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25 Doodads And Knick Knacks That Will Brighten Up Your Days Working From Home

There’s plenty to love about working and learning from home, but we all know that it can get pretty boring, bland, and lonely.

Daniel Fernandez · 9 months ago

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Areaware / Rubik's Cube / Yoga Joes

In the old days, if your boss told you to “work from home,” I’m sure you’d either faint, ask them if they had a fever, or stand there awestruck with your jaw on the floor as the clouds parted, the heavens opened, and a single joy-filled tear rolled down your cheek.

But it’s been a while now since you started writing proposals and taking meetings from the comfort of your own home and even though there’s plenty to love about it, we both know that working from home can get pretty boring, bland, and lonely.

Well, I’ve got you covered with 25 doodads and knick knacks that will brighten up your days working from home! (By the way, it may also be time to wash those sweatpants you’re wearing now. I’m just trying to help.)

1. Areaware Cubebot

When you miss the chats by the watercooler, your only companion is the spreadsheet you’ve been staring at for the past two hours, and your therapist is on vacation, this adjustable wooden robot by Areaware is here to help. You can move his parts so that he sits at the edge of your desk and listens patiently to all of your problems!

2. Low Temperature Stirling Engine

Every work day starts the same: You brew a hot cup of coffee or tea, lean against your countertop, and inhale the calming aroma like they do in the commercials. Then you take your first sip and immediately BURN YOUR TONGUE. This Stirling Engine is powered by steam so when you place it on the lid of your steaming mug, the engine will spin and eventually slow down when your beverage is ready to drink!

3. Spark Creativity: 50 Ways To Ignite Bright Ideas

The new college intern you’re supervising just said a word in Slack that you’ve never heard before and you really want to give off the vibe that you’re a young, hip, and relatable boss. Unfortunately, your nieces and nephews haven’t replied to your texts asking them what it means and you only have a few minutes to respond before they realize you’re actually out of touch. QUICK. SEND HELP.

4. Slang Flashcards

The new college intern you’re supervising just said a word in Slack that you’ve never heard before and you really want to give off the vibe that you’re a young, hip, and relatable boss. Unfortunately, your nieces and nephews haven’t replied to your texts asking them what it means and you only have a few minutes to respond before they realize you’re actually out of touch. QUICK. SEND HELP.

5. Henry Novelty Vacuum Cleaner

Maybe you’re like me and you can’t get to work unless your desk is clean, or maybe you just read Marie Kondo’s “Spark Joy” and realized that your workspace only sparks sadness and shame. This tiny and totally functional vacuum from Henry can help!

6. Knight Pen Holder

This one is for all of you out there who still enjoy putting pen to paper. The Knight Pen holder by JM-Capricorns will serve as a regal and Arthurian reminder that the pen will always be mightier than the sword. Every time you reach for your ballpoint, you’ll remember the power you wield!

7. Mini Zoltar

Do I hit “Submit” on my application for a new job? Do I order lunch from Seamless for the fourth time this week? Do I ask my boss for a promotion even though he definitely heard me sighing exasperatedly at him when I thought my Zoom was on mute?? Shhhhhhh, don’t fret. He has all the answers you seek. Leave it to Mini Zoltar.

8. The Original Live Sea Monkeys

How old were you when you found out that “Sea Monkeys” are actually “brine shrimp” and have been angrily tweeting about being lied to as a child to all 14 of your followers this morni- … Uh, I mean, don’t you remember how great it felt to be a kid at the county fair and pick up some of these for your room? Nostalgia abounds!

9. Desktop Tetherball

Look, I’m not saying that I am totally playing with one of these right now as my boss gives a virtual presentation and I have this  Desktop Tetherball slightly out of view of my camera so that I can play and also look at the screen while nodding every once in a while like I understand what’s going on. But I’m also not NOT saying that.

10. Coin Stealing Cat Piggy Bank

Remember that coworker who always forgot their wallet when you went out to lunch and promised you they would “get the next one” (even though everything is digital now and you can totally pay with your phone, Barry). I’m not saying that you actually miss that guy yet, but you might miss the predictability he added to your routine and how safe it made you feel. Feed this adorable kitty from Matney every lunch break and it will eat up any spare change you’ve got!

11. Greatest Hits Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty

OK, OK, you’re finally in flow and you’re seizing the day and all the diems are being carpe’d and you’re on track to meet your deadlines when suddenly a coworker comes to you asking for help. They’re in a tricky situation and only you can get them out of it. Well, thinking time requires Thinking Putty, obviously.

