16 office furniture upgrades and other work space must-haves

From standing desks to telepresence robots, we dug deep, to find interesting tech buys for your office.
By Elyse Betters Picaro, Managing Editor
1 of 16 Fully Jarvis Bamboo

Standing desks

Let's just get this one out of the way: Buy a standing desk.

You've seen all the reports and data by now -- sitting for hours at a time simply isn't good for your health (or posture). Those of you who wouldn't mind switching to an upright position during the day should look at the $685 Fully Jarvis Bamboo. It's an adjustable standing desk that can support up to 350 pounds (counting the top) and effortlessly glides as it rises and lowers.

See it now: Fully Jarvis Bamboo

If you want an upgrade option, there is the $495 Uplift Electronic Adjustable Desk. It's motorized and lets you store different height preference presets.

See it now: Uplift Electronic Adjustable Desk

2 of 16 Jarvis treadmill desk

Treadmill desks

An alternative option to the standing desk mentioned earlier would be the Jarvis treadmill desk. It's exactly what you think it is: The classic Jarvis standing desk, paired with a LifeSpan Fitness treadmill underneath. It's the ultimate healthy workstation. But it starts at a whopping $1,475.

See it now: Jarvis treadmill desk

3 of 16 Cubii Pro

Under-desk trainers

If you'd like something more discrete than a beastly treadmill desk, consider an under-desk accessory such as the $349 Cubii Pro. Supposedly, you can burn up to 150 calories per hour with this elliptical. It syncs to Fitbit and Apple Healthkit and tracks calories, strides, distance, RPM, and time. A cheaper, non-smart option is the $89 Stamina In-Motion Elliptical -- or even the $50 Sunny Health and Fitness Adjustable Twist Stepper.

See it now: Cubii Pro

See it now: Stamina In-Motion Elliptical

See it now: Sunny Health and Fitness Adjustable Twist Stepper.

4 of 16 FluidStance

Balance boards or matts

FluidStance is a popular balance board option. It starts at $189 and claims to increase your energy expenditure, improve happiness, raise your heart rate, boost your performance, expand your range of motion, and, most importantly, enhance the comfort of standing out a desk for hours at a time.

See it now: FluidStance

Those of you looking for something cheaper might want to look at the $100 Ergodriven Topo. It has a varied terrain to stand on, thus it encourages movement and makes standing less tedious.

See it now: Ergodriven Topo

5 of 16 Smart Desk 3

Smart desks

A smart desk can double as a standing desk. For instance, the $548 Smart Desk 3 is a standing desk that measures your activity and tells you the best time to stand or sit. It even has a built-in tablet and can order your lunch for delivery. The entire desk is actually powered by AI and attempts to offer suggestions for increasing your productivity.

See it now: Smart Desk 3

An upgrade option is the $2,990 Stir Kinetic Desk M1, which again has touchscreen control, claims to learn your routine, notifies you of the best times to stand or sit, and it raises and lowers itself. It also syncs with Fitbit.

See it now: Stir Kinetic Desk M1

6 of 16 Herman Miller

Activity sensors for desks

Herman Miller teamed up with designer Yves Béhar on smart office furniture. Called Live OS, the system uses a software subscription ($36 to $60 per year) and sensors ($100 each) that come preinstalled with Herman Miller desks or can be retrofitted to any existing desk. The sensors collect data and offer insights. When used with Herman Miller's sit-to-stand desk, people can set goals via an app and get vibrations on the desk that encourage movement or a posture change.

See it now: Live OS

Alternatively, there is Humanscale's OfficeIQ, a sensor and mobile app system that starts at $250. It get you to be more active with prompts throughout the day and data on your calories burned.

See it now: Humanscale's OfficeIQ

7 of 16 Ergo Desktop Kangaroo Pro Junior

Desk converters

A desk converter is an ugly contraption - no matter the model.

But they all allow you to stand up and work at your existing desk. They're usually much cheaper than buying an entire standing desk, and they don't take up that much space. The $400 Ergo Desktop Kangaroo Pro Junior is a well-rated option. But if you're on a really tight budget, you can opt for a cardboard converter, such as this $25 Ergodriven Spark on Amazon.

See it now: Ergo Desktop Kangaroo Pro Junior

See it now: Ergodriven Spark

8 of 16 Bos

Ergonomic office chairs

Those of you who absolutely need to sit while you work should at least be sure you aren't killing your back. There's kneeling stools, such as this $65 Boss one, which relieves strain on the lumbar muscles by easing the hip forward and encourages an upright posture by aligning the back.

See it now: Boss kneeling stool

Another option is the $116 Zenergy Ball Chair, which again encourages good posture, but also core muscle strength and claims to help increase concentration.

See it now: Zenergy Ball Chair

9 of 16 Mogo Seat

Alternative office chairs

An alternative -- and more mobile -- seating option is the $70 Mogo Seat, which supports a stand-up leaning posture while providing less pressure on your spine. It also helps engage major muscle groups, is collapsible and portable, and can be used anywhere a seat is needed - indoors or out.

