Best Anime to Watch in the Background While Working from Home
Every remote worker has different techniques they use to keep themselves productive while working from home. Some listen to music, while some even play games while working from home. These little distractions keep you stimulated through the monotony of the daily grind.
If you’re a big fan of anime or have been wanting to start getting into it, know that you can watch anime while working from home and still maintain your productivity. You should just be careful about the types of shows you choose.
You should avoid actively engaging shows such as action anime like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba or mysteries like Death Note. Instead, you want more laid-back anime that you can enjoy even while just listening to the sounds from the show.
Listed below are our recommendations for the best anime to watch in the background while working from home.
Table of Contents
32 of the Best Anime to Watch in the Background While Working from Home
A. Slice of Life Anime
1. Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun (Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun)
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance
Light-hearted comedy Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun tells the story of high school student, Chiyo Sakura, who has a crush on the titular character, Umetarou Nozaki. Unbeknownst to her, Nozaki is actually a popular shōjo mangaka, someone who makes comics targeted towards girls. Due to a misunderstanding, Sakura begins to help Nozaki with his job.
It’s perfect as an anime to watch while working because the anime is light on the story and focuses more on the interactions between Sakura, Nozaki, and their friends. Each comedic setup is bite-sized, enough to put a little bit of fun and humor into your work day, but not distract you from finishing your tasks.
2. Laid-Back Camp (Yuru Camp)
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy
Laid-Back Camp has a very simple premise. High-school student, Rin Shima, enjoys camping on her own but one day meets Nadeshiko Kagamihara by accident at a campsite. Both found that they enjoyed camping together and further episodes show their various camping trips alongside their friends.
Fans of Laid-Back Camp describe it as a healing anime that they watch to relax after a long day. You can find comfort in the beautifully animated landscapes and the sounds of conversations over a campfire even while working from home. Its naturally slow pace means you don’t have to concentrate on the show to enjoy it.
3. Nichijou, My Ordinary Life
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy
Contrary to its title, slice-of-life anime Nichijou is far from ordinary. The over-the-top antics of high school students Yūko, Mio, and the rest of the cast turn normal situations, such as ordering coffee from a café, into hilarious but relatable scenes.
In general, Nichijou is slow-paced enough that you can enjoy it while working, especially the scenes without Yūko and Mio. But there are some very absorbing scenes involving the two so you might want to save those episodes for tasks that take less brain power.
4. Daily Lives of High School Boys (Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijō)
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy
This show encapsulates the idiom “Boys will be boys” perfectly well. Daily Lives of High School Boys focuses on three friends, Hidenori, Yoshitake, and Tadakuni, and how they add a little bit of fun to their everyday lives.
If you have fond memories of your group of bros from school, then this group of three will certainly remind you of them. They tackle mundane things their own way such as by reenacting an RPG game while walking to school or confessing to a girl by deliberately using anime tropes.
It’s a great watch while working since it feels like you are just in a study group with friends. You can switch between focusing on your work and joining the fun banter every so often.
5. Silver Spoon (Gin no Saji)
Genres: Slice of Life, Drama, Comedy
Studious and hard-working student, Yuugo Hachiken, decides to enroll in an agricultural school to escape the stress of his life in the city. Things don’t go as easily as he thought as he finds that he’s a total amateur at everything related to farm work.
In Silver Spoon, you are taken on a journey with Yuugo as he finds the answer to what it means to have a fulfilling life. If you’ve ever dreamed of leaving the city and just living a laid-back rural life, then this show might just be for you.
Even if you haven’t, it’s still an excellent anime to watch in the background while you are working. The agricultural students work hard as you also work hard in your own tasks. Seeing them find joy in the simple things in life may also inspire you to keep chugging along your workday.
Genres: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance
After a disastrous start in his career, 27-year-old Arata Kaizaki, is given a mysterious pill by Ryou Yoake, a ReLIFE agent, which turns him back into a 17-old high school student. Arata finds that he has no choice but to take part in the experiment and in the process get a new lease on life.
