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12 Things to Put on Your Executive Desk

Bankim Chandra |

A well-arranged executive desk filled with essential items can do wonders for your productivity and mood throughout the workday. To get the right balance, these items must be a mix of both functional and aesthetic objects.

So, what are the essential items for any executive office desk? First, you must have basic things like a writing pad, a pen, and an organiser.  You can also include some modern accessories like a USB hub and headphones. Finally, you can finish with a few decorative objects like a picture frame or a plant.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Keep on reading for more recommendations for what to put on your executive desk.

1. Quality notebook and pen


Even though you might have note apps installed on your phone, it's still a great idea to have a notepad and pen close by. These two give you the freedom to easily take notes down without interrupting your workflow.

With them, you can quickly write down and draw any rough plans or ideas that come to mind. You can go for any notepad size, including the bigger A4 legal pads, small jotters, etc.

You can even spring for Post-it notes so you can place visual reminders in your workspace.

2. USB hub

As popular work laptops and ultrabooks become smaller and slimmer, they increasingly offer a smaller selection of ports. So, if you're using a device like the MacBook with a limited selection of ports, you're going to need more port options.

Getting a USB hub will help extend your laptop's functionality so that you can plug more devices into it at once. You can even have USB hubs offering additional functionality like Ethernet, HDMI, USB C, etc.

3. Organiser set


Clutter is one of the worst enemies of productivity. If your workspace is cluttered with different items or poorly arranged, it will surely slow down and affect your work adversely. That’s why every desk needs an organiser set to keep everything in its rightful place. With an organiser set, you get a place for storing the usual files and folders on your desk. You also have a place to properly store office supplies like stationeries, staplers, notes, etc.

4. A mirror


This one might seem strange, but trust us, a mirror can be a great addition to your desk. Just imagine you're in a presentation after lunch, and you suddenly realise 10 minutes in that you have something stuck in your teeth. Yikes.

With a mirror on your desk, you can avoid all this drama. It provides a way to give yourself a quick once over before you go into meetings or other work-related gatherings.

5. Wire organiser

It can be very frustrating to untangle several wires and chargers each time you need to power your device. This is why cable management is key to good workspace design. Using a cable organiser, you can keep all your wires arranged neatly in one spot without tangles. Also, it has the added benefit of keeping them away from sight, leading to a neater, better-looking desk.

You can also splurge on a USB charging station. Using this, you can charge all your devices in one spot and avoid lugging power bricks all around.

6. A green plant


A bit of greenery on your desk, or anywhere in your office is never a bad idea. These plants add a splash of colour to the workplace and they can even have a calming effect on your mood.

Additionally, they also help remove pollutants in the office air, making it cleaner. Besides, a green plant can be a welcome reminder of the green world outside amidst all the standard modern office tech. 

7. A photo of what you’re doing it for


The 9-5 grind can be tough sometimes and every once in a while, a little motivation can be vital to getting you back on track. In times like this, a photo of who you're doing it for can be just what you need to lift your spirit.

So, make sure you have a framed photo of your loved ones on your desk. It can be your children, partner, or even a favourite pet, just make sure it fills you with hope, confidence and happy memories.

Furthermore, a framed photo can also be a great way to humanise yourself in the eyes of your coworkers and customers.

8. Water bottle

Staying hydrated is key to keeping your energy levels high and maintaining good health. However, plastic one-use bottles are wasteful and bad for the environment.

The good news is that you can do your bit in saving the planet while staying hydrated at all times with a reusable water bottle. If you want to take it further, you can even purchase a thermos for your hot drinks like soup, coffee, etc.

9. Something funny

Something funny can be a bobblehead, a funny quote, or a toy. Just make sure you have something on your desk to break up the monotony and show a bit of your personality and humour to the world.

Just remember you’re still in an office, so choose an appropriate form of humour.

10. Headphones


Headphones are a must-have for workers, especially if you're working in a shared space. A good pair of headphones will help block out the outside noise and give you the quiet you need to focus on the work at hand.

If you’re getting headphones, it’s also advisable to get a stand where you can keep them. Headphones, for the most part, are very fragile. With a stand, you have a spot where you can mount it safely within arm’s reach.

11. Sanitation

The importance of sanitation and good hygiene cannot be overemphasised, especially in these times. Therefore, keeping a clean workspace is very important, not just for your health but for the health of others.

You need to have a few sanitation essentials at hand on your desk to do this. The first and most important are wipes. It’s a good idea to stock on both standard kitchen wipes and wet wipes. You can use these to clean stains, wipe down dirty surfaces and take care of spills.

You should also have hand sanitisers, disinfectant sprays and an air freshener to take care of unpleasant smells. These will help reduce the spread of bacteria in and around your workspace.

12. Mint/Chewing gum

Working in an office often involves interaction with multiple people and you don’t want to have bad breath for that, do you? Having a mint handy is key, so you’re never caught out with bad breath.

Besides, a mint can also be a great conversation starter when you offer it to others. So, keeping a stash handy on your desk is a great way to break the ice with others.

So, there you have it. These items above are some of the essentials you should have on your executive desk for a productive and stress-free workday.

Wishing you all the best as you put together your workspace!

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