How to make the perfect home office for less than $450
Working from home has a lot of perks. You don't have to worry about a daily commute in traffic, you can always make lunch, making it easier to cut down on food expenses, and you don't have to share a bathroom with coworkers. While working from home can be great for a plethora of reasons, it can be a little expensive when you are first setting up. You'll need a desk, a chair, a few great accessories, and suddenly it sounds like you're going to be spending a fortune. Relax, it's not all doom and gloom.
If you're looking to set up a small home office for yourself, but you don't want to spend a fortune, you've come to the right place. While I will already assume you have a computer, I'll give you a list of some exceptional items you need to complete your workspace that will be practical.
Your desk needs may vary depending on the type of work you're doing, but it's proven that if you keep your desk clean and free of clutter, you'll likely going to be more productive when you sit down to work. It's easier to keep a small space clean, and if you live in especially cramped space (like I do), a small minimalist desk is perfect for making the most out of the space you do have.
I use the BRUSALI from IKEA as my primary work desk. It's not huge, being just shy of 3-feet long, but it's surprisingly roomy. I fit my MacBook Air alongside a 27-inch monitor perfectly well, and it's like the perfect size if you're working form an iMac. If the BRUSALI isn't your fancy, check out these other small desks.
Best Best Small Desks for Small Homes
This wooden desk is perfect for making a small and quaint home office. Its power cable holder at the back will help keep all your power cables up and out of the way, and the three open drawers are perfect for store items you need every day.
When you're sitting all day at the office, you want to make sure your chair has good support and doesn't leave you sore at the end of the day from being uncomfortable. Chairs can get expensive, but AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair is perfect for a small home office. It blends comfort and affordability well, while still being adjustable enough to find the sitting position that will be comfortable for you.
If the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair seems a little inadequate for you, and you don't mind spending a bit more money, there are plenty of other great options.
If you want a high back chair for your office, the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh chair is a great option. The pneumatic lift is perfect for height adjustment, and there's a controllable tilt function so that you can find the most comfortable position for you. The back is mesh allowing air movement while you're sitting in it, so you shouldn't end up with a sweaty back.
Working from home typically means a lot of remote meetings. Whether you use Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, or any other type of video conferencing service, you're going to want an external microphone to make sure you come across crisp and clear.
Blue Snowball iCE is a perfect microphone for the office because not only is it nice and small, it delivers outstanding clean recordings of your voice that will make video calls a breeze. Plus, it's even good enough to record a podcast making it not just for work but also for pleasure.
The Snowball iCE is primarily used for recording a single voice if you want to explore other options, there's plenty of different kinds of USB microphones out there.
Recording with a 44.1 kHz/16 bit sample rate, the Blue Snowball iCE is more than capable of making sure your voice comes through clear on video calls.
I can't stress enough how essential headphones can be for a home office, especially if you share your space with family or roommates. A set of headphones that can let you tune out the world and get work done when you need to focus, and it can make sure you can hear your coworkers or clients over video conferencing calls.
It's no secret that a perfect pair of headphones is going to cost some dough; however, if you mostly need a pair of headphones to get through the workday, I would suggest the TaoTronics SoundSurge 85. The cans are comfortable to wear all day long, the active noise canceling works great and tuning out distractions, and the 40-hour battery life is perfect for getting through the workweek.
With active noise-canceling, 40-hour battery life, and USB-C charging, the TaoTronics SoundSurge 85 is the perfect price for a pair of headphones to keep in your home office.
Being a writer, a keyboard is the most essential accessory for me; however, every home office should have a keyboard that makes working all day easy and comfortable. If you have a MacBook or a Mac, you'll likely want something different than the built-in keyboard or the Magic Keyboard.
I have used both the butterfly-switch keyboard on my MacBook Air and the Magic Keyboard with my iMac extensively, and while I never had a massive problem with either typing on the Satechi Bluetooth keyboard for Mac feels better than both. While it's not a mechanical keyboard by any means, the keys do travel and give satisfying tactile feedback with each press of the keys. It's this response that is missing from the MacBook keyboard and the Magic Keyboard, and it has made me more confident in typing— especially when I'm feverishly writing as fast as I can.
While I love the Satechi keyboard, I realize its a little on the expensive side for a basic keyboard, if you want some other great suggestions, check out the link below for more options.
Best Alternatives to Apple's Magic Keyboard
With a full numeric keypad, excellent typing feel, fantastic battery life, and beautiful aesthetic, the Satechi Bluetooth keyboard for Mac is an excellent keyboard for people who aren't happy with the butterfly-switch keyboard on their MacBook or the compact design of the Magic Keyboard.
This is an optional purchase; if you have a MacBook, you can always just use the trackpad, and if you have a Mac, the Magic Mouse is more capable of getting the job done. However, using the Magic Mouse or a trackpad all day every day can lead to hand cramps or soreness. If you want something a little more ergonomic, but still highly functional, the Logitech M720 is a perfect fit.
You can have three different devices connected to the M720, meaning you can easily take this mouse with you to use when you're on-the-go, or use it on your main computer when you're at your home office.
Also known as the Triathalon Mouse, Logitech's low-cost, high-powered wireless mouse is a great mid-range product. It's called the Triathalon Mouse because it has three Bluetooth device connections. You can use it with your iMac Pro at home, your MacBook Pro on the go, and your PC at work.
USB-C Hub for MacBooks
This isn't necessary for everybody, but if you're using a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, you'll know that they only have USB-C ports and no other ports. While USB-C is a fantastic technology, this could leave you wishing for some of those missing port options (especially USB-A). If you want to connect your accessories, you'll need a USB-C hub, and the Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C Hub is perfect for anyone.
It has all the ports you could want to connect everything, and its compact design makes it easy to fit into a small space or on a small desk.
An HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD and microSD card reader, and two USB-C ports (one for power delivery and one for data), this gives you everything you need to make sure you can plug everything you need into your Mac.
What's your home office look like?
What your home office look like? Let us know in the comments down below.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.