We all know:
Working the corporate grind… that Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, sitting in that same small, cramped office, can get old, really quickly.
Now… here’s the thing:
Most of us have to do it… it’s unavoidable, we have to put food on the table, right?
Sure… we all have families to feed, bills to pay, etc…
…but that doesn’t mean that the office grind has to be a “grind”. In fact… with the right tricks and know-how (aka hacks) you can make your days in the office considerably more comfortable, productive, and generally better.
So… to make your office life considerably better, I put together a list of 11 of office hacks you need to know.
Each of these 11 must-know office hacks are designed to instantly make your office life more comfortable, more productive, better and easier.
11 Office Hacks to Make Your Day More Comfortable, Healthy and Productive
Before we dive into the office hacks, I want to make a quick note:
I’ve read quite a few articles on “office hacks”, and most of them are nothing more than long lists of completely useless “hacks”. For example:
- Using a cassette tape case as a phone holder (looks incredibly tacky/unprofessional).
- Using binder clips to organize wires (less tacky than above, but you’re an adult, spend $5 on these).
- Using a hair straightener to iron your clothes (this will destroy most high-quality clothing).
So… how are our office hacks below different?
Each is a simple, quick trick (aka a hack), but each of our hacks is designed to actually make your office life easier, better, healthier, more comfortable, more productive, etc.
…And as proof of how each will make your life better, most of the hacks below are backed by studies and research (usually found in the ‘Read More’ section).
Here are 11 office hacks that will actually make your office life hugely better:
11. Use the scientifically proven power of nature to turn your cubicle into your own private oasis.
By adding just a single plant to your cubicle, you can significantly reduce both your stress and anxiety levels and can improve your overall general health.
Click the ‘Read More’ button to see exactly how to incorporate nature into your cubicle.
Look… if you work in an office, you end up spending a lot of time at your desk.
But check this out:
Research shows that by adding just a single plant to your cubicle will:
That’s just one plant! And it gets better:
Another, more in-depth study, published by the UK’s University of Exeter, found that adding multiple plants to the office:
- Boosted well-being by 47%,
- Increased creativity by 45%, and
- Increased productivity by 38% source
Pretty incredible, right?
Now… on top of these huge health and well-being benefits, adding plants to your cubicle will also make it look way better.
Don’t buy the same outdated and uncomfortable business clothing that your father wore… get technologically advanced clothing, that’s been scientifically engineered to keep you comfortable… all day long (like this shirt, pictured above).
Click the ‘Read More’ button to see how wearing technologically advanced clothing will change your life.
The clothes you wear to work have one of the biggest impacts on how comfortable you are throughout the day.
Think about it:
Not only is it one of the few items that comes into direct contact with your skin, but it’s also the only item that stays on your body all day long.
Makes sense, right?
So… if you want to be comfortable during work, get business wear that’s been scientifically engineered with that specific goal in mind… to actually keep you comfortable all day long as you work.
The Gemini Dress Shirt
Made with a combination of NASA-engineered, temperature-regulating fibers and an incredibly soft cotton, the Gemini was made to be worn, comfortably, for 16+ hours a day. It was even designed as a completely easy-care garment… meaning you can machine wash and dry it (and never have to take it to the dry cleaner).
The Aviator 2 Jacket
The Aviator 2 was created using a warp knitting technique and a 4-way stretch fiber to make it one of the most flexible and comfortable jackets on the market. As proof of its maneuverability, Ministry of Supply founder, Gihan Amarasiriwardena, ran a record-setting half marathon while wearing the Aviator 2! Incredible, right?
Here’s the bottom line:
The clothing you wear should work as hard as you do. If you work in an office all day, you owe it to yourself to wear clothes that not only look good, but actually keep you comfortable.
9. Avoid the deadly health risks of a sedentary lifestyle. Work using a sit-stand desk.
One of the easiest ways to break free… is to use a sit-stand desk.
Click the ‘Read More’ button to see the incredible, proven health benefits of using a sit-stand desk.
We’ve all heard it before:
Our bodies were designed to move, to hunt and gather… not to sit for hours and hours each day.
…But you have work to do… so how do you get your work done, without putting your health at risk?
Use a sit-stand desk.
