Home office gifts for the holidays
Getting through 2020 has definitely earned you a spot on the nice list, and our team at Monster knows just what you should ask for.
They say there’s no place like home for the holidays. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the ways in which we do business, working from home remains the reality for thousands of people across the country. To help make workdays a little more merry and bright this holiday season, we asked Monster employees to share their recommendations for some work-from-home gifts that remote colleagues would appreciate.
Productivity & organization
Monster research shows that 62% of employees feel their productivity has decreased due to working from home. Home office gifts like the ones below can help you and your co-workers find your groove.
Laptop stands/stand-up desks
Laptop stands and stand-up desk converters can relieve muscle tension, minimize time spent sitting, and help you find that perfect angle for video calls.
“Sitting for hours on end not only makes me antsy, but I also find it puts more strain on my back, neck, and shoulders than I’d like,” says Aisha Cargile, Senior Premium Customer Service Representative at Monster. “The VIVO adjustable stand-up desk converter allows me to choose how I want to work throughout the day. I can raise it to stand when I’m feeling restless but still need to be productive, and lower it when I’m ready to sit back down. I find that I have more energy than when I sit all day, and I like knowing that I am putting more of my core muscles to use when I stand,” she adds. Cargile also recommends the AmazonBasics ventilated adjustable laptop stand for simpler adjustments to your workspace.
Some of the best work-from-home gifts are those that replicate the advantages of the office—for example, the quality (or quantity!) of computer monitors at your disposal. If you find yourself frustrated with subpar resolution or restriction to one screen, it may be time for an upgrade.
Reno Rivera, a CompuCon Mac Support Specialist who works with our teams at Monster, recommends the LG 34'' Class 21:9 UltraWide® QHD IPS curved LED monitor and the LG UltraFine 5K display as best-in-class options for new desktop monitors.
It can be difficult to keep your workspace tidy when you have multiple devices, cords, and chargers to keep track of. Paulynn Brack, Monster Customer Service Representative, recommends the Mojilghet headphone stand, which allows her to neatly store her tablet and headset within reach.
Meanwhile, Senior Account Executive Nina James can’t live without the Belkin 3-in-1 wireless charger, which can simultaneously charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. “It is the best thing I’ve ever purchased,” she says. “I love the fact that I can dock my cell phone on it and charge my iWatch on it together. It sits right next to my keyboard, so I never have to worry about it running out of juice, and it looks really great on my desk space.”
A quality pair of headphones
Whether you’re looking to drown out your surroundings or simply make sure your conference calls are coming in loud and clear, the right pair of headphones can make all the difference. These days, there is no shortage of variety to be found—from earbuds to over-the-ear models to wireless to plug-in options.
When it comes to wireless headphones, Monster Marketing Manager James Preiss calls AirPods “game changers” in terms of functionality. For more affordable alternatives, he recommends exploring the Jaybird or Anker brands. If you’re searching for a more standard pair of earbuds, Audio Technica and Bose both have high-quality options at a range of prices.
Prefer over-the-ear models? Preiss does, too. “I personally use the Audio-Technica AT M50 Bluetooth headphones,” he says. “You can use the cord or go wireless. They’re amazing for sound and work great wirelessly.” If you’re looking for an over-ear pair at a lower price, this pair on Amazon receives glowing reviews.
Some headphones go a step further to actively reduce the ambient noise around you. As Monster Systems Administrator Albert Antosca can attest, noise-cancelling headphones are a great tool for minimizing distractions and maintaining focus—especially if you’re not the only one working from your home.
You can find models at varying price points on Amazon (like this $20 pair or this $60 pair). If you’re looking to spend a little more, Preiss notes that Bose’s over-ear noise-cancelling headphones “are the best noise-cancelling [option], from what I can tell.” The QuietComfort 35 model is also highly rated.
Notebooks, old & new
A perennial favorite for those who still love putting pen to paper, Moleskine Classic Notebooks come in a variety of sizes, layouts, and colors, helping your workspace stay organized and stylish.
For those looking for something a little more modern, Monster Sales Development Representative Connor McLoughlin swears by the Rocketbook reusable notebook, which allows you to digitize handwritten notes and send them directly to your email or cloud-based storage services. The best part, according to Cargile, is that the notes are searchable once digitized.
If you’re participating in frequent video calls, virtual conferences, or speaking engagements like Roxanne Tashjian, Monster SVP of Sales Effectiveness and Optimization, the Ubeesize Ring Light is indispensable.
“I was gifted this item to use during a webinar I recently participated in, and I find myself using it practically every day,” she says. “It’s great to have easy access to proper lighting for daily video calls, and if you’re in need of conducting a video recording, it helps with that, too. On a personal note, it can also provide the right lighting for makeup application. It’s the perfect gift for vloggers or people working from home.”
Whether it’s nice and warm or cool as ice, make sure your drink stays at the right temperature all day long, even when you (inevitably) get distracted and have to leave your workspace for 20 minutes. Gone are the endless trips to the kitchen to reheat, re-chill, or refill thanks to these convenient beverage-centric gifts for people who work from home.
