Holiday Guide to the Ultimate Workspace

Autonomous Autonomous | Mar 8, 2017

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Desk envy: it’s real. Many of us fantasize about how much more comfortable, productive and purposeful we could feel in a beautifully organized, tastefully decorated workspace. It turns out that’s not just “the grass is greener” thinking. Having control over your work environment has been shown to make a significant difference in the overall performance of employees. Here’s an overview of how innovative companies are handling this from the Harvard Business Review.

But we don’t have to start at the mythical level of flexibility big companies like Facebook and CBRE offer their employees, basic steps towards autonomy over your work environment can also make a huge difference. Even just being able to decide if and when you want to sit or stand while working has been proven to increase motivation. (This is why an easy to use sit-to-stand desk is a great option).

So treat yourself or a loved one this year to a little something that perks up a workspace. And maybe make a New Year’s resolution to do something small to keep this effort up once a month. By next year you’ll be more focused, relaxed and productive at your desk.

For inspiration here’s one ultimate setup from DailyTekk that kind of blew our minds. (We are SO pleased to see that Chris likes his Autonomous SmartDesk). Some goodies from the video are below plus our favorites, too.

(Please share if we help you work smarter. Add your favorite workspace essentials in the comments!)


Feel pre-order for $149


Photo from

It’s not out yet but we love supporting innovative ideas. It’s like a FitBit for your emotional wellbeing. If you prefer something that looks less like jewelry, try the Sence band for $129 early bird on Kickstarter.

Plume Pods $234

Plume Pods

For those of us working at home who have experienced the sheer panic of patchy WiFi with an important conference call coming up! Not only are they beautifully designed, they’re super useful.

Organize and Accessorize

Bluelounge Jimi $14.95

Bluelounge Jimi

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Stop fumbling around the back of your Mac.

Bluelounge CableDrops $9.95 for a pack of 6

Bluelounge CableDrops

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Cords: tamed. Comes in multiple colors. Useful, nice to look at and exactly the right price for a stocking stuffer.

Sena Apple Pencil Stand $40

Sena Apple Pencil Stand

Photo from

Perfect for the iPad obsessed designers out there. Stay classy with this tumbled leather and gunmetal stand that looks like a beautiful little piece of furniture rather than a charger.

Porcupine Pencilholder $18

Porcupine Pencilholder

Photo from

This counts as both art and organization. Why have more plastic around when you could have a fun little ceramic porcupine?

TaoTronics Elune $30

TaoTronics Elune

Photo from

This lamp is like a caring study buddy: when you need cold concentration, it has a setting for that. When you need to nap but not pass out, turn the light to soothing and set the hour timer. It really does a lot for $30 and gets great reviews.

DIY Coffee Cold Brew Sets $19

DIY Coffee Cold Brew Sets

Photo from Kaufman Mercantile

Make cold brew without getting coffee grounds in your teeth from your own favorite beans.

Grovemade everything $29 — $599


Photo from

This company has an awesome mission and makes subtle, beautiful, handmade desk accessories — from little planters to keyboard and computer stands to speakers. You couldn’t ask for more and they’re worth the small investment.

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus $89.99

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus

This is a treat you don’t realize you deserved. There is real evidence that certain colors encourage effectiveness at different tasks. Ambience is everything.


Gadgets are cool but plants are no joke when it comes to making your office or workspace livable. A recent 10-year study published by the American Psychological Association found that a workplace devoid of greenery is literally one of the most miserable places on earth for humans. Which makes plants an affordable pro-mental health gift, especially if you get these low-maintenance ones that won’t die and make you feel like a failure.

Air Plants $29.50

Air Plants

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A touch of rustic.

Platycerium Lemoinei $55.00

(multiple planter colors)

Platycerium Lemoinei

Photo from The Sill

This plant purifies the air and is very hard to kill. The Sill is a website dedicated to meeting the office greenery need. They offer a 30-day guarantee, just in case.

Succulent Monsters $29.00

Succulent Monsters 

Photo from

Tell me this wouldn’t cheer you up.

Jade and Peace Lilies are also easy, air-purifying office choices.


EO2 $299


Photo from Electric Objects

No, it’s not just a screen. This HD monitor has thousands of superb works of art for you to choose from. You can also upload your own or become a member of the Art Club, which gets you access to the exclusive pieces commissioned for the EO2 on a weekly basis.

Prints by Society6

Prints by Society6

A seemingly endless treasure trove of independent art by real people for affordable prices. They also sell all manner of other products with the same patterns, from coffee mugs to blankets.

(Please share if we help you work smarter. Add your favorite workspace essentials in the comments!)

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