A recent study by the CDC, highlighted two of the huge health benefits of using a sit-stand desk:
- A decreased risk of obesity, cancer and death, and
- Improved alertness and general mood. source
Are you willing to work standing up, for part of the day, to gain those two huge benefits?
8. Use an active footrest to, subconsciously, keep your legs and feet moving and active while you work.
This simple device will, subconsciously, cause you to slide and rock your feet from side-to-side… helping keep your legs active and giving you a light workout (both of which will help you further avoid the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle).
Click the ‘Read More’ button to understand how and when to use an active footrest.
So… while you’re sitting, you might as well get a little exercise doing it.
Now… I want to quickly note:
In the past, conventional wisdom promoted sitting on an exercise ball while working to get a light core workout… but now, many studies have found that working while sitting on an exercise ball might do more harm than good. source 1, 2, 3
That’s why, instead of an exercise ball, I suggest you use a simple active footrest (like this one).
What will an active footrest do?
The simple device is on wheels and rocks from side-to-side. This will cause you to subconsciously move your legs throughout your work day.
Although it’s not a ton of movement, it will keep your legs and feet active, give you a light workout, and help you further avoid the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle.
7. Tired of hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable feet? Get temperature-regulating, socks.
Click the ‘Read More’ button to see how the right pair of socks will improve your whole day.
Just like the office hack #10 above, the socks you wear should be designed to keep you comfortable all day long.
Now… socks are a separate office hack for two main reasons:
- If your feet aren’t comfortable, you’re not comfortable.
- If your feet smell, the people around you are uncomfortable.
If you want to be comfortable and confident throughout your entire workday, get socks that are designed to combat these two frustrating, but common problems.
Trust me… having the right pair of dress socks, one that does both, will change your whole day.
Pro Tip: I use and love the Atlas Dress Sock from Ministry of Supply.
They’re made with a unique fiber that wicks moisture (to keep your feet dry and cool), integrated with coffee grounds (to absorb and neutralize odors), and airflow + ventilation where your feet typically get hottest (to further keep your feet cool and comfortable).
6. Make your office feel more like home. Add a few, personalized and motivating items.
Adding the right items to your cubicle can make it feel more welcoming, more homey, and even help you stay motivated throughout the day.
Click the ‘Read More’ button below to learn how to add the “right” items to your cubicle:
First and foremost, with cubicle decorating, there’s a simple rule:
Less is more and add the right item.
If you have every inch of your desk and cubicle walls covered, it looks unprofessional… if you hang Christmas lights or Hawaiian leis and hula skirts, it looks tacky…
…but, if you hang a few of the right items, not only will it look professional, it will also help your office feel more welcoming, homey, and will actually help keep you motivated throughout the day.
Add a few items from these two broad item types:
Type #1: Things you love. For example:
- Framed pictures of your family and friends.
- A picture of your hometown, or a vacation spot you love.
- Beautiful, inexpensive DIY art pieces (like these from Primer).
Type #2: Things that remind you of why you’re working so hard. For example:
- Again, pictures of your loved ones. Maybe more sentimental ones this time.
- A picture of your dream home, or the dream location you want to live (for example: The Caribbean).
- A graphic print of your favorite inspirational saying. (for example, one of mine: “Entrepreneurs work like no one will for a few years, to live like no one can for the rest of their lives.”)
Again, don’t overdo it… but hang a few items and make your office your own.
5. So… you’re hungry, you want a real meal, but you don’t want to eat out? Use the office microwave to make this delicious meal… in under 2 minutes.
Use the office microwave, to make this delicious, real meals, like this hearty omelette. Take a few eggs, a dash of milk, and your favorite omelette extras (cheese, avocado, ham, etc.) microwave for a few minutes et voilà. For a full recipe, click here.
Click the ‘Read More’ button below to learn how to hack the office microwave and make more incredible and quick meals:
The microwave is one of the most underutilized assets office-goers have. Using it, you can make yourself a tasty, and real, meal in seconds.
Don’t believe me?
Check out a few of the delicious meals you can make:
- Instant Mac and Cheese – recipe here
- Microwave Friend Rice – recipe here
- Sausage and Cheese Spaghetti – recipe here
…And it gets better… using the microwave, you can even make decadent desserts like:
- 2-Minute Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug – recipe here
- Instant Chocolate Cake in a Mug – recipe here
- Quick Nutella Mug Cake – recipe here
Don’t settle for boring office meals… learn how to hack the office microwave like a pro.
