25 votes

For those new to working-at-home since the pandemic began: What purchases/subscriptions have most improved your life?

In work terms, that is. Though a "keep the baby occupied" consumer purchase might minimize meeting interruptions.

27 comments

  1. [2]
    WMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWM
    Link
    Rediscovered the value of getting up and going for a walk regularly (30min) I'm freegan and avoid buying things, but thought I'd suggest something non-buying which improved my life quite a bit....

    Rediscovered the value of getting up and going for a walk regularly (30min)

    I'm freegan and avoid buying things, but thought I'd suggest something non-buying which improved my life quite a bit.

    Most places around the world allow you to walk 100m range around your dwelling or more, so why not take advantage of that?

    When I walk for 5 minutes, my whole body and mind feel better. If my hands were feeling a bit cold before, they now feel warm. And if I was feeling drowsy and I want to keep working, I feel reinvigorated as if I just took a nap.

    I used to sit for hours at a time, and now find that my productivity is much better with regular walks.

    If going outside is not an option, up and down the room 5-10 times, on tippytoes if you must be quiet, is a nice alternative.

    Most things you can buy today, if you inspect their journey from origin to box on your doorstep, have some sort of suffering and environmental damage involved, whether it is grueling factory work, loss of habitat for our animal and plant relatives, and gallons of diesel burned in transportation before, throughout, and after manufacturing process.

    Instead of buying something, please consider finding a used item on freecycle/upcycle boards or Craigslist, or inventing a new device that you make yourself out of existing materials. If you must buy something, please buy quality product from a trustworthy seller. Thank you for reading my comment, and I apologize if this is not what you were looking for. Peace.

    30 votes
    1. emnii
      Link Parent
      When I was in the office, I talked about taking more outdoor breaks to clear my mind. Talked about it, but never did it. It was too cold, too wet, too busy. Ever since I started WFH, I'm getting...

      When I was in the office, I talked about taking more outdoor breaks to clear my mind. Talked about it, but never did it. It was too cold, too wet, too busy. Ever since I started WFH, I'm getting out to walk a loop around my neighborhood every time I can find a break between meetings. I usually get out twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. This is on top of my routine exercise, but I really enjoy getting a quick breath of fresh air. It's one of many reasons I'm not in any rush to get back into the office.

      3 votes
  2. [7]
    wedgel
    Link
    Automatic standing desk. It saves settings, for sitting or standing. I got a big thick rubber standing mat too. So much better for my back and posture.

    Automatic standing desk. It saves settings, for sitting or standing. I got a big thick rubber standing mat too. So much better for my back and posture.

    13 votes
    1. [3]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      I didn't want to pay the several hundred extra dollars for a motorized one, so I bought a manual one. And a mat to stand on. I don't stand all day, but it's doing a great job for my back. Now to...

      I didn't want to pay the several hundred extra dollars for a motorized one, so I bought a manual one. And a mat to stand on. I don't stand all day, but it's doing a great job for my back. Now to get my monitors mounted at the correct height....

      8 votes
      1. ohyran
        Link Parent
        I built my own. I'm broke so I found some wallmounted industrial shelving that was white (which fit the area my desk would be in) and then I got these longer arms and shelving that I could place a...

        I built my own. I'm broke so I found some wallmounted industrial shelving that was white (which fit the area my desk would be in) and then I got these longer arms and shelving that I could place a desk board on and screw it on tight.
        Since I wanted to mix standing and sitting, I found this tall barstool like thing and a smaller little stool thing to put my feet on. I also added a carpet, thicker, slightly plasticy faux weave thing that fit the room too.

        I had to buy some parts of it, and then ensure its screwed tight to the wall - and the downside is that it sounds like a bird moving in a cage when I fiddle with cables since its wire-shelving.

        The shelving has a very high weight allowance so everything is pretty safe and snug and I mounted it using supports so that the weight is distributed.

        One charm of it is not having a desk to vacuum around.... oh and I found an old wheeled drawer thing, that I covered in a sticky backed yellow film-covering to match the walls where I keep some more stuff and some white cardboard boxes for random stuff. Beyond cables turning in to a mess every now and then its pretty neat

        EDIT: I am very very fond of dumpster diving and finding stuff that can still be used and making them tick in another or the same capacity again. So covered in old tablets, phones and stuff (the majority and best of which I pass on obviously)

        6 votes
      2. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        Some of the motorized ones are trouble anyway. At work the desks we used had no way to detect if something was caught under them. Occasionally people would leave their chairs underneath the desk...

