Crafting a workspace you want to be in takes much of the toll out of actually doing that work. Which means improvements to your efficiency and your paycheck.

Studies from the University of Exeter show that tweaking your standard-issue desk ups your productivity by almost a third and reduces the odds you’ll catch that bug working its way through your colleagues.

Thank us on Monday morning.

The Pen That Makes You Feel Like The Boss (Even If You’re Not)

Yes, you’re tied to a computer most of the day, but a traditional to-do list trumps your keyboard in the style stakes. You’ll finish more of it too; US studies found you’re 33 per cent more likely to achieve your goals if they’re written down.

If a Montblanc is beyond your pay grade, Tom Dixon’s pen block, from the Cog collection, is a stylish alternative that looks equally on-point on your desk.

Crafted from solid brass, it offers a tactile yet rollerball-smooth writing experience that will have you bossing your in-tray. Just get ready to say no when Sally from accounts asks to borrow it.

Cog Pen Hex, available at, priced £55.

Swap Your Office Chair For A Standing Desk

Not only does standing burn an extra 400 calories compared to sitting, but a study from Texas A&M shows that it also provides a 12 per cent boost to your productivity. Yes, you might turn a few heads at first, but your refusal to succumb to the post-lunch slump will soon see your colleagues following suit.

Introduce the concept to your office by suggesting everybody stand in your next meeting. You’ll be out in half the time and have a case to ditch the chairs long-term.

If HR won’t play ball, the guys behind Kickstarter-funded StorkStand have created an affordable alternative that you can clip onto your office chair. Get up, stand up.

StorkStand Healthy Package, available at, priced $199.

The Exercise That Fights Sitting-Down-All-Day Back Pain

If your boss still wants you seated, then outflank a throbbing back from hunching over your keyboard with these at-your-desk moves.

Sit on the edge of your chair and hold onto the base while raising your legs, flexing your hips and knees while pulling your torso slightly forward to maintain balance. Return by extending your hips and knees and lean your torso back to counter balance. Repeat.

For a more subtle exercise that won’t have you panting, simply swap your desk chair for a stability ball to improve your core strength as you sit.


The Pot Plant That Keeps You Happy Until Punching Out Time

Seeing flowers makes you a busier bee; studies suggest that adding “one plant per square metre” to your office substantially improves employee performance on memory retention and other cognitive function tests.

Adding a touch of greenery to your desk also keeps your workspace oxygenated and improves your concentration and workplace satisfaction. An orchid is the aesthetes way to purer air, but if you’re not green-fingered, a succulent is an easier ask. A cactus just looks like you’re not trying.

Keep Your Workspace Clean And Minimal

A tidy desk means a tidy mind. That goes for your computer desktop too. Keep your folders, files and inbox organised – dedicate that unproductive first half-hour at your desk to housekeeping, not Mail Online – and swap piles of printouts for a digital folder structure to go paperless. You’ll help save the planet and your sanity.

For unavoidable desk clutter, Tom Dixon’s got your back again. This minimal copper-coloured desk tidy from the Cube collection is the perfect piece to keep your Post-its, paper clips and pencils. Go for the matching stapler and tape dispenser for a stylish study.

Cube Desk Tidy, available at, priced £60 (stapler and tape dispenser sold separately).

Put Pen To Paper With A Pop Of Colour

Embracing the rainbow will help you boss your in-tray. Colour coding notes makes you more likely to recall the information later, according to organisation expert Michael Tipper.

Moleskine’s latest collection of journals will add a pop of colour to taking notes. Mix and match different sizes, styles and layouts from the ‘Chapters’ range to create a selection of notepads that will turn writing from chore to pleasure, and help you organise your daily lists, thoughts and ideas in style.

Chapters Journal, available at, priced £3.50.