So would it be possible with some insulation perhaps from home depot to use a sous vide cooker like cheffstep's Joule on a surface like a wooden office desk with a medium to small sized pot or even a round crock pot provided there's enough space during work? Or would this become an issue over time? Thanks.
This is not a problem at all. Use a trivet, cutting board, or even a folded towel under your container. If you are at Home Depot, you could also get one of those cork mats that go under a planter. Really, anything will work. You just want to protect the surface from any potential heat and/or water (occasional spillage) damage.