The 11 Best Cool Office Gadgets for Home Working

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Has the time come to power up your home office? This list of cool office gadgets and tools will help you  transform your work space, and make you happier and more productive.

Despite being a home worker for many years, I’ve only recently discovered the joy of getting my work space just how I want it. For many of us nowadays, the home office is our ONLY office, and we spend a LOT of time there.

Some cool office gadgets are merely aesthetic, but others can have an enormous impact on your productivity, including several I mention below. If you’re interested in smartening up your home office, you may also enjoy this podcast episode where we discuss workspaces with a remote working specialist.

My Favourite Cool Office Gadgets

1. A Big Monitor (or Two!)

Whether you have a dedicated home office or merely a corner of a room where you work, you’re missing a trick if you working hunched over a laptop screen.

I cannot overstate how much a real screen can increase your productivity. That extra screen real-estate allows you to see so much more at once. You can also opt to mirror your laptop screen, or use them separately. For example, I tend to use my laptop screen for Zoom, Spotify and YouTube, and my big screen as my main work area.

The good news: big monitors are really inexpensive nowadays – as little as 100 bucks for what could feel like a huge upgrade.

My Recommendation

I’m a big fan of Asus monitors and have one in my garden office and one in the house. Admittedly mine is a little more expensive than some options but it has Bang and Olufsen audio and a design aesthetic that goes well with my Apple kit, without costing Apple prices!

Find more Asus monitors (including some much cheaper options) here.

2. A Good Quality Mouse

I was borderline-frightened about telling my wife how much I’d spent on a mouse, but I don’t regret the purchase.

I went for a Logitech MX-Master 3, a wireless Bluetooth model with a few extra features that make the cost worthwhile.

This mouse has two scroll wheels for both horizontal and vertical scrolling. The former is a “magspeed” wheel that lets you zoom up and down pages at incredible speed. This is a big deal for me. As well as editing very long blog posts, I have hundreds of email folders. It would genuinely cost me time if I couldn’t move quickly up and down those lists many times each day.

I’m not saying you have to spend a huge amount on a mouse, but if you’re at your computer as much as I am and you can afford the investment, I would consider it. If you’re choosing a mouse, at the very least, choose one with “back” and “forward” buttons on the side. Having to click the “back” button in a web browser is more 2001 than 2021.

3. Reusable Drink Bottles

Are you good at keeping yourself hydrated at your desk?

Many people aren’t, so it helps to have a water bottle by your side. I’m currently liking the tracker bottles from 64Hydro. As well as having markings that remind you to keep glugging throughout the day, there’s a handy filter that’s great if you want to add fruit or herbs to give your water some flavour, without risking forgetting they’re there and inhaling a chunk of lime!

64Hydro water bottles

4. A Column Fan

A desk fan is an absolute must for me, but they take up a lot of space. As such, column fans are cool office gadgets to look into, especially if your desk is small.

They may not pump out quite as much cold air, but they look much sleeker.

I couldn’t find the exact model I’m currently using, but it looks a lot like this:

PRO TIP! Do not wait until the first hot day of the year to order a fan for your home office. All the good ones will be out of stock and the rest will be over priced. When I checked Amazon in December I found a lot with huge reductions.

5. Dongles!

Dongles are cool office gadgets, and not just because “dongles” is a childishly fun word to say.

Being serious, modern laptops often sacrifice ports in favour of slim design. For example, the latest MacBook Airs have just two USB-C ports, and you need one of them for the power supply!

Thankfully, there are plenty of inexpensive dongles that turn just one port into many others. I have one in front of me that plugs into USB-C and gives me three old-style USB ports, HDMI, card reader slots, and an extra USB-C.

Just one piece of advice with these: read the reviews with a critical eye. There are some great products like this out there, but there’s some real rubbish too.

6. Spare Cables

OK, so cables aren’t exciting, but you never seem to have enough of them. After many nights of having to go out to the garden office in the dark to find a charger or a USB lead, I decided enough was enough. The answer to never having enough cables is to have absolutely loads of them!

You can get really good quality cables nowadays, and I just make sure I have them everywhere I could need them – in the office, by the bed, near the kitchen sockets.

Do yourself a favour: Think about the cables you keep running out of and invest in a few multipacks. Those micro-irritations each day can be easily avoided.

7. Sharpies

While we’re talking about rather less expensive but still cool office gadgets, let’s discuss something truly old school: coloured pens!

If you listen to the HomeWorkingClub podcast, you will know of Alex, my co-host. My new-found love of Sharpies is entirely his fault. After being almost paperless for many years, he reintroduced me to committing things to paper, and I’m something of a convert.

Sharpies

Planning things out on good, old-fashioned paper can be an enjoyable change of pace. If it’s not something you’ve done for a while, maybe it’s time to do it again?

Find Sharpie sets here.

8. A Decent Microphone

The only reason I bought a good USB microphone was because I was starting a podcast. But in this age of widespread Zoom calls, it’s such a good investment.

The reality is that built-in microphones – the ones in webcams or laptops, are pretty dreadful. You immediately give yourself a professionalism upgrade if you sound crystal clear on your calls.

