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Workified » The Goods http://workified.com Office Design Ideas For Creative Spaces Sat, 07 Jul 2012 06:30:20 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.1 Office Coin-Op Coffee Machine http://workified.com/2011/12/office-coin-op-coffee-machine/ http://workified.com/2011/12/office-coin-op-coffee-machine/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 19:30:01 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=881

Great coffee is a good workplace perk to have, but sometimes businesses on a budget just can’t afford to give away free coffee. A good solution might be to outfit your office with a coin-operated coffee machine. I know what you’re imagining. Those huge pricey vending machines that spits out paper cups and stale subpar coffee. Nope, we wouldn’t really recommend that for the modern office.

Keurig B200Fortunately, Keurig makes a product that blends the convenience of a single cup coffee maker with the functionality of a coin-operated coffee machine…all in one compact package. The Keurig B200 was built for small to medium sized offices, perfect for offices of about 30 people. This unit comes with some features not readily available on some of their home consumer brewers, such as the ability to plumb water in directly from a water line, thus eliminating the need to keep the internal reservoir filled up.

We had the opportunity to test this Keurig B200 in our office environment, and the feature we really loved was the coin-op vending kit available for this unit. Out of the box, the B200 works like most other Keurig single cup brewers. The coin-op vending kit just took about 15 minutes to install and configure. You can set the price per brew at anywhere from 5 cents to 3 dollars. We set ours up at 25 cents a cup, which we thought was a good way to subsidize the typical 50 cent price of the K-Cups. Overall, we think this is a great product for offices looking for an instant coffee vending machine. We can see many office environments where this would really work well, such as coworking spaces and shared offices. The wait time between brews is minimal, as the water heats very quickly in preparation for back-to-back brewing. Usage is very clean and simple as the only option available is for small or large mug. The only minor complaint we’d have is that for an office machine, the brew size would be a bit larger as employees generally want more drink in their mugs.

Sorry, we don’t have the price for the B200 or the coin-acceptor kit, as this is a commercial grade unit only available by Keurig B155 (priced at $250) or the Keurig OfficePRO (priced at $130).

Keurig B200 Photo Gallery

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Fish Tanks For The Office http://workified.com/2011/04/fish-tanks-for-the-office/ http://workified.com/2011/04/fish-tanks-for-the-office/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 20:16:33 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=965 We love the idea of having pets and living animals in the workplace, and fish is a nice simple way to introduce new life into an office (yes, many offices can use some life).

Check out this company Spacearium selling these amazing ceiling mounted aquariums. Very cool how one of the intended applications is for a room divider. We can imagine some pretty cool ways to use this in an office setting to add life and color to a space.

Spacearium

fish tank room divider

If you don’t have the high budget for this level aquarium, we’d definitely recommend these convenient “all-in-one” package aquarium solutions called BioCube. These aquarium packages basically have all you need to get an impressive looking aquarium running right out of the box. Setting up a tank successfully can get pretty complicated, and these systems tend to help simplify the setup process. They come in various sizes and you can generally find them at your local pet shop. You can pick up a 29 Gallon BioCube System on Amazon for about $250.

BioCube System

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Antenna Workspaces by Knoll http://workified.com/2010/06/antenna-workspaces-by-knoll/ http://workified.com/2010/06/antenna-workspaces-by-knoll/#comments Mon, 28 Jun 2010 16:47:37 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=862

Knoll launched their new Antenna Workspaces at the recent Neocon trade fair. This workspace system springs out of the trend of open and collaborative working environments. The basic idea behind the system is simplicity and versatility, cialis where the focal piece is a simple desk that the system expands upon. Thanks to Cool Hunting for getting this interview with the designers from Antenna Design in New York.

