10 useful gadgets for the modern office

I’m always on the look-out for the best office gear. One reason it’s so important to me is that it helps with my productivity. A trendy look, a sleek design--they impact how I work on a daily basis. Studies show that working in a clean, organized environment will even improve your mood. Recently, I tested out some of the latest office products to see how they impacted my daily routine. Here are the top picks from several weeks of testing.

1. OttLite Command Desk Lamp ($105)

OttLite Command LED Desk Lamp

OttLite Command LED Desk Lamp (OttLite Technologies/PRNewswire)

The key feature on this desk lamp is that the light imitates actual sunlight, which is easier on the eyes and reduces strain throughout the day. If you don’t quite like the color temp, you can use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to change it by voice (or turn the light on and off).

Biggest impact: My office felt more like working on a sunny day, even at night.

2. Teknion Navigate Desk ($945)

Priced about right for a startup or home office worker, the Teknion Navigate uses counter-balancing as you raise and lower the desk to a sit/stand position. It’s heavy enough to stay put on carpet or wood flooring and has a clean, modern look.

Biggest impact: I moved around and stood up more, which helped fuel new insights.

3. Grovemade Desk Accessories

I tested several hand-made Grovemade accessories, including a pen holder made of maple that is hand-sanded and finished, a desk shelf (which I used with the AirPulse speakers), and a leather mouse pad that didn’t slip or slide for my mouse--adding a maker aesthetic to my office.

Biggest impact: The more organic and wooden “maker” look inspired me throughout the day.

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4. Sonneman Quattro Task Lamp ($218)

Having an extra task lamp on my desk helped with editing chores on printed paper, signing documents, and taking notes. Lighting boosts productivity, and this lamp was easy to adjust on the fly and stayed put when I needed to get back to typing.

Biggest impact: My eyes didn’t strain as much and I took notes more often.

5. AirPulse A100 ($800)

I have not tested speakers at my desk that sounded quite as pristine as the AirPulse A100. It’s partly the design of the aluminum materials, the high-res audio certification, and the warm, rich bass. You can connect with Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm or normal RCA cables.

Biggest impact: I enjoyed some of my favorite “productivity-boosting” artists even more.

6. Jura Platinum X8 ($3,499)

This coffee machine is as high-tech as it gets for the modern office. You can use the control pad to configure two different drinks to brew simultaneously. For hot water, you can set the desired temperature. I was impressed with how quickly the machine brews a fine black blend.

Biggest impact: Faster coffee with several brewing options.

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7. Logitech Premium Collection ($320)

This bundle of high-end accessories--including a mouse, keyboard, and speakers--is meant to bump up your productivity. The programmable keyboard is thin enough for any workspace; the speakers sync by Bluetooth with a quick tap on the front display.

Biggest impact: The mouse is ultra-precise so less hunting and pecking.

8. IKEA Idasen Cabinet ($249)

This cabinet for storing valuables in your office uses a smart lock system. There’s one cabinet that has a lock, but you can add locks for the other cabinets. Each cabinet has a damper, which means they close silently. The metal material means you can add magnets or pins.

Biggest impact: More secure storage in an office where people poke around too much.

9. Poppin Black Take Note Coffee Table ($474)

I love this small coffee table with a large memo pad built right-in. It’s designed for a personal office or a working area you share. The pad includes 100 sheets but you can order refills. The add-on legs raise the height of the table for the optimal writing level.

Biggest impact: A quirky table that will encourage brainstorming and collaboration.

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10. Klipsch Heritage HP-3 ($1,200)

For the best listening experience at your desk, forget earbuds. Tune coworkers out so you can focus on Google Docs with these premium grade headphones. The wood and leather materials make them comfortable and unique, but the sound is second to none.

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Biggest impact: Panic at the Disco never sounded so good.