from-home equipment checklist..

I hope you find this list useful when you’re choosing your essential home office gadgets!

Mousepads

Becca uses a mousepad on her desk because she doesn’t like the way a mouse feels on a hard surface. To her, it feels like the mouse keeps getting stuck, and she prefers something soft and smooth (probably made of neoprene like most mousepads) under her wireless mouse.

I’ve had issues in the past with my mouse collecting dust and then having a hard time sliding it around on a surface, so I understand this challenge. A dedicated mouse pad can add style to your home office desk and can also function by allowing your mouse to always slide smoothly.

A mousepad might be a necessity if your desk doesn’t work well with the type of mouse that you have.

Becca has a basic but cool faux marble mousepad that is like a little art statement on her desk. If you want something traditional, a simple black mousepad is a sure bet.

Desk pad

What’s a desk pad?

A desk pad is like a mousepad, but much bigger.

This type of home office essential is nice because it allows you to use your mouse anywhere on your desk with no problem.

The desk pad protects your desk, and adds some style as well. There are some really fun-colored desk pads out there, and some people use them as writing mats, or as a mouse-friendly waterproof layer for their home office desk.

LG 4K 27-Inch Monitor

I have this external monitor and it’s been a great addition to my home office desk equipment setup, and to my productivity.

I use the external monitor for normal work tasks, like browsing the Internet, writing, emails, blogging and more. I also use it for photo editing and sometimes, for video editing.

I am able to tile multiple windows on the screen while still having plenty of screen real estate available.

The resolution is 3840x2160, so it’s more than double what my 13” MacBook Pro is able to show. I’ll have a few browser windows and Slack open, and there is still room for other programs and tasks.

I keep my laptop open and sit it next to my laptop stand, which I sometimes use to watch YouTube videos or call into meetings.

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Budget home office monitor pick

If you’re not looking for anything special and you need an extra screen, the ViewSonic 24” external monitor might work for you.

It doesn’t have the highest resolution, but it will make things much bigger if you have issues seeing or reading on your existing home office desk screen and setup.

The monitor comes highly suggested and can support a few different input types.

High-end pick

If money was no object, the LG UltraFine 5k would be my pick. The extra 1,000 pixels of resolution would add to my productivity and would allow me not to need to use my laptop screen.

This product integrates really well with MacOS so that you can control the brightness and volume, without having to go through the monitor’s menu.

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Monitor arm

Monitor arms are a good way to save space on your desk. You can attach them to the edge of your desk in your home office, or you can even mount your monitor to the wall.

I had this WALI monitor stand for a little while. It felt surprisingly sturdy for the cost. If you’re adjusting the arm constantly, you need to make sure everything is tight and you may sometimes have to re-tighten some of the joints.

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Helpful Tip

Double check the size and weight of your monitor to make sure you’re selecting the right one.

If you’re looking for something with a better build quality, check out the monitor arm by Jarvis.

Ergotron makes a monitor stand that you can use and attach to your wall. Make sure to read the instructions and securely attach the stand properly!

If you’re looking for something a little bit cheaper that you can mount to the wall, Amazon Basics has a version to consider.

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Roost laptop stand

I’ve had my Roost laptop stand for a long time. I checked my Amazon order history, and I’ve had it since September of 2017. Wow!

It’s been my permanent home office and remote work desk companion on all types of desks and surfaces.

It will help you prop your computer screen off your desk and will let you use an external keyboard and mouse, thereby helping you get better posture when working from home.

You can learn more about it from our review of the Roost laptop stand or checking them out on Amazon.

Budget laptop stand options

The Roost is great because it’s portable. If you’re looking for something more permanent, check out the Rain Design mStand.

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Wireless phone charger

If you have a phone that can support wireless charging, you have some options to add a new home office desk accessory that has a purpose.

Helpful Tip

It’s important to make sure that you are buying the right one! Some phones and charging technology (like Apple MagSafe) sometimes are incompatible with some chargers.

