Simple things we do to make the workday more enjoyable. Whether you’re working remotely or in an office, there are things you can do to make your job easier and the days more enjoyable. Below are a few things we’ve thought about that help us be more productive, healthier, and happier.

In Your Office

  • The Workspace: How much time do you spend at your desk? Is it big enough, or even at the right height? Standing desks help you burn calories while you work. And larger desks can help with your productivity. Get rid of the clutter, and you’ll be able to clean it easier too. I have a coffee warming plate to keep my coffee warm all morning!
  • Organization: Are you organized and are your files (and office supplies) easy to find? Consider moving older things you don’t use as often to a less-used space or the garage. Less stuff around usually means less stress for you. Schedule a time to get through those piles that have been sitting there for months (or years?)
  • Privacy: Is your workspace comfortable and private enough? You’ll be more productive if you can keep your co-workers (or kids and pets) out — even if for a short while. Perhaps you can identify or create a second space where you work more privately when needed.
  • Lighting: Your space should be conducive to how you work — whether it’s bright and sunny, or dramatically lit with overhead and on-desk lighting. I’ve been playing with some inexpensive color-changing LED bulbs I found on Amazon ($18 for 4!) My desk lighting is bright, but I can change the colors in the corners of my home office depending on my mood.

Energy Boosts

  • Planning meal times (and the meals) ensures not only that you’re actually eating and not snacking, but it also offers valuable bonding time between co-workers or family.
  • You eat what you buy. If you think about this when you shop, you may start to replace some of the chips with healthier snacks. We signed up for a veggie delivery service which has lead to more salads, roasted mixed vegetables, soups, and stews.
  • Snacking: You eat what’s in front of you. When you go to grab a snack, grab some nuts instead of crackers. Or better yet – some crunchy veggies. When you’re working, you don’t care what you’re eating, you’re just blindly putting things in your mouth. And the less salty they are, the less you’ll eat.
  • Caffeine: We have invested in making our favorite coffees and teas at home. We love coffee subscriptions allowing us to try unique fresh brews.

Communications and Technology

  • Tech Options: Take a little time to set up your “systems.” You might be able to eliminate (or reduce) the other paid apps and services. Most of these technologies integrate really well with each other — just see if that’s a good system for you. We’ve also found that the simpler systems are quicker to adopt by our team, and our clients. We use GoTo Meeting (a Zoom competitor) and it integrates beautifully with Google Calendar and Slack. Because of this, we don’t need to also pay for the Pro version of Slack to enable video chats there.
  • Availability: Most of these apps will work on your phone too. You just need to decide if you want that or not. You can set yourself to “away” when you’re eating lunch and after hours. Some apps can do this automatically, and then you still have the option to respond to alerts, but it’s up to you.
  • Headsets: While they might look funny, they work really well to eliminate background noise. Have you ever been on a group call and can’t get a word in? The software tends to “focus” on the loudest person. Headsets make you sound clearer, and sometimes louder. It also helps to hear and understand others, especially if they have background noise in their office.

Most of these thing are easy to think about and try, and have made a difference in our day-to-day work.