Your desk is an extension of your home. So, your desk should contain essential items that you need for comfort, convenience, and safety. Here are some items and item categories you should think about when stocking your desk:
Appearance and Grooming Items. You need to look professional at work. When you look sloppy, you’ll undermine the confidence that your supervisors have in you. You should always have a few items on hand that will help you look your best. You’ll need a comb and some fingernail clippers. However, to maintain your professional appearance, you should also have a Tide To Instant Stain Remover Pen tucked away in case you stain your shirt at lunch. A battery-powered back up electric razor like the MICRO Force Wet/Dry Electric Shaver is handy in case you realize that you missed a spot shaving or if you get a bad five o’clock shadow. Finally, it can be worthwhile to have a shoe shine kit handy to maintain professional looking shoes.
Extra Clothes. If you’ve ever split the seam on a pair of pants or spilled something all over your clothes while your on the job, then you know the value of having a few extra clothing items tucked away in your desk. A nicely bundled complete change of clothes can inspire even more confidence. While the necktie is on it’s way out in many offices, if your workplace requires business attire, an extra tie in your desk drawer can be a lifesaver. One often overlooked clothing item is a pair of comfortable walking shoes. If you have a long walk to public transportation, a cheap pair of sneakers like Dr. Scholl’s Relay Athletic shoes can make life more comfortable. Some office workers keep athletic shoes on hand just to go walking at lunch time.
Communications Items. Days in a cubicle can be long. It’s always worthwhile to have some sort of link to the outside world. You can sometimes use your employer’s internet access, but that can get you in trouble. A portable radio and earphones can be a good link to the outside world. A small portable radio like the Battery Free Crank Radio from Innovage is inexpensive and tucks into a desk drawer. It may also be inexpensive enough to sit openly in a corner of your desk without being stolen. Alternatively, if space or theft is an issue, something like the Coby CX-7 AM/FM Personal Portable Radio can be discreetly hidden in a desk drawer. For less than $10, you don’t have to worry about violating streaming media policies by simply using a radio.
Health Items. Every office has one occupant who seems to have a full-service pharmacy in their desk drawer. If your job is challenging, you’ll probably need to keep some headache medicine like aspirin or ibuprofen in your desk. If your job is too stressful or your local lunch joint too greasy, you’ll probably want to add some medicines to handle upset stomachs, gas, or other forms of gastric distress. Cough drops and cough medicine are also good to have if you find yourself working with a sore throat or sniffles. For less than $10, you can add an inexpensive first aid kit like the Johnson & Johnson Safe Travels First Aid Kit to your desk drawer. It’s nice to be prepared for papercuts and other little emergencies.
Emergency Items. Finally, if you add a small flashlight and a few other items to your desk, your well-equipped desk drawer can blossom into a full-fledged office disaster kit. While you must be discreet to avoid be labeled as a paranoid or survivalist kook, after 9/11, everyone should be quietly prepared for catastrophic emergencies. Tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, blizzards, natural gas leaks, and acts of workplace violence do occur and you should be prepared to cope with very real disasters that could occur while you are at work. You may even want to store your emergency items in an office bug-out bag so that you are ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
A well-stocked desk can really help support your success in the workplace. By being prepared, little emergencies will never disrupt your workday. You don’t have to work in stained clothes or while enduring stomach problems or a headache. Just a little focus on creating a livable desk and workspace can pay off and free you from many minor annoyances. Without distractions, you’ll be able to focus on your job.