These are expert’s advised easy office hacks for productive and improve working. Easy hacks to make your life at work more comfortable.
These clever strategies and products can boost productivity and minimize office annoyances.
When you spend most of your day at work, you want to be as happy and focused as possible– which can be seriously difficult in a loud bullpen or ice-cold office. Here’s how to make your space homey and healthy so you can be your best self on the job.
If you have back or neck pain after work…
SIT FOR COMFORT. Adjust your chair height to keep your thighs parallel to the floor, and try to sit with your weight balanced, says Jonathan Puleio, an ergonomist in New York City. Holding the same seated position all day can lead to lower-back discomfort; if possible, unlock your chair’s backrest and loosen the tension so you can shift your posture frequently, he says. Center your computer monitor in front of you—the top line of text should be at or slightly below eye level. And use wireless headphones rather than corded ones to allow your neck to move freely.
WARM YOUR BACK: To help boost energy and reduce pain, have an electric heating pad or water bottle on hand, says Kerry Boyle, an acupuncturist in Montpelier, Vermont. Fill the bottle with hot water from the coffee station throughout the day.
TRY ACUPRESSURE. Just one discreet move can help calm your nervous system and release muscle tension. Press your thumb, nail pointed down, to the space between your eyebrows and rotate it in small circles.
If your open floor plan is noisy and distracting…
INVEST IN GOOD HEADPHONES. Over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones are a comfortable option, and they’ve become the universal signal for “Please do not interrupt me,” says Jonathan Wasserstrum, founder of SquareFoot, a commercial real estate company in New York City. (Wasserstrum, who sits in the middle of a 60- person space, swears by Sony H900N Hi-Res Noise Cancelling Headphones, $300; sony.com.) If you don’t like that soundproof feeling, try the smaller, in-ear Apple AirPods Pro ($250; apple.com), which let you control how much noise to block out, says Thomas Bradbury, technical director at GetSongkey, a database for musicians.
USE DESIGN TO MUFFLE THE SOUND. Add a small rug to your cube or hang felt art on your walls to absorb noise, says Nicole Gaynor of Room & Board Business Interiors. Privacy dividers that clamp to your desk, like the VaRoom Acoustic Desktop Privacy Divider (from $79; Amazon.com), can dampen the din and shield you from visual distractions.
CHANGE YOUR HOURS. Ask your manager if you can come in an hour earlier, before the bustle starts, or work from home one day a week. You could also try to build your schedule around noisy times: Have meetings away from your desk when your neighbors tend to be the most chatty, and aim to be in your seat during quieter periods, when everyone’s hunkering down.
If you’re constantly interrupted..
CREATE A VISUAL BARRIER. Sometimes you need more than those headphones and dividers. Place some lush greenery to barricade and freshen up your workspace. Pothos plants, snake plants, spider plants, and dragon trees can thrive indoors without sunlight, says Noel Gatts, owner of Beam & Bloom, a design firm in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
MEDITATE. Unexpected drop-ins and Slack pings happen…a lot. When a task is interrupted, it takes about 23 minutes to get back on track, found a study at the University of California, Irvine. To help train yourself to bounce back quickly, try meditating with an app like Stop, Breathe & Think (free; iOS and Android). “Your mind naturally wanders,” says Vish Chatterji, coauthor of The Business Casual Yogi. “You’ll help reduce the amount of time it takes to refocus.”
HEAD OFF DISRUPTION. Silence your notifications, put a Do Not Disturb sign on your desk or door, and leave an away message on your Slack and IM channels (“My brain needs full power right now. Be back soon”). When that doesn’t work—and it won’t always—be proactive and reschedule the conversation. Tell your office mate you’d love to catch up at a specific time later that day.
If your stuffy office makes you sneeze..
REDUCE POTENTIAL ALLERGENS. A few times a week (or every day if you’re super sneezy), clean your phone, desk, lamp, and any tchotchkes with organic wipes. Tackle dust-collecting fibers, like the upholstery on your chair, with a handheld vacuum. The Shark Wandvac ($100; bedbathandbeyond .com) is small enough to stash in your desk drawer. If you have dander allergies, talk to your employer about designating a coat closet for pet owners, says Tom Polucci, director of interiors at the architecture firm HOK.
CLEAR THE AIR. Consider investing in a gadget like the LG Puricare Mini Air Purifier ($199; lg.com), which also checks surrounding air quality through a Bluetooth companion app. Essential oils can mask the ever changing smells that often fill a busy office (microwaved salmon, anyone?). If you don’t have desk space for a diff user, a few drops of mood boosting peppermint essential oil in a bowl of hot water will work, says Tori Perlstein, a decorator at Spoak, an online home-decorating service. Just run your idea by desk mates first, in case someone is sensitive to fragrance.
GO OUTSIDE. There may be no better fix than grabbing 15 minutes of fresh air several times a day. Daylight can also enhance well being, according to a Cornell University study. Squeeze in outdoor time however you can; one-on one brainstorms can be turned into walking meetings, Chatterji suggests.
If you work under terrible fluorescent lighting..
TAKE AN E YE BREAK. “Fluorescent lighting is bright and emits a lot of blue light, which can make you squint and cause your eyes to ache,” says Dora Adamopoulos, an optometrist in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow the 20/20/20 rule, she says: Every 20 minutes, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Put a reminder note on your monitor.
GET A TASK LIGHT. Assuming you can’t change the overhead fluore scents, try an adjustable lamp to illuminate your paper-based work, says Puleio. Look for one that’s dimmable so you can control the brightness, and use an LED bulb, which helps minimize glare.
If you’re always too hot or too cold..
LAYER UP. Workers concentrate better when they’re at a comfortable temperature, another study from Cornell University found. Keep a sweater on your desk chair as your go-to “office layer.” If you become hot easily, embrace the sleeveless shell; wear it under shirts or sweaters that you can remove when you get toasty.
ACCESSORIZE YOUR DESK. People whose body temperature fluctuates drastically might consider a desktop heater-fan combo, like the Dyson Hot + Cool ($450; dyson.com). Folks with cold hands could try a heated mouse pad ($20; urbanoutfitters.com). It’s less hindering than wearing gloves— and feels like getting a spa treatment while you write your quarterly report.