Skip To Content
    Mar 25, 2020

    17 Tips & Products The BuzzFeed Shopping Team Swears By For Working From Home

    From our couch to yours.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Start your day with an easy-to-accomplish (non-work) task to gain momentum and feel like you can take anything on.

    Bravo

    "After sipping your coffee, do a load of laundry, wash the dishes, etc. — it immediately takes you out of relaxation mode." —AnaMaria Glavan

    2. And/or squeeze in a quick at-home workout (or just simply a few stretches) to get your blood pumping.

    Photos by Lauren Zaser for BuzzFeed / Design by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

    "I love going for a run or doing an at-home workout in the morning (yoga, HIIT, dance, whatever gets you moving)! It wakes me up and gives me a little boost for the day, even if I'm WFH." —Genevieve Scarano

    "I've been (trying) to get up at my normal time and instead of doing a 30-minute workout, I've been doing an hour, which really wakes me up and helps me feel more energized. Then I usually take a quick shower and change into comfy clothes, so I'm ready to start my day around the same time I would if I were going to the office." —Abby Kass

    "I also got a jump rope ($15 at Dick's Sporting Goods) and actually started using it again as a way to get some cardio in since I don't have a treadmill at home and I love running on treadmills at the gym. I just go out in my backyard and try to jump for longer every day. Plus, this lets me get some fresh air. Also, very happy to have some dumbbells and a yoga mat at home for other workouts" —Jasmin Suknanan

    And if you don't have any equipment at home, try our assortment of 9 Quick Total-Body Workouts, No Equipment Needed.

    3. Make your bed!! This is just a great tip whether you're working from home or not. It'll help you *kickstart* your productivity AND make your bedroom seem like HEAVEN on earth when you collapse into it at night.

    Alice Mongkonglite / Thinkstock / BuzzFeed

    "I make the bed every morning so I’m not tempted to climb back in mid-day (lol)" —Yi Yang

    This is part of BuzzFeed's ~Morning Person Challenge~, so if that interests you, check it out!

    In a commencement speech at the University of Texas, US Navy Adm. William H. McRaven said if you want to change the world, the first thing you should do is start making your bed. He said: "It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed."

    4. Dress for success, whatever that means for you! It's about feeling comfy...but not so comfy you just go into nap mode.

    BuzzFeed / Heather Braga, Nordstrom

    "I do not work in PJs. I get dressed up like I'm actually about to head out for errands or something, including putting on comfy sneakers. It helps me get my mindset right." —Marquaysa Battle

    "I work in PJs when I WFH, BUT I change into clean PJs. Or if you have a 'good' set of PJs (like the stuff you wear on a group trip where other ppl see your PJs) slip into those. I'm never going to wear jeans while WFH but I'll put on clean pajama pants at least." —Elizabeth Lilly

    "I've had trouble with the 'dress as if you're going to work' advice (I wanna be comfy) so I tweaked it to be 'dress in a way you would never ever leave the house.' It motivates me to actually change clothes (I get to plan out a very weird outfit) and it'll be fun to see how out of control my outfits get by the end of the week. Today is head-to-toe buffalo check." —Bek O'Connell

    "I’m doing a Disney T-shirt challenge. Wearing a Disney shirt every single day I WFH as a fun way to see how much of a magical shirt collector I really am…" —Heather Braga

    The tee Heather is wearing on the left is available at Fantasyland Apparel for $30 (available in sizes S–2X and in white). The PJ set pictured on the right is available at Nordstrom for $65 (available in sizes XXS–XXL and 1X–3X, and in four colors.

    5. If you can, adjust up your hours to make the best possible use of your time and stay (healthily!) productive.

    BuzzFeed

    If you use Slack, you can set your display name to show the hours you're working like pictured above (or you can just set hours on gcal) so everyone knows when you're on — and more importantly, when you're not.

    "Start work earlier because there's no commute time, that gives you a little extra time to clear away the emails and get organized and will allow you to either take a longer lunch break or stop work a little earlier." —John Mihaly

    "If you feel most productive in the AM, start a bit earlier. if you find yourself hitting a wall mid-afternoon, take a two-hour break and continue when you feel ready. Staring at your laptop screen for eight hours uninterrupted because those are your 'usual work hours' is actually a huge waste of time." —AnaMaria Glavan

    6. Change up your seating to put yourself in ~work mode~. For me, that means alternating between the couch and the kitchen counter — no! bed work! allowed!

    BBC

    If one particularly comfy chair puts you in nap mode, maybe don't spend the whole day there. If you have a table set up as a desk that's great, otherwise try a laptop tray table ($29.99 at Wayfair) to turn your couch into an ~optimized work zone~.

    "Sit at an actual table if you can. Once I sit on a couch it signals 'leisure time!' and I CAN get work done. But I'm way less productive than if I'm at a dining room table." —Elizabeth Lilly

    "I have different parts of my room dedicated to certain frames of mind! Like if I'm writing I like to be on my couch, or brainstorming I like to sit on the floor, or cleaning up my post I like to sit on my bed. Helps me get in the zone." —Emma Lord

    7. Come up with creative ways to force yourself to take a break every so often — like fully charging your laptop, then leaving it unplugged and hitting pause when the battery gets low.

    Picar

    "I also charge my laptop up to 100%. When it gets to 5%, I take a break. I go eat, walk around, take my dog out, or something." —Marquaysa Battle

    8. Stay hydrated. If that means filling up a giant glass or water bottle and keeping it near you, try it out. Even though you're not at the office, you still need a ~water cooler break~!

