How to Boost Productivity and Feel Calm at Work

How to Boost Productivity and Feel Calm at Work

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.”
  5. 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 .
  6. 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!

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Posted by Sharon Stanton

Sharon Stanton

Content Producer - As a content producer, Sharon is thoughtful in her approach. She knows the best results come when you have the full picture, so she listens, and strives to make meaningful connections with people. Sharon likes to convey her message in as few words as possible. Sometimes an ironic emoji is all you need.