Have you ever met someone who doesn’t love their Yeti? Timothy Robbins, VP of the GM Staffing & Recruiting Segment at Monster, is partial to the supersized 30 oz. tumbler, which helps keep hot and cold beverages at just the right temperature. Senior Director of Sales Communications & Change Management Andrea Ciurleo-Marino prefers the 12 oz. can insulator to keep her caffeinated beverages cold.
For a less expensive tumbler that holds up when put to the test, try Contigo. “Travel mugs always seem to hold two truths for me: they’re always spilling and I’m always losing them,” shares Stacey Furtado, Director of Internal & Digital Communications at Monster. “For that reason, I keep a link to Contigo’s Autoseal 16 oz. travel mug handy. Since it’s under $20, I don’t lose sleep if it goes missing, and the seal has been a game changer when it comes to keeping my coffee off my clothes and desk.”
Tired of reheating the same cup of coffee throughout the day? With these handy devices, your coffee stays hot and fresh at your desk all day long—no effort (or steps) necessary.
Monster Enterprise Sales Representative Jennifer Masel swears by her Cosori Coffee Warmer, while Meg Prior, Senior Director of Government Contracts, Compliance, and Security, loves her version from Bestnify for its auto-shut off functionality.
XL water bottle
It can be easy to lose yourself in work and forget to drink water throughout the day. A hard-to-miss 1-gallon water bottle, much like this one, will help you stay healthy and hydrated—and prevent the need to get up and walk to the kitchen every half hour to refill your glass!
Just for fun
Bring a little comfort and a lot of joy to your workspace with these items.
These days, it’s likely no one can see what shoes you’re wearing under your desk, which is all the more reason to give your feet a little treat. Consider investing in a cozy pair of slippers, preferably ones that provide extra comfort or arch support like these Tempur-Pedic or Memory Foam options.
If you’re missing the chance to catch up on podcasts, music, or news during your daily commute, you’re not alone. Chris Crapser, Monster VP of Sales, recommends a Bluetooth speaker like the Sonos Move to listen to all your favorite songs and shows while you work.
“I cannot say that my commute is something that I am missing during the pandemic, as I was spending two-plus hours a day in my car. What I do miss is the opportunity to decompress, as sometimes it feels more like living at work than working from home when your laptop is always open and just a few steps away,” Crapser admits. “Having my Sonos allows me to catch up on the latest news, unwind with a true-crime podcast, or listen to my favorite artists’ stations in the background to provide me with an opportunity to step away from it all.”
Aside from the Sonos, you can find a variety of Bluetooth speakers online at other price points, like this OontZ Angle 3 speaker with 92,000+ favorable reviews on Amazon.
If there was ever a time to get a green thumb, it’s now. Websites like The Sill have a variety of live plants available for purchase in pots and planters of varying colors. Each listing includes simple care instructions that can help you determine which plant is the best fit for your home.
Months of remote work can take a toll on our minds and bodies. These thoughtful items will help support your physical and mental health.
This year has amplified many of the existing stressors in our lives, in addition to introducing new ones. Activities like filling out this mindfulness journal can help you reduce anxiety, build good habits, and learn to appreciate the present with all its nuances.
Pandemic-induced stress and anxiety, increased screen time, and transitioning seasons can throw us all off our game. Get back on track with a subscription for Calm, the #1 app for sleep and meditation. This year, Monster provided all employees with a free year-long subscription to the app as a way to offer support during this difficult period.
“Working from home may seem great to begin with, and there are many benefits such as no commute, short trips to the fridge, and all the home comforts,” says Claire Barnes, SVP of Global Human Resources at Monster. “In reality, it can be stressful trying to balance work and look after loved ones or feeling unable to step away from your work environment because you also live in it. The Calm app was a great choice for us because it’s global, it’s accessible to everyone, and it promotes mental wellbeing, whether through sleeping better, meditation, healthy eating, or relaxation exercises.”
Under-desk exercise machines
With the lines between work and home blurring, some people may be struggling to stay active. Luckily, you no longer have to get away from your desk to get moving. While some items like an under-desk bike are on the pricier side, you can find others such as an under-desk elliptical at lower price points.
Healthy snack subscription
When your workspace is right next to your kitchen, it’s all too easy to head to the pantry whenever you have a break.
"Because I am so close to the kitchen, I tend to snack a lot," admits Keiko LaFerla, Principal QA Engineer. She was one of several Monster employees who mentioned keeping healthy snacks on hand while working from home. She recommends trying to put a "twist [on healthy snacks, such as nuts and fruits] to keep things interesting." For example, nuts seasoned with a hint of curry. Overwhelmed by endless choices at the grocery story? An easy way to stock up is by signing up for a healthy snack subscription service.
Here’s hoping our roundup of work-from-home gifts makes your holiday shopping a bit easier this season. Could you use some more practical help? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you’ll get workplace trends, career advice, and job search tips sent directly to your inbox so you can have an easier time navigating the trickier twists and turns you face along your career path. From all of us at Monster, have a safe and happy holiday season!