With more companies shifting toward remote work, it appears the commute from the bedroom to the desk is here to stay, at least for a few days a week. This isn’t a surprise. Many employees (including staff at Select) say they are able to focus more at home, love the flexibility it offers and are overjoyed that traffic jams are no longer a part of their morning routine. Yet remote work also comes with some caveats, such as the never-ending struggle to create the ideal workspace that combines comfort, productivity and enjoyment.
This holiday gift guide is an olive branch to anyone working from home. It lists must-have essentials for remote workers, including tech gadgets, comfy clothes and ergonomic finds.
Best gifts for remote workers in 2022
To help you find the best gift for the remote workers in your life, we’ve rounded up some bestsellers from our previous guides and also consulted Select editors — many of whom work from home themselves — to find out what products they love. We also included some highly rated remote-working items, including the more practical, ergonomic essentials and tech gadgets to cozy loungewear and fun accessories to brighten their workspace. To help you sift through these various gift ideas, we compiled them into the following categories:
- Bestselling gifts for remote workers
- Ergonomic gifts for remote workers
- Tech gifts for remote workers
- Gifts for improved video calls
- Cozy, convenient gifts for remote workers
- Athletic gifts for remote workers
Bestselling gifts for the remote worker
This giant blanket-hoodie hybrid appeared on the scene in 2019 after The Comfy founders walked away with a deal from “Shark Tank.” The craze for this wearable blanket hasn’t waned. It is made from a microfiber fleece outer layer and a plush Sherpa layer on the inside to keep you warm and cozy when you’re in front of the computer on cold days.
If you just feel like taking a break from your desk and sitting on the couch (or in your bed) to work, this lap desk from LapGear is the perfect size to hold your laptop and all your devices. The surface is 21 inches wide and 12 inches deep and can hold your smartphone vertically. It has a built-in device ledge to keep your laptop, tablet or notepad from slipping and features a mousepad, too. The lap desk’s dual-bolster microbead cushion is both comfortable and steady, says the brand, and comes in six colors. It currently has a 4.7-star average rating from over 43,000 Amazon reviews.
If you have this milk frother at home, you might find yourself skipping the coffee shop run altogether. Whisper quiet, this frother creates various types of foam from both dairy and non-dairy alternatives for your cappuccinos, lattes, iced coffee, matcha and more, says the brand. It currently has a 4.2-star average rating among over 7,000 Amazon reviews.
Finding the correct ergonomic position to sit, hold your arms and place your feet while sitting at a desk is harder than remembering to unmute your microphone before that important video call. The ErgoForm desk footrest is like a mini hammock for your feet, according to the brand.. The Ergofoam Adjustable Foot Rest has earned a 4.7-star average rating from over 7,400 Amazon reviews.
This No. 1 bestselling retro-style desk calendar on Amazon pokes fun at all the things that try to ruin your day. Every page includes a relatable, humorous quip on everything from pesky responsibilities and job crazies to friendships and relationships. It has a recyclable plastic-free easel backer so you can display the calendar on your desk, and it’s printed on FSC-certified paper with soy-based ink. This witty desk calendar’s daily dose of sarcasm has earned a 4.8-star average rating from over 130 Amazon reviews.
Best ergonomic gifts for the remote worker
In a previous Select guide, our experts recommended Flexispot’s standing desks for their affordability and sleek design. The Comhar All-in-One is made of steel and topped with wood, with a wide leg frame. It even has a pull-out drawer for office supplies. The desk transitions from a height of 28.3 inches to 47.6 inches at the push of a button and has four programmable height presets in case you have multiple users, says Flexispot. It also has three embedded USB charging ports for your devices. Its single motor can support up to 154 pounds, according to the brand. The Comhar currently has a 4.6-star average rating from over 1,400 Amazon reviews.
Amazon is offering this highly rated U-shaped seat cushion from Everlasting Comfort in a bundle pack with the brand’s lumbar pillow. The seat cushion is designed to prevent slouching, sagging and scrunching, according to the brand. Made with memory foam and heat-responsive technology, this seat cushion can help make you more comfortable while sitting at a desk all day. The lumbar pillow is also made of pure memory foam and can be placed along the back of the office chair for neck, upper, middle, thoracic, lower back and spine pain relief, says the brand. The bundle pack has earned a 4.3-star average rating from more than 441 reviews on Amazon.
Standing on your feet all day can put pressure on your back and legs. This anti-fatigue mat is great for standing desk workers. Its ¾-inch foam cushioning reduces stress on knees, muscles and joints, says the brand. According to Sky Solutions, the padded mat is ergonomically designed to help relieve spinal pressure and reduce lower back pain while increasing blood flow. The Sky Solutions Anti-Fatigue Mat comes in over a dozen styles and four sizes. It currently has a 4.7-star average rating from more than 32,000 reviews on Amazon.
An expert pick from a previous Select guide, this ergonomic chair can stand up to eight hours of work and then some, according to the brand, thanks to its lumbar support, high-density cushion, and a double-layered backrest. It also offers eight different points of adjustment — think seat depth, tilt, armrests and more — making it fully customizable to their preference. That might explain why it has a 4.6-star average rating from nearly 3,000 reviews on the brand's site.
Best tech gifts for remote workers
One of the greatest joys of working remotely is you can work from anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s the kitchen table or the couch, or maybe even your bed. However, if you struggle with the small screen on your laptop, the SideTrak Swivel HD keeps your second monitor as portable as you. The SideTrack Swivel HD easily attaches and detaches to the back of your laptop screen and then connects to your machine with the included display cord. According to the brand, it’s lightweight, compatible with Mac, Chrome and Windows, and 12.5-inches across. It currently has a 4.3-star average rating from over 800 Amazon reviews.