ReLIFE is a slice of life, drama, and romance anime that’s easy to digest for anyone watching while working at the same time. Most of the time, you’ll follow Arata as he adjusts to life as a student again.
But the show does have its peak drama moments and story beats that you might find yourself suddenly very engaged. So, just make sure to keep track of the time when you are watching.
7. My Roommate Is a Cat (Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue)
Genres: Slice of Life, Drama
My Roommate Is a Cat is a story about a mystery novel author, Subaru Mikazuki, and a cat named Haru that he picked up during a visit to his parents’ grave. The show shifts in between the perspectives of Subaru, as he learns how to take care of a cat, and Haru as she learns to get along with Subaru, who doesn’t properly care for himself.
Comfortable and relaxed, My Roommate Is a Cat can be watched in the background without any problems. It’s perfect for pet lovers, but anyone can appreciate the slowly growing relationship between the main characters, a new pet owner and his cat.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy
The success of Lucky☆Star in 2007 is one of the reasons that we have a lot of slice-of-life comedy animes today. It follows the life of otaku high school student, Konata Izumi, and her friends Tsukasa, Kagami, and Miyuki. Each episode of the anime contains mini-episodes as the show adapts its content from the original 4-panel comic.
It’s very easy to follow along to Lucky☆Star as you work through the day because of the bite-sized nature of each scene. The show also introduces you slowly to the quirks of each character and there’s no big story to follow. You can just work and enjoy whatever the show decides to throw at you.
B. Workplace Anime
9. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku (Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii)
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance
Workplace romance and comedy anime, Wotakoi, tells the story of Narumi Momose, a closet otaku, and Hirotaka Nifuji, her middle school otaku friend as they balance work, love, and their hobbies. Joining them are their fellow otaku co-workers, Hanako Koyanagi and Tarou Kabakura.
Just as you are balancing your work and your hobbies, so too are the cast of Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku. Its light-hearted comedy and romance are the perfect pairing for a light day of work as well. Working with this anime in the background feels like you are working together with your grown-up anime hobby friends.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama
In Shirobako, we follow Aoi Miyamori, as she just starts working at her dream job as an anime producer at the Musashino Animation production company. The show goes really in-depth into the details of each step of the anime production process, from illustrations to voice acting. It’s an excellent watch for anyone who appreciates the craft.
You get to meet a wide cast of characters involved in making an anime, from directors to illustrators, and more. They always seem to be working in the midst of a deadline so the show can also push you to meet yours. Of course, it’s not fast-paced enough to stress you out. It allows for a nice stable working pace.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama
Bakuman follows the story of two students, artist Moritaka Mashiro and writer Akito Takagi, on their journey to succeed as mangaka for Shōnen Jump, the best-selling weekly manga magazine in Japan. The show deep dives into the manga-making process, from conceptualization to reader reception.
In this anime, we see that the ups and downs of working as a mangaka are very similar to what we encounter in our work-from-home jobs. You might find inspiration for working hard as the characters in the series also persevere despite the obstacles.
12. New Game!
After graduating, Aoba Suzukaze applies to video game company, Eagle Jump, the makers of her favorite series, Fairies Story. Aoba is excited to learn that she will be assigned to work on the next installment of the series. Follow her story as she experiences the difficulties of game making, from creating character designs to dealing with her quirky boss, Kou Yagami.
New Game! has been called by its fans as a stress-relieving show that’s perfect after a tough day at work. But there’s nothing stopping you from watching the show while doing some minor tasks. It’s a show that finds joy in the mundane so it should help lighten your workload as well.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance
Working!! is set in the family restaurant, Wagnaria, as we follow high school student Souta Takanashi as he starts his part-time job there. He meets a quirky cast of characters, from the lazy store manager to the cute co-worker sempai. It’s a light-hearted show that’s easy to pick up and put down.
