The best desk and office toys should not distract you from finishing a report or handling your day-to-day workload.
Here are the best stress relief toys that will make your workday more productive!
Natasha D. Oates
Award-winning Therapist | Keynote Speaker, The UP Company, PLLC
Feeling tied to the desk feels really different now. For many during the pandemic, this means being stuck at home 24/7. Whether you’re in an actual office or working from home the following inexpensive items can help lower your stress while working:
Earphones for soft music
Do you listen to soft music while you work? Well…you should! Music has been shown to slow your heart rate and lower tension and stress.
If you have a single office or a home office this is a great opportunity to let essential oils soothe your mood. There are a number of options to do this. My favorites are through flameless essential oil candles and essential oil diffusers.
For many, the sight or sound of water is a natural soother. If you don’t have access to a small indoor fountain, consider a noise cancellation machine with different water and nature sound settings. Its calming effect will be music to your ears.
If you’re working from home, chances are you can move your workspace into a room with a window. This is a simple way to lower your stress. Research shows that being in nature can have a calming effect and lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.
If your office doesn’t have access to windows we recommend you take a break by walking outside or having a portion of your workday outside. It may sound odd but the glow of the sun and the green of grass and trees will help those worries to subside.
Business Consultant, iFour Technolab Pvt, Ltd
An executive of any company requires some desk toys to relieve stress and to boost the creativity from an employee while stuck to make an important decision. Another reason for using desk toys is fidgeting. There is a certain group of people who are unable to sit still and require something to occupy themselves during the alone time or droning a conference call.
Most of the companies have realized the importance of desk toys for stress-alleviating and have dedicated space to set up with such toys to relax.
Following are the desk and office stress tools which everyone should hold one on your desk;
It consists of several rare magnets. With those magnets, one can design a magnetic structure that moves around the pen. The Polar magnet pen is great to fiddle while working at one point though.
Fidget hand spinner
It is a colorful and vibrant looking fidget hand spinner that can give you much-required relaxation simply just by seeing it. The steel bearing provides a smooth and long-lasting spin to the spinner and even this toy will suit your desk.
Desktop punching ball
In cases when you are frustrated with your work or yourself, or your growing to-do list, just simply let it all out by punching this durable spring ball which can be fixed on your desk. It is the best toy to relieve the stress of everything whether its work or personal or anything. You can always pour your stress on it.
Magnetic decision maker
It is the perfect desk tool to relieve stress from making decisions. Having Magic 8-ball can be the best magnetic decision-maker. If someone in the company or you are perplexed to decide, then till desk toy will be the right decision.
Wooden labyrinth game
An outstanding-boggling structure that has been used since ancient times. This stress wooden desk toy works as an accent and challenging puzzle all in one to make your mind active and relieve stress.
To sum up, these are the desk stress-relieving tools which are considered cost-effective and can hold a good place on your desk while you are working at a workplace.
CEO, WebSpero Solutions
I have it for the last over one year, and it has become a toy for the entire office. Whenever I am stressed out, frustrated, or angry, I just hit it. I remember when I purchased it after shouting at one of my employees. I felt bad. I bought to keep my anger within myself. But it has become a toy for everyone in the office right now.
Mini maze game
It is a small version of a labyrinth game. Whenever I am bored or run out of ideas, I just spend some time solving this little challenging puzzle. This helps me divert my mind and clear it for fresh thoughts.
To be honest, I just bought a Rubik’s cube because I saw one at my friend’s home and could not solve it after many attempts. But it became an exercise at work to relax my mind. I like to spend some on it. And, I am still not able to solve it.
Editor & Content Ambassador, Romantific
In a normal working environment, you get to do and finish your job for at least eight hours each day for five days. According to statistics, 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful and 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.
An unhealthy amount of stress is being accumulated while working. Even for people like me who work from home, it still gets stressful from time-to-time. I often relax by taking a break or having a stress relief toy at my desk or in my office at work. I have a handful of these and here are the 2 best ones:
This is such a classic, and still my favorite. You can place it wherever on your desk or could be a decoration in your office. Stress balls can be filled with clay, slime, or any malleable material which is held in the palm of our hands.