The Apple MagSafe charger is going to be the standard. In typical Apple form, it’s sort of expensive, and has a single purpose. It does look pretty sweet, though!

Amazon Basics has a nice little wireless charger that acts as a phone stand. It’s USB-powered, and you’d use it along with a powered USB hub or connect it to your computer.

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Some desk lamps for a home office desk

We really light lights from IKEA and found that Brightech lights are similar to what you can find at more expensive stores. They’re trendy, attractive and function well.

In terms of our pick for the best desk lamp for a home office setup, I am a fan of this lamp and this lamp.

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They are both from the Amazon Rivets collection, which has a great look and style, with an affordable price. We talk about the Amazon Rivets collection a lot in our guide to how to find affordable furniture after you move to a new place.

Desk lamps are a great way to introduce some mood lighting into your work environment when you work from home.

Fun fact: sometimes Becca comes into the apartment after the sun goes down and I’m sitting in the dark still working.

While this is a little embarrassing, it’s true (and it’s also bad for my eyes, so I should stop).

Luckily, we prefer lamps all over our apartment, and don’t even have overhead lights at all!

As some research we did during our recent move, we intentionally researched some of the best-looking lamps online, as well as lamps that would last us a long time.

We love lamp.

Tablet stand

If you have an iPad or tablet, propping one up on your desk will require an essential desk gadget that I will introduce you to. You need a great desk accessory to extend your screen or to have additional productivity apps open.

If you’re on a Mac, you can use Sidecar to use your iPad as a second screen. We talk about this setup in our guide to how to make a shared home office for two.

If you don’t have a Mac or if you have a different tablet, you can use the additional screen for emails, music or to watch tutorials.

We went into a deep dive to find the best tablet stands already, so you can choose your favorite one for your home office desk setup.

If you’re looking for one recommendation, my favorite is this tiny little tablet stand. It’s small, versatile and functional.

Headphone holder

One of the first things that I ordered for my new desk setup was a place to stash my headphones. Having a gadget like this has helped me to free up space on my standing desk at home.

I like the noise cancellation headphones from Sony. I have the Sony WH-1000XM2, which are pretty old at this point. They still work, and I haven’t needed to upgrade them yet.

I have my eye on the Sony WH-1000XM4 to get as an upgrade, when the time is right.

Anyway, because my noise-cancelling headphones need to hang out on my desk all the time, giving them a stand is a nice way to clear up some desk space and have everything organized.

For a headphones stand on your home office desk, you have a few options. This headphone holder is nice. It’s lightweight and affordable. It does its job to keep your headphones off of your desk.

This headphone holder is a great way to keep your headphones off of your desk completely. You can hang them off an edge or corner when you are not using them.

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Microphone

If you’re in a lot of meetings and want a dedicated microphone for your desk, check out this one from Audio-Technica.

I got one because we are on a few podcasts and I wanted better audio for those occasions.

Something like this could work for you and your meetings if you want really high-quality audio or if you do a lot of screen-sharing recordings.

Audio quality is important to some people, and taking an extra step can set you apart from everyone else.

Microphone holder

A useful companion for your microphone will be a microphone holder. I have this affordable option from Neewer.

It sits on the edge of your desk and you can adjust the position of your microphone in a lot of different ways.

I’ve moved this stand around to different places in our apartment when I wanted to record something sitting at our kitchen table and living room!

Cable box

Cable management can be quite the adventure to try and figure out. If you’re like me, you have lots of different wires and cables everywhere.

This became an issue when I was using my standing desk and going from the sit position to the stand position would be tricky, in making sure my cables didn’t ever snag.

I found this cable management box to be extremely helpful in wrangling everything together. I put a power strip inside the box, and plugged everything into the box. I fed the wires onto my desk and it turned into a cool solution for my desk at home.

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It’s useful because then the power strip is the only cable dangling below my desk to plug into the wall.

For me and my standing desk, when I need to raise and lower the desk, only one cable needs to travel the distance, instead of a lot of different things plugged into a power strip below.

