So, you’ve landed the perfect office job. Congratulations! Next step? Customizing your workspace to make your time at the office as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. Many people take this just to mean a photo of your dog and maybe a small desktop plant. While these are great things to include in your desk setup to make your workspace your own, there are also a lot of handy gadgets that can enhance your office experience further. Below is a list of some of our favorite office inventions to keep you productive, organized and comfortable when you clock in for the day.
Stay WarmLet’s face it. Most offices have a climate somewhat resembling an arctic tundra. While this may be fine for the more warm-blooded folks, for those of us who run cold, it can create an extremely uncomfortable work environment, increasing stress and reducing productivity. Luckily, this all too common occurrence has sparked imagination in many office gadget inventors, leading to a wide array of gear to keep you toasty in even the most frigid office environments.
Heated MiceThe heated mouse was perhaps one of the first of such devices meant to keep your hand warm. If you are constantly clicking, resting your hand on an icy mouse can cause you to fear finger hypothermia. Heated mice to the rescue! These mice contain a heating element to keep your hands comfortable, and many have adjustable temperature settings. Plus, since they have been out on the market for awhile, they’re pretty inexpensive. Ranging from less than twenty dollars to more than sixty dollars, you can easily find one that suits you, in a price range that you can afford.
Heated Mouse PadIf a heated mouse seems like a little much, or maybe you’d like something a little more flashy, how about a heated mouse pad? These come in a huge variety of styles, so you can get one that not only keeps your hand warm but also shows off your personality. Heated mouse pads act like a little warm cocoon for your hand, with fabric over the top to keep your hand completely protected from the cold, while still allowing you to use your mouse effectively.
Heated USB Gloves & Hand WarmersHeated mice and mouse pads are great for consistent clicking, but it only provides heat for one hand at a time. If you spend a lot of time typing, you need something that will heat both hands. You could try wearing your bulky winter gloves, but those often prove pretty useless when trying to type. If you’re looking to keep your fingers free from frostbite while retaining finger dexterity, the solution may be in fingerless, heated gloves that plug right into your USB port! Like the heated mouse pad, these gloves come in a plethora of styles to match your taste, so you can get fun and creative while keeping your hands comfortable. Each glove has a small cord that comes out the bottom and plugs into one USB port. Many come with different temperature settings, so you can control how toasty your hands get. You can also get styles that come with foldover mitten tops as well, for times when you aren’t glued to the keys. Or, if you prefer something a little more quirky, there are a ton of fun styles of hand warmers that work the same way as the gloves but simply wrap around your palms rather than wrapping around each individual finger. Another benefit? You can easily find a pair of these ingenious creations for less than ten dollars! At that price, this is one office gadget that every office worker should own.
Heated FootrestYou’ve probably heard about how important creating an ergonomic workspace is for your health - and if you haven’t, you definitely should! Ergonomics is key to promoting health and comfort in an office setting. You can learn more about setting up an ergonomic workspace by reading this article. In order to get your legs, arms and eye level all lined up at the correct angles for ideal posture; many people will require a footrest to make this happen. Adjustable footrests maximize comfort and allow you to maintain a healthy posture while at your desk. Why not take the comfort element one step further, though? You can now find footrests that are not only adjustable but also act as a surface heater for your feet! Rather than plugging a space heater in under your desk that sucks up a lot of power, a dual-purpose heated footrest reduces clutter under your desk, while using minimal energy and keeping your feet nice and cozy.
Stay FitWhen you spend a good portion of your day sitting in front of a computer, your body can start to show negative side effects. In order to stay healthy while working in an office setting, you have to make a special effort to ensure you’re doing right by your body. We all know the basics - get up and stretch regularly, take frequent walk breaks, etc. However, there are some gadgets that make staying fit at your desk even easier.
Darma Seat CushionAn ergonomic office chair is SUPER important for maintaining a healthy work life. Ensuring you have the right posture relieves a ton of pressure off your spine and lower back, and will reduce your risk for a lot of health hazards. Adding a Darma Seat Cushion to your ergonomic chair, however, takes healthy sitting to a whole new level. This seat cushion not only promotes good posture with its design but also tracks your posture and sitting habits by syncing to an app. The app tells you when you’re in a hazardous sitting position, tells you how long you’ve been in one position, and tracks how long you’ve been sitting. It will even alert you when you’ve been sitting too long and let you know that it’s time to get up and move around. This is especially useful when you get consumed in a project and may let your posture and stretch breaks slip your mind. What makes this seat cushion even more awesome, is that it also tracks stress levels! Darma can track your heartbeat and respiration rate to let you know when it’s time to take a break. With pricing between $175 and $200, it is on the spendier side for office gadgets but is a great value to your health.
