15 Things To Put on Your Desk at Work and Why

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 13, 2021

A well-stocked and arranged office desk can help you stay organized and productive at work. Choose items to place on your desk that allow you to work more efficiently while displaying your style and personality. Any desk, whether in a cubicle or a corner office, can benefit from the right accessories. In this article, we list 15 practical items for your desk and why you might need them.

Types of things to put on your desk at work

The things you put on your desk at work can range from decorative to functional. Desk accessories commonly include:

  • Technologies

  • Office supplies

  • Personal items

  • Decorations

  • Organizers

  • Storage products

Choose desk accessories based on your budget, amount of desk space and work needs.

Related: 20 Simple Ways To Organize a Desk

15 practical desk accessories

To be productive and efficient at work, you need a desk that contains the items you use most frequently and that allow you to do your best work. Here are 15 desk accessories to consider and how they can benefit your job:

1. A notepad

Place a memo book or notepad on your desk that you can write notes and lists of things to do in. Even though professionals today have many digital options for taking notes and recording information, a pad of paper is still convenient for writing details down quickly. Notepads are also easier to bring into meetings than laptops, and writing in them is less distracting than typing.

You can find notepads in a variety of sizes and styles, with plain, ruled or gridded pages, depending on your needs. If you simply need a book to write in, choose a ruled pad. If your job requires you to create diagrams and graphs, you might prefer gridded pages. Blank sheets allow you more creativity, particularly if you include drawings and designs in your notes.

2. A USB charger

If you use a lot of devices simultaneously at work, you might need a USB charger with multiple ports that you can plug your laptop, smartphone, tablet and other accessories into. With this convenient charger, you can make sure your devices have plenty of power before going into a long meeting or traveling to meet a client out of the office.

A charger with four or five ports is usually sufficient for most professionals, but you can find USB chargers with up to 10 or more ports. Having one USB charger with several ports also keeps your desk organized by minimizing the number of wires and cords you have.

3. An organizer

Keep small items such as pens, highlighters, paperclips and business cards in one tidy place with a desk organizer. You can choose simple organizers such as pen holders or more elaborate setups designed to organize your files, paperwork, books and office supplies. Some desk organizers are clean and professional, while others have themes or colors and can be personalized with your name or initials.

Related: 20 Tips on How To Organize Your Desk for Maximum Productivity

4. Headphones and holder

Buy a quality set of headphones you can use when listening to music, watching virtual presentations or attending video conferences or meetings. Wear them to reduce noise distractions so you can focus on your work and to listen to meetings and seminars privately.

Consider practical headphone design features such as noise-canceling or wireless that can benefit your productivity and workspace in multiple ways. Then decide how you want to store your headphones so your desk remains neat. Some headphones come with slim carrying cases you can slide into drawers and organizers. If you need to access your headphones frequently throughout the day, consider storing them on a headphone holder within arm's length. You can also attach an adhesive hook to the underside of your desk and hang the headphones.

5. A meaningful mug

If you drink coffee or tea to stay energized at work, keep a personal mug on your desk that you can refill as needed. Choose one that shows your personality and adds character to your desk. Your mug might include an inspirational or humorous saying, be in the shape of your favorite animal, have your name or initials on it or feature a family photo. A unique mug allows you to personalize your desk in a professional way.

6. A laptop or desktop stand

Whether you work on a laptop or desktop, consider getting a stand that elevates it to a comfortable viewing level. Having your computer at the right height also encourages correct posture and protects your neck and eyes from straining.

A laptop stand is a small piece that slides under the device and angles it upward. It also helps keep the laptop cool. A desktop stand is a riser you place under your computer monitor to lift it a couple of inches off your desk. Some even create extra storage space. These stands come in a variety of shapes and materials, ranging from bamboo to titanium, to match your style and office decor.

7. A nice pen

Invest in one high-quality pen you use to take notes or bring to meetings. Choose one that is easy to write with, such as a ballpoint pen, and comfortable to grip. Consider getting the pen engraved with your name or initials to prevent colleagues from picking it up accidentally.

8. A quality water bottle

Stay hydrated at work and reduce the amount of trash you produce with a reusable water bottle that keeps your water cool and fresh. Choose a size—at least 16 ounces—that prevents you from having to refill the bottle frequently. Also select a material that is comfortable to grip, such as a stainless steel or glass water bottle wrapped in silicon, and a mouthpiece that is easy to drink from.

9. A washable keyboard

Avoid worrying about spilling water or coffee on your keyboard by installing one you can clean safely. Durable washable keyboards are liquid-resistant and can be cleaned to remove sticky substances and dirt and crumbs between keys. They are both long-lasting and hygienic. Most connect to your laptop or desktop computer easily using a USB cord.

10. A stapleless stapler

If you staple small stacks of paper, such as meeting itineraries, together frequently, consider buying a stapleless stapler for your desk that does not require staple refills and adds an elegant detail to bound papers. It works by punching a hole and securing the resulting loose tab of paper beneath the sheet of papers. The folded flap keeps your documents secure and prevents people from having to rip apart stapled papers. Stapleless staplers work best on two to 10 sheets of paper.

Related: 11 Types of Useful Office Supplies (With Examples)

11. A desktop vacuum

Keep your desk tidy, particularly if you eat snacks or meals in your office, with a miniature vacuum. You can find a variety of types, from canned air vacuums designed to keep keyboards clean to portable handheld vacuums to dust cleaners. Most run on batteries, and all are small enough to stow in an office drawer. Some have cute or sleek designs so you can keep them on your desk with distracting from your office's appearance.

12. A matching desk set

Make your desk more visually appealing by using a themed desk set that includes a matching pen holder, stapler, tape dispenser and other supplies. Matching desk sets typically have bold colors or unique designs that give your office a cohesive and inviting look. They can also help your desk look more organized without the distraction of office supplies of varying colors and brands. Some manufacturers allow you to create a custom design using photos and logos.

Related: 40 Tips for Decorating an Office

13. An office plant

Plants not only add style to your desk, but they can also help improve air quality by increasing humidity levels and removing pollutants and particles. Good office plant species include Chinese evergreens, ZZ plants, philodendron, dracaenas and peace lilies because they are easy to maintain and grow well in office conditions. Another option is to create a relaxing Zen garden filled with rocks, small plants and sand you can rake into designs to reduce stress and inspire creativity.

14. A humidifier

Place a small humidifier on your desk to add moisture to the air you sit and breathe in all day. It helps prevent your skin and respiratory passages from getting dry and can ease coughing. Humidifiers are particularly useful during winter, when the air is cold and dry. You can find tiny, sleek desktop humidifiers that produce a fine mist and fit easily into small spaces in your office. Choose an ultrasonic humidifier that is noiseless to reduce distractions.

15. A vertical phone charger

If you rely on your smartphone to deliver work-related calendar alerts, message notifications and meeting reminders, consider storing it on a vertical charger on your desk. A wireless, upright charging stand keeps your phone within sight and reach and fully charged. You avoid the clutter of charging wires, as well. These chargers typically take up a tiny amount of space, and because they are wireless, you can move them around your desk or take them to long meetings.

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