20 Oddly Satisfying Sights and Sounds of the Office

New Stand Team

Office life isn’t usually synonymous with “oddly satisfying,” but stay with me! Yes, the traditional workplace experience has been known to include liminal space aesthetics, awkward cubicle silences, and a lot of uncomfortable plastic chairs, but the past few years have been different. And lots of us have learned to appreciate life in new, earnest ways. Dare we say, finding beauty and fulfillment in the smallest, simplest moments is a real thing?

So next time you’re in the zone—calls, emails, deadlines, deliverables—or cut off from the world by the blinders of screens and earbuds, remind yourself to pause, look up, and tune in. Take a deep breath and bask in the unexpectedly soothing sights, sounds, and rhythms of the workplace. Some of the pleasant stimuli happening all around you (even on a dread-filled Tuesday):

  • The crisp click-click-click of heels along tiled floors, announcing the PR team’s arrival (most likely).
  • Belabored grinding noises from the coffee machine, followed by that delicious-smelling drip. Mmmm.
  • The musical clatter of your fingers dancing across a keyboard. (Never forget the deep clack of an old-school mechanical one, swoon.)
  • Crunching into your overpriced, “premiums”-topped salad after surviving the peak-time line at the fast casual spot. (Devour, critique, do it all again tomorrow.)
  • Heroically pushing the kitchen microwave open at 0:01. Yep, give your number to the bomb squad.
  • The soft ding of the elevator as it hits every floor during the morning rush. Worth the wait, honestly.
  • The rollercoaster whirr and sudden clunk-clunk of the AC blasting in July, as you juggle between your short-sleeved shirt and designated office sweater.
  • The comforting hug of that office-chair sweater—and the satisfaction of being prepared for summer’s AC freeze.
  • Warm printer paper. Snap up those reports to give them a quick caress, who’s watching?
  • The scratch of a 0.05 ink pen through your latest to-do. (If using a real notebook seems impractical, know there are ways to get better at it).

The squeak of a marker on a whiteboard? Dreamy. Photo: Kristine Isabedra

  • The break in atmospheric silence when a conference room lets out in a burst of movement and chatter. “Oh yeah, I did listen to that podcast...”
  • When the slight resistance of your mouse’s scroll wheel is exactly right.
  • Your notebook right here, succulent over there, pens lined up to the right, cell phone aligned to the left, sticky notes stacked, cords rolled and wrapped; these are what deskscape dreams are made of.
  • Stapling anything. That’s it, that’s the oddly satisfying office thing.
  • Finding the new WiFi password (Au937XYZ927p27$&@#$&^$#%@#, naturally) printed and posted for all to see.
  • When the organizing system actually works: the perfectly labeled Google Drive folders, the alphabetized filing cabinets, the Excel sheet that just. makes. sense.
  • A lighthearted sigh at the top or end of a video call. We’ve all had a day :)
  • Popping a can of pamplemousse seltzer when you’re jonesing for a fizz. Insert your favorite flavor (except coconut, never coconut).
  • Gently closing the top of your laptop at the end of the day. Ahhhhh, that's nice.
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