Your transition back into the office may be imminent — if it hasn’t already happened for you and your employer.
However, at this point, returning to the office may mean you have to reacclimate yourself with what it means to actually work there. This means considering your commute, what to wear, what to bring with you and how to make sure you’re comfortable being there all day — let alone figuring out how to make small talk again.
Some of us are eager to separate work and home, while many of us are still super hesitant, but regardless, the transition will likely come at some point, and we want to make sure you’re prepared either way. From portable coffee mugs to comfortable shoes and desk accessories, we’ve rounded up what we think are the best back-to-work office essentials. Check out our work wardrobe essentials too.
Touchland Power Mist ($9; touchland.com)
Nowadays, so many hand sanitizers reek of alcohol or are super drying. If you want to avoid both of those issues, try out the Touchland Power Mist. This sanitizer sprays as a mist in the most adorably designed pouch, in an array of scents that smell as good (if not better) than your fave body mists and candles. Buy a couple to store in your work bag, car, desk and wherever else you need to sanitize.
Yeti Rambler, 26-Ounce ($39.99; yeti.com)
We seriously don’t know where we’d be without our emotional support water bottle — you know your prized water bottle that you carry from room to room. We think the Yeti Rambler should be your next buy, a bottle rated as the best overall water bottle of 2021.
Baggu Fabric Mask Set ($32; baggu.com)
Let this be a reminder to stock up on your reusable face masks before you start heading into the office again. Although we love a good disposable option, sometimes fabric face masks feel more stylish, professional and breathable. The Baggu Fabric Mask comes in a pack of three, each made of 100% organic quilter’s cotton that’s comfortable and machine-washable. Plus, there are adjustable ear elastic loops and a pocket for a filter.
W&P Porter Mug ($30; wandpdesign.com)
Now that you have your hydration covered, don’t forget you need something to carry your coffee, tea or smoothie each morning, especially if you don’t have the luxury of enjoying it from the comfort of your home. We’ve long loved the W&P Porter Mug, not only for the stunning color options but also for its ceramic interior with protective silicone sleeve that’s soft on your hands and spillproof.
Calpak Haven Laptop Tote Bag ($148; calpaktravel.com)
If you’re like us, you aren’t even sure where your handy dandy work tote bag is. Luckily, we’ve recently discovered Calpak’s Haven Laptop Tote Bag that we think makes for an excellent replacement. Available in black or birch, this tote is designed to keep you organized even while on the go with thick handles, durable fabric and removable insert with multiple compartments. Your valuables won’t be lost at the bottom of this.
Oxo Prep & Go Salad Container ($14.99; oxo.com)
Meal prep is a notoriously great option for people who don’t have time to make fresh meals each day, want to save money or simply want to eat healthier. If salad is your lunch of choice, use the Oxo Prep & Go Salad Container that includes a shallow tray to keep your ingredients separate until lunchtime and even a little container for a sauce or dressing. Along with two locking clips, this is not only leakproof but microwave-safe for added versatility. This can totally be used for more than salad, of course.
Versed The Fix Emergency Eye Mask ($17.99; versedskin.com)
A morning and evening commute means you may not get as much sleep as you did while working from home. And with less sleep unfortunately comes eye bags. Look to Versed for an answer to your dreaded under-eye circles with The Fix Emergency Eye Mask. This nontoxic, vegan, cruelty-free formula is formulated with vitamins, caffeine and cucumber juice to nourish, hydrate, de-puff and calm the under-eye in minutes. Leave it in the fridge for a relaxing addition to your morning routine.
Apple AirPods Pro ($179.99, originally $249; amazon.com)
A pair of wireless headphones will come in handy during your commute or when you don’t want the entire office hearing your conversation. For those with iPhones, grab the Apple AirPods Pro, which we think are the best wireless earbuds for Apple users. Consider the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro ($169.99, originally $199.99; samsung.com) if you have an Android.
Tocess Big Hair Claw Clips, 4-Pack ($13.99; amazon.com)
Hair claw clips are by no means an office necessity, but imagine how cute you’ll look in one. Unfortunately, every day is not a good hair day, so put yours up in one of these, which come in a pack of four trendy colors for less than $15. With nearly 10,000 5-star ratings, reviewers rave that these seamlessly hold their hair up without slipping. We’re big fans of these for working from home too.
Allbirds Tree Pipers ($98; allbirds.com)
We tested Allbirds for ourselves and found that the shoes are soft enough to wear without socks, minimize odor and are super lightweight for temperature control. To wear to work, we’d recommend the brand’s Tree Pipers, which are designed with flexibility and versatility in mind — let alone a design that’s worthy of an everyday shoe.
