20 workplace gadgets to boost productivity

By Joe Ellison
In a world of never-ending email chains, news alerts and videos of cats dressed as pirates, it can be harder than ever to focus on work. Sometimes, a helping hand is needed, and we have that help.
As luck would have it, the tech world has the answer to your productivity problems, offering a bevy of high-tech gadgetry designed to help maximise potential and block out daily distractions. Without further ado, allow us to present the best office upgrades you never knew you needed.

1. Fidgi Pen

A photograph of a person holding a Fidgi Pen
Fidgi Pen
A Bond gadget if Q Branch catered for anxious middle management, the Fidgi Pen comes stealthily armed with enough discrete fidget points that you need never chew that gnarled Biro again; 19€ ($22)
Main benefit: It’s a pen that helps you focus

2. Window-Mounted Solar Charger

A promotional shot of the XD Window Mounted Solar Charger Power Bank attached to a window
XD Window Mounted Solar Charger Power Bank
Plugs? Where we’re going, we don’t need plugs. Simply stick this solar charging bank onto any adjacent window and keep your devices topped up with as many jiggawatts as they can hold; £17€ ($19.50)
Main benefit: All-natural device juicing

3. Yo-Yo mini Standing Desk

A promotional image for the two-tier Yo-Yo mini Standing Desk
Yo-Yo mini Standing Desk
The health benefits of standing over sitting are many – in short, it's less likely to kill you – but rather than splashing out on a hulking great stand-up desk, why not have the next best thing? This pop-up desk has 15 adjustable heights and works from any solid surface; 215€ ($326)
Main benefit: An impromptu pop-up desk for your old desk

4. Lumo Lift Posture Coach

A woman photographed wearing the Lumo Posture Coach & Activity Tracker
Lumo Lift Posture Coach & Activity Tracker
As if you were taking your mother to work, the Lumo Lift is a small device that tells you when you’re slouching, vibrating whenever you get lethargic. Clip it under your shirt using a magnetic clasp, set your target posture and away you go; 70€ ($81)
Main benefit: Improves your posture

5. Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise-Cancelling Headphones

A product shot of Bose QuietComfort35 headphones on a white background
Bose QuietComfort35 headphones
Swap the sounds of someone from accounts loudly retelling the story of their summer holiday for the fiftieth time for some sweet solitude, using these: the best noise-cancelling cans on the market; 366€, ($423)
Main benefit: Drowning out office noise

6. Pip

An image of the Pip Stress Management Device nestled on a table among a tablet, hardback book and cup of coffee
Pip Stress Management Device
By measuring the skin pores on your fingertips, this tiny biofeedback device can detect stress levels in your body and then provide guidance on how to chill the 'F' out. No, you won’t swear anymore – you’ll be far too relaxed for that; 168€ ($194)
Main benefit: Monitors stress levels to keep you composed

7. AppKettle

A promotional shot of the AppKettle set against a dark grey background
It’s the great first world problem: you’re about to brew up when an impromptu office meeting is called. No matter – controlled via your smartphone, the AppKettle keeps water hot at a temperature of your choosing for up to 30 minutes. Best of all, it even works with Alexa. About time she got a round in... 147€ ($169)
Main benefit: Allows you to boil the kettle from afar

8. Multi Laptop Windows

A man photographed facing a laptop with three different display screens
Packed Pixels Multi Laptop Windows
You know what’s better than one screen? Three screens. This surprisingly affordable multi-window attachment will help you manage projects like never before; 168€ ($194) – a new model is out soon
Main benefit: Extra screens to help manage work

9. Bamboo Folio

A product shot of the Bamboo Smart Folio on a white background
Bamboo Smart Folio
Pen and paper's days may not be numbered after all. Use this smartpad and pen to digitise your doodlings and save them to ‘the cloud', giving you licence to access them anywhere. It's practically witchcraft; 158€ ($182)
Main benefit: Digitalises handwritten notes

