In the spirit of the well-known theme of “life hacks”, we figured it would be cool to share some of our favorite “desk hacks” with you all. While not all of these unique desk hacks may be completely applicable to you personally, at the very least you’ll definitely get a kick out of reading them. And they could even potentially spark some ideas for your own creative hacks to enhance your desk setup and overall work productivity. Keep reading to check them out below!
Protect your Coffee Mug from dust. A lot of companies give out free mugs with the company name on to new employees on their first day. But even if they don’t, plenty of employees bring their own mugs to work, many of which also leave them at their desks overnight. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that even in the cleanest company around, there will always be dust collecting overnight, especially for a mug that is left out in the open rather than in a more confined storage cabinet. If you are concerned with dust getting into your mug, a very easy solution is to simply flip the mug upside down before you leave work for the day. This ensures that no dust can collect overnight, and that your mug is clean and ready to use as soon as you return the next day. If you just recently used your mug and it hasn’t dried out yet, make sure that part of the mug is sitting over the edge of the desk, to ensure that there is ample air flow for any moisture to evaporate as well, thus preventing mold from developing at the same time. This is a relatively simple trick that provides a very palpable health benefit, since I don’t think anyone would argue that drinking coffee (or any liquid for that matter) filled with dust particles is particularly good for you.
Grease Your Chair for silent office exits. This one is definitely pretty silly but can totally be applicable to anyone who leaves work relatively early compared to their peers. In the afternoons, especially as the typical clock out time (i.e. 5pm or so) starts approaching, people in the office are much more cognizant of sounds and who is still in the office versus who has already bolted. This is especially true of managers overseeing their own direct reports. If you have even the slightest squeak in your chair, it is usually fairly obviously to everyone around you that you are on the way out, and if you are leaving particularly early, it becomes even more apparent. For those who are particularly self-conscious about such exits from work, make sure to grease up your office chair and ensure that when you lean forward out of your seat that there is no audible noise, thus ensuring a clean getaway every time. Note that leaving work early is not inherently bad, depending on your own personal work ethic and hours, but there is always a stigma tied to leaving early for whatever reason. So even if you are a great worker, this tip can still apply to you.
Label your loose objects at your desk. Nothing is more frustrating than looking for something at your desk that has mysteriously been misplaced. In fact, more often than not it isn’t actually misplaced but simply taken by someone else in the office who may have seen it at your cubicle and thought no one would notice if they took it. Regardless of whether the pens, tape, staplers and other office tools are valuable, it is still a pain to have to replace them when they get “lost”. To remedy this situation, buy yourself a label printer and print out your name onto every single piece of loose office supplies at your desk. Although someone could easily remove the label if they really wanted to, the true purpose of putting the label on is to deter people from stealing it in the first place. Psychologically speaking, when someone sees a label denoting ownership of an object, they are less likely to take it for themselves. This will help save a lot of time (and even some money) having to constantly replace your tools. The only time you’d really need to replace them in that case is if you actually lose them yourself!
Buy a convex mirror to watch your back while working. Most cubicles in the modern office space are designed to have your computer facing away from the cubicle entrance. Whether you are facing an adjacent wall to the entrance or to the completely opposite wall, the point of this is to encourage workers to always be working rather than goofing off on Facebook or whatever the case may be. However, if you do sometimes get off track with your work, a convex mirror is the perfect tool for you. It is basically a mirror that curves outward, giving you a wide field of view behind you. And these mirrors are typically very small, to the point where it only becomes viewable for someone who is right up next to the mirror (i.e. you) rather than someone looking at the mirror from afar. Although you can’t perfectly keep an eye out and switch applications on your computer with this hack, it makes it a lot easier to keep observe when someone may be approaching your desk, allowing you to more naturally switch applications and get back to “work” before they arrive.
So there you have it, our top 4 unique desk hacks! Each of these desk hacks are fairly simple to implement meaning if they resonate with you personally, you can start using them fairly quickly. But even if none of these particular desk hacks are right for you personally, this article should have hopefully given you some inspiration into ways that you can significantly improve your own overall work environment in general. With a little bit of creativity on your end, you may be able to come up with even better desk hacks than those listed above!