Plus, I always found a way to toggle the power switch of a power strip with my feet.

Analog

Analog is a great product for staying organized and detaching your actionable “to-do” items from your technology.

I’ve tried tons of “TODO” apps and all of my tasks end up into a bottomless pit of “undone.” Then they all become not actionable. Or, I get distracted using my phone for something else. I am sure you can relate.

Analog helps you become organized by giving you the tools to create a “to-do” system that is, well, analog. You use a pen and some paper.

It sounds silly, but I believe it works. In the past, I’ve done something similar with post-it notes, and it works.

Check out Analog

Pen

I’m sure you have a ton of pens sitting in a drawer somewhere. Or maybe you had a ton of pens sitting in a mug from 1993. Some of them work? Maybe?

If you’re looking for an upgrade and you’d like to have a single pen on your desk, check out these G2 pens from PILOT.

I’ve been using them since high school and they are amazing. I have pretty bad handwriting naturally and these pens help me write a bit more clearly.

They are refillable, so you don’t have to keep buying pen skeletons every time you run out of ink.

If you’re already shopping on Ugmonk (from Analog or the pen tray below) you can consider a pen from over there.

Pen tray

Now that you have a bunch of nice and new pens, consider a pen tray.

It can help give you a dedicated spot to place your pen on your home office desk so you don’t lose it. Pens tend to run away, somehow.

The pen tray can also be a great dedicated spot for your Apple pencil. These are some cool gadget essentials for anyone working from home.

Notebook

For notebooks, the sky’s the limit for the amount of notebooks and journals that exist. I would consider how often you write in them, if you’d like to save them and how often you want to go back and look at past entries or notes.

For something 100% digital, take a look at reMarkable. You can take notes, and it’s designed to feel like you are writing on paper.

For something 100% digital that uses tools that you might use every day, consider the iPad and the Apple Pencil.

For all of your paper needs, check out the notebooks from Leuchtturm1917. There are a lot of options and styles for you to choose from.

Coasters

If you’re like me, you start your day with a cup of coffee. Throughout the day, I transition into water. Sometimes, on hot days, I’ll have ice with my water.

With coffee, no matter how hard I try, I usually have a coffee ring under my cup. With ice water, cups tend to get pretty drippy in our apartment. I think our apartment is pretty humid!

Coasters for our desks are a must, to make sure we keep our surfaces looking new.

Take a look at the coasters from Ugmonk!

Mugs

Coasters and mugs go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I’ve tried a few mugs for morning coffee and my favorite style has to be something with a nice big handle.

I have one of those metal camping mugs, and the entire mug starts to heat up and it’s too hot to handle sometimes.

Some of the standard IKEA coffee mugs are okay, but the handles only allow for two or three fingers in total.

Check out these mugs from Sweese! They have a big handle and come in a pack with a few different colors. If you want white, you can choose that option, too.

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Picture frames

If you have the space for it, a picture frame can really add personality to your work-from-home desk setup.

You can display some of your favorite memories in photos, and you can also bring some life to your desk when you’re working remotely.

Becca has a photo block with some of our favorite photos on her desk!

Check out the wood block & prints from Artifact Uprising.

Google Nest Mini

A Google Nest Mini can be a great little desk assistant for you. It can help you set quick timers if you’re trying to stay on task throughout your day. Most people would even say this is an essential home office gadget.

You can ask a Google Nest Mini to read your calendar, add things to lists and tell you the weather. It can also run some simple math for you so that you don’t have to bring up the calculator app in your phone, or worse, use an online calculator.

Because it’s also a speaker, you can play music from Google Play and Spotify, to bring chill vibes into your home office sanctuary.

Power station

If you want to charge a lot of different things on your home office desk, something like this USB charging station is an essential home office desk product.

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You’ll have 10 USB ports, which allow a lot of flexibility to charge headphones, your mouse and keyboard, a camera, phone and iPad.

If 10 ports is more than you have devices for, Anker has this version that has six ports.

If you have a few devices that have USB connectivity, these adapters will really come in handy!

