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- The right tools can amplify your attention or decrease distractions and clutter while you work, no matter where your office is.
- These are the items we keep on our desks to help us stay focused and comfortable in our home offices, and produce better work.
- Read more: Simple accessories to help you declutter your workspace - all under $25
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The catch-22 of having your office where you live is that you're surrounded by well, your home. Instead of the usual work setup with an ergonomic rolling chair, large desk, and organizers of every kind, you're working with a kitchen table and chair setup that contribute to a longer and less enjoyable workday.
These items aren't going to keep all the distractions at bay, but after working in our new home offices for the past six months, they've definitely kept us more focused, productive, and comfortable - even at our kitchen tables.
Here are 20 useful desk accessories:
I had a makeshift standing desk setup at home, and if you've ever had something similar, you know the position can be tiring on your feet. Fluidstance's balance boards help you stabilize your body and relieve some of the tension of standing, plus they're just plain fun to use. I found it to be a great way to train my balance and keep my body moving, and I love that the wooden design actually looks attractive, too. — Connie Chen, senior reporterA keyboard cover to protect against loud typing and messes
This silicone keyboard cover muffles any sounds of clacking keys, which may help avoid all nonsensical arguments six months through a pandemic. It also protects against food crumbs and spills. — Jada Wong, senior editorA cute little succulent
This little potted succulent is a cute way to add some greenery to your desk without taking up a lot of room. The cardboard "pot" is only a little wider than your average coffee mug but 10 times cuter. — Jada Wong, senior editorA sleek vertical phone charger
It holds my phone up vertically, so I can see when notifications pop up even when it's charging. It's a great, subtle-looking charger and it doesn't cost much, so it's a great addition to any desk, provided your phone charges wirelessly (most of the new ones do). — Malarie Gokey, deputy editorA stainless steel travel mug
This insulated mug keeps my coffee hot for hours, so even if a meeting runs long or I get so focused on something that I forget to drink it. My drink always seems to stay nice and steamy. — Sally Kaplan, senior editorA wireless charging pad
Courant is a new startup that takes care of your functional needs (like charging your phone) while maintaining style and sophistication. Its sleek, Qi-certified wireless charger is made from high-grade aluminum and features a braided nylon cord and pebble-grain Italian leather top, making it the most luxe charging option your money can get. If you want to make your desk look as stylish as you do, this tech accessory will impress both you and your coworkers. — Connie Chen, senior reporterA posture belt for back pain
I swear by the BetterBack for helping me to maintain good posture at my desk and relieving both upper and lower back pain throughout the day. I have a few slipped discs in my spine, so I deal with pretty chronic discomfort. This is the only tool (not counting stretching and acupuncture) that has ever helped mitigate my pain, which helps me focus on my work instead of on my back. You can read my full review of the BetterBack here, and I'd suggest speaking with your doctor before using this. — Sally Kaplan, senior editorA webcam cover
It's an incredibly cheap source of peace of mind. I put a small cover over the camera on my laptop. If Mark Zuckerberg is covering his, the least I can do is cover mine. — Breton Fischetti, VP of CommerceA heating pad
A heating pad is another excellent way to stay warm in a cold space. This is the one I use; I prop it up so that it's sandwiched between my lower back and my desk chair. It has six heat settings and automatically turns off after two hours of use. — Ellen Hoffman, executive editorA reusable smart notebook
This is a good compromise for me as someone who learns better by writing things down but doesn't want to waste the paper or give up digitized notes. When you write on the Everlast notebook pages with an accompanying pen, you can later erase your writing with a damp cloth and reuse the same page over and over again. You can also digitize your handwritten notes using an app. I personally love it because it feels just like writing on paper, but reduces waste and the storage of tons of old notebooks. We also included it in our Buying Guide to the best smart notebooks you can buy. — Mara Leighton, senior reporterA luxe seat cushion