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Product Review: Steelcase Think http://workified.com/2010/06/chair-review-steelcase-think/ http://workified.com/2010/06/chair-review-steelcase-think/#comments Mon, 21 Jun 2010 17:03:00 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=797 The Steelcase Think Chair is touted to be “intelligent enough to understand how you sit, and to adjust itself intuitively”. The awards this chair has won is numerous…from the IDSA IDEA Gold Award…to the Red Dot Award for Product Design. Its list of accomplishments would make any mother proud. To say that “this is the chair with a brain” is a bold statement, so we were happy to receive our Steelcase Think recently so we can try for ourselves. You can find the Steelcase Think Chair on Amazon for about $689, which matches the options on the one we tested. For more info, you can also check out the Steelcase Think mini-site for more info. Anyways, here are our thoughts below:

Our Summary: Workified Score – 7.5

When we first pulled this chair out-of-the-box…we initially thought “sexy chair”. We received this chair the same time as the Steelcase Leap, and judging a book by its cover, we thought this Think chair would be the one to beat (we were wrong, we liked the Leap better). Starting with what we liked about the Think chair. The visual design of this chair is excellent…sleek lines, mesh back, cushion seat pan, vibrant color. When you first sit on this chair, it’s definitely comfortable and the pneumatic height adjustment cylinder provides a good amount of springiness without making you feel like you sat on a rock or sat on a bobble head. Its got the same highly adjustable arm rests we loved on the Steelcase Leap. Lastly, instead of the infinitely adjustable recline tension knobs found on most chairs, this one has a dial offering four simple options ranging from full upright lock to easy recline mode. Very nice touch. The biggest thing we didn’t like about the chair is the mesh backing. The material just felt a bit cheap to us, and we weren’t convinced that the many horizontal metal bars running along the back to support the sitter was the most “thoughtful” approach to back support design on a chair.

Photo Walkthru

Steelcase Think Chair

The hydraulic cylinder is located in the center of the chair, but it doesn’t pivot back and forth like cheap office chairs. The tilt mechanism only reclines on the chair back, and the seat pan stays stationary (which is a good thing so that your feet stays flat on the floor while you recline).

Steelcase Think Chair

This is probably our favorite feature of the chair, the “Preference Control”. Basically, it’s a knob with four click settings that adjusts the recline tension. The highest tension locks the chair back in the upright position. Much better design than those infinitely turnable knobs.

Steelcase Think Chair

We found the seat pan to be very comfortable. There’s good amount of padding, and it adjusts forward and backwards to accommodate short and tall users.

Steelcase Think Chair

Excellent adjustable armrests. Arms can telescope forward and back, move sideways, and adjust up and down so you can find a natural position that comfortably supports the wrists, forearms, shoulders and neck.

Steelcase Think Chair

We love the sloped seat pan in the front. When you sit forward in the chair, the front of the seat pan relaxes a bit to accommodate the forward weight without cutting of circulation in the legs.

Steelcase Think Chair

We like the breathable mesh back, but thought they could have used a little better material as it felt a bit flimsy. The metal crossbars provide adequate support, and the padded lumbar adjusts up and down to accommodate different users.

Additional Photos

Steelcase Think Chair

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Product Review: Steelcase Leap http://workified.com/2010/06/steelcase-leap-review/ http://workified.com/2010/06/steelcase-leap-review/#comments Wed, 16 Jun 2010 00:11:55 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=757 We’ve heard so much about the Steelcase Leap, we’ve been waiting a long time to get our hands on one to review for ourselves. The review model we got goes for around $850 on Amazon…which is a fair price to pay if it does in fact increase productivity by 17.8% as their research claims.

Our Summary: Workified Score – 8.5

We loved this chair, and in our comparisons…it beat out most of the competition in our “Best Office Chair Showdown” article. It’s not the sexiest chair we’ve seen in terms of visual appeal, but the moment you sit on it, you quickly realize a great amount of thought and craft went into designing and building this chair. This was easily one of the most comfortable chairs we’ve experienced, and it has a very good blend of adjustability, without being overly complicated.

