Home office must-haves

Femme d'affaires travaillant avec un écran et un ordinateur portable

As Canadians continue to embrace remote work, many have converted a room in their home into their new workspace.

While we published tips for families with students to prepare their home for academic success, for those that are now expecting to work from home over the long haul, here are some home office must-haves to improve your new workspace.

Wireless printer

Not only does it offer a cable-free look, modern wireless printers are equipped to allow printing and scanning from your smartphone or tablet with ease. The best part about a wireless printer is that it’s convenient and helps you to maximize your workspace.

Wireless printers are affordable and very popular in the market.

Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: Go for a printer that’s easy to set up. Aim for a printer that can be configured from any device.


Unwanted documents only cause clutter for your desk and if they include confidential files, a shredder may be your best bet to dispose of them safely. This device will also be useful for your own personal papers, helping to reduce the risk of identity theft.

Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: For maximum results, choose a “micro cut” type shredder, although “fragments” or “slice cut” models may be sufficient for documents that are not very sensitive. Check that the shredder can accommodate credit cards, thick envelopes, and stitched documents.

Cable organization

We are connected now more than ever before – and in some instances, literally. The problem is that once everything is plugged in, it may be hard to locate its source.

An abundance of cords can be cumbersome. Several cable management solutions are available to manage cables, including for power, USB, HDMI and internet networks.

Cables and computers are good at accumulating dust. Efficient wire management will make it easier to clean your teleworking space.

Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: Be sure to check online or at your local hardware store. Look for wire cover tubes, flexible nets, hoses and even those good, old tie-wraps.

A second monitor

Invest in a monitor for your laptop. Not only will it allow you to have a larger screen to view your work, a second screen will allow you to be efficient when navigating through various pages and applications.

A second monitor will also allow for an increase in productivity. The mundane task of copying and pasting, note-taking, and managing documents will all be made easier with another screen.

Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: If you had a second monitor at the office, consider speaking with your employer about borrowing the monitor for use at home.

Casual young businesswoman working late on a computer and laptop
Casual young businesswoman working late on a computer and laptop

Stock up on supplies

Sometimes, all it takes is a brand new pen to feel revitalized and motivated. Stock up on office supplies like printer paper and ink, stamps, envelopes, pens, post-it notes, notebooks, pins, paper clips, and more.

This collection will help ensure you won’t be caught off guard if you run out of a tool in the middle of a meeting. Take the opportunity to review the layout of your office supplies, and organize them.

Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: Major retailers are not the only types of stores you can find office supplies, many dollar stores offer the same name brand items at a fraction of the cost.

A real executive chair

If possible, avoid the dining room chair as your work-from-home seat. These chairs are not designed to keep you comfortable when working eight hours a day.

Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: A good office chair can help reduce fatigue, shoulder, back, and wrist pain, by allowing for proper adjustments (e.g. height, arms, lumbar support, head support). Opt for an office chair that provides comfort when writing or typing at your keyboard.

A large organizing board

Whether for dry pen or chalk, a large board will help organize your ideas. If you have the space, it is the ideal tool for your brainstorming sessions, for mapping your projects, for getting an overview of your schedule, etc. Make sure the surface of the board is suitable for use with magnets to create even more opportunities for organizing your thoughts. A large board will also contribute to the look of the room.

Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: Get coloured chalks or markers and decorate the board with your striking patterns or inspirational quotes. Not only will you feel more organized, but you’ll also feel more motivated to get your work done.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that your new work-from-home space has all the necessities needed in order to maximize your productivity.

Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: Take breaks, be active, and get outside. When you return, you’ll be even more productive and appreciative of your new work-from-home space.

Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing specific legal or insurance advice.