Papier Arch Photo Notebook (starting at $20.99; papier.com)
If you prefer to handwrite your notes, you need a notebook that’s easy to carry around and, honestly, fun to look at too. With Papier’s Arch Photo Notebook, you can personalize it with a picture of what means most to you and even choose between lined, dotted or plain pages inside.
Lexxola Damien Sunglasses (£190; lexxola.com)
Leaving your house each day means you deserve to treat yourself to a new pair of sunnies. An excellent accessory to any outfit, the Lexxola Damien sunglasses have been trending, even spotted on your favorite celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, Dua Lipa and Elsa Hosk. Available in seven color variations, these unisex sunnies will be your go-to without a doubt.
Soundance Laptop Stand ($24.99; amazon.com)
If your work desk isn’t standing or adjustable, consider a laptop stand like this one by Soundance. It elevates your laptop by 6 inches to the optimal eye level, meaning you won’t have to hunch over your screen anymore. With over 25,000 5-star ratings, users say this stand is sturdy and won’t ever make your laptop fall over.
ThirdLove 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra ($65; thirdlove.com)
There’s no better time than now to upgrade your intimates collection. The first step of which should be to get a new T-shirt bra. The ThirdLove 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra is one of our favorites for sure. We tried it ourselves, and our tester thought it was “the best-fitting bra [she’s] ever worn” along with being ridiculously comfortable and supportive. Learn more about this bra and others from the brand in our full review here.
Furbo Dog Camera ($159, originally $169.00; amazon.com)
The hardest part about going back into the office is arguably leaving your beloved pet at home. Even if it’s only for a couple hours, we all know our cat, dog or whatever roaming animal you have can easily get into something they aren’t supposed to. Keep an eye on your companion with the Furbo Dog Camera that utilizes 1080p video recording to monitor your pet, talk to them or even toss them treats.
Noted by Post-It Pencil Case ($5.99; target.com)
For those pens and highlighters you’ve stocked up on in your home office, you need something to carry them in inside your work bag or even from meeting to meeting. Grab this lightweight, translucent pouch to carry your small goodies — maybe even add some Post-its too.
XSG Premium Gel Ink Pens ($12.99; amazon.com)
You might actually love taking meeting notes with this set of colorful gel pens. They’re made with fine tips for super-precise, thin lines in 12 colors. In fact, these are one of the products our team can’t WFH without.
Everlane The Performance 5-Pocket Pant ($78; everlane.com)
Back to the office means dusting out those office clothes. Whether you need to adjust sizes from last year or just want to sport new styles, consider Everlane’s The Performance 5-Pocket Pant — a slim fit pant made from a four-way stretch fabric. We even named it one of our office-friendly wardrobe staples to add to your closet now that we’re edging away from the WFH era.
Belkin Pocket Power 5K ($22.99, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
The worst is when your phone dies unexpectedly, especially if you’re traveling to a new destination or have an important call. Ensure you’re never caught off guard with that 10% warning with the Belkin Pocket Power 5K, which we rated the most portable portable charger of 2021. In fact, it was the smallest and lightest charger we tested, meaning it’s great to carry in your pocket or purse.
One/Size by Patrick Starr Turn Up the Base Buttersilk Concealer ($25; sephora.com)
If you were stranded on a desert island, what makeup product would you want with you? It’s concealer, right? If you’d prefer not to leave the house without covering your dark circles, pimples or hyperpigmentation, add the One/Size Turn Up the Base Buttersilk Concealer. This vegan, medium-to-full coverage concealer literally glides on like butter, leaves a soft matte finish and blends easily — available in 24 shades to suit any skin tone.
Jerry & Maggie Desktop Organizer ($29.99; amazon.com)
We understand you spent hours optimizing your WFH setup, with all the things to make you feel productive, inspired and efficient. Don’t forget to do the same for your office desk as well. If you have a large enough desk, get this desk organizer that’s made from a sleek wood with multiple levels to place decorations, photos of family or work documents you need readily available.
Uniqlo Wide Pleated Skirt ($39.90; uniqlo.com)
If you’re not really a pants person, consider the Uniqlo Wide Pleated Skirt that’s made from a lightweight fabric with secure stitching at the waist — making for an incredibly versatile skirt able to be worn with heels, flats or even sneakers. This number is available in three earth-toned colors in sizes XS to XL.
Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream, 3-Pack ($12.59; amazon.com)
Between the environment change, all the hand-washing and even the dropping temperatures, our hands can get really dry nowadays. Stock up on this Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream, which comes in a pack of three and is formulated with ceramides and shea butter for very dry hands.