Photo Walkthru

steelcase leap chair

Steelcase made every effort to make their Leap chair environmentally friendly. From the materials and processes used to create the chair…to the cardboard box it came in (see picture). Kudos to Steelcase for their dedication to  environmental sustainability.

steelcase leap chair

As you can see, the pivot/tile mechanism is in the center of the chair, but it doesn’t rock back and forth like cheap office chairs. It feels more like a knee-tilt in that when you recline back, the seat pan glides forward a bit to match a natural reclining motion.

steelcase leap chair

This is one of the more comfortable and padded chairs we’ve tested here at Workified. Although highly cushioned and padded, it still offers great breathability and ergonomic support.

steelcase leap chair

The arms can be positioned every way imaginable, and we love how they hid the chair instructions directly under the pivotable arm pads. Arms can telescope forward and back, move sideways, and adjust up and down so you can find a natural position that comfortably supports the wrists, forearms, shoulders and neck.

steelcase leap chair

Leap’s slatted back helps move with the spine while also allowing airflow and more breathability. The Leap chair’s back changes shape to support the entire spine. This can reduce the chance of lower back sag and a hunched posture. There is also a height adjustable lumbar support that slides up and down.

steelcase leap chair

This is one of our favorite features of the chair. The knob allows the user to adjust the lumbar support tension with a simple turn.

Additional Pics

steelcase leap chair

steelcase leap chair

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Cubicle Privacy Doors http://workified.com/2010/06/cubicle-privacy-doors/ http://workified.com/2010/06/cubicle-privacy-doors/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 18:26:39 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=750 Cubicles are already offer a good amount of privacy…but at times, viagra order you may just want to shut yourself away from the distractions of the office and neighboring cubicles. We thought this product was pretty cool, viagra order the Quartet privacy screens and doors. They are said to fit most types of cubicles, erectile and serves double purpose as a whiteboard…very cool!

Cubicle Privacy Screen

cubicle privacy screen

You can buy the Quartet privacy door on Amazon (which goes all the way to the ground with built in casters) for about $245 or the Quartet privacy screen on Amazon for about $165.

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Geek Desk http://workified.com/2010/06/geek-desk/ http://workified.com/2010/06/geek-desk/#comments Thu, 03 Jun 2010 19:07:09 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=703 If you’re into desks, you’ve probably seen this designer luxury desk before: The Milk Desk. It’s every Mac user’s dream…a desk that looks like it’s custom built by Steve Jobs himself. Elegant design, motorized height adjustable, clean lines, sleek, and sexy. You probably never thought you’d need a fish tank built in to your desk before, but one look at the Milk Desk, you realize that an integrated fish tank is a must have. But just like Macs, it’s a bit overpriced, street price ranging from $2500 – $5000, depending on options. Actually, we’re not even too sure how to purchase one of these.

Milk DeskMilk DeskMilk Desk



If you’re more a “PC type” mentality and looking to build your own perfect motorized height adjustable desk, we recommend taking a look at GeekDesk as a great starting point. Basically, GeekDesk sells height adjustable leg mechanisms at a very affordable price of $749, while allowing people to attach whatever desktop they choose. We at Workified love this idea! We don’t want to be just another design blog that shows-off these unobtainable dream products. We’d like to see what our readers can put together with something like this GeekDesk on a real world budget. (If you already have a GeekDesk DIY project you’d like to share with our readers, please email us at hello@workified.com…we’d love to share it here!).

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Best Office Chair Showdown & Reviews http://workified.com/2010/05/best-office-chair-reviews-showdow/ http://workified.com/2010/05/best-office-chair-reviews-showdow/#comments Mon, 24 May 2010 16:27:09 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=274

One of the biggest topics of discussion in office design and office furniture is around the subject of ergonomic office chairs. What is the best office chair on the market? It makes sense that there’s so much interest in this, since practically a third of a person’s life can be spent sitting on an office chair. The difference between an ergonomically bad and good chair can drastically influence workplace well-being.

Here at Workified, we wanted to create a running thread and resource to help consumers discuss their thoughts on various ergonomic office chairs in the market. As we get more chairs to review, we will add them to this thread and keep it updated, but for now…here are the chairs that we have in our office that we were able to spend some time using and had the opportunity to review.

[* Please read our notes below regarding our unscientific review strategy]

Herman Miller – Aeron (approx $850)

Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair

Workified Score = 8

The Herman Miller Aeron is arguably the most iconic office chair of all time. Most likely due to the fact the during the first dot com era, funded startups burning cash were buying these chairs by the truckloads…making sure their employees were comfortable and working in style.

