October 13th, 2008
By Megan Jones
Even if you like your job, or can at least put up with your job, you probably have those moments when you feel like taking up smoking just for an excuse to free yourself from cubicle fever for a few minutes. For the sake of your sanity (and health), we’re arming you with 100 fun, random, challenging and even educational and productive websites that will keep your mind engaged and distracted from your miserable nine to five.
You don’t have to take your lunch break at Dave and Buster’s to enjoy a little game time during the day. Check out these sites to meet up with other players, play card games, arcade games and more.
- OnlineFreeGaming.com: You’ll find arcade games, sports games, shooting practice, racing games and a lot more on this site.
- Pogo.com: You’ll find traditional games like Chess and Bingo on this site, as well as arcades, card games, puzzles and more.
- OnlineGames.net: From cooking games like Fish Fry and Food Memory to dress up games featuring couples and date-worthy outfits, this site has a lot to choose from.
- Massive Online Gaming: Interact with other players on this site, which features games, panels and forums.
- World of Warcraft: This immensely popular game allows you to play with other gamers.
- MSN Games: For a slightly more subtle gaming experience, visit MSN’s site and switch back and forth to the news or main page when your boss walks by.
- PlayStation: Online games from PlayStation include NBA Live09 and MaddenNFL09.
- GamblingPlanet.org: Get into the world of online gambling, but be careful about office rules.
- Pop Cap: Access free games or pay to download games on this site.
- FreeArade.com: This site has more than just arcade games. You can also practice shooting, do puzzles, hook up with other players, get into strategy games and more.
- The Office Solitaire: Flip cards to find faces of Jim, Dwight and your other Office allies.
- OfficeGameSpot.com: Play free Flash games here to kill time at work.
From traditional Greek mythology to obscure celebrities, test your knowledge with these trivia games and questions.
- FunTrivia.com: Quiz categories include literature, movies, religion, people, sci/tech, sports, TV, video games, celebrities and more.
- Thinks.com Trivia: Learn about Greek mythology, name derivations and opera composers when you play the trivia games on this site.
- Celebrity Trivia Game About Obscure Celebrities: If you think you know a lot about celebrities, try this game.
- Free Trivia Questions, Answers and Facts: Get answers to trivia questions about history, sports, birds, animals, science and travel.
Just because you’re bored at work doesn’t mean that you aren’t craving some kind of intellectual stimulation. Visit these sites to learn something new that you actually care about.
- Discovery GameCentral: Play games and watch videos on the Discovery Channel website to learn about history, the Earth, animals, crime and more.
- Nobel Prize Educational Games: Some of these games are more for kids, but you’ll learn about science, economics and even nuclear weapons.
- Library of Congress Digital Collections and Services: Access audio-visual materials and view online exhibitions from the Library of Congress without leaving your desk.
- The History Channel: Watch videos, play games and even shop at History.com.
- BBC: Listen to radio and watch BBC TV stations in different languages to get news from another perspective.
DIY, Arts and Crafts
Your boss might get a little suspicious if you whip out the construction paper and glue gun, but these online DIY projects and websites are very under-the-radar.
- CafePress: Design your own t-shirts, pet items and promotional gifts here.
- CraftMall.com: Buy and sell crafts on this site, from antiques to clocks to household items to clothing.
- BobVila.com: Get a head start on your home improvement projects when you watch videos, read instructional guides, browse home plans and try out the 3D design tools from Bob Vila.
- DIY Online: Become a member of this site to swap ideas with other members, ask questions, plan out your project and more.
- smallblueprinter: Design blueprints for homes and gardens with the 3D tools offered here.
- MyInteractiveGarden.com: This social media site features news, a plant list, advice for gardening, product reviews, multimedia and more.
If you’re behind on your favorite shows, catch up at work by tuning into these online TV stations.
- ABC: Watch full episodes of shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Brothers and Sisters. ABC also hosts its own community and encourages viewers to send in questions and comments about news shows and more.
- wwitv: Watch over 2800 channels on this site, via live shows or on-demand programming.
- Beeline TV: Visit this site to access TV channels in Arabic, Catalan, Korean, Polish, Dutch and a lot more.