The show takes a while to introduce and resolve its plot points so you can take your time as you work and have the show in the background. If you enjoy it, you’ll be glad to know that there are 3 seasons available for you to watch during your off-peak hours.
C. Laid-Back Sci-Fi / Fantasy Anime
14. Natsume’s Book of Friends (Natsume Yuujinchou)
Genres: Fantasy, Slice of Life, Drama
Takashi Natsume has the ability to see strange creatures called youkai and because of this, he feels out of place in the normal world. He meets Madara, a powerful youkai that looks like a cat, who tells him that his grandmother created the Book of Friends. In it are the names of all the youkai that his grandmother had defeated and befriended.
Each episode of Natsume Yuujinchou focuses on a different youkai and the touching relationship they had with Natsume’s grandmother. The show can get emotionally involving at times so you might want to schedule a watch during a lighter round of work. The show’s formula can get repetitive but that might actually be ideal if you just want it in the background.
15. Kino's Journey (Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World)
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Drama
As its title suggest, we follow Kino, a 15-year-old traveler, and Hermes, a talking motorcycle, as they journey throughout the curious places in this fantasy world. Kino no Tabi is considered a classic in the anime community. Some famous manga, novels, and games have even been known to have drawn inspiration from this title.
The show itself follows an episodic format covering both light and deep topics. Except for a few action scenes, both the atmosphere and pacing are slow-paced. Thus, it works as a nice distraction from the usual work routine. The fantastical places Kino visits on her journey will feel like a mini-adventure even as you just work at home.
16. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon)
Genres: Slice of Life, Fantasy, Comedy
After a drunken escapade in the mountains, Kobayashi wakes up the next day with a dragon outside her door. Turns out, she had promised the dragon, Tooru, that she could stay at her home. To repay Kobayashi’s kindness, Tooru starts to work as a maid in charge of everything from cleaning to cooking.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is essentially a slice-of-life anime with fantasy elements mixed in. It has just the right pace of comedy and story that you can work with it in the background. As you work hard at your own tasks, Tooru joins you as she also tries her best to adjust to working as a maid in the human world.
Genres: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Drama
For many people, this anime is hard to get into due to the really slow first half where the show takes its time to introduce you to the characters and set up the story. But that’s what makes Steins;Gate perfect as an anime you can watch in the background while working.
In the first half, we meet self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe, genius neuroscientist Kurisu Makise, and the rest of the lab members as they happen to invent a device to send text messages to the past. After messing around with it, they’ll soon find that not everything is fun and games.
This is around the point where the show hooks you into watching. You might want to save the second half for a binge-watching weekend since the pacing really picks up by then.
18. BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense
Genres: Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure
Kaede Honjou, a total beginner to online games, accepts an invitation from her best friend to play a popular virtual reality MMO in Japan. Just like the title says, Kaede assigns all her points to defense stat since she doesn’t want to get hurt in the game. This results in a hilariously overpowered character that has never been seen in the game before.
Bofuri is a silly, light-hearted take on the VRMMO genre. There is some action and adventure involved in the show, but nothing that you have to be very engaged with to understand. You can watch the show as slowly as Kaede takes her time with everything in the game.
D. Slow Life Isekai Anime
19. Ascendance of a Bookworm
Genres: Isekai, Fantasy, Drama
The story of Ascendance of a Bookworm centers around die-hard book lover, Myne, who reincarnates in a fantasy world with a huge lack of books. So, she takes it upon herself to start and popularize the art of bookmaking in this world. However, it’s not an easy task for a frail five-year-old girl from a poor family.
Unlike similar isekai that introduce technology to a medieval world, this anime really takes its time. It painstakingly goes through all the steps of the bookmaking process, from finding the right materials to the creation of the printing press. There’s very little action here so it’s a good fit for a slow-paced afternoon at work.
20. The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent (Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou Desu)
Genres: Isekai, Fantasy, Romance, Drama
After being summoned to another world, Sei Takanashi finds herself with little to do as she is not declared as the saintess by the kingdom’s prince. So, she joins the Medicinal Flora Research Institute to study herbs and potions which she finds herself exceptionally good at. There she’ll meet new friends, learn about her powers, and try her best to make a contribution.