Squeezing it helps in relieving stress and tension, making you calmer. It also diverts your attention from overthinking about problems or how stressful you are. It is also proven to help in blood circulation.
Reflexology foot massage roller
I just discovered this when I saw my grandmother using one. It is a wooden roller with nubs and ridges that you can place under your desk or table. You just need to place your foot on the roller, apply pressure, and move it back and forth.
In reflexology, the feet have specific points that can alleviate pain or provide relaxation. By applying pressure on these specific points, it will stimulate trigger points that can relieve pain and improve your mood.
Founder, The Product Analyst
In my years of working from home, I’ve gone through a couple of stress relief toys on my desk. As a founder, there are lots of stressful moments and I could always use some of these for relief. Here are my favorite desk toys right now:
This is the one that looks like a mixer but the ends are open. Although this stress relief toy looks like something that should belong in the kitchen, it’s an absolute must-have for my desk.
Whenever I feel like my brain can’t handle the information anymore or if I’m having a mental block, I just whip this up and massage my head. Just two minutes of using this nifty tool allow me to relax so I can start fresh.
I don’t think we adults will ever be too grown-up to play with putty. I mean, isn’t it relaxing to just squish it with your hands? It honestly helps me think, so I take it out when I’m in thinking mode.
Physically squeezing and molding the putty eases off some of the mental stresses and kind of puts the brain gears at work.
Chief Investigator | Owner, North American Investigations
3D labyrinth toys
People feel nostalgic whenever they play a maze game where they guide a piece of a metal ball from the start line to the finish line in a labyrinth-like set-up. The old models were two-dimensional, but current toy manufacturers have the ingenious idea to manufacture three-dimensional variants.
The best part about these types of toys is not their uniqueness, but their ability to make the mind focus on accomplishing the task. When this happens, it successfully makes me forget about work temporarily while I attempt to solve the puzzle.
My favorite one is the Perplexus Epic, which offers a 22-feet worth of track to travel on a miniature toy you can hold using one hand.
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor | Owner, LifeSpring Counseling Services
The cubii is small, quiet, and portable, so it can be used under your desk while working or while sitting on your couch watching a movie. Because it is quiet, it won’t interrupt what you’re watching on TV, nor will it interfere with any live, online work that you are doing.
Cubii can be used while attending live, online meetings without anyone else knowing as it does not require your upper body to move. The cubii is a great way to integrate movement into your day to release stress, release additional energy, and feel more alert.
This can also be a neat tool for people who don’t particularly enjoy exercise in general, as they can engage in a natural movement while completing other activities. For this reason, it can also be great for people who don’t have a lot of time to exercise.
They can move while completing other tasks. Movement, in general, is good for mental health, and for maintenance purposes, the best kind of movement is the kind that we find enjoyable.
I’m going to skip stress balls, even though I did get them those. I’m sure lots of people will praise stress balls for their simplicity and mindless ability to grant relief. I’d like to instead talk about a couple of other items we tried: Fidget cubes and adult coloring books.
Cube fidget spinners
I don’t think fidget spinners are especially useful for most people, and they’ve definitely become something everyone scoffs at. Fidget cubes, though, give a variety of tactile responses. They fit in the palm of your hand (at least the ones I bought do) and you can worry them with your thumb while you’re on a call or doing other tedious work.
The feedback of things moving and clicking into place is very satisfying, and many of our employees have really enjoyed these cubes. A big downside, though, is that they can sometimes be grating to others. They’re not extremely loud, but the clicks and other sounds would probably irritate people working in close quarters.
Adult coloring books
Adult coloring books, meanwhile, are a mostly silent activity. I bought the ones that have more complicated patterns (the mandala designs) and a set of colored pencils to go with them.
Obviously it’s not something you can do as easily while working, but I’ve certainly found myself mindlessly coloring something in during a meeting, the same way I might have doodled before.
Between tasks or on breaks, however, I’ve found it to be a calming experience that gives a visual representation of progress made.
Stress balls and toys are a common but very effective option. Many people keep toys and gadgets on their desk to simply fill the space and look nice, but it can be great if the objects can fulfill a practical purpose.
Stress balls, objects, or really anything you can squeeze to relieve stress and tension is great to have on hand throughout the day. They can also be great to hold onto while working or concentrating, especially for coworkers that feel they always need to be fidgeting or playing with something.