- ChannelChooser: This online TV portal lets you pick categories like youth, music, information, games, sports, movies, reality and more, then directs you to different shows in that category.
- PBS: Play games, participate in the community sections, watch videos and more on PBS.
- Mediahopper.com: Watch TV streams from around the world here.
Perfect for simulation and gaming, these virtual worlds can suck up your time like no other site can.
- Dunder Mifflin: Visit the online division of Dunder Mifflin for games, missions and more.
- SecondLife: Create your own virtual world to let off steam, learn something new or meet other individuals in a safe, creative space.
- SimCity Societies: Become a member to build and manage your own city in SimCity.
- Virtual MTV: Create your own avatar to play games and live the life of your favorite MTV characters and celebrities on VMTV.
Puzzles, Quizzes and Brain Teasers
Challenge yourself with Sudoku or the New York Times Crossword, and you’ll be glued to your screen all day long.
- Cool Quiz: Do puzzles, answer trivia, and even make your own quizzes here.
- Web Sudoku: Play the highly addictive game here, where you can adjust the difficulty level between easy, medium, hard and evil.
- New York Times Crossword and Games: Subscribe to these crosswords or get one free crossword a week to give your brain a real workout.
- Brainfall: You’ll soon be addicted to these fun quizzes about lifestyle, celebrities, love and relationships, and trivia.
- 3SmartCubes: Is it time for a new job? A new boyfriend? Learn a little more about yourself when you take these quizzes.
- Quibblo: Quibblo is a quiz network that lets you take and make quizzes, set up a profile and rate other quizzes.
- Tickle: The Tickle network has loads of quizzes, from the frivolous to the insightful.
- JigZone: Solve jigsaw puzzles here.
- BrainBashers: You can find logic games, illusions, puzzles, Sudoku and other games on BrainBashers.
- edHelper: Make your own puzzles with the tools at edHelper.
Music and Media
From uploading and marketing your own music to channeling your inner artiste, these interactive sites bring out your creative side and can help you relax.
- YouTube: Film your office pranks and upload them to YouTube.
- podsafe Music Network: Submit your own music, share tunes and listen to podcasts here.
- Last.fm: This popular site lets you listen to songs for free (for a limited time), watch videos, browse events in your area and more.
- Flickr: Mange your photos online to pass time at work or browse photos from other users for inspiration.
- Flotones: This social site lets you browse songs, artists, reviews and albums, as well as submit your own tracks.
- SnapPages: Edit pages, upload photos and manage events with this easy website creation tool.
- Juke Box Alive: JBA lets you upload your own music and listen to other uploads and tunes for free.
- Google Video: Browse videos or upload your own on Google’s video site.
- Guitar Master: When your boss is out of the office, play Guitar Master (sort of like Guitar Hero) from this site.
- ArtPad: Indulge in your own art therapy when you paint on ArtPad. You can also save your projects and browse others’ creations.
- USTREAM: Watch shows and video streams then chat with other users on this interactive broadcasting site.
Since you’re already wearing a suit and sitting at a desk, why not work on your own business? These sites and tools are easy-to-use, interactive and fun.
- Calculators, Planners and Worksheet: Fidelity’s toolkit looks professional, so you can trick your boss into thinking you’re doing real work.
- Hoover Web Templates: Access business and personal website templates here to get started on your blog or personal business site.
- FOX Business Tools: Manage your finances, learn about real estate, retirement and insurance savings and more with all of these tools.
- Bplans.com: This site features over 500 sample business plans. Browse free plans for easy access.
- Minority Business Development Agency Interactive Web Portal: The MBDA business development tools are free and include a new business checklist, e-commerce FAQ, and a lot more.
Submit your own content to these sites to fuel the discussion or share your expertise with the public.
- Wikipedia: When you’re really bored or out of work, set aside some time to edit Wikipedia entries or add a new one.
- Open Clip Art Library: Create an account to submit your own art and access free-to-use projects.
- Open-Site: Become a volunteer editor with this free encyclopedia to give you a chance to read and write about your favorite subjects.
- Open Directory Project: Become an editor for the dmoz open directory project.
- Open Source Movies: Upload your movies into this open database and watch videos made by others.