In The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent, there are no antagonists nor a grand story. You can keep it in the background as you work while you leisurely follow the story of Sei as she finds her purpose in an unknown world.
21. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom
Genres: Isekai, Fantasy, Romance, Comedy
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom starts with Catarina Claes realizing that she has been reincarnated into an otome game world as the main antagonist. Destined for death, she tries to avoid interacting with the main characters from the game’s story. But she inadvertently captures the hearts of the people around her with her easy-going and straightforward personality.
This anime’s simple premise and small-sized story bits make it an easy-to-follow-along show while you work. It has a sprinkle of comedy, romance, and drama in every episode but nothing that needs any deep thought. You can simply enjoy the show as it goes along its own light pace.
22. Parallel World Pharmacy (Isekai Yakkyoku)
Genres: Isekai, Fantasy, Drama
Kanji Yakutani is a world-class medical researcher who dies from overworking. He reincarnates into a fantasy world as Falma de Médicis, a 10-year-old noble boy from a family of medical mages. Just as he was determined to develop medicine in his previous life, he establishes a pharmacy in this new world by combining the techniques of both magic and modern science.
Despite the fantasy setting, Parallel World Pharmacy’s core elements revolve around the modern art of medicine making. A lot of medical terms are used in its dialogue but you don’t need to know them to appreciate the show. It’s a nice watch with nothing too serious happening so it’s a good complement to a steady day at work.
23. Isekai Izakaya "Nobu"
Genres: Isekai, Food, Drama
Isekai Izakaya is about a Japanese restaurant called Izakaya Nobu that’s connected to a parallel world. Chef, Nobuyuki Yazawa, and waitress, Shinobu Senke, serve beloved Japanese dishes to the unknown world’s colorful cast of characters resulting in amusing reactions.
Each episode of Isekai Izakaya stars a different Japanese dish while also sharing a story from a parallel world inhabitant. The stories are light-hearted and relatable, so you can definitely watch this anime as you work from home. You might suddenly have a craving for Japanese food though, but nothing a quick meal delivery won’t fix!
E. Romance Anime
Genres: Romance, Slice of Life
At school, Kyouko Hori is a popular student known for her beauty and brains. Meanwhile, Izumi Miyamura is a quiet student who mostly keeps to himself. But outside of school, they have very different personalities. Due to an accidental meeting, they learn each other’s secrets and find comfort in this newfound relationship.
Compared to the manga, the anime for Horimiya tuned down the romance in favor of more comedic slice-of-life scenes. This decision resulted in very polarizing reviews about the show. Regardless, it’s not a bad show to watch while working from home and you can decide for yourself if you’ll like it or not.
25. My Dress-Up Darling (Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru)
Genres: Romance, Slice of Life, Ecchi
Meek and plain high school student Wakana Gojou has set his mind to learning the hina doll craft from his grandfather. But when popular student, Marin Kitagawa, learns of his sewing skills, she confides in Wakana about her love of cosplaying eroge characters. My Dress-Up Darling explores the two’s relationship as they work together to make the perfect outfits.
Often praised for its animation, you can enjoy the show’s beautiful art while it plays in the background. It also doesn’t dive too deeply into the romance so you can just have a relaxed and pleasant time with the show’s cosplay shenanigans. It does have ecchi elements so it might be embarrassing to watch with others in the house.
26. Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You
Genres: Romance, Slice of Life, Drama
Sawako Kuronuma is an often-misunderstood high school student which earned her the nickname “Sadako”, the long-haired ghost from the horror movie “The Ring”. In reality, she has a timid, sweet personality and just wants to make friends at school. Shouta Kazehaya quickly sees through her awkwardness and begins to help her find a place to belong.
When watching anime while working, it’s a good idea to stay away from shows with deep overarching stories and those with plenty of plot twists. This anime has none of those.
