Two of our team members returned from lunch recently with a
new addition for their workspace - a fish. There is no question that this
pretty little guy (named Berry for his blue color) residing between their desks
brightens their workdays and makes them feel happier on a regular basis.
Bringing Berry on board was a small change that made a significant difference.
It got our crew thinking about the other small rituals we all incorporate into
our workdays to make us feel more relaxed and be more productive.
Here are our favorite tips for being happier and more
productive at work:
- Pets. Occasionally one of our team members will bring their
dog or cat to work for the day, and it always lifts the mood in the office.
Having animals around makes people feel good. A number of studies back up the benefits of a pro-pet office. If
furry companions are not practical for your work environment, consider fish!
Research has repeatedly shown that watching fish swim has a calming effect and
can actually lower blood pressure and heart rate. This explains why so many
doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms feature aquariums.
- Plants. A live plant does more than just brighten your
workspace. They also help clean the air and absorb toxins from your
surroundings. Peace lilies, spider plants, and succulents are attractive,
low-maintenance choices for an indoor office.
- Personal effects. A UK study revealed that people are more
productive and feel more at ease in personalized workspaces. Personalizing your
work area can be interpreted as elaborately as your employer allows, or as
simply as the addition of a framed photo, your favorite coffee mug or a book
that inspires you. Do you have a piece of artwork at home that no one likes
except you? Display it in your workspace, instead!
- Music or background noise. Depending on the type of work you are doing, listening to music before or while working can help boost productivity. If your favoriteplaylist is too distracting, try listening to instrumentals or use an app like
Coffitivity, which lets you choose from a range of background sounds such as
the “morning murmur” of a coffee shop or “university undertones.”
- Movement. We’ve all read that sitting is the new smoking:
sitting in front of a computer screen all day is detrimental to your health.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of moving while learning in a classroom setting, and those benefits apply to adults in the workplace, too.
Try spending part of your workday standing, or rotate your desk chair with an
exercise ball. Take a walk or do some desk yoga. It will get your blood pumping
and can help combat stress .
- Natural light and fresh air. Not everyone is fortunate
enough to have a window in their workspace, let alone one that can be opened to
let fresh air in. Make a conscious effort to break away from your desk at least
once a day and get outside. Even if all you have time for is a few deep breaths
of fresh air, it will do your mind and body good by waking you up and helping
you feel calmer of you’re stressed.
We spend so much of our time at work and a percentage of
that time is bound to be stressful. (It is work, after all.) That’s why it’s
important to take advantage of the opportunities to do what we can to manage
some of that stress as effectively as possible. What kinds of tools, rituals
and practices do you use to help alleviate stress and feel more comfortable at
work? Share your ideas with us in the comments!