A calendar year can take a toll on an office.
Just think about the walk from your desk to the break room. The floor has new stains, cubicles are marked with dents and scrapes. Fabric dividers start to fray at the edges. Chairs squeak a little more and the fluorescent glow of recessed lighting just seems a little more yellow.
There are ways to combat this inevitable decline. We learned this over the past year by studying trends in office design and equipment, employee perks, dress codes and other areas of office life. During the next few months we’re going share what we’ve learned with ideas for sprucing up your office as we head into 2017.
It’s Time to Upgrade Your Office Chair
Over the past few years, we’ve read a ton of information about office chairs. Some of that research has been history based, while other bouts of fact-finding focused on the ever-timeless Herman Miller line of chairs.
Simply put, what you’re sitting in at work matters; it matters to your back and to the rest of your body. If your spine is aching or your wrists and hands are sore, you aren’t going to perform at the highest possible level.
If you’re going to splurge on a gift for yourself or work with your procurement department to upgrade, we suggest the Herman Miller SAYL. While it’s not at the level of Herman Miller’s legendary Aeron, the chair is a fantastic buy for someone looking for solid support, style and a reliable brand name.
We talked about the SAYL this past year, noting that one furniture site said the chair is better suited for the conference room than it is for the desk. However, between then and now, the SAYL has become somewhat of a unicorn in the tech world.
Not only that, but the chair made several appearances in the Hunger Games series and was a regular at the Hooli offices in HBO’s Silicon Valley, Business Insider contributor Melia Robinson wrote.
The sticker price on the SAYL is around $530 and the chair is worth every dime.
Kiss that Keyboard Goodbye
Anyone who’s worked in a traditional office has probably laid their hands on a standard issue HP or Dell keyboard with sky-high keys and that familiar muted thump-thump-thump.
In this new year, make the switch to a chiclet keyboard. These low-profile keys allow you to type quicker by using less pressure to push down each individual key.
One of the most popular (and affordable) chiclet keyboards at Best Buy is the HP K3500. It has the full keyboard with number pad and is wireless. For $29.99, you’ll have a hard time finding a better value.
Bid Farewell to That Ailing Mouse
Owning a mouse that isn’t quite perfect is like driving a car with a squeaky serpentine belt. Most of the time it works fine, but once it starts acting up, the annoyance is nearly unbearable.
In some cases, a mouse that doesn’t track or a scroll wheel that doesn’t spin is a matter of a quick clean. But, if you’ve given the old chap a good run and he’s near the end of his electronic life, it makes no sense to hobble into the new year with him.
Unlike a new office chair, a quality mouse will cost you less than $50. In fact, we found a pair of mice you can use for the office and travel than will cost you less than $40.
The Logitech M320 has been likened to the Honda Accord of the mouse world. It’s reliable, lasts a long time and comes from a reputable company.
The M320 has a two-button setup with a scroll wheel. It’s simple, but not shoddy; it was a PC Mag Editor’s Choice.
If you travel often for work, then consider the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600. This workhorse is small enough to fit in your pocket but provides the hand support you need when you’re clicking through reports for hours on a cross-country flight.