4. Tired of remembering tens of passwords? Use a password manager to store and automatically enter passwords.
Password managers store all your usernames and passwords, and will automatically enter them into login forms. They will save you a surprising amount of time and will quickly become something you can’t live without.
Click the ‘Read More’ button to see which password manager I use and exactly why they’re so powerful:
There are countless different password manages that you can use, from Dashlane to Avast Passwords to Lastpass (I use Lastpass)… but whichever you chose, here’s what password managers do in a nutshell:
- Store your passwords in one safe, encrypted place.
- Create “strong”, hard to crack passwords, like “2Pk56Z!n#PfK3U8X5$Ap” (can you imagine trying to remember that?)
- Every time you visit a login page, for example www.facebook.com/login, it will automatically fill in your username and password for that specific website. With certain password managers like Lastpass, it will even hit “login” and redirect you to the logged-in page.
Password managers make working online faster and easier… and like I mentioned above, will quickly something you can’t live without.
3. Stop losing countless hours to distracting, time-sucking websites. Use StayFocusd.
StayFocusd is a free Chrome extension that will quickly help you do one thing… stay focused. It gives you a set amount of time (say 30 minutes) to browse notoriously distracting and time-sucking websites, like Facebook, Reddit and Buzzfeed. After you reach the set amount of time, it temporarily blocks you from accessing these sites. It’s a simple, yet highly effective extension.
Click the ‘Read More’ button below to learn how StayFocusd works, and to see its full power:
You create a list of “blocked” sites (like Facebook, Reddit, Buzzfeed, etc.), and after you spend a certain amount of combined time on those sites (say 30 minutes) StayFocusd will block you from accessing them until your daily reset time (which is preset to 12 AM).
One important thing I want to make clear… you create the list of blocked websites and you set the amount time you want to spend on those sites every day. So, you can make things as strict or loose as you’d like.
If you want to take back your productivity from the distracting websites, I highly suggest StayFocusd.
2. Quickly boost your low office energy with these 4 simple office energy hacks.
If you’re tired, not only is it hard to concentrate, but it’s hard to stay creative, inspired, and driven to produce your best work. If you need a boost of energy, use these 4 quick and easy office energy hacks.
Click the ‘Read More’ button below to see the 4 office energy hacks:
I could dedicate an entire series of articles on the topic of boosting energy, but since we’re talking about ‘hacks’ in this article, here are four quick and easy office energy hacks:
Energy hack #1: Drink a lot of water.
One of the first signs of dehydration is sleepiness/tiredness.
Energy hack #2: Eat the right foods.
Certain foods give you energy, while others take energy away. Everyone’s body is different, so monitor your energy levels after eating different types of foods…. but to get you started, think about this:
Which do you think you’ll have more energy after eating: a bowl of bacon mac and cheese or a chicken salad?
Energy hack #3: Snack, consciously.
If you don’t eat between meals, your blood sugar drops, which makes you feel tired. So snack, but do it consciously. Instead of a donut, reach for fruit, mixed nuts, veggies, etc.
Energy hack #4: Jump-start your brain… get up and walk.
Take a look at your brain before and after a 20-minute walk (via Explore) below… enough said.
Use these four office energy hacks to quickly and easily give yourself a significant boost of energy.
1. Dramatically improve sleep, physical activity and overall quality of life. Get more natural light in your cubicle.
Bad lighting can cause fatigue, headaches, irritability and even depression. A study done by Northwestern University, reported that office workers who get more natural light slept better, exercised more and reported having a higher overall quality of life. source
Click the ‘Read More’ button for 2 strategies to get more light to your cubicle:
If you work in a cubicle or a big office, chances are you don’t have control over the building’s natural lighting… but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take advantage of this office hack.
Here are a few strategies to get more natural light in your cubicle:
- Use mirrors to redirect natural light. Just 1-2 mirrors intelligently placed in your cubicle can dramatically improve the amount of light you get.
- Use natural light bulbs or a light therapy device. If you’re unable to get real natural light, both of these are great substitutes.
If you want to sleep better, be more motivated to exercise and have a higher overall quality of life… get more light.
For most of us, we can’t change the fact that we have to go office… but here’s something you can do:
Use these 11 must-know office hacks to instantly make your office life more comfortable, more productive, better and easier.