We were pretty skeptical whether this chair would live up to the hype. I mean, how much better can it be than a much cheaper mesh-backed knockoff?

Well, one of the first things you notice about this chair is it’s built like a tank. The “mesh” (what they call pellicle), is not some flimsy porous fabric. It’s a heavy-duty springy plastic material that really gives support to your seat and back. Of all the chairs we tested, this had one of the best lumbar supports, and the mesh-type seat keeps the sitters rump well ventilated and cool. Just about every part imaginable is adjustable, and the controls are all very intuitive and placed stylistically around the chair (unlike many of the ergonomic chairs out there that have ugly knobs and levers sticking out everywhere).

One of the downsides of the Aeron are the arm rests. They aren’t the easiest to adjust and sometimes go out of position. Also, for the price, we’re thinking they should come standard with leather armrests versus the cheap vinyl that came on ours. I suppose we can always upgrade them to leather. Also, the lumbar support bar that came on our Aeron has a tendency of falling off with our bigger sitter (6 ft, 220 lbs).

Although not our favorite chair of the bunch, we were really impressed by the Aeron and can definitely understand why this chair is in such high demand amongst modern offices. Buy Herman Miller Aeron on Amazon for about $850.

Steelcase – Leap Chair (approx $850)

Steelcase Leap ChairWorkified Score = 8.5

We loved this chair, and in our comparisons…it beat out most of the competition. It’s not the sexiest chair we’ve seen in terms of visual appeal, but the moment you sit on it, you quickly realize a great amount of thought and craft went into designing and building this chair. This was easily one of the most comfortable chairs we’ve experienced, and it has a very good blend of adjustability, without being overly complicated.

The first thing we noticed about the chair was the comfort. The seat pan cushion has a good amount of padding, and the hydraulic cylinder holding up the chair has a good amount of springiness to it. When the sitter reclines back, the seat back tilts back while the seat pan automatically shifts forward. This gives a very natural recline motion while keeping the sitters knees parallel to the ground and their feet on the floor…good ergonomics.

One of our favorite parts of this chair is the lumbar support. Steelcase included a lumbar control knob that adjusts the amount of lumbar support you need, much like the mechanism found in front car seats. Another much liked feature are the armrests. These armrests are the most adjustable of the bunch, can accommodate a multitude of positions, and we found them very sturdy and comfortable.

Overall, we were very happy with the Leap chair. We found it very easy to use, versatile, and encourages good ergonomics. Buy Steelcase Leap on Amazon for about $850.

Steelcase – Think Chair (approx $689)

Steelcase Think ChairWorkified Score = 7.5

The awards this chair has won is numerous…from the IDSA IDEA Gold Award…to the Red Dot Award for Product Design. Its list of accomplishments would make any mother proud. When we first pulled this chair out-of-the-box…we initially thought “sexy chair”. We received this chair the same time as the Steelcase Leap, and judging a book by its cover, we thought this Think chair would be the one to beat (we were wrong, we liked the Leap better).

Starting with what we liked about the Think chair. The visual design of this chair is excellent…sleek lines, mesh back, cushion seat pan, vibrant color. When you first sit on this chair, it’s definitely very comfortable and the pneumatic height adjustment cylinder provides a good amount of springiness without making you feel like you sat on a rock or sat on a bobble head. The Steelcase seat pan cushions seem to be the best out of the bunch. We also liked how the seat pan cushion slopes down towards the front and is forgiving for sitters who lean forward when they sit. It’s a much welcomed design when compared to the Aeron, which has zero flexibility in the front of the seat pan, which cuts off circulation on the legs.

The Think chair has the same highly adjustable arm rests we love on the Steelcase Leap. The arm rests are made of a very durable material, yet comfortable to the touch. Lastly, instead of the infinitely adjustable recline tension knobs found on most chairs, this one has a dial offering four simple options ranging from full upright lock to easy recline mode. Very nice touch and simple.

The biggest thing we didn’t like about the chair is the mesh backing. It definitely offers much needed breathability and ventilation for long periods of sitting, but the material just felt a bit cheap to us. Also, we weren’t convinced that the many horizontal metal bars running along the back to support the sitter was the most “thoughtful” approach to back support design on a chair. That said, we did like the adjustable lumbar support that’s padded for extra comfort.

