Not every engineer gets to stand on the top of a hill on a sunny day wearing a hardhat, a blueprint in hand, and point out into the distance where they are going to build their next Big Thing. Most have to work in an office like the rest of us, so here's a bunch of office gadgets and products for engineers that can make being stuck inside a bit more interesting--or at least productive.
Made out of 4mm thick aluminum, this desktop cell phone stand will not only much video calling much easier while you work, but it will also look much cooler than propping up your phone against a coffee mug.
I will admit, these are not for everyone. Big clock faces like this can be distracting for some people but I tend to prefer to have a clock face I can glance over at for the time, rather than try to bring up my taskbar when working on a fullscreen program just to check the time. And this one comes as a fan, too.
I'm a fan of maglev stuff overall and though they can be a pain sometimes to get to work, there is still something oddly mesmerizing about watching a floating globe on your desk.
Most desktop organizers are flat or entirely wall-mounted, so they either take up too much space or they're out of reach when you need to grab something.
This organizer can mount on a wall if need be or it can stand upright on your desk with a much slimmer profile, saving you desperately needed space.
Another maglev globe for your desk, though this one is a bit more expensive. Still, this one is definitely worth the investment with its sleek design and 6-inch globe.
Sometimes you might be working on some stuff you need to keep confidential or maybe you just need a place to put your Nintendo Switch whenever the boss might be stopping by. Just like the ones you'll find in just about every hotel room now, these can easily be mounted underneath your desk and out of sight.
It's an office, so there are going to be paperclips--lots of paperclips. Everyone's got some usually magnetized way of keeping them handy but secure. You're going to end up getting one anyway, so you might as well get one with Einstein sticking out his tongue.
The classic desk toy, Newton's Cradles are the most well known and most popular desk toy out there. Just swing one to four of the spheres at a time and watch them clack-clack away.
If space is at a premium, chances are you needed to move your mouse around a few dozen times a day. The so-called desk potato moves your mouse off your desk, freeing up much-needed room and it tucks away when not in use.
We all have pencil and pen holders, but the floating bucket holder is a bit of visual interest that can break up the monotony of any office space.
If you are sitting at a desk for any length of time, you can probably appreciate this. Using a footrest under your desk can help make you feel at least somewhat more comfortable while working at a desk for long stretches.
Most offices have hot water somewhere that you can use to make some instant coffee or tea. Just load up the Teastick with loose tea leaves and let it sit in hot water, steeping a nice cup of tea at your desk.
Sometimes office climates are a major issue for people. Many women who wear skirts to the office can tell you all about how freezing an office can be when the climate is designed to keep men in wool suits from getting too hot. Humidity is the same for many people, so this mini-humidifier at your desk can make it at least a bit more bearable.
Sometimes, nothing is more satisfying than a momentary distraction from a stressful day. This classic wooden toy can be enjoyed anywhere, but it's perfectly sized to keep at your desk to quickly set up and bowl a few quick frames in the midst of an office crisis.
Not a complete multitool, this one can slip right into your floating bucket pen and pencil holder when you just need a quick straight-edge, ruler, or a mini-screwdriver.
If you find the clock face fan too distracting, this simple USB fan is discrete and effective at helping you keep cool in a pinch.
Another useful multitool that you can just squeeze into the card slots of a wallet (though they'll probably stretch out a bit). Tweezers, a pick, can opener, and a serrated blade make it an all-around useful tool to have handy in any circumstance.
With two different silicone products, a stress-relief squeeze figure and a silicone pen-holder-and-stabbing-victim, either will be useful in the office while making things a little more colorful--if a little bit morbid.
Trick your boss into thinking you drink on the job and when you get hauled into HR, make them all look like fools with this 3-speed desk fan.
The prized possession of every kid at one point in their life, this 3D pin sculpture doesn't use the old metal pins, but uses plastic instead. Plus, if you quit your job and are determined to burn your bridges on the way out, you can always leave an obscene hand-gesture behind at your desk for your boss to find.
Assuming you are actually a good employee and they let you out of the office every once in a while to work in the field, you may need to take some drafting tools with you. This carrying case can help keep things organized while not making you look like a child on his first day of kindergarten.
Old power strips used to have a couple of outlets and a garish orange switch. It's 2019! Upgrade to a power strip with some USB ports as well to charge your phone, tablet, or other USB-powered devices like the fans on this list.
Turn the box on with the flip of the switch and a hand will pop out of the box to flip the switch back off. The box lives up to its name. If you can order office supplies on the company account and you're doing everything you can to get fired, order one for everybody in the office including two for your boss. Mischief managed.
If you ordered a bunch of Useless Boxes for the office and it's a Friday morning, chances are good security will come by to escort you out after you're fired. Get started now destroying all of your personal documents and CDs of burned movies or video games that you won't be needing to take with you. Save your back the strain because now that you're unemployed, all you have is your health.
If after all that you still have a job, you just might be in luck and might be flying too low to be picked up on the boss's radar. Whether you decide to turn over a new leaf and stick it out at your current gig, you can still put your feet up while you're at your desk. This under the desk foot hammock takes the footrest to its natural conclusion and goes all-in on comfort while you're working or pretending to work.
Sand pendulums are pretty old but that hasn't stopped them from being cool and visually interesting desk gadgets. Just be careful not to knock it over and get sand everywhere.
Sometimes the office is a bit more like a workshop than anything else. Depending on the kind of work you do, it isn't unusual to have to build a prototype or model of some design you're working on. In that case, organizing the pieces you need to build them is very important and this 44-drawer organizer can help keep everything in its place for when you need it.
The standard stapler remover in most offices are good for standard staples, but if your work is more hands-on, you're going to probably come across some heavy-duty industrial staples. Use the right tool for the job with this industrial strength stapler remover.
Speaking of heavy-duty staples, the standard stapler is good for a couple of pages and the monster stapler with the pump-handle can bind entire books together, but sometimes you need something in between. This is that stapler, which easily binds together 20-page reports.
This is the kind of multitool that comes in handy in just about every situation. With 24 tools in all, there is very little that you can't do in the field or in the office with this multitool.
Sometimes you're working with a laptop in a lab or shop, going between a project and technical materials or video conferencing with collaborators. This mobile laptop desk is adjustable to the position you need while being mobile enough to make sure it's where you need it when you need it.
Drawing tools like these are usually pretty expensive and this tool might not have the more expensive ones' level of precision, but if you need something quick for a quick sketch of a design, this tool will do the job without breaking the bank or making you look like you're in a high school geometry class.
If you have work on a laptop that has a lot of finer details that make it harder to see on a 13- or 15-inch screen, projecting it onto a larger surface like a whiteboard or even just a wall can make a huge difference. This Wi-Fi mini-projector is powerful enough to get the job done while being small and portable enough to take with you when your work takes you out of the office.
Finally, what's not to love about using the physics of counterweight to make a biplane fly around on your desk? Give the counterweight a push and zone out for a bit of a project is frying your brain. The distraction this desk toy provides just might give you the inspiration you've been looking for.