How I spent $700 upgrading my home office during the pandemic

  • Sinem Günel is a writer, coach, and the founder of Personal Growth Base, a platform dedicated to helping people grow with resources, newsletters, and articles.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, Günel has been upgrading her home office to improve her productivity and health while working from home. 
  • From fighting wrist pain with rest pads to adding monitor stands for improved posture, she says these small improvements have boosted her happiness and significantly improved her workflow. 
  • Günel also believes joy is just as important to prioritize as ergonomics and health — that’s why she incorporates extras like bouquets of flowers and essential oils throughout her workspace. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, my partner and I spent a little more than $700 to upgrade our home office.

We’ve already been working from home before the pandemic, so our daily working patterns didn’t change

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Greenery In Your Home Reduces Stress, Improves Health

In these sequestered times, when we are spending more time at home than ever, we need a home that gives us every advantage. Here’s a time-honored idea for cleaner air, better feng shui, emotional cheering, better productivity, co2 absorption, and just plain making your rooms prettier: house plants.

“Plant therapy isn’t just a buzz-word—it’s a real thing,” says Mélanie Berliet, general manager the lifestyle, home, and food site, The Spruce.

“In fact,” she continues, “Research has shown that the absence of plants in our lives is linked to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression. Alternatively, spending time in spaces with lots of plants can have a therapeutic effect and lead to feelings of calmness and reduced stress. Caring for houseplants has also been shown to help reduce feelings of loneliness and depression and instill

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How to buy a home remotely

A: The best way to look for a house when you are far away is to work with a good real estate agent in the town who understands your wants, needs, motivations and specific parameters (including price range, location and elimination issues).

You can certainly view properties on your phone once they become available, but you’ll need someone you can trust who can go to the property and tell you whether the property is a possibility or is worth the trouble of making a bid sight unseen.

Real estate technology companies have built many interesting options when it comes to experiencing a home online. You can see dozens of photos, a blueprint-like layout, videos, virtual tours and even 3-D tours. You can even use Google Street View to get a sense of what the street looks like and what the other homes in the neighborhood look like.

Even if

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FDA approves first COVID-19 self-test kit fully done at home

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Tuesday the emergency approval of the first COVID-19 test that can be done fully at home.
  • Lucira Health’s COVID-19 nasal swab self-test provides results in 30 minutes or less, and is authorized only on prescription.
  • People over the age of 14 can take the test if their healthcare provider suspects they may have COVID-19, the FDA said. 
  • Stephen M. Hahn, FDA commissioner, said: “While COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been authorized for at-home collection, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday approved the first at-home COVID-19 test kit for emergency use.

The COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit, made by biotech company Lucira Health, is the first nasal swab test that can be fully self-administered at home, and it provides results in 30

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Pfizer seeks vaccine approval within days; Home test ok’d


It’s nearly impossible to fathom the number of cases and deaths from the COVID-19 virus, so we added some geographical perspective.


Pfizer and BioNTech plan to submit a request “within days” to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency-use approval of a vaccine they say has shown to be 95% effective in mass testing.

“Our objective from the very beginning was to design and develop a vaccine that would generate rapid and potent protection against COVID-19 with a benign tolerability profile across all ages,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO of BioNTech. “We believe we have achieved this.”

The companies said they expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally by year’s end and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. Experts say frontline healthcare workers are expected to be first in line for inoculation.

The Phase 3 clinical trial began on July

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The Surprising Truth About How Many Employees Want To Keep Working From Home

There are plenty of companies that have already brought employees back to the office. Even more are getting ready to do just that, and more still are debating the right approach (i.e. stay remote or start bringing people into the office). But before your company decides on its approach, I want to offer some important data to help you decide.

A recent study from Publicis Sapient discovered that, when it comes to considerations about whether they’d like to return to their office, 80% of people said fear of contracting Covid-19 is their main concern when returning and commuting to the office. Meanwhile, 46% said they will not feel comfortable returning until a vaccine is available. If your company is strongly considering forcing all employees to return to the office in the next few months, I would respectfully suggest you take that data under advisement.

Relatedly, a recent study from

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Watch Adrianne Lenker Play A Tiny Desk From Home : NPR

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

For her Tiny Desk (home) concert, Adrianne Lenker’s home is a camper trailer parked somewhere in Joshua Tree National Park. It’s the appropriate setting for the five songs she performs from her new album, tunes birthed in a wooden cabin in Massachusetts.

The songs, the words, the voice of Adrianne Lenker has been at the top of my year-end musical loves for the past five years, more so than any other artist. It began with her work as the singer and songwriter on Big Thief’s electric debut album, Masterpiece, in 2016 and runs through this year’s two sister solo albums, one titled songs and the other instrumentals.

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HSBC lets Hong Kong work 4 days a week from home: Report

  • HSBC staff in Hong Kong can choose to work up to four days a week from home, per an internal staff memo seen by Bloomberg.
  • The banking giant has given staff three options: working primarily from home, primarily in the office, or full-time in the office, per Bloomberg.
  • HSBC is based in London, but has around 30,000 staff in Hong Kong, where it generates more than half of its profits.
  • In February, HSBC announced plans to cut $4.5 billion in costs by 2022.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Banking giant HSBC has told its 30,000 staff in Hong Kong that they can now work up to four days a week from home, according to an internal staff memo.

The banking giant told staff they had three options, per Bloomberg. 

“Flexible home workers” would work primarily remotely, spending up to four days a week at home.

“Flexible office workers,”

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N.Y. Shuts Funeral Home Where Dozens of Bodies Were Found in Trucks

The grisly discovery captured the tragedy and chaos of the pandemic at its height in New York City: dozens of bodies found decomposing in a pair of trucks parked outside a Brooklyn funeral home, supposedly because it had run out of space.

Following an investigation into the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home, the state health commissioner on Monday revoked the funeral director’s license and the mortuary’s business registration, saying he had mishandled the remains of the deceased. Mr. Cleckley was also fined $68,000 in civil penalties.

He is already facing six lawsuits accusing him and other funeral directors who operated out of his mortuary of failing to carry out their duties to handle remains respectfully and lawfully. Some families say that their loved ones’ remains were kept in an unrefrigerated truck or otherwise stored improperly.

Mr. Cleckley said Tuesday that the bodies found in the trucks had not been under

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Working from home has offered people a glimpse of how things could be different

I had begun to forget the sensation of hope. This is the year that I scaled hopefulness back: it became bread in the oven or bulbs in the ground – small packages of potential, just significant enough to give the soul a little lift. Then, the news of not one, but two pioneering vaccines, and hope rustled its feathers again. After months of making future promises for “when this is all over”, it seems that it could, one day, be over.

a person sitting at a desk in front of a computer: Photograph: Tom Werner/Getty Images

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Tom Werner/Getty Images

There’s relief, of course. But there are also mixed feelings at the thought of a return to “business as usual”. At the onset of the first lockdown there was much talk about how we could build a better, more compassionate world. We stood outside our houses and marvelled at the birdsong and the empty streets. The spring took on a

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