12. Interactive Rubik’s Cube

Are there children who can solve the entire Rubik’s cube in the time it takes you to Google “What is a Roth IRA?” Yes. Are we gonna focus on that right now? No. This Bluetooth iteration of the famous cube by GoCube helps you tackle your lifelong dream of solving the Rubik’s cube and getting better every day. Way to make use of that lunch break!

13. Sphero Mini

The Sphero Mini is a ping-pong sized drivable robot that lights up, accelerates, and helps you to learn coding basics. When you’re bored, build a tiny maze on your desk out of paper clips and rubber bands and steer your Sphero Mini through each turn (or use it to freak out your cat).

14. Discovery Plasma Globe

Look, guys, being honest with you, this classic desk ornament doesn’t really do much. But I usually average about three existential crises a day and there’s nothing like having something really bright, colorful, and touch-responsive to take my mind off things.

15. Lincoln Logs

It was Henry David Thoreau who said, “We can never have enough of nature.” And it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “Hey dude, check out my logs!” If you’re tired of staring at a screen and feel yourself coming down with a case of cabin fever, use these Lincoln Logs to take a much-needed respite to reconnect with yourself and with nature. (Kinda, sorta?)

16. Golf Club Pen Set

These fun golf club pens by Monsai will have you asking yourself whether you’re doing work or lining up your shot on the green as the warm rays of Florida sunshine kiss your skin and you joke to your caddie about how much you made on the stock market today. Gift these pens to your favorite co-worker and then play a few holes together on your next Zoom happy hour!

17. Squigz Building Set

When you’re waiting in the Google Hangout staring at your reflection on the screen because your boss is running late to the Zoom meeting they scheduled, then canceled, then rescheduled again — remember it isn’t worth stressing about. Instead, pull out some of these quirky toys, start squishing, and get Squiggy with it.

18. Desktop Boxing Toy

When it’s 4:59 p.m. on Friday and you’ve started closing down your work browser and then your boss schedules a last minute conference call to add work to your weekend, this de-stressing punching bag MAY come in handy.

19. Time For You Sand Timer

When work gets to be a bit too much, Carissa Potter’s five-minute hourglass is a simple reminder to make time in your day to “Check In With Yourself” and “Take Time To Breathe.” As glittery sparkling sands gently fall, follow along with one of the many tiny ideas, activities, and suggestions that come in Carissa’s booklet full of ways to destress and reconnect with yourself.

20. Homesick Summer Camp Candle

Whether you need a moment to slow down in between meetings, or you’re burning the midnight oil on an important project, nothing helps to clear the mind and relax the senses like a great-smelling candle.

21. Yoga Joes (Rainbow)

“I don’t know but I’ve been told (I don’t know but I’ve been told); sun salutations are my favorite pose. HOO-RAH!” The battle for self care can be won with some reminders from these unlikely and colorful friends. Place these rainbow-colored Yoga Joes along your desk and you may just be compelled to follow them in their relaxation.

22. Affirmators! Family Deck

If you’re working from home, you’ve probably got a household filled with little ones running around, a roommate (or five), or a partner working just as hard in the same room — and we both know that those personalities can take up lots of mental space. These affirmation cards by comedian Suzi Barrett help you bring yourself back to the present so you can appreciate where you’re at and what you’ve got.

23. Toniebox Starter Set

If you’re a mama or a papa and at some point in the day your little one wants to spend some time in your company or curl up in your lap while you work, the Toniebox is a great way to keep them occupied while you share space. This nifty storytelling device takes the little listener in your life on countless adventures with audiobooks, songs, and even your own narrated stories!

24. Buddha Board

If I were fully enlightened, I would let out a hearty but benevolent chuckle after hearing the number of hours of work you complete on a weekly basis. Then I would recommend you buy a Buddha Board — a small canvas that you can delicately paint and write on with water using a bamboo brush. May your stresses evaporate just like your doodles.

25. Newton’s Cradle

You knew there was no way I would leave the O.G. desk toy off this list. I’m convinced that no supervillain lair, hot shot executive’s corner office, or snooty startup hedge fund manager’s desk is complete without one of these bad boys. Join in on the clicky-clacky goodness.

I hope some of these fun doodads and knick knacks add some joy and brightness to your days as you work from home!