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Apple Magic Trackpad

For Mac users, the Magic Trackpad is an extension of your trackpad that you can use with a regular desk setup.

I’ll go months using the Magic Trackpad, and I’ll only randomly switch to a “regular mouse.” I am comfortable using both types of mice.

I like being able to use gestures and being able to do multidimensional scrolling, in design programs. As a bonus when using the Apple Magic Trackpad, whenever you want to scroll horizontally, the Magic Trackpad really shines.

The Magic Trackpadfalls short for Windows users and for people who need something more ergonomic. I haven’t tested this, but you likely won’t get the same feature set using a Magic Trackpad on a Windows computer. I’d recommend it mostly for Mac setups at home.

This type of mouse system can be hard on your hands and wrists. If you experience pain from using any mouse, the Magic Trackpad probably isn’t the right mouse for you when working from home.

Apple Magic Mouse

I’ve used the Apple Magic Mouse for years, and it’s a great mouse for working from home. You can use some gestures with it and the touch sensitivity is awesome.

Charging gets a bit weird because you can’t charge it and use it at the same time.

Logitech MX Master

The MX Master is my go-to mouse for my work-from-home office setup. It has customizable buttons, different scrolling wheels and it works great.

It’s not a small mouse, so if you’re shopping for someone young or someone who has smaller-sized hands, this mouse might not be the best option for them.

It works via Bluetooth technology and works best using a unifying device. Also, the battery life is good! You can use it while you charge.

Logitech M720 Triathlon

It’s a nice-sized mouse and I’ve had no problems with it. I use it sometimes when I’m feeling like I want to switch up my home office setup and gadgets for a few days.

I originally got it because you can use it across multiple devices. As it goes, I never ended up using that feature.

The M720 Triathlon has a good battery life. It is not rechargeable, so you’ll need a solid set of rechargeable batteries to go along with it

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Apple Magic Keyboard

This Apple Magic keyboard for a home office is still my all-time favorite keyboard.

The pros are that you can travel with this keyboard. It’s lightweight and slim, and totally packable in luggage if you plan to work remotely and travel.

The battery life is great and you can use it while being plugged in with a lightning cable.

It also comes in two sizes:

The cons are that a) it’s not very ergonomic, b) some people say that it feels like they’re typing on a desk as if the keyboard was not there (I don’t ever get that feeling), and c) the Command and control keys are in the Mac orientation.

Helpful Tip

You can use the Apple Magic Keyboard on a Windows laptop, but know that when you want to press CTRL, you’ll physically be pressing the Command key.

Other keyboard options for a home office desk

If you’re using a laptop stand for your laptop in your office where you work from home, keep in mind that you definitely do need a keyboard that works for you. Aside from the slim low-profile Apple Magic Keyboard and similar products to this one, I have a few more recommendations that I have used through the years.

Mechanical keyboards

I like mechanical keyboards because I type so much. They help me type more accurately.

They are much “higher” than most keyboards, meaning the keys are taller. The good news is that I haven’t had any wrist pain while using my mechanical keyboard in my home office for a few years.

There are so many options for adding colors to these mechanical keyboards. It feels truly endless.

If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, check out the Keychron K2.

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If you want to dive into the deep end, this subreddit has everything you’ll ever need to know about mechanical keyboards.

Logitech keyboards

If you’re looking for a standard keyboard to get started with, and one that will boost your productivity, this keyboard from Logitech will be good!

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But really, anything from Logitech should work. There are plenty of different options and features to choose from.

Are there more must-haves for the perfect home office essentials?

This list should cover most of the things you need for your essential home office gadgets on your desk. There are so many types of work-from-home desk setups, and everyone’s space and preferences are different.

You can consider this list as an outline or checklist for essential home office accessories that may work for you, and you can always continue to be doing research to see how you can optimize the desk and workspace in your home office.

For more visuals on what we consider the perfect home office, see our guide to creating your permanent office for working from home.

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Last updated on November 26th, 2021