Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
The office. A rut with four walls. All you’re missing are two slots for the oars so you can propel the corporate ship. It doesn’t have to be that way. Why can’t your office be a place you enjoy? Why can’t it be your personal space, not just your professional place? Who says it can’t? Your workplace needs to be a friendly place.
Even if it’s your perfectly productive home office, you’ve had those days where things are just too…serious. Taking a second to look at your T-Rex staple remover reminds you that work is just a part of life and life is to be enjoyed.
Here are a few sites to help you get your fun on, for the office.
That name says it all. From calculators that look like robots, to penguin-shaped paper clips, Office Playground has hundreds of ways to lighten up your day. How about a dry-erase board resembling a pad of paper with a big BTW on it. “BTW, your dentist appointment is at 5. BTW, you need more laundry detergent. BTW, you really should get BTW (back to work).”
How about a twist on the classic spilled drink gag? Place this coffee spill coaster under your mug and watch your co-workers wonder if you notice it’s leaking. Good for a little chuckle and, of course, it will protect your desk from actual spillage.
Cornucopia of corny comes to mind when you visit Gadgets and Gear. But corny in a good way, like simple straightforward silliness. The embodiment of that is the Pull My Finger Farting Pen. You read that right. It’s a pen that looks like a finger and when you pull it…flatulence fun follows. Or you could download a funny soundboard for your Windows computer.
Practical jokes in the workplace are somewhat acceptable at your business? Try the Shock Stapler. Next time your cubicle chum wants to borrow your stapler for the three hundredth time, put this in their hand. Bzzzt! They’ll leave your stuff alone from now on.
The humor of Knock Knock Stuff is a little more subtle that what you’d find at some other sites. Surely you’ve seen their notepads all over the place. Some are pretty funny, some are downright hilariously unacceptable for work, and some are, well, different. You might be able to get away with their Office Citation note pad. Or at least you wish you could.
If the notepads are a little too out there and too public, you can have some fun with funny file folders. They just sit inside a big metal drawer most of them. No one pays attention. But having one or two there might provide you with much needed comic relief every now and again.
The wording is refreshingly true: “Useless Documents to Provide Appearance of Importance in Meetings”, “Papers to Shuffle Endlessly Thereby Accomplishing Nothing”, and “Stuff to Hide from Boss, Spouse, or Otherwise Nosy Individual”.
Unless you’ve been hiding under an AS/400 system for the last 20 years, you know about ThinkGeek. Perhaps the most popular site on the web for smart masses, ThinkGeek has your office funny bone covered. Place this servile knight pen holder on your desk and visitors to your office will know that you deserve a ‘little’ respect.
You’re the one that tries to be nice and leaves out some candy. Just to pick people’s spirits up. But there’s always that one freeloader that grabs a whole handful every trip past your desk. The solution is simple — Ghost Pepper Super Hot Candy Balls. Ranking at about 1 million Scofield Heat Units, they aren’t quite as hot as the pepper spray used for defense, but they are still a strong freeloader deterrent.
Catching Fireflies specializes in, “…desk accessories for women and men that range from the sweet and sublime to some with a small splash of sarcasm.” There’s no better way to say it. In a word, whimsical is an appropriate description. Something as subtle as the sausage dog tape and paper clip dispenser brings just enough mirth, without offending anyone. Well, anyone reasonable. Check out some more cool accessories to help organize your desk.
If you feel like you’re always being observed, end the paranoia and make it true with a perennial favorite — googly eye push pins. Sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, everything gets a second look when it has eyes that it shouldn’t. Soon your cork board will have more eyes on your office than the NSA, FBI, XYZ…you didn’t know they were watching you?
Wacky ways to decorate your office are to be found at Egghead Toys. That’s right, egghead as in geeky, and geeky is fun! Next time you write a memo to your boss, do it with the Dissolvo Dissolving Spy Paper. Dissolvo paper looks and feels like normal paper, but completely dissolves along with your words. When your boss brings it to you to ask what it’s all about, clutch it and swish it into your coffee. Smile and say, “What memo?” Who’s the boss now?
Same boss giving you a hard time about your desk mess? Go with it. Get a trash dumpster desk organizer to put all your crap in. Embrace your inner hoarder. Take pride in pestilence. Just don’t go putting real garbage or food scraps in there. It’s okay to be the messy kid. It’s not okay to be the smelly kid.
The company is in the UK but their goods are sold in stores worldwide. Even still, you can order from them on-line. Suck’s type of funny is pretty British in nature. It’s more of a clever kind of funny. Take, for example, the musical ruler. An ordinary ruler, to be sure, but with some extraordinary markings. The ruler comes with a booklet on how to play it, authored by Dan Wieden. Apparently Dan’s a man with more time on his hands than one can measure. He just did it.
Got a wing nut in the old office? You know, a person who is lovable but quirky. Why not get your wing nut a wing nut pencil sharpener. The irony won’t be lost on them, but even if it is, they’ll still have fun with it. Perhaps the most ironic thing about this pencil sharpener is that it works really well. It’s easy to hold and turn, more so than most pencil sharpeners. Funny and practical. Just like your office wing nut.
Yep, Amazon is on the list. Is there anything that you can’t buy through Amazon now? Anything legal, anyway. Still, with more products under their roof than any on-line retailer, you know you’ll find a few funnies for the workplace. It should be mandatory that every manager have a WTF? self-inking stamp. It would save them from asking all the time, “Where’s the files?”.
Communication is the cause, and solution, to all office problems. These delightful doggie mood cards may go a long way to clearing things up. With a different dog on each flipcard for a different mood, you’ll be able to express your current state clearly and concisely. No one can get offended because, hey, cute widdle puppies! Unless they’re a cat person. In which case, get the kitty mood cards, too.
Let the Fun Begin
Surely you’ll find the right blend of wacky, fun, cute office supplies at these different merchants of merriment. They range from the cute to the inane to the WTF. Literally. If nothing else, you’ll make your boss laugh when you try to expense these supplies.
Got an office that could use some yuks? How about a story of how things like this might have helped morale a little? Know of another treasure trove of supply silliness? We’d love to hear about it. The other readers would too!
Image Credits: BTW Dry Erase Board, Sip-N-Spill Coaster, via officeplayground.com, Pull My Finger Pen, Shock Stapler, via GadgetsAndGear.com, Office Citation Notepad, Funny File Folders, via knockknockstuff.com, , via ThinkGeek.com, Sausage Dog Tape and Paper Clip Dispenser, Googly Eye Push Pins, via catchingfireflies.com, Dissolvo Spy Paper, Dumpster Trash Bin Desk Storage, via eggheadtoys.com, Musical Ruler, Wing Nut Pencil Sharpener, via suck.uk.com, WTF Stamp, Doggie Moody Cards, via amazon.com.