The 13 Must-Have Desk Items for Your Inevitable Office Return
Re-enter the workforce with safety and organization top of mind — and a really good pair of noise-cancelling headphones
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While several companies postponed their expected post-Labor Day office return due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns — and a few have even given up the idea of setting a date for requiring workers to report in person — we are slooooooowly seeing a trickling back of white-collar types to their cubicles.
If you’re like us, you picked up some good new work habits when you were WFH. And now, as you re-enter an ever-changing and uncertain shared environment, you may want to bring some of those ideas (meaning: sanitizing tech, a variety of charging devices and good headphones) along to help you integrate back into the before-times world.
Below, 12 items that’ll help you with the 2021 office life — with an emphasis on safety, organization and leaving a small footprint.
Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 45
The bonus of over-ear headphones over earbuds, besides improved sound quality? They visually make a loud statement that you are “in the zone” and not to be disturbed. Launching this week, Bose’s latest noise-cancelling cans offer 24 hours of listening time, improved voice isolation (when you need to be on calls or Zoom) and a new “AWARE Mode” that offers transparency … for those moments when you need to know what your co-workers are discussing.
UV Sanitizer: PhoneSoap Wireless
Clean the one thing you touch more than anything else in a day. PhoneSoap kills 99.99% of microbes while charging your wireless device; there’s a USB-A port if you’re using an older phone (or, the company does also offer a more portable version and another built for larger or bulkier phones. For an actual hand sanitizer, we like Touchland’s portable spray, but we’re assuming your office is well stocked with wipes, sanitizer and other Covid gear.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses: Ottoto Piero Tortoise Glasses
Whether you’re working from home or back in the office, protecting your assets (see: eyeballs) is a must for a healthy, headache-free workday. A pair of blue light-blocking glasses, like these handsome ones from Ottoto Piero are the perfect counterbalance to the copious amount of screen time you’re sure to be dealing with. Stick them at your desk and reap the benefits. As an added bonus, the beauty of non-prescription glasses means that you can pick and choose the best style for you.
Earbuds: EarFun Air Pro 2
If you prefer an audio option that’s a little less obtrusive and lighter weight, the new Air Pro 2 ‘buds offer an affordable active noise-cancelling alternative — and that case will charge wirelessly, too. Plus, each earbud has six mics to keep your voice clear while muting background noise.
Pen Holder: Airmoon Mini Ceramics
In the last 18 months, the best organizational item I bought was actually intended for the bathroom — the Airmoon is first and foremost a (sanitary) toothbrush holder. But the company also suggests their stand is an ideal place to hold a pen, and I agree: Instead of rummaging through my desk, my preferred writing instrument is always in eyesight and readily available. Minimalism at its best.
Monitor: ViewSonic VX2485-MHU
Thanks to more people working from home and production delays worldwide, it’s still hard to find a good monitor. But do definitely get one — or add another to your existing desktop situation — because hunching over a laptop screen is bad for your eyesight and your back. This ViewSonic model is slim, the screen is pretty much borderless, it can tilt and swivel in quite a wide range and it’s designed to pretty much eliminate the spaghetti of cables cluttering your desk. It’ll even help you charge your laptop.
Water Bottle: LARQ Bottle PureVis
Grossest thing on your desk? Your water bottle. So try this: Available in two sizes and multiple pleasing colors (and a more lightweight option if needed), LARQ’s bottles feature UV-C LEDs in the cap that can rid your water of up to 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses.
Charging Pad: Courant Catch:3 Essentials
Both a stylish wireless charger and valet, Courant’s catch-all is wrapped in Belgian Linen and offers up a place to throw your odds and ends while charging your phone or earbuds (Courant also has a smaller multi-device charger if you’d rather just concentrate on powering up).
Seat Cushion: Purple Double Seat Cushion
You can’t work from bed anymore, but you want comfort. Utilizing a “Grid” technology, this desk cushion — which, when covered, isn’t actually purple — cradles your tailbone, keeps your butt cool and bounces back even after a full day of sitting down. Pair it with Purple’s like-minded back cushion and you’ll save a few bucks, too.
Air Purifier: LEVOIT Air Purifier
OK, official statement first from the EPA: “By themselves, portable air cleaners and HVAC filters are not enough to protect people from the virus that causes COVID-19.” But they can be part of a larger plan for safety, plus help with smoke, pollen and other air pollutants that aren’t necessarily coronavirus-based. Plus, having this sleek unit (which works best in spaces up to 219 square feet) near your work space suggests that maybe people should stay a few feet away.
Lunch Container: Porter 5-Piece Pantry Bundle
Ditch plastic if you’re bringing your lunch, and invest in these colorful silicone and borosilicate glass containers from W&P, which can hold salads, sandwiches and soups (the latter requires the seal tight bowls). They’re dishwasher- and microwave-safe, too.
A lightweight and customizable set of wooden desktop shelves, which allow you to configure your space, get rid of clutter and provide a bit of visual blockage against your nosy desk neighbor.
Wireless Mouse: Logitech Pebble M350
Saving my wrist, this slim and quiet wireless mouse — available in multiple soft colors — has greatly improved my screen (and scrolling) experience. Plus, it’ll last eighteen months on a single battery.
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