10. Ross Gardam Polar Desk Lamp

A white Ross Gardam Polar Desk Lamp sits perched on a white surface
Ross Gardam Polar Desk Lamp
Arguably NSFW levels of desk porn, this Aussie light fixture is based on the phases of the moon and boasts a rotatable mirrored shade to adjust levels of light and shadow. Helpful for those late nights in the office; 544€ ($627)
Main benefit: The power to control light and shadow

11. Light Phone II

Light Phone
Light Phone
No apps, no fuss, just a secondary phone barely the size of a business card which uses your existing number. Coming on the back of the critically acclaimed, if fairly cult, original model [pictured], the Lightphone II is expected to be out in late 2018. The perfect workphone; 395€ ($455)
Main benefit: Minimum distractions

12. Mymanu Clik Wireless Earphones

A pair of Mymanu Clik Wireless Earphones photographed on a dark  surface
Mymanu Clik Wireless Earphones
Offering real-time voice translation in 37 different languages and able to read out your emails and texts, these high-def wireless in-ear headphones will do everything but clean the dishes; 242€ ($279) - coming early next year
Main benefit: Live voice translation

13. Workflow

Finally, the Apple Smartwatch you stopped wearing about a year ago is to prove useful once more. Download the Workflow app and you’ll get direct access to your favourite apps and agendas right from the watch face. Available on iPhone, too; free
Main benefit: It’s a wearable to-do-list

14. Fidget Cube

A promo shot of the Fidget Cube on a white background
Fidget Cube
The executive work toy that would have saved Jerry Maguire his job, this cutesy cube is designed specifically to help users focus and relieve stress. “SHOW ME THE MONEY” you’ll bellow down the phone, squeezing the life out of your new plaything as you make another sale; 8€ ($9)
Main benefit: Ultra-focus and stress relief

15. Saent

A photo of a Saent device in action
The Saent button can intercept all annoyances: acting as a "do not disturb" sign for co-workers and discouraging multitasking via timed sessions, it's any wonder they don't call it the Sentient; 51€ ($58)
Main benefit: Deals with distractions

16. Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro keyboard

A picture of the Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro keyboard connected to a tablet
Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro keyboard
How pro is your iPad Pro? Not Pro enough, if you ask us, which is why we think it's high time you invested in a proper full-size metal attachable keyboard that makes writing on an iPad as easy as on a MacBook; €130 ($149)

17. R2-D2 USB vacuum cleaner

R2-D2 USB Vacuum Cleaner pictured cleaning crumbs from a desk
R2-D2 USB Vacuum Cleaner
Han Solo didn't make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs for someone to get crumbs all over the Millennium Falcon's control panel. So, when you're own work station is looking mucky, do as Han would do and make the use of your very own R2-D2 robot with this handy USB vacuum cleaner; 11€ ($13)
Main benefit: Tidy desk, tidy mind

18. AudioQuest DragonFly Headphone Amp

Promotional video of Dragonfly Headphone Amp
AudioQuest Dragonfly Headphone Amp
If music tends to help you work, why not invest in a proper quality amp for crystal clear sound? This one comes neatly disguised as a USB;  175€ ($201)
Main benefit: The soundtrack to your productivity at its best

19. Foobot Climate Controller

A promotional shot of the Foobot Climate Controller
Foobot Air Quality Monitor
Studies claim indoor pollution at work can cause dizziness and fatigue and a 10 percent reduction in productivity. This sleek monitor – beamed to your smartphone – provides intricate detailing of air-quality in real time; 195€ ($225)
Main benefit: Notifies you on air quality

20. LVL Hydration Monitor

An image of the VL Hydration and Heart Rate Monitor.
The LVL Hydration and Heart Rate Monitor
As well as measuring your heart rate and workout activity, this watch also provides details on your hydration, alerting you to exactly how much fluid you need and what type of performance boost you can expect. It's handsome, too; €130 ($149)
Main benefit: Tracks your body’s hydration in real time
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