Overall, this was the most affordable office chair of the bunch, and although it didn’t get the highest scores, we would definitely recommend it as one of the best values for the money. Buy Steelcase Think on Amazon for about $689.

Humanscale – Freedom Task Chair (approx $899)

Humanscale Freedom Office Chair

Workified Score = 6.5

The tagline of Humanscale should really be “simplistic ergonomics”. With this chair, there’s almost nothing to adjust…which might make this the most user friendly office chair of the bunch. Don’t you hate it when you need an instruction manual to use a chair?!

This chair is built so that you just sit…then work. There’s no lever or knob to adjust the tilt tension, and from what we found…it does somehow magically have the right amount of recline resistance when you lean back into the chair. We found that it comfortably reclines big to small sitters without needing different tensions. The recline mode is really unique in that the entire chair feels like it shifts to match your body’s natural recline position.

And speaking of user friendly, this chair has, hands-down, the easiest mechanism to adjust arm position of any chair we’ve seen…which we’ve found is typically the most adjusted part of any chair. With the Freedom, the arm rests adjusts up and down with a mere tilt of the wrist. Brilliant!

The downside of the Freedom was the seat-pan. As compared to the Aeron, there were noticeable drawbacks to the Freedom seat-pan. For one, although we had the Freedom with the gel seat upgrade, the seat just felt dead and flat, while the Aeron pellicle seat-pan, although not padded, had a springy feel to it. Some users of the Aeron complain that the pellicle feels rough like sandpaper, but we found that the Freedom seat-pan is so smooth, that the sitter’s position has a tendency of sliding forward in the seat. Also, for our larger reviewer, the seat-pan depth was too short…even with the seat-pan adjusted to its fullest length outwards. Another negative with the Freedom is the inability to lock the recline function. We felt that oftentimes, locking the chair in the upright position offers better ergonomics than being able to rock backwards at any given time. Buy Humanscale Freedom Task Chair on Amazon for about $899.

Humanscale – Freedom Task Chair with Headrest (approx $1,045)

Humanscale Freedom High Back Office ChairWorkified Score = 7.5

This is basically the big brother to the normal Humanscale Freedom Chair. The only real difference with this model is the extra headrest above the height of the normal Freedom chair. Basically, all the opinions and observations of the normal Freedom chair above applies to this model with the headrest.

The only thing we would add is that we believe that the Freedom was designed specifically for this headrest version. The reason is because of the excellent tilt/recline mechanism of the Freedom. The Freedom has such good recline mode, the sitter has a natural tendency to recline the entire upper body, which includes the head. With this model Freedom, you can really feel the entire seat, from thigh to head, cradle the sitter’s body. After using the Freedom with headrest for some time, it’s hard to go back to the normal Freedom because it just feel like something’s missing.

The shame to this Freedom line is that the normal Freedom can’t be upgraded to the model with headrest. Why?! We’re thinking it’s basically the same chair, that should be able to be modded to fit the optional headrest. Anyways, we called Humanscale and were told that this upgrade is completely not doable. That’s bad news for owner’s of the normal Freedom who are looking to upgrade to the headrest model. If you’re in the market for a Humanscale Freedom, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money for the one with the headrest…cause we think that’s what the chair was most likely designed for. Buy Humanscale Freedoms Task Chair with Headrest on Amazon for about $1,045.

Humanscale – Liberty (approx $959)

Humanscale Liberty Office Chair

Workified Score = 6

This is probably the simplest chair of the bunch. Like the Freedom, there’s very little to adjust. In fact, we believe the only thing that can be adjusted is the pneumatic height. Depending on how you look at it, the lack of options can be a good or bad thing.