CEO, Fig Loans
Wooden balance board
I run a finance technology company that builds risk models + lending software for non-profit organizations. We work in a co-working space in NYC and have about 10 people.
The best office stress relief toy we’ve had is a wooden balance board. Some of them are very hard but this one for me is the best because it’s easy to pick up.
It gets used at least once every day. I think it has been so successful for us because it’s clearly a physical activity that uses a different side of the brain, but not physically taxing and easy to use so accessible to everyone. It’s also pretty fun to step on as you’re passing by because it brings you back to your jungle gym days.
In my spare time, I was a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certified personal trainer for 2 years. This is one of my favorite pieces of equipment to find in a gym and it’s definitely under-appreciated at the gym because it’s not physically taxing nor difficult to try. I think that’s a major reason why it’s been so effective in the office!
CMO, Seriously Smoked
Magnetic fishing kit toy
This toy is a standard device that all people possessed when they were kids. Because of that, it also helps give a sense of nostalgia that other stress-relieving toys can not emulate.
The mechanics of the classic game is still the same, but I do recommend playing with coworkers. Playing with other people not only helps just one person but the entire players who need a needed break from their responsibilities.
With this game, you are not only helping restore your productivity levels but your coworkers as well. In doing so, you can expect to see improved team output and efficiency.
The best part about this type is that it helps solidify interpersonal relationships. Games like these help bridge the distant and awkward feelings coworkers have for each other. So, while you’re trying to relieve your stress, you are boosting workplace solidarity in the process too.
Founder & CEO, Home Grounds
Pin art devices allow users to actively create art pieces in three-dimensional format by pushing or pulling pins to a certain depth, which helps create the illusion of a three-dimensional surface.
I love them since they functioned similarly to those metal-based drawing boards we had when we were kids, where the drawings get magically erased by resetting the picture with the built-in swiper.
The same concept works similarly to pin art—when I’m not satisfied with my work, I reset the piece I’m creating back to normal.
Most of the time, however, I play with it by inserting random objects like my hand, a coffee mug, my phone, a mini faux plant, or any other small objects in my desk. The few minutes I spent playing with my pin art device helps me regain my productivity levels back on track.
Marketing Manager, Rain
My favorite desk stress relief toy is my dammit doll. It’s fantastic because everyone in the office can get one that matches their personality, and then you just whack it on your desk when you’re frustrated.
I think it works because it’s so comical. If a coworker sees that you’re upset and says “use your dammit doll,” in most cases you can’t help but laugh. It’s perfect!
Founder, Stress Free Kids
As the founder of Stress Free Kids, I am always looking for stress relief ‘toys’ I can use in my home office. I bumped into Zendoway Cubes on Twitter and ordered a bag of 14 brightly colored squeezable cubes that arrived in an organic drawstring bag.
Each cube has a stress-reducing theme with prompts to include breathing, feelings, coping strategies, movement, self-love, positivity, and more.
The colors are what I would call happy, so they also brighten my space, which helps to enhance my work environment. I can squeeze them in the traditional way or follow a prompt to release stress.
Founder & COO, Lavari Jewelers
Desktop-sized punching ball
Stress is an accumulation of pent-up frustration and fatigue. Experts said that the best way to combat that is by performing physical activities. Because of that, I invested in a punching ball that can stay on top of my desk. Not only is it an excellent stress reliever, but it also helps me cope with my anger or frustration towards coworkers.
The concept works similarly to breaking plates where people smash stuff to oblivion, which relieves stress. In this case, I punch the ball like I’m in boxing class.
It’s also an excellent way of getting my exercise, which breaks my sedentary routine in the office. I always appreciate the break from responsibilities, and I love that helps me return to work fresh and renewed.
Founder & CEO, Jiggy Puzzles
Jiggy Jigsaw puzzles
A couple of years ago, I started doing jigsaw puzzles as my meditation and nightly unwind. They got me away from my phone and computer and kept me present, focusing on the task at hand, one piece at a time.
Puzzles have also been connected to improved memory, decreased chances of dementia, helping with PTSD and anxiety, and improved sleep. They can be a powerful stress relief toy/tool too!