There's ample research to suggest that nature makes us happier and even contributes to positive physical benefits. So any plant in your viewpoint for about eight hours of your day will likely contribute to a happier you.
These mini planter pots are made out of ceramic materials and won't look either childish or overwhelming sitting on your desk. Succulents are a good choice for the workplace because they require little effort (ie. are unlikely to die over a long weekend), and don't have long climbing vines that will wind up bothering your neighbor.
It's nice to have some life to look at when you're indoors for the lion's share of your day, but you don't want to create extra work for yourself, either.
This little guy has over 13,500 reviews on Amazon and a strong 4.6-star rating for a reason. Though it's pretty tiny, which is good for a crowded desk, this humidifier is exceptionally effective and versatile. It'll add moisture to the air and keep your skin from drying out and colds from developing.
If you don't want to decide what the whole office will smell like, you can use it as just a humidifier, and there's an easy measuring cup to use for refills so you don't have to unplug and uproot every time like other humidifiers. And in case you like as little noise as possible in order to concentrate, there's a whisper-quiet function that won't emit any noise.
If you'd like to know more, you can read our review here.
A coffee mug that will keep your drinks hot or cold for hours at a time
There's nothing that can improve your mood quite like a consistently, dependably hot cup of coffee when you're working hard. Whether it's used for your commute to the office or at your desk, this coffee tumbler is made out of stainless steel and was engineered to survive the wild — which makes it perfect for the rougher mornings. I received one as a gift from a friend, and I use it religiously.
Sitting in an office chair day in and day out can result in back pain and poor posture—neither of which you likely want. This is an inexpensive but effective way to curtail the possibility of either happening. Getting a lumbar cushion like this Amazon bestseller will support your spine and improve your posture over time. If you don't love it, you're guaranteed a 100% reimbursement.
If you think de-cluttering your desk will free up some elbow and brain space, you're probably right. It's no secret that clutter can often be linked to anxiety. Having a place for your things and a cleaner workspace could help you feel (and look) more on top of things.
A writing set that will digitize your handwritten notes
If you've ever been in a meeting scribbling down notes and wishing you could have these digitally accessible later, without having to type them up, then this is probably one office hack you'll be interested in.
The Moleskine Smart Writing Set lets you hand-write your notes with a smartpen in a smart notebook and see them transferred in real time into an app on your phone, so you can easily email this week's notes around without wasting your time. The same thing goes for writing notes down on the train on the way to work.
It's particularly great for students or those of us who often have to participate in spaces where technology isn't allowed or just like the pure form of writing, but also the ease of technology. If you'd like to know more, my full review goes into further depth.
If you have trouble focusing in the office or you sit next to a window on a particularly busy street, the Noisli app is incredibly useful. Instead of listening to the sneezing of a coworker who's in a particularly tough battle with allergies, the Noisli app will provide you with some welcome white noise so you can get your work done.
For the meeting way, way downtown that you maybe need directions to or the commute home right after realizing you never charged your phone today, a portable phone charger like one of our favorites here will be a lifesaver. Do yourself a favor and completely cut out the concern of your phone or tablet dying when you need it and invest the $17 in a dependable external battery.
Again, for the meeting way, way downtown where you touched a million different handrails and things that another several million people touched on the way, or just to clean up your hands before touching your workspace after a commute, investing in some Purell is a great idea.
This patented laptop stand is the #1 best seller on Amazon and has 4.8 stars after nearly 3,000 reviews. The fact that so many people rushed to review a laptop stand is confidence-boosting. What it does is raise your laptop screen height to eye level you so don't have to switch from a desktop to hunching over it every time you want to use it.
The tilt design will bring the screen closer and the aluminum panel will cool your laptop as it works. There are a few other useful features, but the main draw is having a stable, more ergonomic way of integrating your laptop into an office space.
Wearing over-ear headphones at the office has a few benefits, but one of the best is that it will keep the outside world out while isolating the music, podcast, or white noise app you're listening to. And unlike earbuds, people are more likely to recognize that you're in the zone. This pair made the list for headphones we wear every day and is considered the best workspace upgrade one Insider Picks reporter has made, even though they cost less than $100.
The repetitive stress of typing on a keyboard can result in the odd fatigue of your wrists, but this gel pad can help reduce the stress you put on your hands when you type. The cushioning is made for flexibility and the gel padding will make sure that the product you buy to make you more comfortable at work actually succeeds in doing exactly that.
Keep your multiple wires from crossing or getting tangled with easy and inexpensive cable managers. These are sold in groups of six, and they'll hold wires up to 5/16" in diameter. They're easily mounted to your desk, the wall next to your desk, or any other flat surfaces with their permanent peel-and-stick backing.