    Urban Outfitters

    "Drink out of a water bottle because you probably take fewer breaks at home (or I always seem to do) and if I drink out of a regular glass I don't realize I'm not drinking enough water. Drinking out of a water bottle gives me a better measure of staying hydrated." —Elizabeth Lilly

    "I would currently be lost without my Nalgene! Somehow staying hydrated has felt nearly impossible during this time, but having an absolutely massive water bottle next to me has actually been super helpful. I normally don't carry a Nalgene because they're too big/heavy, but being on the couch all day, it's perfect." —Rachel Dunkel

    The Nalgene pictured above comes with two sheets of stickers, and it's available at Urban Outfitters for $12.99 (originally $15.99).

    9. Take a lunch break just like you would if you were at the office. Eating the snacks that happen to be near you without ever leaving your seat = not good enough.

    Paramount Pictures

    "Definitely taking a lunch break! Or even a snack break! Stepping away from your computer to make some food (even if it's re-heating frozen food) has helped me a lot! WFH is harder and I feel like I'm on the computer longer without taking breaks but I've started making lunch and yesterday I even baked chocolate chip cookies — being able to step away from my laptop felt so nice because it's necessary to take a break! Plus going back to work with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie definitely helped me get more focused lol" —Sarah Lee

    10. Wear noise-cancelling headphones. Whether you live with loud chewers, have a partner who is in constant video meetings, or just need a steady stream of noise to concentrate, they'll be super helpful!

    Best Buy

    "Wireless, noise-cancelling headphones are great if you have a roommate and/or a loud apartment building/household. Creating a playlist for productivity music is good. I personally cannot work w/o hearing something playing in the background." —Marquaysa Battle

    "Wireless headphones/AirPods are great for taking meetings or one-to-ones and give you the ability to go for a walk outside or at least around your apartment while talking!" —Sam Tomaszewski

    "I live at home with my family and because everyone is watching the news and figuring out plans, it can sometimes be hard to focus, so having those headphones helps me drown all that out" —Jasmin Suknanan

    I have a pair of Beats Solo 3s that I wear when I'm working and need to focus, and I love them! They're just about the only over-the-ear headphones that don't bother my sensitive ears. They're available at Best Buy for $189.99 (available in nine colors).

    11. Show off little work wins to your roomies, partner, or family — whoever you're socially distancing with. By the end of this, you'll know way more about each other's jobs!

    CBC

    "If you're working with family/friends/a partner at home, and you're working on something cool/that you're proud of (as long as it's not confidential obvs), take a minute to show them/explain it to them. It reminds you that your job is fun and cool and can give you a burst of energy and motivation!" —Katy Herman

    "My partner is an engineer and I am This [write for BuzzFeed], so it has been really fun to get to know more about each other's jobs!" —Rachel Dunkel

    12. But if you need to, create *boundaries* (both physically and not) with your home coworkers — even furry ones — if that's what you need to get stuff done.

    Focus Features

    "My husband and I have been working from home together which has been…. challenging (and I LIKE him!). After a few days we bought a card table and set it up in another room so we both have a separate work area to call our own. It’s been a game-changer. We can still physically see each other (he’s only in the other room) so we can chat when we want but still feel separated." —Heather Braga

    13. If you have a stinky pupper, light a Pet House candle or spritz Pet House room spray to keep distracting odors at bay when you're home with your furry friend all day.

    BuzzFeed / AnaMaria Glavan

    "If your dog is prone to stinky-ness like mine (he can't help his breed-specific flatulence issues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) then these candles will actually save your nose" —AnaMaria Glavan

    Pet House products are available at Chewy: the candles for $21.95 each and the sprays for $9.99 each.

    14. Game-ify your work day or get super specific with your to-do lists. It's ok to reward yourself with breaks or little treats if you're finding it extra hard to get little things done right now.

    NBC

    "Instead of giving myself set hours, I write down all the work-related items I want to complete for the day and if I finish everything by EOD, I treat myself to something small like a sheet mask." —Yi Yang

    15. Take breaks that ~feel~ productive — and that aren't always refreshing Twitter or watching the news. My favorite? Crossword puzzles.

    St. Martin''s Publishing Group

    The New York Times Best of the Week Series is a great way to start — each day of the week is available at Barnes and Noble for $10.79+ each.

    16. Don't work all the time. It can be easy to work late when you don't have to physically leave the office, so make sure you separate your work life from your non-work life, even if both are happening at home.

    CBC

    "I force myself to actually stop working when it's closing time. If I don't really monitor it, I will work until 7:30/8 p.m. because 'quitting time' isn't as solid as it is when you work in an office and see everyone else leaving." —Marquaysa Battle

    17. And just remember that this is a stressful and anxious time for all of us, so do what you can to support your teammates (and yourself!) from afar.

    NBC

    "Remind myself it’s okay to feel a bit less motivated than usual since I’m not getting to see my co-workers (because being in everyone’s presence really gives me energy) and it’s okay to feel a little slow from time to time." —Yi Yang

    Have video chats with your coworkers over lunch! Stay in touch just as you would in the office — the only difference is you're both probably in PJs.

    Looking for more great Amazon finds? Check out some of our favorite cheap things to buy on Amazon, some of the weirdest things on Amazon you might actually want, or read through all the rest of our incredible Amazon product recommendations.