Suggestions on a Workplace Splurge
June 25, 2013 10:04 AM   Subscribe

What are the best purchases to improve your office space?

I won a contest at work that involves prize money of $150. I'd like to purchase something(s) with all or part of that money to improve my workplace home.

About me:
* Project Manager
* Software Company
* Paperless existence (no red Swinglines for me)
* Macbook Pro/iPad/iPhone guy, but have to get IT approval to put anything on the Macbook.
* Work at a "open cubicle" type desk that looks like these, but without the shelves and weird canopy things.

posted by po822000 to Shopping (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
A monitor mount and keyboard platform so that you can stand while you work? Some of the setups seem above your budget, but I found some monitor mounts in the < $80 range.
posted by sparklemotion at 10:14 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

What about a keyboard folio for your iPad?
posted by gillianr at 10:17 AM on June 25, 2013

For me, the splurge would definitely be on nice headphones. Sometimes, when I really need to crack down and get something done, and I don't have the ability to close a door on the rest of the office, I put on headphones and listen to music.
posted by LN at 10:17 AM on June 25, 2013

Good headphones.
posted by General Malaise at 10:17 AM on June 25, 2013

Incredible tea.
posted by mdonley at 10:23 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Better Office Chair?

Seconding noise cancellation headphones.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 10:26 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

With an open floor plan like that, you need to defend your turf. No, really, headphones are a great idea.
posted by jeffjon at 10:28 AM on June 25, 2013

I would second the better chair recommendation or alternately suggest a mechanical keyboard: both are things you will use every day, and there is likely much room for improvement comfort wise. (The comfort principle- spend money on the things you use the most)
posted by BorgesianSisyphus at 10:32 AM on June 25, 2013

Response by poster: Chair is all set: Aeron. But a good suggestion otherwise.
posted by po822000 at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2013

Duplicates of every cable that you ever unplug and have to take anywhere with you and a management system for them (USB hub? something like this?).
posted by jessamyn at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2013 [6 favorites]

Better coffee is pretty awesome: maybe a reusable K-Cup insert and real coffee, or a Keurig machine for your desk, or a good insulated mug, or a giftcard for a local shop that WAAY loaded with money.

Alternatively, building on jessamyn's idea, think about what is the most annoying thing to do before you leave when you're in a hurry. If it's "remember the umbrella," then buy a second one and keep it in your car. If it's "get my lunch container from the fridge" then buy a second one of those so you can forget it once in a while.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:51 AM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

This might not be cool enough for software development PMs, but I would probably freak out if I didn't have an assortment of green plants and a white noise machine in my cube, so I'd get an AeroGarden and/or a Dohm.
posted by divined by radio at 11:22 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

How ergonomic is your workspace? Perhaps invest in a better mouse or keyboard (though I assume you just use the MBP keyboard).
posted by imalaowai at 11:25 AM on June 25, 2013

Have you considered themed decorations?

A friend of mine turned her blah cubicle into a tiki zone with some raffia curtains, ikea leaves, a plant, and a collection of mugs. She worked in a huge cubicle farm, and it was definitely an improvement.

Maybe something like this (via lifehacker)?
posted by Llamadog-dad at 11:28 AM on June 25, 2013

A second monitor if you don't already have one. Task lamp to give you at least SOME control over your lighting. And as already mentioned - a plant.
posted by neutralmojo at 11:40 AM on June 25, 2013

a rug, some fancy wallpaper (that you tack up with that removable tacky stuff), decoration that can hang down from the ceiling.
posted by vivzan at 12:49 PM on June 25, 2013

Having a spare charger for my MacBook Pro, along with a couple spare iPhone/iPad cables just for work, has made my laptop-heavy work day much, much easier.

I <3 my Keurig. SO MUCH.

I changed my workspace to a standing configuration a few years ago. Productivity went up, back pain went down.

Plants. Plants are surprisingly calming and centering. Something mildly aromatic? Desktop herb garden?
posted by xedrik at 2:41 PM on June 25, 2013

Variable temperature gooseneck stainless steel electric kettle?
posted by oceanjesse at 4:43 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Along the lines of the tiki cube, I really want to get a full-panel set of cube wallpaper that looks like a beach or a jungle. So you have a nice view.
posted by CathyG at 12:41 PM on June 26, 2013

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