There are a lot of little things that get us through the work day.
Equally important to our own internal inspiration, some days, are our office accessories. We spend a good chunk of time, sometimes over 40 hours a week, in our offices; why shouldn’t they contain things we enjoy and make our lives a little easier and more luxurious?
It might seem silly -- why would a cool pen make it easier to get your work done? -- but we are human and feeling delight and happiness during our days does keep us motivated to keep going! Work doesn’t always have to be a slog; little sparks of joy can make it feel more comfortable and relaxing to be at work.
Before adding anything to your desk or office, think about what it adds to your productivity. Some things are obvious, like a notebook, but other things provide a different kind of benefit. Accessories like lighting, planters, and cute paper clips are fun to have around, and make your work space a nicer place to be. This positive energy can contribute to your work ethic. The better you feel about what’s around you, the better you’ll do.
These are some of the easiest office accessories to add to your space and will look great, in addition to being useful.
Light therapy lamp
The shorter months of winter can mean motivation is a little harder to find. More than 10 million people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a depression that starts in late fall and through the winter as days are shorter. Experts believe it’s hormonal and the change in light disrupts the body’s natural rhythmic balance. Managing SAD at the office or during working hours can be difficult, when it’s often dark on your way both into and out of the office.
Adding a light therapy lamp to your desk can help on office days. The devices increase serotonin, thus boosting your mood, just like the sun does during the super-sunny months.
Snag a lamp, like this Gladle portable version, from Amazon. It comes equipped with a 30-minute timer and plugs into a standard USB port. They are specifically designed to emulate the sun’s rays, unlike a regular desk lamp, to help you feel happier and more balanced.
Thank you cards
A little gratitude can go a long way. Keep a pack of thank you cards tucked in your desk, so you never have to wait when it’s time to say thank you. Make gratitude an easy part of your routine.
You never know when you may need to send a quick note to a colleagues who’s done you a favor or to a client that makes your job possible.
Blue light-blocking glasses
Do you have digital eye strain? Probably! 60 percent of Americans say they do and nearly a third say they spend more than eight hours a day in front of a screen. If you land in that category, or are nearing it, consider keeping a pair of blue light blocking glasses at your desk, even if you have perfect vision.
Felix Gray glasses filter the blue light that computer screens emit. That’s what causes the tired, dry, twitchy eye feeling you feel at the end of a long work day. The stylish frames start at $95 and you can also have them made with a prescription.
Jelbow ergonomic gel pads
While we’re on the subject of office ailments, let’s talk about elbows. They sit on a hard surface all day. It’s easy to develop so-called “computer elbow,” which is kind of like tennis elbow but with far less impressive footwork. Searing arm pain as the result of endless hours of research and typing is serious, especially when a deadline is nearing.
Gel elbow pads become a necessity in these situations. They don’t take up any room and don’t detract from the aesthetic of a space (but even if they did...so worth it). These Jelbow pads are perfect for saving your elbows from long days of typing.
And if you work at different spaces a lot, don’t worry -- these are easy to throw in a work bag and take along.
It’s great when an office feels comfortable; if you spend a lot of time there, it shouldn’t feel like you’re trapped in an uncomfortable position all day long.
On top of that, even slight discomfort throughout the day -- while easy to ignore -- is often a signal that long term damage is slowly being done. Enter, your feet.
The angle of your legs and feet in your desk chair can have a huge impact on your back, especially your low back. You probably don’t realize it, but you will in a few decades. Supporting your back now will save you a lot of pain in the future.
Even if you’ve got just a small space to spare, an ottoman to put your feet up is a great addition to any office. Tuck it under your desk, and rest your feet on it while you’re typing away.
You can also pull it up when you’re ready to start writing or brainstorming and want to kick back in your chair a little. Having a place that offers even just a little bit of relaxation can have a big impact on work, and easing into some heavy writing or research is actually welcomed in a less tense environment.
An ottoman, like this small option from Amazon, can also be used as an extra seat for guests. So invite everybody over to your space the next time you need a big idea.
Daily organizer notepad
The perfect office space isn’t complete without an accessory to keep you on track. If you’re beyond a basic to-do list and you have a lot of tasks to keep track of every day, it’s time to add a Today Organizer Pad from Ink+Volt to your desk.
Make it the first thing you do each morning or the final thing you do before you take off for the day. Either way, it’s sure to keep you on task and help you focus your daily plans and goals.
Coffee mug and coasters
There’s probably a coffee-stained mug available for use at the kitchenette at your office, or a bland styrofoam cup that will eventually get discarded along with a half-cold cup of drip. They get the job done, but they’re not cute and probably not your style. Keep a mug in your office space that will make you smile when you need a little caffeine buzz.
Keep it with a minimal stoneware mug from a local thrift shop or splurge on a piece that’s sure to be the breaktime envy of the office. Keep a travel mug at your desk for all of those coffee runs to the cafe down the street or when you’re on the move from meeting to meeting. Having an accessory that keeps you fueled is paramount!
And don’t forget to keep your desk neat and tidy by using a coaster: these inspirational coasters are made from high quality felt and have inspiring words printed on them to keep you energized (no matter how much coffee you’ve had today).
Some notes or doodles are best erased. For quick reminders or messages, keep a whiteboard at your desk. It comes in handy when you’re writing down notes during a phone call or you really just need to remember a quick task that’ll likely slip your mind over the course of the work day.White boards, even small ones, also serve really well for initial brainstorming sessions when you’re not quite sure which direction you’re going yet.