My recommendation (and the one I use myself) is the Blue Snowball. People online get very passionate about microphones, and reviews quickly descend into figures and jargon, as well as plenty of heated debate!

All I need to say about this one is it works well both for video calls and for podcasting. For the latter, it’s been equally good when it’s just been me recording, or Alex and I side by side. 

And it’s never let me down – and that’s the main thing.

9. A High Quality Webcam

At the time of writing, this is the most recent office gadget I’ve added to my setup. It blew me away how much of an upgrade it was.

As with microphones, build in webcams are serviceable, but generally not very good. Even the webcams in Apple laptops come under a lot of criticism. If you get involved in a lot of video calls, or perhaps even make screencasts, a good webcam is a solid upgrade to consider for your home office. 

Good webcams are surprisingly expensive – in part because manufacturers are aware of the demand for good videoconferencing equipment. When 2020’s lockdown began, many of them sold out. 

Logitech is a safe pair of hands when it comes to webcam brands, and I chose the Logitech StreamCam. The quality is great, and it does some really clever stuff like face tracking, and allowing you to show your name and title on the video window, news-broadcast style. 

10. A Transcription Pedal

Of all the cool office gadgets here, this one is perhaps a bit “niche,” but a transcription pedal gives you a whole extra way to control your computer.

The Infinity pedal is considered the gold standard by many, and is a game-changer if you do transcription work. The ability to stop and start an audio source without lifting your hands from the keyboard is a big deal IF any of the work you do can benefit from it. 

11. Something Silly and Personal

The important thing to remember when you’re choosing gadgets for your home office is that it’s YOUR space. 

On our recent podcast, our guest shared how much she loves hitting her “that was easy” button when she completes a task. Things like this can give you a real psychological boost.

I personally love having some of my treasured possessions in the room, and they also serve as the background to my Zoom calls.

Office vintage computers

I have some vintage computers there, the Nintendo Labo toys I built with my son, and a Limited Edition Nintendo Game and Watch!

Since I added those things to my office, it’s felt more like home – a place I really enjoy spending time. So don’t only concentrate on the practical stuff. Add in some knick-knacks to make your office truly yours. 


What cool office gadgets do your have in YOUR home working area? Let me know in the comments section below.

7 thoughts on “The 11 Best Cool Office Gadgets for Home Working”

  1. Interesting list. I’m with you on most of your recommendations. The big screen is a must. And the desk fan is especially important. My favorite for this is the OPOLAR Battery Operated Handheld Personal Fan with Desk Stand. It’s on Amazon. These little fans are very strong and have great battery life. What’s more, the battery can be used to power other devices. Also, I discovered that Logitech mouse earlier this year and I concur it is a winner. The fit — at least for my hand — is perfect, and the controls are right where they need to be. Good list!

    Reply
    • Aw thanks Terry 🙂

      On the subject of the mouse, I discovered a button I didn’t know about a couple of days ago, kind of on the base on the left hand side. By default it activates the app switcher on my Mac – I should have read the manual!

      Reply
  2. Yep, that thumb button at the bottom is the Gesture button and is one of the reasons this mouse is so handy. Mine is set to switch between desktops (Mac), but it can be set to practically anything you want. I’m also fond of the Wheel Mode Shift button (just in back of the wheel). It toggles between smooth scrolling and a ratchet wheel.

    As good as the mouse is, I had many problems with the Logitech corresponding keyboard. Never could get it to work with my Mac.

    Reply
    • Haha you taught me something else about the wheel!

      I have an Apple keyboard but I have just bought the Logitech Screencam – another great piece of kit. I had my doubts about spending so much but I did a Zoom networking event yesterday and literally everybody I spoke to commented on the quality of the image!

      Reply
  3. Holy Gadget Greatness! I had not seen Logitech’s Screencam, so thanks for that tip. Watched this Youtube video on it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO1xOXJS69k

    The camera, combined with Logitech’s upgraded Capture software, seems excellent, but what really got my attention was the capabilities added by plugging in a second Screencam camera. Essentially, this sets up a small two-camera studio with camera switching for intercuts on the fly while recording. Amazing.

    Since you have engaged my gadget obsession, I’ll add my support for another product: Snaggit by Techsmith. It’s screen capture software like you have always wanted it to be. Techsmith is the same company that produces Camtasia, which is excellent for screencast production. But I’ve found Snaggit to be much more useful. Not a day goes by that I don’t “snag” some bit or piece from my screen, manipulate it in some way and send it out. Also, Techsmith seems (at least to me) to have some of the best support materials around for learning everything you need to know to produce screencasts and other videos.

    Reply
    • Ah Terry, we obviously share some gadget affinity! I use Camtasia heavily for the videos I share on my Patreon group. I actually also use it (along with Audacity) to produce the podcast – not really what it’s intended for but it’s just randomly how the workflow ended up.

      I’ve not used Snagit but am a fan of Skitch for similar purposes.

      Agreed on Techsmith’s support materials. They’re even doing a free certification for Camtasia now which I’m currently working through!

      Reply

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