I asked for a Purple Seat Cushion for Christmas after reading Jessica Klein's review, and it's amazing what an instant and marked improvement it's made. Besides improving my posture while seated, it has made sitting down all day significantly more comfortable. — Ellen Hoffman, executive editorA wireless fast charger that clears up cables
My ideal workspace is neat and clutter-free, so I like to keep the number of things on my desk to a minimum. In doing so, I've gotten rid of wires wherever possible. The iOttie iON Wireless Plus is my solution to doing away with my normal iPhone cable. It looks great, doesn't take up much space, and charges my iPhone a lot faster than the standard power adapter and cable. — Amir Ismael, reporterA nice leather mouse pad
I actually use this as a desk pad instead of a mouse pad. It adds style and personality to my desk while also keeping my keyboard and planner from slipping around. — Malarie Gokey, deputy editor
I love the sleek look of this mouse pad, but more importantly, I love that it's huge. When I'm trying to screenshot something, drag an image around, or move between my two monitors, it accommodates my sweeping motions. — Sally Kaplan, senior editorA nearly indestructible plant
Plant delivery company Leon & George told me this tropical plant is "near-indestructible" and it was completely right. When I had this in the office for a half-year before we went remote, I've quite honestly neglected this plant. I water it whenever I feel like it or happen to remember, but it's still looking great and it brings me a lot of joy. The incorporation of greenery has made my desk set-up feel less sterile, and it couldn't be easier to take care of. The process of ordering from Leon & George was also painless. You can browse plants by size, benefits, and light needed, and your order arrives at your door fresh and carefully packaged. Read our full review here. — Connie Chen, senior reporterComputer glasses
I don't need prescription eyeglasses, but I wear a pair of blue light glasses when I work long days and later at night to avoid messing with my circadian rhythm since that's the kind of thing that can ruin a week (and my energy) by Wednesday morning. They're also just a welcome break from direct exposure to my devices sometimes. Read our full review here. — Mara Leighton, senior reporterA temperature control mug with a heating pad
I'm the kind of person who makes tea and forgets about it until it has become iced tea. Having a smart mug that keeps itself warm with a heating pad is life-changing. My Ember mug — which I named "Hot Stuff" as a joke and a reference to an album by The Killers — keeps my tea warm hours after I've made it. — Malarie Gokey, deputy editor
A cute Post-It note dispenser
I'm obsessed with Post-It notes and cats, so this cat-shaped Post-It note dispenser is one of my favorite desk decorations. It holds my Post-Its perfectly and it looks cute on my desk. It's also weighted so it's hard to knock over, and if a real cat happened to walk on my desk, they'd struggle to knock it off. — Malarie Gokey, deputy editorA wireless mouse
It's not just that this mouse is wireless and thus de-clutters my space, it's also that it's ergonomic. It's never glitched out on me and it always does what I need it to do — it's that simple. — Sally Kaplan, senior editorAn insulated sport water bottle
I use this water bottle everywhere I go. It keeps my tea hot for hours, my cold brew cold for over 24 hours (with ice cubes intact), and has a conveniently durable build and no-drip or drop design for the gym. It's pretty cheap for a stainless steel water bottle, and the clip at the top means I can attach it to backpacks or duffel bags with clip-on straps for easy carrying. — Mara Leighton, senior reporterWhere to find more desk recommendations
- The best desk for your home office
- The best standing desks for your home
- The Uplift standing desk is one of the best additions I've made to my work-from-home setup
- The best standing desk mats
- The Ergodriven Topo standing desk mat isn't cheap at $99, but it really helps with sore feet and muscle fatigue
- The best office chairs
- This fully adjustable office chair relieves my back pain and supports my entire body
- I've been working at home full-time and can't imagine doing it without this desk and chair
- The best active seating for your office
- The best laptop stands
- The best desk lamps for your office
- The best 2020 planners
- Tech gadgets we use to boost our productivity and comfort when we work from home
- The best computer mice
- The best noise-canceling headphones
- The best cheap headphones
- The best wireless earbuds
- The best webcams