- The WebKit Open Source Project: If you’re good at web development, you can contribute to this project, which evaluates website compatibility and manages an open source web browser engine.
Mindless but Amazing
When you’re really bored or fed up with your work, head to these totally mindless and random sites for games and more.
- TV Land Red Carpet Date: Which TV Land character will you be matched up with when you play this game?
- TicketStumbler: TicketStumbler isn’t totally mindless: it stumbles the Web to find the best deals on sports tickets for the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and NCAA football.
- BaronBob: Get lost browsing or shopping for random gifts on this site, including gag gifts for the office.
- Retroland: If you’re obsessed with retro anything, you’ll love playing around on this site, where you can watch videos, play games, read trivia and more.
- iFoods.tv: Plan out what your dinner by browsing recipes, watching cooking videos and submitting your own.
- Celebrity Plastic Surgery: If you need to distance yourself from the stress of your job for a few minutes, this is the way to do it. Match the celebrity to his or her old body part, before plastic surgery.
Whether you’re planning a real vacation or just a fake trip to keep your spirits up while you’re at work, check out these interactive trip planners and guides
- Tripadvisor: Play around with this site to submit reviews of hotels and other travel-related stuff. You can also talk with other travelers on the forum, submit photos and more.
- Lonely Planet: The website edition of the guidebook series features a forum, blog, videos, photos, stories, tips and more.
- Travellerspoint Travel Community: Head to the forums for real tips and advice from vacationers. You can also read travel blogs, browse photos and get information on hotels and hostels.
- Virtual Tourist: This member-driven site includes travel guides for destinations around the world, so you can imagine yourself far away from the office grind.
- Fodor’s: Plan your next trip at Fodors.com and visit the forums for tips from real travelers.
- iGuide: This interactive map will show you photos and travel information for places like Chile, San Francisco, France, China, Spain and more.
Social media is a fantastic way to waste time and forget your office existence. Try out these sites that will introduce you to people in your area, ask you to rate and review stories, manage and share your online interests and more.
- Digg: Read, rate, review and submit news stories on Digg.
- de.licio.us: This popular social bookmarking tool lets you submit your own stuff as well as review stories from other members.
- Meetup: Join a club and plan a happy hour event or party while you’re still at work using Meetup.
- Reddit: Reddit is another social ranking site that posts top news stories.
- Ning: Invite co-workers, happy hour friends, family members or anyone else to become a member of your very own social media network hosted by Ning.
- Facebook: Facebook is one of the ultimate social media networks that you can play around with for hours.
- Adium: Adium isn’t exactly a social media outlet, but it promotes online connections through its instant messaging client.
- StumbleUpon: Set up an account to share your favorite sites and videos and to rank web pages.
- FriendFeed: Create an account to manage discussions and invite your friends to debate with you, share media and information and broaden your horizons.
- yelp: Offer up your reviews of shopping, dining, lodging, health and beauty, and other services and products in your area and in many other cities. You can also browse others’ suggestions for advice on travel and things to do.
- LinkedIn: A lot of business professionals make contact over LinkedIn, so you don’t have to feel so guilty spending your time here while you’re on the clock.
Dissing the Office
These websites may not take you out of the cube, but they’ll help you relieve some of the frustration of being stuck inside one all day.
- Paintball Office: Trash your office the safe way by playing this game.
- Voodoo Boss: Turn your boss into a voodoo doll with this online game.
- Work Hate: Play around on this blog that’s dedicated to people who hate going to work.
- Office Diversions: Submit an office diversion or play existing ones, like brain twisters, Google Maps Gone Wrong and more.
Taking Care of Business
Your business. Get ahead on errands and planning your weekend with these sites.
- GasBuddy.com: Find the cheapest gas in your area by visiting this site. You can also sign up to be a gas spotter and submit stations with low prices.
- Schmap!!: Map out your next shopping trip or plan a trip to another city using these interactive maps. Cities that have maps on Schmap!! include Montreal, Prague, New York, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco and Vienna.
- Ta-da Lists: Mange your to-do lists and shopping lists when you log on to this site.
- Interactive Shopping List: ChefMom’s interactive grocery list lets you check items and make notes for each category. Categories include deli, dairy, bakery, frozen foods and more.