Back to the Office: 14 Fun & Functional Desk Toys
For some of you, going back to the office, the return of in-person workdays is a Wamp, wamp! while for others it's a Woot, woot! And, for the record, I feel like the dividing line between the two groups is largely determined by whether or not you have children. Or an otherwise large family. A lot of pets. A WFH office situation that consists of a laptop and the bed you sleep in at night. Essentially, those of you who have people and things at home that have made you realize you quite like to escape home 5 days a week. Even if your "escape" is the office, where a litany of other irritants (i.e., different types of people and things) lie.
The Wamp, wamp! back to workers, on the other hand, have carved out a nice little life for themselves working, eating, sleeping, fu-...well, you know...in the same place. No more commute or traffic or monthly parking fees. No more annoying co-workers, or annoying co-worker smells (be it their breakfast or b.o.) No more hovering boss able to catch you not working.
But whether you're overjoyed your company is herding its flock back to the office, or so hot about it you want to quit...but probably won't...one thing's for sure: the desk that awaits your return is going to need some filling up, some sprucing up, some love, and hopefully some fun to contrast the years of bleakness and abandonment it's suffered.
And that, dudes, is where I come in. If you're headed back to the office, here are 14 fun and functional desk toys to liven up your space, and help get you back into the workplace groove.
Note: All office products are priced as they were at printing on April 19, 2022. Pricing, and availability, are subject to change.
Roe-mantic husband I am, I bento-ver backwards to find my wife some new craft supplies, but as soon as she unwrapped her stylin' set of Sushi Tape she was all, "There's something fishy about this. What did you do wrong or what do you want?"
So I was all, "Omakase! I just gave my woman a gift of 4 adorable Japanese delicacies with adhesive backing. You'd think she'd respond with a better tempura-ment."
And she was like, "Well, OK, you maki a good point. But it's hard to ig-nori precedent, so...what did you do do wrong or what do you want?"
"Fine," I said, "I think I broke your Sushi Bazooka. ... And a blow job."
Computer Rear-View Mirror
Spied on, sneaked up upon, and pranked no more! This rear-view mirror for your computer or cubicle clips on to a monitor to provide a bird's eye view of all the shenanigans going on behind your back. Because you can't just leave the live feed of the micro cameras you've planted around your desk (fine, the whole office) running on your desktop the whole day, and you're still liable to miss a Toothpick Crossbow aiming to fire relying on sneak peaks at your phone every few minutes
Pad of Butter Notepad
I've got a message for you. A message of pure, buttery goodness. The Pad of Butter Notepad will make a fun addition to the desktops of anyone with a quirky sense of humor and, of course, anyone like me who enjoys a good pad of butter. A whole stick if it comes with a sleeve of saltine crackers.
The Pad of Butter Notepad is displayed best alongside a set of Toast-it Coasters.
Punchable USB-Connected Enter Key Pillow
Need to blow off some stress? Just hit Enter. Hard. This USB-connected Enter Key Pillow redefines what it means to punch a QWERTY key. In the best, best possible way. Hook the oversized, tetromino-style pillow into a USB port on your existing setup and let your iron fist step in for your delicate pinky finger whenever it's time to go hard on the Return.
Under Desk Hammock
The Under Desk Hammock from Uplift Desk certainly solves the problems of how and where to take a nap at work. As for the why - you'll have to justify that one yourself.
Then again, while installing a hammock under your desk to sleep in may raise eyebrows around the office, at least having the hammock there will make it clear what you're doing under your desk. I say that because at my first job out of college I worked with a lady who was a little cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, and one day we came back from lunch, and there ol' Fiona was, curled up under her desk. My boss freaked out and started shrieking, thinking she'd had a seizure or died or something.
Nah. Just takin' a power nap.
Cork Rocket Desk Organizer
Why give tens of millions of dollars to the Baby Beezus, the Muskrat, or Branson, MO to go on a rocket and spend 2 minutes in space when you can spend $30 on a Cork Rocket Desk Organizer and have somewhere to store your pens and Sharpies, plus proudly display photographs of your babies, human and fur, with push pins?
No reasons. Not a single one. Booooo vacations to space! Yaaaaay Cork Rocket Desk Organizers!