Kimi ni Todoke is a simple, feel-good anime with touching moments and plenty of good old-fashioned youth romance. Sometimes you just need something to tickle your heartstrings as you complete your workday.
Genres: Romance, Drama
A mysterious letter arrives to sophomore, Naho Takamiya, as she begins her first day at school. Surprisingly the letter comes from herself, but from 10 years in the future. In Orange, Naho will try to solve the regrets of her future self, particularly in regard to the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse.
Orange is an emotionally charged show with plenty of love, heartache, joy, and regret. It can get very involving at times so you have to keep track of your attention while you’re working. But its story beats don’t happen quickly so there’s plenty of room for doing your daily tasks.
F. Music Anime
28. Ya Boy Kongming (Paripi Koumei)
Genres: Music, Comedy, Drama
Zhuge Kongming is famous as one of the greatest tacticians from the Three Kingdoms. After falling gravely ill, he wakes up in present-day Tokyo at the same time that there’s a wild Shibuya-wide costume party. Confused, he wanders into a nightclub and is captivated by the voice of aspiring singer, Eiko Tsukimi. With her help, Kongming adjusts to the modern world and vows to help Eiko achieve her dreams.
Ya Boy Kongming is a fun music anime with catchy electronic dance music, heartful ballads, and exciting rap battles. Feel free to dance along to the opening song as you work away on your computer. If you’ve previously found success working with music in the background, this show will add a few more tracks to your playlist.
That said, some episodes can be very engaging so the show might be best scheduled during a relaxed day at work.
29. Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Euphonium)
Genres: Music, Drama
Kumiko Oumae gets dragged by her friends into the school’s band club and is once again stuck with playing the euphonium. Not wanting to experience the same disappointment from her past, she hesitates when the new advisor asks the club if they want to join the nationals. But when she meets passionate and stern trumpeter, Reina Kousaka, she begins to strive to find success together with the rest of the band.
You can take your time watching Hibike! Euphonium. The show slowly introduces the large cast and the intricacies of playing in a band which also means that there are not a lot of songs at the start of the show. But when the musical highlights do come, they become a nice reward after a day’s work.
30. Love Live! School Idol Project
Genres: Music, Idols, Slice of Life
Love Live! School Idol Project is the original anime project that spawned the massive franchise that we know of today. To prevent their school from closing down, three friends, Honoka, Umi, and Kotori, set about to create an idol group to popularize the school. Joining them are six of their other schoolmates to form the idol group, μ’s.
There’s nothing really serious going on in this show so you can just chill and work while it’s in the background. In each episode, the characters have a struggle that they try to overcome and most of the time it culminates into a pop music highlight.
Japanese girl group music is not for everyone. But if you do find that you like it, there’s a whole franchise waiting for you after finishing this show.
Genres: Music, Slice of Life
In K-On!, the light music club is facing disbandment due to a lack of members. Its remaining members, Mio and Ritsu, try to convince Yui Hirasawa to join the club despite her lack of music experience. She originally declines but a performance from the members sparks her passion to learn the guitar.
K-On is a relaxed slice-of-life show about making music as a band. There are a few musical highlights here and there, but as beginner musicians, it takes a while for them to show up. So, you can work perfectly fine with this show in the background. There are also lots of cute and touching moments sprinkled around its two seasons.
32. Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)
Genres: Music, Romance, Drama
Your Lie in April is the perfect blend of youth romance, classical music, and drama. The main character, Kousei Arima, was a piano-playing child prodigy who stopped performing after experiencing trauma. Now a high school student, he has never played the piano again until he meets eccentric violinist Kaori Miyazono. With Kousei playing as an accompanist to Kaori, they grow as musicians and at the same time – grow closer together.
It’s nice to listen to classical music while working at home and this show has a lot of performances you can enjoy spread across its twenty-two episodes. That said, there’s a lot of emotion in this show and you might find yourself suddenly absorbed in its story. Pause the show for a while if you find that it’s getting hard to multitask.