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PhilSTAR L!fe recommends: WFH must-haves

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 23, 2021 4:03 am

We’ve been working from home for 10 months now. One thing many of us discovered is that we work longer hours at home than we ever did in our offices. It is exhausting—but it is also so fulfilling to see what we produce every day.

Here are the PhilSTAR L!fe staff’s recommendations to make working from home happy, productive and comfortable.

Bim Santos

I just like to start my shift perked up with a renewed sense of purpose and nothing could quite fill up my tank with dizzying delusions of grandeur for the workday ahead than a mug of Black Coffee. I am not a coffee snob but I just don’t like my coffee sweet. I prefer the dark, soulful bitterness of a bold black mug to aptly reflect the crushed dreams and aspirations of my teenage self.

I always take a 15-minute nap somewhere in my shift and a Soft Pillow helps me do that. I have no choice. Whenever I feel listless and without the will to live after I breach the halfway mark of my shift, my pillow starts calling my name in a singsong manner. It happens regularly. There is no fail. And after a short nap, I feel that I’m all the better for it. I feel recharged and deluded anew that I can once again accomplish something that would benefit the whole of mankind for the next few hours.

Camille Santiago


Huda Beauty Glow Coco Hydrating Mist Facial mists have been pretty much a part of my daily routine like cleansers and sunscreen. I like this particular mist because I can feel my skin is refreshed and soft throughout the day—thanks to coconut water and coconut oil!

Before I start my shift, I always list down everything I need to do for the day. I like this Muji 2021 Planner because it’s sleek, light, and has enough space to write on.

Justine Punzalan


Hunching over our laptops for more than 40 hours a week can stress out our back, shoulders and neck. Using a chair that promotes good posture sure can lighten the load. Good thing I found one that not only gets the job done, but does it in chic fashion, too. This pretty Butterfly Swivel Chair that I pre-ordered from FAME Lifestyle allows me to sit comfortably as I write my stories throughout the day. With its adjustable height. I am able to position my head to the ideal eye level of my screen—which, by the way, is the address bar on your web browser, according to Boston University. To top it all, it comes at an affordable price of P2,599.


If you’re a sucker for planners like me, kikki.K’s B6 craft planner will perk you up through your workdays. It’ll keep your to-do lists organized with its fuss-free and undated 52 weekly and 12 monthly pages, plus lots of blank lined, gridded, and blank sheets. Adding more style to your note-taking is the binder’s insides hemmed with gray kikki.K fabric. You can order it for P2,280 on @Paponeis on Instagram.

Chuck Smith


I used to buy a lot of Notebooks I never end up using, pretending that someday I will have the time to actually write something useful or meaningful on them (even though I do most of my work on a laptop). But while working from home, I find myself jotting down notes and reminders on actual, physical notebooks. Maybe it’s because I like the sensation of writing on something tangible while I’m in another virtual meeting or online class. It also lessens my digital clutter. I have so many notes and files on my laptop and online that it feels reassuring that everything I need to know about what I have to do for that day is written on a handy, dandy notebook.

Pinky Icamen

Music piped into the room from my Bluetooth speaker at the start of the day sets the tone of my workday—Lo-Fi beats for chill days, Medieval and Renaissance folk songs if I want to escape from the confines of my workspace, or gentle rain sounds when I miss the rain. My reliable Bluetooth speaker is always juiced up and ready to get me into work mode with my background music that’s loud enough to fill the room but still allows me to hear the soothing click-clack of the keyboard when I type.

One of the upsides of working from home is you are able to personalize the mood of your workspace with Essential Oils. I transform my workspace into an olfactory oasis with several drops of essential oils in the diffuser, which also helps in improving my mood while working.

Brooke Villanueva


Since the line between work and rest has been quite a blur in the new normal, I decided to practice self-care even when I'm at my home office. I have this exact essential oil diffuser on my desk to keep me sane during busy periods.

Red Dimaandal

Working from home doesn’t just hinge upon balancing employment priorities. For me, it’s even more important to maintain a self-balance. Adding certain atmosphere-enhancing goods, like Diptyque Limited Edition Roses Candle, can help elevate your mood for a healthier and more productive daily workflow. I usually light up my Diptyque rose candle to boost my mood and productivity. This candle emits soft, floral, and feminine notes.

To start my day right I take the time to make myself coffee before beginning work. The caffeine keeps me alert and helps me stay focused. My current fave: local brand Caldi Drip Coffee! Each single-serve drip bag contains coffee grounds in a filter, which you just need to pour over hot water. 

Danicah Faith Lagman

If you've seen Black Mirror's “Shut Up and Dance” episode, you probably got paranoid with your webcam. Just to be sure and for your peace of mind too, you might want to secure a Webcam Cover, which comes in different colors. After that Zoom meeting or GMeet catch-up, you can now slide your cover and protect yourself from anyone who might be peeking through your webcam.


All sorts of color and design for “mouses” are now available in the market. But if you are after convenience, a Wireless Mouse may be what you're looking for. It may be connected via Bluetooth or has a separate USB that you'll plug in your laptop/computer, and voila, you now have a mouse that is tangle-free and smooth cursor.

 Tanya Lara

One thing I love about WFH is that I no longer get stuck in two- to three-hour traffic going to and from the office. So I’ve transferred my Tempur Seat Cushion from my car to my office chair at home. If traffic used to give me stiff shoulders and a sore butt from hours of sitting, working from home can even be worse. You’d think having the option to get up from your chair anytime helps, but in the middle of work you forget to do that.

One habit I didn’t drop from working in an office is having my Klean Kanteen beside me all the time, even if I can just walk to the kitchen. Seeing my tumbler reminds me to drink water throughout the day even when work is so busy—and it always is.