A good desk lamp is essential. The Verilux SmartLight desk lamp has a flexible gooseneck and an integrated USB charging port. According to the brand, itsLED light delivers better brilliance and truer color for reading and detail work.Select your perfect brightness level from seven varying light grades. You also have your pick of three varying temperature hues including warm white, white and daylight.
Help your loved ones wrangle those unruly cords with the Smartish Cable Wrangler. The Cable Wrangler uses the power of magnets to reel those wiley cords in every time. It's available in four colors and includes a lifetime warranty, the brand says.
Select reporter Harry Rabinowitz recommends this wireless and Bluetooth mouse for anyone seeking more comfort and productivity from their tech. It has two scroll wheels built-in, meaning you can scroll through documents and spreadsheets quickly. It is also customizable with the Logi Options+ software, where you can change what each button does in individual apps like Google Chrome and Adobe InDesign.
This small but powerful speaker is only 3.3 inches tall, but deliver rich, 360 audio, according to the brand. It also works seamlessly with Apple products and can be paired with other HomePod Mini speakers to create a discrete surround sound environment in your home.
The Jabra Elite 85H headphones offer excellent active noise cancellation and a 40 hour battery life, according to the brand and thousands of consumer reviews. You won’t get some higher-end audio codecs, so it’s not for music professionals, but the Elite 85H headphones are still stylish, capable and long-lasting for the average listener working and conferencing from home.
For the person who takes their sound seriously, swap the HomePod Mini for this Consumer Reports pick, which took the top spot for the best wireless multiroom speaker of 2022. Because it works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, per the brand, it's ideal if you're not working with streamlined Apple tech—although you can still use your iPad or iPhone to stream music and podcasts through it. Our experts were fans because of its small footprint, which allows it to sit comfortably on a desk or shelf, and the relatively low price.
The CDC says periodic rest breaks and changes in posture are beneficial to staying healthy. The Apple Watch will remind you to take five-minute breaks throughout the day. It keeps track of your movement, heartbeat, body temperature and sleep schedule and also offers great insight into your body’s vitals. The Series 8 offers new safety tools like Crash Detection and Fall Detection that get you help when you need it. It currently has a 4.6-star average rating from over 1,500 reviews on Amazon.
Best gifts for improved video calls
Work-from-home giftees often spend hours on video calls with co-workers. One of the best ways to improve their videoconferencing experience is with a quality webcam. This webcam from Logitech is a Select favorite, outputting 1080p HD video. One useful addition is the physical privacy shutter users can flip when they’re finished conferencing.
This videoconference lighting kit from Lume Cube improves your presence in videos, live streams and more by improving your lighting. It offers adjustable brightness and color and includes a computer mount. It has 14 hours of battery life, but can also be powered via USB, says the brand.It currently has a 4-star rating from more than 5,800 Amazon reviews.
Best cozy, convenient gifts for remote workers
Slippers can be a comfortable addition to anyone’s work from home setup, especially in the wintertime. Our experts recommend brands like Dr. Comfort as a slipper with extra wiggle room, a firm toe box and removable gel inserts for extra heel support. These slippers have a fleece lining and suede upper, and are available in men’s and women’s sizing.
One of the caveats about working from home is the tendency to work longer hours and never unplug. So why not provide your favorite remote worker with some premade meals? Freshly is as good as it gets in the meal-kit game, which is why it was a Select pick. Not only are the meals ready to eat in three minutes or less, but they're also low in sugar and brimming with nutrient-rich ingredients, according to the brand. Your gift recipient can also choose meals according to personal and dietary preferences, since Freshly offers gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free meals. Choose four to 12 meals per week from more than 30 chef-prepared menu options.
This temperature-controlled smart mug is a favorite of Select editor Mili Godio, who loves the Ember Mug2 for its ability to keep her coffee at her preferred temperature. “It’s been a blessing during cold winters working from home,” she says. More than 6,000 Amazon users agree, having given the smart mug a 4.6-star average rating. Users can also download the Ember app and control the temperature of your drink via your phone. Safe to hand wash and simple to charge, the Ember Mug2 is scratch resistant and comes in black, gray, red or white.
Clear dust and allergens from their office space with the Levoit air purifier. The device can purify the air in a large room, including most home offices, in just 15 minutes. It filters air through a three-stage process before releasing it back into the room, according to the brand. Levoit also states that it’s very quiet, and won’t disturb calls or meetings.
A small potted plant can spruce up your giftee's work-from-home station. Popular indoor plant brand The Sill classifies this Hoya Heart plant as a great plant for beginners to take care of. It stays a simple, cute heart shape throughout its lifespan, according to the brand.
Best athletic gifts for remote workers
For those who are looking to sneak in more physical activity during the workday, this quiet mini elliptical allows you to pedal while still sitting at your desk. A Select favorite in our top-rated ellipticals guide, the Cubii JR1 is portable and offers eight resistance levels as well as an LCD monitor that tracks calories burned, distance traveled and strides pedaled. For a more affordable option, the Sunny Health & Fitness version is also worth noting.
At-home workouts are familiar territory for many veteran work-from-home employees. Giftees new to the remote lifestyle could benefit from a versatile set of dumbbells. These expert-recommended dumbbells from Titan Fitness have chrome handles and a hexagon-shaped head that deadens noise, according to the brand.