From traffic congestion on your commute, meetings that run over schedule, last minute (and stressful) deadlines—sometimes it just feels like the workday is conquering you. Those days can get worse by your cellphone dying or coffee spilling on your shirt. Despite how small these things are, they can cause a busy day to become a stressful day. We’ve all been there, which is why we came up with a list of work bag essentials that will help keep your workdays moving smoothly.
1. Hand Sanitizer
Germs—they’re basically everywhere. During the workday, you may not always have access to a sink to wash your hands. Keep hand sanitizer in your work bag to keep you and your hands germ-free. While it’s not an end-all, be-all replacement for washing your hands, it’s great to have when you’re trying to fend off the cold circulating around the office.
2. Pens to Make A Statement
No matter what type of environment you work in, you can never have enough pens. Keeping a few extra in your bag will save you in a pinch if it runs out of ink, you misplace it, or a coworker borrows it and doesn’t give it back right away. The Sarasa Grand Retractable Pen is one you’ll definitely want to keep backups of tucked away. With its sleek design, quick-drying gel, and 6 fashion colors, you’ll be better off not letting coworkers borrow this one. The STEEL F-701 ALL METAL Ballpoint Retractable Pen is another solid choice if you’re looking to make a statement. All-metal from clip to tip, this pen does not sacrifice on style or performance.
3. Phone Charger
Need we say more? We all know there’s nothing worse than being at 12 percent by noon. Keeping a portable phone charger on-hand will literally save your phone’s life—and yours. Make sure your phone isn’t ready to clock out before you are.
Coffee is a must for early morning meetings—or early mornings in general. But even though we all love this caffeinated wonder, coffee breath leaves something to be desired. For this reason, mints are a work bag essential. They’ll save you from awkward, stinky breath encounters with coworkers—and your boss.
Headaches happen even to the best of us. Keeping a bottle of OTC aspirin in your bag will ensure that you’ll get through it (relatively) pain-free and let you get back to what you need to do.
6. Travel-size Tissues
Between seasonal allergies, the common cold, and even accidental spills or messes, there’s always a good reason to keep tissues on-hand. Keep a travel-sized pack in your bag, regardless of the time of year, for the moments your nose decides to throw a wrench into your day.
7. Stain Removal Pen
Coffee spills and lunch-time stains are evitable from time to time. While you could always keep a sweater or extra shirt in your bag, a smaller and easier solution is a stain removal pen. In just a few minutes, the stain is gone and no one will know you had a clumsy moment. Every workday isn’t going to be perfect, but some situations have quick fixes or are avoidable with the right tool. Be sure to have these handy items in your work bag for when days don’t go quite as planned so you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.