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Returning to work? Here are 15 products to help you settle back in

·8 min read
These products will make going back to the office a little easier.
These products will make going back to the office a little easier.

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Let’s be honest: working from home can be great. More flexibility, loungewear, and snuggles from your pet whenever you want. But, come autumn, more and more businesses will be opening their doors back up for their employees to use. Whether your return-to-office plan is required or by choice, it’s going to take a bit of time to get used to being at the office IRL again.

The grand return to your workplace not only requires real pants, but also a revamped cleanliness routine now that you’ll be interacting with others in person and navigating common spaces. Plus, you’re going to want some of the luxuries you’ve gotten used to at home (read: yummy homemade lunches).

To help ease the transition between the couch and your dusty cubicle, we’ve put together a list of the best products that’ll keep you motivated and make your in-office days a little brighter.

1. A pair of crazy comfy pants

Business casual never looked so good
Business casual never looked so good

With almost 5,000 reviews and a 5-star rating, these ankle pants from Athleta are a serious cult-favorite. Made from silky and uber-stretchy recycled polyester, their breathable design wicks sweat away and is even wrinkle-resistant. A ribbed waistband makes them so easy to pull on and conquer the day in that you’ll want a pair in all eight colors. This review says it all: "These are a great pair of pants for the transition from WFH to office. I wore them in the last week to work and then to the golf course for 9 holes."

Get the Brooklyn Ankle Pant from Athleta for $89

2. This magical infuser mug

Sip your tea and coffee from this stylish travel mug.
Sip your tea and coffee from this stylish travel mug.

No more interrupting your work to get up and make another coffee or tea. This traveler infuser mug keeps all of your hot and cold beverages at the ideal temperature for as long as you’d like with its double-walled design, and also features a detachable strainer and infuser for your loose leaf tea. Nearly 100 reviewers swear by its elegant exterior and well-made design. So go ahead—step away for a meeting, run an errand—your drink will still be at the temperature it was when you left it.

Get the Pinky Up Blair Glass Travel Infuser Mug from QVC for $30.99

3. This mega-sized desk planner

The best way to write down your plans
The best way to write down your plans

Need all of your plans and meetings written out? Same. This week-to-week day planner is large enough to fit every lunch date and doctor’s appointment, but just small enough to not be a hindrance to your desk space. With a full 52 pages, it’s got your entire year covered so you can start planning ahead. It boasts a perfect 5-star rating, with one shopper noting, "I love how this automatically adds color and fun to my desk and makes me actually want to use it. I'm typically not a daily planner user, but this has been so nice and handy to have!"

Get the Week-To-Week Mega Desk Notepad from Bando for $14.95

4. A new plant for your dreary desk

You can never have enough plants
You can never have enough plants

Bring some life into your office space by adding a new leafy friend to the mix. The Sill is an online shop that delivers plenty of desk-friendly varieties right to your door. Choose from plants that are big and small, low maintenance, and some that even come with their own perfectly-sized pot.

When we tried out The Sill for ourselves, we appreciated the site's user-friendly navigation, which is broken down into categories such as "low light," "pet friendly," and "plants for beginners." Thanks to the helpful care instructions they provided, our tester's ZZ plant was able to thrive—despite her lack of green thumb!

Shop plants from The Sill

5. This meal kit for healthy lunches

Vending machine, who? HelloFresh has all your healthy lunches covered
Vending machine, who? HelloFresh has all your healthy lunches covered

It’s certainly more tempting to dine out or grab food on the go when you're commuting, so do yourself a favor by prepping all your weekly lunches with HelloFresh. They’ve got tons of delicious meal options for any palette, and all the ingredients you need are conveniently delivered right to your door. When we tested HelloFresh out, it ranked among the best meal kit delivery services we've ever tried for its big, hearty portions and incredible flavors.

Try HelloFresh from $7.49 per serving

6. A sleek carry-all tote

The ultimate carry-all
The ultimate carry-all

Back to the office means back to the daily commute, so make it easy on yourself with this streamlined tote that can manage your laptop, pens, planner, wallet, and more. Made from 100% leather, it’s easy to wipe clean and will last you for years to come. One happy customer writes, "The quality and look is of a much more expensive bag. It feels super soft and the size is perfect to hold everything you need. The bag is very light so it doesn't hurt your shoulder when wearing it either."

Get the Leather Effortless Tote from Banana Republic for $98

7. These Bentgo boxes for easy lunch transport

Your lunch will stay fresh all day
Your lunch will stay fresh all day

Forget the brown bag; pack up your lunches the right way with these super easy Bentgo boxes. Each set includes a top container with a divider and lid, a bottom container with a lid, built-in plastic utensils, and a strap to keep it all together. Everything is also safe for the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer so you can go about warming and storing right away. More than 30 positive reviews mention these boxes are sturdy, lightweight, and convenient.

