Opinion | 7 Gadgets to Make You Less Weird When You Go Back to the Office

After 18 months of isolation, it’s time to dust off your favorite Dockers. We put in 130 hours of research and testing to offer you seven gadgets that will help you ease back into the daily grind. Strap on your lanyard; we’re going in.

Do meetings feel less engaging in person? Is there no longer a special someone in the corner of your eye? Was that special someone you? Try sticking this small mirror on your nearest co-worker’s lapel so you can give yourself all the attention you need.

A 10-volt shock every 60 seconds reminds you that yes, you are a real human in the real world — three-dimensional and full of sounds, smells and nerve endings. You are your microphone. Your microphone is always on.


Ease yourself into full-swing hugging with the help of this full-size dummy. Tie it to the front of your body and let your boss/co-worker/barista hug this lifeless form, not you!

Sustain your 16-month snacking high after you’re forced back into society, with this discreet IV drip. You may be more than eight feet from your fridge, but mealtime can still be all the time.


Today is a damp one, aye? Hello, my name is! Are your children maintaining their health? Keep the water cooler vibes floooooowing.


Maintain your pandemic codependency with this convenient surveillance tool. Watch your confidants grow and thrive remotely while you’re at your desk, in the elevator, during meetings, whenever your eyes begin to stray!


Blow the dust off the ol’ brain with this quick cheat sheet of everyone you used to love (or at least like). Names, faces, positions on your family tree. Now you know-ish!


Frank Augugliaro is the deputy design director of the Times Opinion section.

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