        Some of the motorized ones are trouble anyway. At work the desks we used had no way to detect if something was caught under them. Occasionally people would leave their chairs underneath the desk and hit the sitting position button by accident. You end up with everything on the desk now on the floor.

        3 votes
    2. nothis
      Link Parent
      Just unpacking mine RIGHT NOW. I'm so looking forward to it!

      Just unpacking mine RIGHT NOW. I'm so looking forward to it!

      4 votes
    3. Isen
      Link Parent
      Yep got one of these myself, best purchase I've made in years.

      Yep got one of these myself, best purchase I've made in years.

      3 votes
    4. spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      I've had one of them since the Before Times and it's one of the best household purchases I ever made. I have a Jarvis desk from Fully and I'd recommend it without hesitation.

      I've had one of them since the Before Times and it's one of the best household purchases I ever made.

      I have a Jarvis desk from Fully and I'd recommend it without hesitation.

      3 votes
  3. TildeMan
    Link
    A good ergonomic mouse. There are so many bad ones. Basically all of the ones by large companies (Logitech, steelseries,...) are awful. I got a super customizable one that adjusts to fit my hand...

    A good ergonomic mouse. There are so many bad ones. Basically all of the ones by large companies (Logitech, steelseries,...) are awful. I got a super customizable one that adjusts to fit my hand perfectly, I'd recommend it https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VBGNZ3

    7 votes
  4. 888
    Link
    I picked up this portable laptop stand and feel it’s done wonders for my neck and posture. I often move around between a few rooms in the house or out on the deck to work, and I didn’t realize how...

    I picked up this portable laptop stand and feel it’s done wonders for my neck and posture. I often move around between a few rooms in the house or out on the deck to work, and I didn’t realize how much hunching over a laptop for hours on end affected me.

    6 votes
  5. [5]
    soks_n_sandals
    Link
    I bought a Logitech mouse with a free-scrolling wheel and it's been really nice to have. Especially since some apps, like chrome on Linux, don't take the middle mouse button as a click.

    I bought a Logitech mouse with a free-scrolling wheel and it's been really nice to have. Especially since some apps, like chrome on Linux, don't take the middle mouse button as a click.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      If you're talking about "middle click" as in middle clicking on a link to open it in a new tab, that should 100% be working on Linux. However, if you're referring to autoscrolling, also known as...

      If you're talking about "middle click" as in middle clicking on a link to open it in a new tab, that should 100% be working on Linux.

      However, if you're referring to autoscrolling, also known as 'the little ball that appears and scrolls the page automatically with your cursor', there's an extension for that.

      7 votes
      1. soks_n_sandals
        Link Parent
        Ah yes, the autoscroll issue is the one I was referring to. Thanks for the link to the extension!

        Ah yes, the autoscroll issue is the one I was referring to. Thanks for the link to the extension!

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      The free-scrolling is amazing. I had an old Logitech mouse, and back at the beginning of the pandemic I upgraded to an ergonomic model. But...the ergonomic one didn't have free-scrolling. I didn't...

      The free-scrolling is amazing. I had an old Logitech mouse, and back at the beginning of the pandemic I upgraded to an ergonomic model. But...the ergonomic one didn't have free-scrolling. I didn't even think to check for that feature, but I've become completely used to it without ever realizing it.

      I wound up returning it and upgrading to the MX Master 3 instead, which has an amazing scroll wheel. USB-C rechargeable, too.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. rogue_cricket
          Link Parent
          I used a trackball mouse because my workplace was out of decent "regular" mice and I really liked it for office work. I believe the one I used was this one. I kind of miss it, even though now I'm...

          I used a trackball mouse because my workplace was out of decent "regular" mice and I really liked it for office work. I believe the one I used was this one. I kind of miss it, even though now I'm using my Logitech MX Master at home.

          3 votes
  6. [8]
    Parliament
    Link
    I got a head hammock, and I also regularly use my foam roller. Great for keeping the neck and back feeling good for a job in front of a screen all day.

    I got a head hammock, and I also regularly use my foam roller. Great for keeping the neck and back feeling good for a job in front of a screen all day.

    6 votes
    1. [4]
      Qis
      Link Parent
      Wait, wow, what? This object is very foreign to me. How different is it from a decently firm neck pillow?

