Sometimes working from home seems like a bit of a mystery and finding the gift for someone who works from home might be equally as mysterious. As someone who works from home (and the opposite of someone who drives a lot) and have for the last 16 years, I can give you some insight into what that person might consider a great gift. I’ve grouped these into categories for easy browsing.
Glass Dry Erase Board
I've had dry erase boards but they stain, they look cheap and worst of all they look like dry erase boards. I’ve got two of these hanging on my wall and it might be the thing that gets the most comments whenever someone visits my office. The combination of black, glossy glass and vibrant chalk makers is a fantastic contrast to boring old dry erase boards. I’ve tried a few different markers and these chalk pens work the best.
Pair them with the chalk pens below
Accessories: chalk pens: Use these with the above
Signage - NC Home sign
Another one that is hanging in my office right in front of me, an NC wooden sign. It’s rustic but classy. You can find any city/state combo on Etsy.com with a little searching.
Nothing adds more punch to a home office setup than some unique lighting. I personally love Hue products for their ease of setup and high-quality. One of the best things about them is even if someone already has a Hue setup, gifting them additional lights is never a waste. For me, I use the hue motion sensor combined with a light strip that lights up my desk with some fantastic ambient lighting. The dimmer switch can dim but it can also set different scenes, a must have for any Hue setup.
Hue Light Strip
I love this ikea floor lamp and have it paired with, shocker, a Hue bulb.
A fireplace on your desk! Flickering flame LED lamp.
Classic desktop lamp, I love the simplicity and wooden accents.
Himalayan salt lamp, just cool af looking on a desk.
Working from home, no matter what your job there is one constant that we all get the pleasure of enjoying, conference calls! No one wants to be THAT guy on a conference call trying to talk through a Macbook mic or some iPhone earbuds. Help them upgrade their audio game and be a conference call superstar.
Mic - Blue Snowball
Simple, affordable and sounds great. I’ve used a Snowball for years for conference calls, voice overs and podcasting. It’s a great starter mic.
Step up to the Blue Yeti for a cleaner more complex sound for $40+ more.
Noise-canceling headphones are first on this list for a reason, they are the most critical tool anybody working at home (or at an office) needs and the QC2s are the gold standard. They help me drown out 2 screaming toddlers and my partner is able to block his drunken congo-playing neighbors.
Inexpensive - I take them to the gym with me
Really underrated wired set for those days when you forget to charge your wireless ones.
An alternative to desktop speakers with A+ sound quality.
Give their desk a splash of life and something to break up the monotony of cables and screens. At one point, I had a real basil plant on my desk but apparently they need more than the glow of my monitors to live. I’ll stick with some fake ones from now on.
Set of 3 w/ quotes
HBO’s Silicon Valley parallels my life. I sit at my desk and stare at this fake Gillfoil and think “I need glorious stallions”.
I’ve wanted this since it has come out and I know several of my peers have as well. The reviews aren’t great but I still think it would make a fantastic gift and I still want one.
The exact one I have, sure it says a gaming mouse pad but having the additional coverage is a game changer. Highly recommend this.
Rather than show the desk I have, I’m going to show you the desks I should have purchased and that I’ve found after. Ok, for the curious, here’s my desk (and it is $400 cheaper now FML) but there are some really cool alternatives I’ve since found
This Ikea table makes a fantastic big desk.
Another not-desk desk. This Husky table is half the price as my standing desk with almost all of the same functionality.
A bit more expensive but super classy classic desk.
What good is a good desk w/o a good chair? The first on the list is the GOAT of chairs, the Herman Miller. Sure it is over $1,000 but if you calculate the cost over 10-years it is well worth it. Oh, you want me to do the math? Sure. 260 working days in a year, 8 hours in a day equals 124,800 working minutes in a year and 1,248,000 working minutes in 10 years. That breaks down to roughly .00008 cents per minute. Good luck getting that kind of value anywhere else!
Cheaper. Amazon Basics, love the brand. High-backed chairs are best.
Best of both worlds. I prefer mesh style but also the high-back. Plenty of options but this one I use has lasted me for a few years and I’m very happy with it.
Acc. floor matt - Not much more frustrating then trying to roll your chair out from your desk or in a direction only to get stuck on a cable or carpet. This is a must!
MIce, tripods, and anything else that your home office worker could use that you might not normally think of.
Upgrade their mouse game.
Love this tripod, it can be used to hold just about anything, like a camera, a mic or even a phone. One device, lots of utility.
Why is a notebook on here you ask? While moleskins have gotten all the hipster love the last few years, the Rocketbook is the best gift my wife has given me in the last few years. Seriously. I have the bad habit of taking notes on anything within reach. Typically this is old envelopes and random pads. I’ve broken that habit with the Rocketbook. A notebook that you write on with pens but can fully erase with a damn cloth. You can reuse the notebook over and over again. What’s also great is the app, snap a picture of the page and the app allows you to assign locations for the notes to places like Slack, Google drive, email, PDF etc. Great gift.
A hard drive might not come across as a sexy gift but try slinging a 1 terabyte portable drive at them and they’ll smile with glee. Bigger IS better in this case.
Anything that Anker makes that is a battery, charger or power-related is good. I keep these battery packs laying around for that time when I’m running out of the office and need a quick charge, traveling or just when I don’t have an outlet nearby.