I have a work ukulele.
I bought it specifically to keep here at CHNM. It’s a Makala MK-S, a glossy black soprano with a goofy little dolphin bridge. They run less than forty dollars. With some Aquila strings, they really sound pretty good for a super-budget ukulele.
I think having a work uke is a great idea, and anyone who plays ukulele should definitely go out and get one. The work uke has several advantages: it means that you play outside of your typical comfort zone– in my case, this means playing anywhere but my living room, bed room, or my stoop. It also invites others to play. This is my little bit of stealth ukuelele evangelism. People who may have experience with guitars or other stringed instruments will stop by my little area of the lab, pick it up, and play around on it a bit. I’m hoping to get a ukulele convert or two out of this office.
Finally, the ultimate benefit of the work uke is that it’s great for getting things unstuck. When I’m just not able to figure out a problem, a couple verses of Five Foot Two are a great way to jump-start the brain, get things moving again. They say that music has a profound impact on the brain, and some have argued that it enhances creativity. Or maybe it’s just the same “distraction effect” that so many people have experienced, where you get your best ideas when you walk away from a project for a moment, having profound realizations about your work while showering, having a smoke, or making a peanut butter sandwich.
So– uke players of the world– and even non-ukers who may want to learn– go out and get a work ukulele. And tell your boss it’s only making you a more productive, more creative worker!