This $70 Desk Mat Will Restore Order to Your Chaotic WFH Station - SolidRumor.com

This $70 Desk Mat Will Restore Order to Your Chaotic WFH Station

 This $70 Desk Mat Will Restore Order to Your Chaotic WFH Station

When I started working from home last March (exactly one month after selling my hacked-together IKEA desk on Craigslist!), the only workspace available to me was my kitchen table. Stuff started piling up quick. First, a laptop stand and keyboard. Next, a monitor and a desk lamp. Then: notebooks, pens, hand sanitizer, USB hubs, headphone charging cables, a candle, face masks, used mugs, a box of tissues, mail, half completed puzzles, hand cream, a bunch of bananas. My desk was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Leisure was work, day was night, up was down, and I had a recurring standing meeting with my not-yet-ripe bananas. The solution to this mess turned out to be…a massive sheet of wool. 

Grovemade wool felt desk pad

$70

Grovemade

When you hear the words “desk pad” you probably think of a some mahogany and leather monstrosity with tiny angled pen holders you might find at a bank teller window. But the latest laptop-friendly versions are a whole lot sleeker and less stuffy (they don’t look at all like they were stolen from a white-shoe law firm in the ‘80s). They can be made of slick neoprene, like a mousepad, sturdy wool, or, yes, in some cases, buttery leather. Throw one on top of your ramshackle workstation and you’ll notice immediate benefits. Namely: a defined desk area. Just like a rug can delineate space in a large open-plan, a desk pad creates a clear physical boundary around a work space. There’s also the large coaster effect: It protects your table or desk from stains, scratches, or dripping candle wax. 

After installing my desk mat I felt a good deal of my general work-from-home funk disappear. This marled grey wool mat was certainly no substitute for a commute, co-workers, and an actual office, but it helped a little bit—I had a real desk, even amidst the chaos of my kitchen. 

Some recent co-worker Slack chatter revealed that I’m not alone in my devotion to my desk mat. Below, a short compilation of the other desk mats GQ staffers have embraced in the WFH era.

Grovemade leather desk pad

$100

Grovemade

The platonic ideal of a desk mat.

Steelseries QCK cloth gaming mousepad

$50

Steel Series

A massive mat specifically designed for gamers, and plenty good enough for you.

Alvin large cutting mat

Big “budding-architect” vibes.

Orbitkey desk mat

$65

Orbitkey

This desk mat has a hidden storage area, for keeping loose paper and notes nearby, but out of sight. It also has a cable holder, if you need some help corralling your cords.

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