I’m a Writer Who Works From Home, and These Are the 10 Products I Find Absolutely Essential

From a much-needed ring light to joggers you’ll want to live in every day.

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Work From Home Tout

Real Simple / Pamela Jew

Yes, it's 2023, and a lot of jobs have moved back into the office. So many of us, though, are still on that work-from-home grind. As a screenwriter and journalist, that's been the default in my profession for my whole working career. That gives me a leg up: I've tried everything when it comes to working from home. I've gone through phases of getting dressed up every day, and stretches where I barely leave my pajamas. I've ordered in my lunches, but I've also taken long lunch hours to make myself something truly delicious. I've spent more hours on Zoom than I could ever count—and I feel confident in saying that, by now, I know what I'm doing. 

Working from home can get complicated. There are so many perks, but also downsides. Have you seen the sun today? Felt fresh air on your face? When's the last time you changed those pants? There are a few key items that I keep around to make sure my day goes as smoothly as possible no matter what work throws at me. Some are purely practical—yes, you should get a ring light—but some are simple ways to give yourself a little boost of stimulus and pleasure while doing your work away from the office. 

Jo Malone London Orange Blossom Cologne


Jo Malone London Cologne in Orange Blossom

Just because you're not within sniffing distance of co-workers doesn't mean you can't smell your best. I may not commute into an office anymore, but I still want to enjoy my favorite scents. Jo Malone London's orange blossom scent is my absolute favorite, a luxurious burst of citrus with key notes of clementine flower, white lilac, and orris wood. Spritzing a little bit onto my pulse points adds a jolt of joy and preparedness into my day. It makes me feel put-together, while also feeling like something I'm doing purely for myself at the start of a workday.

To buy: From $80; sephora.com.

Boy Smells Redhead Scented Candle


Boy Smells Scented Candle in Redhead

Nesting into your workspace is an important part of working from home for the long haul. That means nourishing every one of your senses, and making the place you're doing your work—whether a kitchen table, a desk, or your couch—feel homey and special. Boy Smells is one of my go-to candle brands, and I burn the company's scent Redhead constantly. All of Boy Smells' candles are hand poured, and this one is a blend of coconut wax and beeswax. Redhead, in particular, boasts notes of frankincense, saffron, redwood, poppy, pomelo.

To buy: $38; nordstrom.com

Bombas Marl Gripper Slippers


Bombas Marl Knit Gripper Slippers

Get yourself a pair of house shoes that don't feel like shoes at all. There's no reason to wear shoes when you're working from home—why put your feet or your floors through that? Still, not everyone wants to spend all day every day barefoot. A good foot covering is essential, and the Bombas gripper slippers are a great middle ground between socks and something more substantial. Its Marl Knit line comes in multiple neutral color schemes (black and navy, taupe and ecru, and a soft blue called “Deep Ocean Night Sky”), so they will go with whatever work from home fits you throw their way. 

To buy: $40; saksfifthavenue.com

Fellow Mighty Stagg [X] Pour Over Set


Mighty Stagg Pour Over Set 

When I first started working from home, I made the grave mistake of not having a good way to make coffee already set up in my home. Delivery fees are not worth it for a latte, and most of us don't live within easy walking distance of our favorite coffee shop. Enter a nice, simple pour over set like this one offered by Mighty Stagg (and a large, cozy mug to go with it). Make coffee-making an easy start to your day.

To buy: $85; nordstrom.com

EYQ 128oz Leakproof Free Drinking Water Bottle


128oz Leakproof Water Bottle 

Staying properly hydrated takes a lot of work. But why add more work into your workday? Cut out all that time you spend running back and forth from the kitchen refilling your glass. Invest instead in a truly massive water bottle. Since you're not commuting you won't have to worry about lugging this thing back and forth in the car, on foot, or on public transit. Fill it up in the morning and don't worry for the rest of the day—this particular water bottle even tells you how much to drink and when. 

To buy: $20; amazon.com

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++


SuperGoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

Yes, you should still wear sunscreen even when you're inside most of the day. Whether you spend thirty minutes on your lunch break taking a walk, or if you just spend a lot of time near your windows, those rays are getting in there. Protect your skin daily with SuperGoop's Unseen Sunscreen, which I've found to be incredible for its silky texture and complete lack of the white cast a lot of sunscreens leave behind. Unseen Sunscreen really does work for all skin tones. It also acts as a lovely primer for your Zoom makeup. After I've thoroughly moisturized, this sunscreen helps to gently mattify my face whether or not I plan to apply makeup on top of it.

To buy: From $22; sephora.com

Brushed Lounge Jogger


Quince Brushed Lounge Jogger

When I tell you I have been living in these. The brushed lounge jogger from Quince is comfortable enough to sleep in, but structured enough to wear around the house or to walk the dog without worry that you'll run into a friend. They come in black, oatmeal, and gray, and Quince even has a selection of shirts and sweaters that are easy to pair for a chic, monochrome matching set look. Some work-from-home days you may want a full outfit to feel put-together. Sometimes, though? Just give in to the fact that no one at work is going to see your bottom half.

To buy: $40; onequince.com

UGG Blaire Throw Blanket


Ugg Blaire Throw Blanket 

One of the biggest perks of that work-from-home life is just how much access you have to comfort. We have to milk that! Some of those early mornings on Zoom are going to get chilly, and you are going to want a blanket like Ugg's Blaire throw to cuddle up under. Shoppers call the blanket "soft and cuddly," and it comes in a subtle pattern that can fit into so many different homes. Toss this over your legs—or, let's be real, turn yourself into a full blanket burrito—and give thanks for the fact that working from home makes such a luxury possible. 

To buy: $79; nordstrom.com.

Pre-Moistened Lens Wipes - 60ct - up & up™


Pre-Moistened Lens Wipes

Working from home means screentime. Whether you have glasses or just a computer screen that's gathering gunk like no one's business, you're going to want a simple, easy way to wipe things clear. After months struggling to get the smears off my glasses, I finally caved and bought pre-moistened lens wipes. They are a game changer. Never again will I suffer through a Zoom meeting with one eye blurry. 

To buy: $3; target.com.

Video Conference Lighting Kit


Video Conferencing Lighting Kit

Yes, get a ring light. It's worth it. As a writer, I spend so much of my time on Zoom meetings with producers, execs, and fellow writers all over the world, and I have noticed a lot of bad lighting. A lot of people can't position themselves so a window's in front of their face for every meeting. The next best bet is to have a warm light in front of you, and this video conferencing lighting kit gets you everything you need to set that up. The kit comes with a clamp to attach it to your laptop, but also with a tripod in case you'd rather set it up separately. The light is also adjustable by temperature and brightness. Believe me: Your Zoom game will never be the same. 

To buy: $21 with coupon (was $30); amazon.com.

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