Ergonomic FootrestThis is for you fidgeters out there. Some people have a really difficult time sitting still, which is a good thing! Constant movement is really good for your health but can be difficult to accomplish while stuck in front of a computer. Constant leg shaking and foot stomping is the option that most of us fidgeters turn to at such times, but it is often less than appreciated by our nearby colleagues. A good solution is an ergonomic footrest, such as the Webble Ergonomic Footrest. These footrests not only give you added height and comfort, but their contoured design also allows you to move your feet and hips around in circular and sweeping motions. This allows you to fidget noiselessly while increasing your circulation and joint movement. While on the spendier side of things (the Webble model, for instance, runs at about $150), an ergonomic footrest is a wonderful office tool for those of us who need to move.
Desk Exercise BikeIf you’re seeking more movement than an ergonomic footrest can provide, an under-the-desk exercise bike may be the ticket. These little pedals rest underneath your desk, and allow you to get a workout while working away. There are many models to choose from, but you want to be careful on which one you select. The least expensive designs tend to be noisier, which can be distracting for both you and your colleagues. If you’re willing to spend a little more, though, you can get a desk exercise bike that is virtually silent and highly effective. Most models have adjustable resistance levels, and low rotation speeds allow you to burn calories without breaking a sweat or losing focus on your work. This is a great item for anyone with mostly sedentary jobs who are looking to stay active.
Desktop HumidifierRemember those arctic office conditions we were talking about? Well, aside from a freezing office being really uncomfortable, having that air conditioner on full blast can also really dry out the air around you, increasing your risk of contracting respiratory illness. An air humidifier seems almost too simple to appear on this list of cool office gadgets, but because it is such a valuable asset to your health, we felt it necessary to include it. Plus, it is one of the least expensive healthy office gadgets! For less than twenty dollars, you can get a fully functional desktop air humidifier that will help you breathe easier in the office. Ranging widely in size and function, you can easily find one that will plug into your USB port while taking up minimal space on your desk.
Stay ProductiveComfort and health are vital components to a happy work environments, but productivity is really what work is all about, right? There are many ways to stay productive, but there are some special gadgets that do more to help keep you focused, organized and on track. Ranging from simple and inexpensive to high-tech and costly, these productivity devices can save time, save space, and help to relieve some of your work day stress.
Digital SmartpenIf you are constantly writing notes and reminders, but are tired of post-its taking over your desk, and are seeking a more organized way to track your thoughts, a digital smartpen is an excellent solution. Ranging widely in cost and features, these tools allow you to jot down your notes on any surface and have them digitally uploaded to your computer. Some even have the ability to record audio. So, when going through your notes from your last meeting, you can click on a word from your notes and have the audio from the point you wrote that word starts to play. Plus, being able to digitally store all your notes in one place makes for less paper and greater organization. Some smartpens require special paper or work with a specific tablet, but some allow you to write on any surface - even the back of your hand! It all comes down to what features you need, and how much you’re willing to spend. No matter which model you go with, though, a digital smartpen is an excellent way to keep track of all of your important information.
Noise Cancelling HeadphonesIf you work in an open office environment, you know that the noise from your surroundings can at times be very distracting. Reducing outside distractions to really focus on the task at hand can seem impossible with constant chatter and movement around you, but noise-canceling headphones can go along way to block out sound and help keep you on track. An added bonus? When wearing a large pair of over-the-head headphones at your desk, it’s a good signal to your coworkers that you’re focused and not available to chat. Keep in mind, though, that to buy true noise cancellation headphones, you’re going to be spending over $100. To buy a really awesome pair, you’re looking at several hundred dollars. Not all headphones are created the same, so be sure to read reviews and try them out before purchasing if possible.
Okay, so this one is kind of a no-brainer. With all of these USB-compatible gadgets we’re suggesting, you may be wondering, ‘who has that many USB ports?’ Well, no one does. That’s where a USB hub comes in. It’s like a surge protector for your computer. Whether you need four or twenty-four USB ports, if you use a lot of electronic devices, this gadget will help you keep them organized and plugged in. It also helps you save time trying to figure out which cord you can unplug to plug in your currently needed device. It’s a simple, yet effective, productivity tool.