life·7 min read

RTO Anxiety: 11 Items to Make Working in an Office Again Less Stressful

Design: theSkimm | Image: Calpak, Touchland
Best items for RTO anxiety
May 6, 2022

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Raise your hand if you’ve been working from home for what seems like eternity. (Same.) But now, as more people return to office, while the change in scenery and the opportunity to connect with coworkers in person may be a welcome change, there’s also some very real anxiety that comes along with it. Like concern about minimizing COVID-19 risks and figuring out how to best get your work done outside of your WFH cocoon. So we’ve pulled together some items to help make the RTO transition — and your commute — a little easier. Let’s do this. 

An over-the-counter COVID-19 test… 

Because you can never be too safe. This at-home COVID-19 antigen rapid test kit includes two tests per pack and gives you results within 15 minutes via its non-invasive nasal swab. Here’s to staying informed and stopping the spread. ($17.98, Amazon)

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A pack of three-ply, single-use black face masks…

These are made with three layers of high-quality non-woven fabric so they’re more breathable. And they’ve got an adjustable nose strip so they’ll stay in place during the day. You can choose from a variety of colors and patterns, or stick with the black, available in packs of 50, 100, or 200. Check out more face mask recs here. ($5.95+, Amazon

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A lightweight insulated lunch bag with a drawstring closure… 

Function meets style in this lunch bag with multiple exterior pockets for your bottles and extras, and an easy-to-clean interior. Long carrying handles make taking this on the go a cinch. Psst…the brand also offers two- to five-year accident protection add-ons to cover any rips, stains, and more. Looking for more lunch boxes and bags? We’ve got more options here. ($42, Calpak)

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A PhoneSoap light sanitizing box to decontaminate your gadgets… 

Your phone will charge and, thanks to its UV-C light technology, it’ll sanitize too. In just five minutes. It comes in five colors, plus there’s enough space to add in any extra devices you may have — like smaller headphones or wires. BTW, clip the 50% off coupon for big savings. ($119.95, Amazon)

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Noise-canceling headphones to drown out sounds…  

If you’ve been working in a quiet home since the beginning of the pandemic, getting used to chatter around the office again may take some getting used to. These over-the-ear headphones to the rescue. They come in three colors and are made with comfortable memory foam ear cups for cushioning. They reduce ambient noises by up to 90% and have up to 40 hours of nonstop wireless playtime at 60% volume. And if you’re into bass-heavy songs, the BassUp technology will provide an enhanced sound. Hello, your own personal office party. ($56.99+, Amazon)

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A compact space heater perfect for your desk… 

We’ve all been there: It’s a million degrees outside, but your office AC is on full blast. Keep things cozy with this energy-efficient device. It’s got overheating protection so you won’t have to worry if you forget to switch it off, and it’s quiet, so your colleague the desk over won’t be disturbed. ($29.99+, Amazon)

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A camera that’ll let you keep an eye on your pets… 

Since you’re probably missing them as much as they miss you. And let's face it, after you’ve been WFH for so long they may have some anxiety while you’re away too. The Petcube camera has 1080p quality and lets you see up to 30 feet away in pitch blackness. It also has a wide-angle view and a 8x zoom. Plus, you can chat with a vet 24/7 using the Petcube app if you spot any unusual behavior (which can also trigger a push notification). And if you’ve got more than one pet or your pet roams through a big space, snag the two- or three-pack camera to capture multiple angles. ($39.99+, Amazon)

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Pillows for bottom and lumbar support… 

Because maybe your office chairs aren’t the comfiest in town. The seat cushion relieves sitting and hip pressure while improving posture and comes in two different sizes. And the lumbar support pillow relieves back pressure by keeping your spine in an ideal posture. It's made from extra-dense memory foam and has a strap so it'll sit securely on the back of a chair. Oh, and when you buy the two together, you’ll save some cash. Cha-ching. ($65+, Cushion Lab)

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A glass tumbler that can live at your office desk… 

So you don’t have to travel with an extra item. This tumbler has a protective silicone sleeve and comes with its own straw. It’s odor-free and stain-free, and it has a real wood friction-fit lid. Plus it comes in a ton of colors. BTW, you shouldn't put this one in the freezer or microwave. But if you happen to break your glass within the first year of use, they’ll ship you a replacement and cover delivery costs. ($15.99, Amazon)

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Cult-fave hand sanitizer mists in calming scents…

It’s fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and made with aloe vera and essential oils. Oh, and it comes in mist form. Yep, that’s right. No more ‘whoops, I accidentally squeezed an entire bottle of sanitizer onto my hands’ nonsense. Just mist your hands a few times and voilá. Touchland sanitizer kills 99.9% of harmful germs and comes in 12 scents, plus an unscented option. Spray away. ($9, Touchland)

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A passport and vaccination-card holder in one…

These handmade leather holders have a section for your passport and a clear sleeve for your vax card that's big enough to hold some extra cash too. And it comes in over 15 colors — like shiny rose gold, light lime green, and turquoise. Customers say the leather is high quality for a reasonable price point. Looking for more vax-card holders? We’ve rounded up some faves here. ($10.99+, JMTcollectionsByMary via Etsy)

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