Although not “adjustable”, one of our favorite features unique to the Liberty is the auto pivoting back rest. We found this mechanism to be very comfortable as the sitter goes from upright to recline mode. The pivoting back rest follows your body’s movement and contours well to the natural curvature from the bottom of your spine to upper back. We also found the mesh back to have a good amount of lumbar support and resistance…better than the Freedom but not as good as the Aeron. We also thought the padded armrests were more comfortable and durable than the armrests found on the Aeron.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Liberty is definitely the unadjustable armrest. Given the brilliant design of the armrest adjustment on the Freedom, this Liberty armrest is unforgivable. It’s basically stuck to a certain height on the chair…which means it can only fit a certain sized user (actually one of our smaller sized reviewers found this to be their favorite chair). Also, we found the cushioned seat-pan to be pretty bland. We thought if Humanscale was going to come out with a mesh-backed chair…then why not commit all the way and make the seat-pan mesh as well? This might have given the Aeron a run for its money for people wanting a fully ventilated mesh chair. Buy Humanscale Liberty on Amazon for about $959.

Herman Miller – Embody (approx $1,199)

Herman Miller Embody Office Chair

Workified Score = 9.5

Ok, so technically we don’t own the Herman Miller Embody in our studio (yet), but we just had to throw this chair into the mix and review the Embody because it’s probably our favorite chair of all time. From our limited experience with it in the showroom…it’s basically the perfect chair. In fact, we didn’t want to leave the showroom…can we apply for a job here? Anyways, Herman Miller has nailed it with their Embody chair.

On paper, no stone was left unturned in the design of the Embody. Meticulous attention to detail and ergonomics was given to every single inch of the chair. To the eye, the Embody looks like a piece of art. Every angle…front, back, top, side, bottom…fits into a cohesive statement that reassures you it’s been crafted to fit your body. As you finally sit down, you realize the name “embody” is the perfect description of this chair, as it embraces your body. You can envision yourself working productively for continuous hours…perhaps days…without the aches and pains of sitting on the job.

Yes, we’re aware this is a bold review of the Embody, which is why we’re not giving it a perfect 10 just yet. We’re still leaving room for some chair maker out there to reach that perfect score…although, we’d be more than happy to settle for this 9.5! Buy Herman Miller Embody on Amazon for about $1,199.

[* With all our reviews, we tried to get the opinions of at least 3 people in the office with different body types: large, medium, and small build. With the numbers rating, we just polled our reviewers and averaged their scores. With chairs, much of it has to do with personal preference and fit (much like trying on shoes). We've found that some chairs that people really liked, others did not care for...and many times just boiled down to personal preference. We encourage you to try them out at a local office chair retailer before investing in your chair. Special thanks to our staff writer Laura for modeling the chairs!]

Some chairs we’d love to get our hands on to review and get your thoughts on:

KnollGenerations

Herman Miller – Embody

Herman MillerSetu

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Office Wall Art http://workified.com/2010/05/office-wall-art/ http://workified.com/2010/05/office-wall-art/#comments Tue, 18 May 2010 19:01:03 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=405

We’ve all seen them…those cheesy office motivational posters. If you’re a modern office (or any office for that matter), do everyone a favor and leave these off the wall. You’re better off keeping your walls blank than decorating them with these eyesores. If you must have one, then at least use some creativity and make your own motivational poster using a service like MoBuck.

Anyways, for the creative modern office space, we thought the artwork of Justin Reed would add some artistic appeal to a workspace. He paints with an interesting caricature style in his renderings of some classic films. You can find Justin’s poster prints at oneposter.com.

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Personal White Noise Machine For The Office http://workified.com/2010/05/office-white-noise/ http://workified.com/2010/05/office-white-noise/#comments Mon, 17 May 2010 18:43:18 +0000 Pat Cheung http://workified.com/?p=396

Here at Workified, we talk a lot about solutions for cutting down office noise levels. But sometimes, it’s the silence that’s distracting. Bringing in some white noise or ambient noise can be the perfect solution to an overly quiet workspace. There’s tons of options out there…from hi-tech sounds that are scientifically proven to actually reduce overall noise , to sounds you’d normally hear at a spa for inducing comfort and relaxation.

Anyways, here’s an interesting little gizmo that can offer some white noise just around your desk called Gristleism. If this kinda thing looks interesting, you might also want to check out the buddha machine. We’re not really sure what these things are supposed to be used for, but someone suggested to us that it might offer some good ambient noise if tuned just right. Tuned wrong though, then you become the annoying officemate with the crazy noise maker.

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