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?