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10 Desk Hacks to Improve Your Thinking and Alertness At Work (Infographic)

office gadgets

Forward-thinking companies are open to new technology that will boost collective productivity and individual performance. Even as cloud-based services, tools, and platforms have made work relatively easy and manageable, there is a need to go the extra mile to keep you and everyone on your team on your feet. Good for you, there are plenty of available desk hacks from the practical to the innovative for organizations of any size.

Are you ready to invest in productivity tools? Here’s a closer look at each gadget:

1. Dry Erase Desks

Dry Erase Desks

It’s as straightforward as it sounds. Jot down to-do lists, calculations, ideas, and memos where you spend most of your time: the workstation. Organize information and outline thoughts using thinking maps that you can view on your desk. As early as 1970, the Innovative Science Incorporated saw the benefits of thinking maps to the workforce such as improvements in thinking and problem-solving abilities. Now you can create them in offline mode and on a larger space than a notepad.

The dry erase desk resolves the clutter and storage issues brought by paper products and movable whiteboards. Coat the table top with whiteboard paint or have the desk custom-built. Stores like IKEA also sell it if you want to expedite the acquisition process.

2. USB Cup Warmers

USB Cup warmers

Has your coffee gone cold? From now on, you can keep your cup of joe warm even if you’ve let it sit on the desk for too long. With the USB cup warmer, you won’t have to make frequent trips to the pantry to replace your leftover coffee. It may seem small, but this benefit helps you stay on top of your tasks.

Caffeine, the chemical found in your favorite drink, reaches the brain fast, stimulating your central nervous system as a result. It’s what keeps you alert and feeling less tired after downing a cup. It’s a pick-me-upper, too, as it also increases the release of the feel-good neurotransmitters called dopamine in your brain. No wonder 83% of adults in the US were addicted to the beverage, according to a 2013 survey.

3. Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners

Sometimes, the productivity gadget you need is a low-tech one. All you have to do is give a fidget spinner a whirl. The small, spinning toy reportedly produces a pleasurable effect. It helps boost concentration as well as ease stress, anxiety and work pressure. Think of it as a new-age stress ball.

If you are wondering how in the world it becomes this simple, science may have the theories but not the answer yet. One possible explanation is that fidgeting allows your body to move, which is natural, while thinking or writing. To stay motionless while writing an email or manipulating spreadsheets would feel unnatural, wouldn’t it? Another possibility is the “predictability, familiarity, and structure” that comes with playing the fidget spinner. It becomes a sort of ritual while you get work done.

4. Wireless Charging Mats and Pads

Wireless charging mats and pads

The rise of mobile devices has also paved the way for some companies to create a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy. Employees are allowed to take their smartphones, tablets, and notebooks to work. They can then use these devices to access company information and applications. Unfortunately, these high-tech gizmos do not yet have long-lasting batteries. This part is where a wireless charging mat or pad comes in. You can make the gadgets last as you work while keeping the tangled mess of charging cables out of your sight.

5. Cable Management Boxes

cable management boxes

Consider using cable management boxes if your workplace has more wired devices than mobile ones. Your office will look clutter-free and organized. The boxes come in different designs available, so you can choose one that matches your office interior. More importantly, it prevents people from accidentally tripping over electrical wires. This setup adheres to the safety regulations required in the workplace.

6. Wearables


Wearables have permeated the office culture, but they have also gained a mountain of mixed reactions. Fitness trackers help employees monitor their stress levels and overall health. On the other hand, they also serve as employee-surveillance devices. A UK survey shows that 65% of experts expressed their concern over personal data points and how they’re handled in the back room. The key here is to find if it’s a good fit with your company culture.

7. Tracking Stickers

tracking stickers

Do you tend to misplace stuff, especially the tiniest ones? You can now track them with an equally tiny sticker, just about the size of a US quarter. How does it work? Sync the sticker with a dedicated smartphone app, tag your stuff, and the sticker will let you know how far they are from you. It can detect up to 100 feet away, so it’s a godsend for those who always drops something from their desk.

8. Pocket Printers 

pocket printers

Clunky printers have no place on your desk. But it can also be time-consuming — and a privacy risk — to print important documents from your laptop to the office printer, which is usually in a public area in the company of the shredder. The mobile, wireless one is your best bet. Good thing portable printers are making more buzz nowadays, even if they have been around for years.

9. 2-in-1 “Tabtops”

2 in 1 tabtops

A hybrid between a tablet and a laptop, “tabtops” are fast becoming the device of choice in some organizations. They look like your typical laptop but with the capabilities of Transformers. That is you can detach the screen from the keyboard and turn it into a sleek tablet. These gadgets are pretty handy for shifting between working at your desk and taking notes or presenting during a meeting.

10. Router Security Boxes

router security boxes

Statistics warn that the annual cost of cybercrime will exceed $6 trillion by 2020. Cyber attacks are the single biggest reason office productivity can reach the valley lows. Ramp up your security strategy using internet of things (IoT) security boxes, which protect devices connected to the cloud and then data.

Check out the infographic below for a summary of the desk productivity tools you can include in your shopping list.


Paul Hickman