See it now: Mogo Seat

If you prefer to perch, there are motion stool, like this $88 one from Uplift. It supports perch-standing at your desk, thanks to its weighted base that won't slip as you sit, stand, perch, or tilt.

See it now: Uplift motion stool

10 of 16 Logitech

Productive workstation accessories

This category is edging on gadget territory versus smart office furniture, but hear us out. Logitech's $30 multi-device keyboard is a normal size wireless keyboard. Ir also has a built-in cradle that lets you dock and use your mobile devices while also connecting over Bluetooth to your Windows, Mac, or Chrome computer for a more productive working experience.

See it now: Logitech multi-device keyboard

If you want to take your workstation up another level, add a monitor arm. It'll save space on your desk and provides you worth a wide range of movement. This $100 AmazonBasics one is sturdy.

See it now: Luxafor

Lastly, there is the Luxafor (starts at $31). It's an LED indicator that connects to a computer via Bluetooth, shows your colleagues your availability, and notifies you about incoming information.

11 of 16 Atmoph Window

Physiological workstation accessories

Now we're getting into more obscure things. For instance, the $699 Atmoph Window is a digital window that can be placed anywhere in your office, shows beautiful scenery from around the globe with videos and sound, and can be controlled by your smartphone. It's perfect for those of you who long for the outdoors while trapped inside.

See it now: Atmoph Window

If you want something more therapeutic, consider the $110 Carex lamp. It emits 99.3 percent UV-free light, has a 10,000-lux light intensity, plus a large, 250-square-inch face. It's recommended by the Center for Environmental Therapeutics, a nonprofit collective of scientists and clinicians dedicated to research about environmental therapies and their physiological benefits.

See it now: Carex lamp

12 of 16 Suitable Technologies Beam Enhanced

Telepresence robots

Can a robot be furniture? Either way, a telepresence robot is a neat gadget for any remote worker. It's basically a videoconferencing screen mounted on a moving base.

You can log in to a telepresence robot and control it from home, project your own face on the screen, move around with it, and interact with people in an office using it. The Suitable Technologies Beam Enhanced is the main one worth considering, as it is really well rated. It goes up to 2mph, and features a wide-angle camera with a 10-inch screen.

See it now: Suitable Technologies Beam Enhanced

13 of 16 Google's Jamboard


If you've got money to spend, a Whiteboard may be worth splurging on for the boardroom. It's a 4K touch display, so you can replace your TV with it, and you can use for meetings and presentation purposes as well as for collaboration.

There are B2B-friendly options from SpinTouch, Planar, and U-Touch, but we really like Google's Jamboard (starts at $3,999) and Microsoft's Surface Hub (starts at $8,999). Surface Hub is positioned as a standalone touch-computing device running on the Windows 10 and Office platform, while Jamboard is more like a touch display that's focused on the G-Suite platform.

See it now: Google Jamboard

See it now: Microsoft Surface Hub

14 of 16 ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector

Portable projectors

If you're looking for a new projector for your workplace, boardroom, or home office theater, check out the $310 ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector that can be easily be moved from room to room or house to office, thanks to its built-in battery. It's capable of projecting a screen up to 100 inches tall from a range of media players (including the $39 Amazon Fire TV Stick), PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. It also has dual Harman Kardon speakers and 16GB of internal storage.

See it now: ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector

Another option is Anker's $350 Nebula Capsule. The unique thing about this projector is that it can fit into the palm of your hand and be used while on the go.

See it now: Anker Nebula Capsule

15 of 16 Elyse Betters Picaro/ZDNET

Phone charging stations

Everyone has a phone. Give your clients or co-workers or bosses (or even yourself) a quick place to top up with conveniently placed charging stations. IKEA has some minimalist wireless options, including LED work lamps with wireless charging stations built into the base (starting at $59).

See it now: IKEA wireless charging stations

Those of you who happen to need some seating in your office and know more people who charge up via a cord, grab a charging chair for them, such as the $275 Atlantic chair. Look around, though, because plenty of other brands make these sort of things.

See it now: Atlantic charging chair

16 of 16 Elyse Betters Picaro/ZDNET

Smart office appliances

Last but not least we have smart appliances for your office.

There's Amazon's $59 Microwave with built-in Alexa, so you can heat up your lunch while getting the weather report from your favorite AI. A more advanced option is the June countertop oven for $599. It uses software to identify foods that you put inside and can automatically set the cook time and temperature. There's even Wi-Fi coffee pots such as the $199 Behmor Connected.

See it now: AmazonBasics Microwave with Alexa

See it now: June countertop oven

See it now: Behmor Connected coffee pot

If you've already got a microwave, convection oven, or coffee pot, consider plugging it into Amazon's $25 smart outlet so that you can turn it off and on by voice using Alexa.

See it now: Amazon smart plug

From smart blinds to smart locks, there are tonnes more products you can get to outfit your workplace and make it a little more intelligent. See some more examples in our other guide here.

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