You’ve got your smart phone, you’re addicted to your Blackberry, your laptop is wirelessly connected to the Space Station, and you can run it all from the local coffee shop using web-based project management. Groovy, you’ve mastered these basic and not-so-basic tools. But what else does […]

You’ve got your smart phone, you’re addicted to your Blackberry, your laptop is wirelessly connected to the Space Station, and you can run it all from the local coffee shop using web-based project management. Groovy, you’ve mastered these basic and not-so-basic tools.

But what else does it take to keep your web work flowing? Here are my top picks:

1. USB-Powered Garments: Keeping the temperature low is good for your computing equipment, but bad for your extremities. Luckily there are suitably geeky options — from gloves to slippers you can get a lot of warmth directly from your USB ports.

2. Espresso Machine: Sometimes you need the jolt but you don’t want to take a jaunt to the cafe. Or maybe you’re one of those rural web workers, and it’s a two-day hike to the nearest Starbucks. It is time to take control of the means of production and ramp up your in-house coffee production equipment. You can get started in the wonderful world of home fancy coffee making for less than $200, and you’ll be amazed how much espresso you can drink when you can pump out a shot anytime you want. Buzzzz.

3. Headset Wardrobe: It requires a frightening number of headsets to keep me in touch: wireless Bluetooth for the computer, plus a Bluetooth back up when the primary flakes out during a videoconference, two wired headsets with a mini-pin in for the phone, one that hooks on my non-Bluetooth ear and a second that’s a bit more “Time-Life operator” for really long conversations, and finally a third wired headset and amplifier for the computer when the wireless just won’t work.

4. Flowers: Gazing at an alternative to what is flickering across the screen(s) on your desk is invigorating when you need to refresh your focus or vision. Almost any living thing will serve this purpose: a fish tank, a hermit crab, plants and flowers, or what have you. If your office is lacking in windows, it’s even more important to get another living thing to join you in your workspace.

5. The Perfect Chair: The one piece of equipment that you touch more than any other is your office chair, and its role in your energy level, comfort, and overall health is hard to overstate. My latest choice: a large exercise ball. It keeps me moving, sitting up straight, and makes it seem just a little more fun in my office. Plus, as a business-extremely-casual web worker, I’m not confronted with any skirt-related awkwardness that might be a problem in a more traditional office setting.

What accessories make your workday more productive, more comfortable, or more fun?

By Sabra Aaron

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  1. [...] Web Worker Daily » Blog Archive Office Accessories We Can’t Live Without « [...]

  2. I only use the bluetooth headset. But I really miss some good chair =/

  3. Groove Salad on SomaFM. Is that an accessory? It should be. I can’t make it through a work day without caffeine and Groove Salad.

  4. An accessory i am relying on quite often, especially when i get bored of everything on my screen (seriously, it can happen), is my wife. You can find one of those on any dating site, for free at first. Then you pay.

  5. Once I started using an exercise ball as an office chair, I can’t imagine how I ever lived without it. I bought mine at Target for less than $12 and ended up buying a second one for my 9 to 5 office as well.

    For web work, I can’t live without legal pads. I’m very comfortable with digital data, but for coding and design there’s something about physically drawing things out and sticking them on a corkboard that I just can’t let go of.

    Great article!


  6. my BT headset does my macbook and my cell (nokia e61), I have the espresso machine (no starbucks in this country, grrrr), I have my videocam and digicam sitting in front of me and a dedicated voip line to keep business flowing. I sit on a ball (yes, you’ve read it right) to keep my back in good condtion. I work mainly from home and try and do long phonecalls on my balcony enjoying the sunshine end the air outside. And, more impartantly, I have the big stereo headset on iTunes to listen to my favorite station (I won’t reveil which one)….

  7. I agree with the headset to be plugged into iTunes – it’s a must. But instead of the big stereo headset, I like earbuds so I can pull one out of my ear and keep the other in, just in case I need to halfway listen to someone speaking to me, or just eavesdrop.

    The exercise ball for a chair – I did that in my very first job in 2000 but once those hours started getting longggggg, I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s such a brilliant idea though, and fab for the abs. Ab fab, if you will.

    My other accessories? Ergonomically friendly mousepad and wristrest when at my desktop, a laptop cooling pad that hooks into my USB port so my dual-processor laptop doesn’t implode or give my legs second-degree burns, and last but most certainly not least, my Franklin Covey Planner which serves as an excellent and necessary supplement to my beloved beloved color-coded Outlook calendar.

    Great topic!

  8. I can’t do without my dual LCD displays. They are not too large (19″ model). I started in my home office and begged the boss to let me have the same setup in the office. He was reluctant at first but later caved. Now 7 of my coworkers have the same setup and can’t imagine life with a single display. Next on my list is an espresso machine connected to my office chair.

  9. USB is my best choice !

  10. @Kelly: Groove Salad is awesome for staying focused.

    With regards to the exercise ball chair situation, I discovered the Swopper chair. A quick online search will help you find retailer, but brace yourself for the sticker shock. From my experience, it provides the “ab fab” factor, but in a more adjustable fashion. Lately I’ve been switching between it and a regular office chair depending on the type of work I’m doing. A side effect is having everyone stop by my office to bounce on the “mushroom chair”. Take a look at one and you’ll see why it’s received that nickname.


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