There are a lot of things that are relatively essential at your desk to help you actually work (a computer, pens, post-its etc.) but don’t overlook the little essentials that make life at your desk just that little bit more comfortable. I’m a very ‘be prepared’ type (possibly due to being a Girl Guide when I was young?) so I like my desk to be well supplied in case of emergency (whether that be a hair-related emergency or otherwise).
These are my 10 non-work desk essentials to make my life a little easier and keep me a little more prepared for my day:
1. Water bottle or glass – keeping hydrated is so important, especially when you work in an office with air conditioning. It’s really easy to get caught up in your work and forget to go get a drink so keeping a glass or a water bottle on your desk is a good physical reminder to drink more water but it also acts a good prompt to get up from your desk and go refill it. You should be getting up from your desk and walking around at least once an hour so when your water glass is empty is a good time to get up for a walk.
2. Lip balm – my lips can get really dry at work so having a pot of lip balm (I use Trilogy Everything Balm) within easy reach means my lips never get too dry.
3. A mini makeup stash – perfect for quick touchups at the office or if you’re heading out for drinks after work. The actual contents of your makeup stash will differ depending on what products you use but I have some concealer, a lip and cheek tint, a red lipstick and a mini mascara. The mini products that you get in gift packs or as samples are ideal for your work or handbag makeup stash.
4. Elastic bands and bobby pins – nothing ruins my day faster than a bad hair day, and sometimes hair can turn on you quickly! I always keep elastic bands and bobby pins around (at my desk, in my handbag, in the car…) for any hair emergencies that need fixing.
5. Tissues (or go waste-free with a handkerchief) – no one likes sitting next to someone that is sniffing all day because they don’t have tissues, don’t be that person! Get a box of tissues to live on your desk, or at least have a mini pack of tissues in your desk drawer or handbag. Or better yet, get a handkerchief to be more waste-free at your desk!
6. Phone charger – I take back what I said about a bad hair day ruining my day, having my phone die is a surefire way for my day to be ruined! I live in fear of my phone running out of battery so I always have a phone charger around (and a portable power supply for those times I’m not going to be around a power point!).
7. Headphones – I work in a large open plan office and sometimes it’s just a bit much and I need to tune out the noise and focus on my work. Having headphones means I can listen to music, a podcast, or just take advantage of their noise cancelling nature and listen to nothing at all. It’s also perfect for when I’m not in a super chatty mood and don’t really want to be disturbed while I’m doing my work. My wireless headphones live in my handbag but I also have a set of Apple headphones permanently living at my desk, just in case.
8. Loose change – I make sure I have a stash of coins for a couple of reasons. The first (and probably most vital) is in case I forget my wallet and am in desperate need of a chai latte (or a coffee when I used to drink them). Then there are the other occasions some coinage is handy like when a card is being circulated and I need to have a little money to contribute to a gift, or if there is a fundraising morning tea at work. I very rarely have cash on me these days (especially because I use a phone case as my actual wallet) so this is a must-have for me.
9. Cutlery – this might seem like a bit of an odd one, but our communal kitchen is woefully short on cutlery so I always make sure I have my own. Plus if I grab something takeaway for lunch (very rarely) I would much rather use my own proper metal cutlery than dodgy plastic cutlery that is horribly wasteful (as you would know, cutting down on single use plastics is something I’m trying to be more aware of) and is usually very poorly equipped for the task (have you ever tried to cut through something with a plastic knife?).
10. Personal touches – this might not seem very essential but I love looking at my photos of Grace that I have pinned to my cubicle. It makes time at work more enjoyable and makes my desk feel like a very small home away from home. Next up I would like to add a pot-plant (although my track record of keeping indoor plants alive is sketchy at best) to add some colour and life to my desk.
What are your non-work desk essentials?