Monthly Measure Perpetual Calendar & Ruler
Are you into dates and measures? How about a calendar that lasts forever? And the metric system? Monthly Measure is a combination perpetual calendar, ruler, and desktop display piece.
Designed by Sebastian Bergne, Monthly Measure consists of a serrated beech wood ruler and cast aluminum star piece you can roll along the notches to indicate today's date. The 7-pointed star has letters printed on it to represent days of the week too, so you can insert it with the corresponding point down to indicate how close you are to Friday.
Measuring fun comes in with the numerical dates on the ruler, which are positioned exactly 1 cm apart for gauging lengths up to 32 cm, or just over 1 foot.
Chameleon Tape Measure
For the Chameleon Tape Measure, the artists at Coppertist.Wu have transformed a chameleon's body and coiled tail into the tool's housing, and its tongue into the 6' / 2-meter measuring tape. So clever. So charming. So ready to make you The Most Interesting Man in the Office.
Adding to the Chameleon Tape Measure's beauty is the brass construction of its housing, which enhances its reptilian textures, and gives the tape a luxe look. According to Coppertist.Wu the design and execution were not easy, and the process took them 2 years to perfect.
Craighill Desk Knife
The Craighill Desk Knife would sure be a fancy partner for the chewed up Bic on my desktop. Inspired by the Japanese kiridashi knife, this multi-use cutting tool should look mighty nice living on your desk display, and feel just as nice slashing through adhesives when the day's mail and Amazon packages arrive.
Feng Shui Desktop Gong
When they say, "Feng Shui," I bet they mean, "Ring It When You Get Laid." And I also bet a lot of us out there with roommates or coworkers who share online dating adventures could make some pretty good use out of a Ring It When You Get Laid Desktop Gong.
And, I mean, you could also probably use it to honor a workplace success, or one of your kids' achievements at home. (Actual achievements only, please. No gonging for participation ribbons and eating 4 peas at dinner.)
A Hole Paperweight
Fred Conlon handmakes these superb and superbly clever A Hole Paperweights from reclaimed steel in his Salt Lake City, UT studio. Give one to your favorite jerkus majorus, wrap it up as a joke, or just sit the paperweight on your own desk and see how many co-workers filtering through figure it out. It takes one to know one, yeah?
T-Rex Tape Dispenser
As T-Rex was the big boy of the dinosaur world, so too is the T-Rex Tape Dispenser the big boy of the tape-dispensing world. Creator and 3D printer Meow 3D Store lists the plastic Scotch tape feeder's dimensions as 5" x 4" x 3.6", but check out T-Rex's skull in the hands of some happy buyers. It's. Huge.
And, provided you have the countertop or desktop space, ain't nothing wrong with that, because a T-Rex Tape Dispenser is nothing if not a statement piece. Especially if you opt for one of Meow 3D Store's more standout colors. Red. Orange. Pink. Glow in the Dark.
Musashi Damascus Steel Mini Samurai Letter Opener
It's not life-size, but the Musashi Damascus Steel Mini Samurai Letter Opener from Romance of Men is still strong. Still sharp. Still stunning. And definitely still has your back - and your fingernails, and your paper-cut-prone fingers - when you must break through the front lines of unruly envelope glue, impenetrable packing tape, and yards and yards of bubble wrap willing to fight to the death - er, deflation - protecting the fragile contents of its kingdo-...cardboard box.
The Musashi Damascus Steel Mini Samurai Letter Opener is a 7.79" long katana sword handmade from VG10 Damascus-style steel. Its blade extends 4.33", with a thickness of 0.07" and 59 HRC hardness. Complementing the hammered textures and sine wave patterns of the Musashi's blade is an ebony wood handle entwined in black and gold rope, and a wooden sheath.
80s Super Tape Notebook
Oh did my mama have a whole library of VHS cassettes that looked just like the one parodied in Denik's 80s Super Tape Notebook. I think Sony was behind this particular brand packaging, and the VCR-ready footage our house's tapes contained ranged from birthday parties and Christmas mornings, to Mama-recorded (read: get ready to feel pukey!) swim meets, to NBC's airing of The Goonies, which I tried really hard to stop recording at commercials to have an ad-free viewing experience later, but always ended up forgetting to either stop or start the tape again.