Get the Bentgo Classic All-in-One Lunch Box from QVC for $14.99

8. These glasses that protect your eyes

Protect your eyes from the harmful blue light emitted from multiple work screens
Protect your eyes from the harmful blue light emitted from multiple work screens

Lots of screen time can cause headaches and eye fatigue, this we know. Luckily, blue light glasses help to limit the amount of blue light that goes into our eyes from our many screens (think: phones, laptops, monitors). These stylish frames, which have amassed over 2,000 positive reviews, are versatile enough to go with any outfit, meaning you can keep them on your desk-year round, should your eyes every feel a bit strained.

Get the TIJN Oversized Blue Light Glasses from Amazon for $18.99

9. A pair of cameras to monitor home while you're away

Keep an eye on the house while you're away.
Keep an eye on the house while you're away.

Take it from this cat mom: it’s hard to leave our furry friends home alone after they’ve gotten used to spending so much time with us. But don’t worry, you can still see them while working from the office. The Ring stick-up camera can be used indoor or outdoors, and is our top choice for security cameras in smart homes with Alexa. You'll get two cameras, each of which is battery-enabled, meaning you can place them at whatever vantage point you desire without having to worry about outlet space. Its stunning high-definition video quality will allow you to keep tabs on your home or apartment during work hours, while the Ring app allows you to set the motion detection settings to your liking.

Get the Ring Security Stick Up Camera 2-pack from HSN for $184.99

10. An award-winning mascara

These groundbreaking formulas give the lashes of dreams
These groundbreaking formulas give the lashes of dreams

Now that meetings will be held in person and not behind a screen, look your in-person best with the best mascaras. We recommend Milani Highly Rated 10-in-1 Volume Mascara, which was chosen as our best value pick for its smooth, non-clumping formula and easy removal, or, if you're looking to spend a bit more, Thrive Causemetics' Liquid Lash. It took our top spot for going above and beyond your average mascara by giving dramatic length, definition, and curl to even the tiniest of lashes, and instantly creating the "look of lash extensions," according to our tester.

11. This surprisingly useful productivity tool

The ultimate anti-procrastination tool
The ultimate anti-procrastination tool

You won’t be caught slacking with this timer tool meant to improve time management and keep you motivated. Set it on its side for an automatic timer (from 3 minutes up to 30) or use it as a clock when the timer isn’t needed, simply by flicking the bottom switch to convert the use. One customer was pleased to report, "As long as it's in view I find it very easy to stay focused and stay on track. It's like a mini personal life coach that just stands there and taps her toes while you work."

Get the mooas Multi Cube Timer from Amazon for $18.90

12. This lightweight, wireless mouse

This sleek wireless mouse comes in multiple colors and is compatible with a variety of computers
This sleek wireless mouse comes in multiple colors and is compatible with a variety of computers

Admittedly, lots of standard office accessories can be bulky and may not even work well. This wireless mouse is the complete opposite with its sleek and ergonomic design. It can work flawlessly for a whopping 16 months on just a single AA battery and will easily connect to most laptops and computers. Close to 200 HP shoppers swear by it for being lightweight, slim enough for smaller hands, and quiet when clicking.

Get the HP Z3700 Gold Wireless Mouse from HP for $17.59

13. A set of file folders to make you smile

These folders will brighten any space
These folders will brighten any space

Bland manila folders are so 2019. Treat yourself (and your office space) to these beautiful assorted file folders featuring all different floral patterns. Each pack comes with six total folders with two of the same design in addition to 12 adhesive labels so you can get organizing ASAP. We're willing to bet your coworkers will spot them and want their own set, too.

Get the Assorted File Folders from Rifle Paper Co. for $14

14. A handy portable air purifier

Keep the air fresh, wherever you go
Keep the air fresh, wherever you go

Take clean air on the go with this handheld purifier that’s perfect for your cubicle or small office space. According to Molekule, the Air Mini's patented PECO-Filter is "coated with a proprietary catalyst" that break downs "bacteria, mold, viruses, allergens, and other pollutants at a molecular level when activated by light." It's also designed to be whisper quiet so it won't interrupt your brainstorming meetings.

Get the Molekule Air Mini from HSN for $499

15. These top-rated fabric masks

With over 6k reviews, these masks are a cult favorite
With over 6k reviews, these masks are a cult favorite

Dubbed our favorite face mask on the market, Athleta masks are breathable, soft, and protective, according to both our tester and more than 6,000 reviewers. The nose piece, knit ear loops, and pleated front allow these masks to be personalized to any face, making these fabric face masks perfect for all-day wear if necessary, especially in a crowded office. Not to mention, they come in a variety of patterns and colors like neutral, cool hues, and even camo.

Get the Everyday Non-Medical Face Masks Five Pack from Athleta for $25

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 15 products to help you return to work