Some of us have eased back to our daily commutes to the office and back. Others have continued the work-from-home routines that were necessitated by events from earlier in the year. If you’re shopping gifts for people in the latter group, it might be a good idea to get them something they can use in their day-to-day home office grind. Whether they end up doing the work-from-home thing just a few more weeks or it becomes a semi-permanent part of their work schedule, elevating the quality of their home-bound workspace is something a lot of people can definitely appreciate.
Here are some affordable gifts for the home-bound worker bees in your shopping list.
Aothia PU Leather Desk Pad
We’re big fans of using desk pads – those oversized mouse pads that tidy up your workspace while protecting your desk from all the accessories you use throughout the course of a workday. For us, they’re the simplest, most cost-effective way to immediately elevate the aesthetics of any workspace. Yes, even if you’re getting all your work done from the dining table in the kitchen. That’s why we have no doubt any person working from home will appreciate one as a gift.
This particular model from Aothia comes with PU leather on top and suede on the bottom, so it protects your desk from spills, nicks, and stains while being perfectly gentle on the table surface and offering a good amount of traction to keep it from slipping. With the PU leather top, it’s good enough to use as a mouse pad all on its own, too, while cleaning up with just a quick wipe. It’s available in three sizes and a variety of colors.
Unless you live alone, working from home is rarely a peaceful affair. For people in your house, it’s not easy to separate those times you’re on the clock and those times you’re not. You’re home, after all, and it’s easy enough for your kids, spouse, roommates, or parents to bug you like any normal Sunday afternoon.
Help out a home-bound friend with this LED sign from ZOLED, which lets everyone know to stay out of their way for the meantime. We know, there’s no guarantee people in a household will even bother respecting the sign, but it definitely gives any stuck-at-home worker a better chance at being able to carve out a more focused workday.
The sign comes with light-up LEDs that can be turned on and off with a single button on top. It uses a single 9-volt battery for power, a fresh unit of which should be enough to keep it running for a few months, so a single one might be all you need until your office resumes their normal schedule. You might want to buy an extra piece, though, just to be sure.
One of the best things about the office is having a waiting pot of coffee you can pour from any time. That’s not quite the case at home. Chances are, you’ll need to keep a pot ready and, that means, having your own supply of coffee.
While there’s countless brands, blends, and grinds of coffee out there, maybe your recipient can appreciate one that’s got so much caffeine, USA Weightlifting actually uses it as a pre-workout beverage. It boasts 50 percent more caffeine than the standard fare to keep you alert and awake through the doldrums of the workday, while a light roast blend should accompany that with a gentle and smooth taste.
Power strips don’t really make for the most exciting gifts. Those that work from home, though, will probably appreciate it more than the usual recipient. Especially, if that power strip came with enough USB slots to let them charge their ever-growing number of USB-charging devices and accessories.
Anker’s PowerPort Cube does exactly that, giving folks three USB slots and three standard power outlets for plugging in a whole host of electronics you need to keep powered throughout the day. Even better, it sheds the typical bar-shaped power strip design, opting for a much nicer-looking cube shape that changes the aesthetic significantly.
We’re big fans of Field Notes and similar pocket notebooks. They make it easy to carry a handy notepad that you can pull out in a pinch. When you’re stuck working from home, though, there’s really no point to using a tiny pocket-sized notebook, since you can easily use a larger one to better organize your thoughts and ideas.
This A5-sized hardcover notebook comes with 249 numbered, thread-bound pages that open flat to give you a convenient writing surface, as well as an inner gusseted pocket for holding small documents and an elastic band for keeping it shut tight when not in use. Other features ink-proof 80 GSM paper, eight perforated sheets that’s designed to tear off quickly, and a self-adhesive label for those who like to archive their notes.
One of the things you quickly notice when you work from home is the amount of noise that’s present both inside and outside your house through the course of the day. From the chatter of your kids and playful pet sounds to cars passing outside and home renovations happening next door, there’s a whole lot of distracting sounds that can make it difficult to focus on the work at hand.
Using a white noise machine to drown out those unwanted sounds is a simple way to reclaim your focus and this compact device offers one of the most affordable ways to do that. Equipped with 20 different recordings, including white noise, brown noise, pink noise, fan noise, brook sounds, rain sounds, and more, this device can deliver the soothing sounds you need to mask the presence of all those distracting noises, helping you relax and improve your focus, regardless of whatever tasks the workday brings. It comes with 32 volume levels, multiple timer settings, and a compact size that measures just 2.6 x 2.6 x 2.8 inches.
If your friend still uses one of those ceramic mugs with some silly design to get their morning coffee fix, it may be time to for an intervention. Don’t worry, it won’t require much. Just steer them towards the right path by gifting this stainless steel mug from YETI.
Billed as the “toughest and most over-engineered” coffee vessel you’ll probably find, it boasts double-wall vacuum insulation to keep coffee warm, a lid that keeps the heat in while keeping the contents from accidentally sloshing, and a shatter-resistant 18/8 stainless steel build that will survive the most frustrating Zoom meetings you’ll ever encounter. Yeah, it’s the next level coffee mug gift.
Unless you’re gaming, there’s really no reason to use a wired keyboard anymore. Going wireless just makes so much more sense, as it eliminates another constant source of cable mess. If you have a friend who has refused to upgrade from that cheap wired keyboard they’ve been using for years, tempt them to untethered side with this compact 2.4GHz wireless keyboard. With its ultra-slim profile, stainless steel build, and six-month battery life, this thing feels way more expensive than its actual sticker price, too.
Small houseplants are great for livening up a drab workspace, all while improving the mood for most individuals. Sure, they require some maintenance, but if you choose just the right plant, you can keep that to a bare minimum.
This Red Prayer Plant from Bloomscape, for instance, requires just access to indirect sunlight, a moist soil (just dump some leftover water there now and then), and a weekly spritz on its leaves to keep it thriving. Basically, as long as they’re not working in a windowless basement, your recipient won’t be accidentally killing it anytime soon.
Working from home, most people realize the limitations of the chairs they own at home – they just don’t make it comfortable to sit in the same spot for eight hours a day. At least, not like some of the better office chairs out there (assuming, of course, your office splurged on that). Yes, your friend who works at home can use a proper seat cushion.
While there’s a near-unanimous love for Purple’s 2-inch thick model, you probably don’t want to spend that kind of money for anyone other than immediate family. This 3.5-inch thick, all-foam cushion from Xtreme Comfort can get the job done all the same, providing full support for your body, a really cushy feel, and a sloping shape that reduces pressure on the back of your legs. It’s arguably the best foam cushion you’re going to find at this price point.