These Simple Items Can Make Employees More Productive at Their Desks

| Employee Engagement


Does your team have everything they need at their desks to do their best work? Check out five simple items that have been proven to help make employees more productive.

According to research reported in ScienceDailythe average employee spends around 5 hours and 41 minutes every day at their desk. For most people, it’s the most important part of the office because it’s the place where you go to actually get your work done.

But do you and your coworkers have everything you need within arm’s reach to be your most productive?

There are the basics, of course: a computer, a telephone, a pad of paper. But there are also other things that have proven to be useful for the top teams in North America.  Keep reading to learn about five simple items you can purchase to change the way your team works.

Five Items to Improve Employee Workspaces

1. Standing Desks

Before thinking about what goes on your desk, maybe you should think about the actual desks themselves. Standing desks are a big trend in modern offices, especially with millennials who like to stay active during the day. The most common types of standing desks are height-adjustable, meaning employees are able to move them up and down to different heights throughout the day.

Why is it important for employees? 

According to research done by Loughborough University, employees who use standing desks are actually less tired and more engaged at work. And with health scientists warning that “sitting is the new smoking,” there are a lot of health benefits for your team as well.

What are some brands you would recommend?

Standing desks can be expensive, with many of the popular models coming in at over $500. If you’re on a budget for your office, make sure to check out’s article: 7 Standing Desk Options You Can Actually Afford.

2. Ergonomic Chairs

When employees are sitting at their desks, you want to make sure that they are comfortable and in the right position to do their best work. Ergonomic chairs that are comfortable and properly adjusted can make a big difference for your team’s productivity.

Why is it important for employees?

Research has shown that the right office chair can increase productivity by as much as 17.5%. Here are some things you should consider when making your purchase:

  • Ergonomics – Can you adjust the height, tilt, and neck support? These are important factors that can help reduce employee aches and pains.

  • Stability – There’s nothing worse than an unsteady chair! Check for secure metal or rubber wheels to ensure your chairs are stable.

  • Fabric – You’ll want to choose a fabric that not only matches your office color scheme, but also has breathability and is easy to clean.

  • Comfort – Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure they’re actually comfortable to sit in!

What are some brands you would recommend? 

If you’re looking for recommendations on which office chairs are right for your team, be sure to check out TechRadar’s article: Best Ergonomic Office Chairs of 2018.

3. Desk Organizers

It is well documented that clutter can cause stress in employees. Not only does it distract from important work that your team might need to do, but a messy desk is also proven to overwhelm the brain with stimuli and inhibit productivity. Declutter employee workspaces by providing simple desk organizers. A place for everything, and everything in its place!

Why is it important for employees?

Despite the fact that some research suggests messy desks are a sign of genius, most people agree that a clean desk can help employees stay organized and productive. A clean desk offers less distractions, keeps sensitive information safe, and makes employees look more professional.

What are some brands you would recommend? 

You can find simple desk organizers at your local office supply store. To help declutter, you might also want to:

  • Purge unnecessary items – Have employees regularly discard what they no longer need.

  • Use multiple organizers – You could use one organizer for projects in progress, and another for projects not yet started, for example.

  • Think digitally – Try to limit how often you print hard copies of documents for your desks.

4. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The right set of headphones can give your team the opportunity to zone out of the office chatter and focus on their work. With noise-cancelling headphones, employees can take control of what they listen to and when.

Why is it important for employees?

Not only can the right music help make employees more productive, but if you’re working in an open-concept office, headphones can also act as privacy walls for your colleagues. Putting them on can be a signal to others that you are in “do not disturb” mode. For more information on the benefits of music in the workplace, check out our blog post: 3 Ways You Can Improve Your Office Environment for Under $100.

What are some brands you would recommend? 

For recommendations on the best headphone options for employees, check out WeWork’s article: Best Headphones for Work.

5. Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards are higher quality keyboards built with spring activated key switches. While that might not sound very interesting, employees who have tried using them have reported a few major advantages that make them worth your consideration.

Why is it important for employees?

Teams who have switched to mechanical keyboards say there are three major benefits:

  • They’re longer-lasting – While traditional keyboards wear down after around 5 million key presses, mechanical keyboards typically last between 30 and 70 million key presses.

  • They’re more effective – One writer found that he could type 900 more words per hour using a mechanical keyboard.

  • They’re more satisfying – Mechanical keyboards make a satisfying “clickety clackety” sound, similar to typewriters. Note that this might be a disadvantage if you prefer a quieter office space!

What are some brands you would recommend?

For recommendations on the best keyboards for your team, check out this Gear Patrol article: The 6 Best Mechanical Keyboards to Use at Work.

Transform Your Office Environment

Check out 50 Ways to Improve Your Office Environment for a free checklist of more easy-to-implement ideas, or get in touch to learn about how we can help you build a more positive workplace culture with team building and training programs.


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Donna Nigbur
Donna Nigbur
5 years ago

Thank you for the information very helpful!