      Wait, wow, what? This object is very foreign to me. How different is it from a decently firm neck pillow?

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        Parliament
        Link Parent
        It is very different and far better than a firm neck pillow. Feels like a weight is lifted. I do it for 5-10 mins once a day or more if my neck is acting up. I just attach to a door knob, close...

        It is very different and far better than a firm neck pillow. Feels like a weight is lifted. I do it for 5-10 mins once a day or more if my neck is acting up. I just attach to a door knob, close the door, and lie down.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Qis
          Link Parent
          Oh! I saw this picture of the large bracket and guessed it was essential in some sense. A doorknob makes this seem much more reasonable. Hang in there?

          Oh! I saw this picture of the large bracket and guessed it was essential in some sense. A doorknob makes this seem much more reasonable. Hang in there?

          3 votes
          1. Parliament
            Link Parent
            Exactly. I just use the door to my closet.

            Exactly. I just use the door to my closet.

    2. [3]
      Gyrfalcon
      Link Parent
      As someone who has been struggling to work on the posture side of working on neck pain, I think I might need one of these.

      As someone who has been struggling to work on the posture side of working on neck pain, I think I might need one of these.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Parliament
        Link Parent
        I don't think you will regret it. I used to have an inflatable neck traction device, but it was a hassle to pump up and didn't get the same effect. This one is both easier to use and better at...

        I don't think you will regret it. I used to have an inflatable neck traction device, but it was a hassle to pump up and didn't get the same effect. This one is both easier to use and better at treating my neck pain.

        I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel and various RSIs a long time ago, so I've tried a lot of different physical/occupational therapy and related devices like this to manage the situation. If you have "tech neck", this multi-pronged approach has helped me:

        1. Head hammock daily
        2. Ice pack large enough to drape over my neck/shoulders in a pillow case daily
        3. Foam roller for targeted massage daily
        4. Various neck stretches like in this video (plus a whole bunch of other stretches and nerve glides) multiple times per day
        5. IcyHot patch if it's a specific problem area around the neck and upper back (like when I randomly sleep on my neck wrong or tweak it doing some mundane task)
        2 votes
        1. Gyrfalcon
          Link Parent
          I'm not sure I've got quite the same level of issues, but then again I'm young still. I appreciate the resources, especially the stretches! I have been thinking with so much sitting that I should...

          I'm not sure I've got quite the same level of issues, but then again I'm young still. I appreciate the resources, especially the stretches! I have been thinking with so much sitting that I should work in some stretch breaks, and those would definitely be a good addition.

          1 vote
  7. alphamule
    Link
    I bought a set of improved casters for my desk chair: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KET1PUA/ (Note that Ikea chairs use a smaller, 10mm stem.) Such a huge quality of life improvement. Like...

    I bought a set of improved casters for my desk chair: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KET1PUA/
    (Note that Ikea chairs use a smaller, 10mm stem.)

    Such a huge quality of life improvement. Like rolling around on stereo knobs. The standard plastic wheels eat cords and feel awful.

    4 votes
  8. drawkcab
    Link
    A friend helped me get into coffee by generously gifting me an Aeropress. I then invested in a decent conical burr grinder (Baratza Encore with upgraded burr) and in inexpensive electric kettle...

    A friend helped me get into coffee by generously gifting me an Aeropress. I then invested in a decent conical burr grinder (Baratza Encore with upgraded burr) and in inexpensive electric kettle (Miroco). Now we talk, buy, and trade coffee beans from various roasters along with discussing brewing methods. I look forward to trying new coffee beans and helps me to look forward to the next morning. I never liked coffee before trying these various beans. My favorite bean roasters so far have been Onyx, Ruby Colorful, and Vibrant.

    3 votes
  9. stu2b50
    Link
    I bought a used Aeron for $600, and having a good office chair makes a world of difference. 4k monitors when you read text all the time. Good coffee setup is nice too, got a proper burr grinder...

    I bought a used Aeron for $600, and having a good office chair makes a world of difference.

    4k monitors when you read text all the time.

    Good coffee setup is nice too, got a proper burr grinder and a Hario.

    I actually bought a Magic Trackpad 2. It was $100, but honestly it's worth it, lessens the strain on the hand when you can swap between input devices easily. My laptop was on a stand so basically impossible to use the trackpad normally.

    1 vote