Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work Smarter, Not HarderWork Smarter, Not Harder

What and how we choose to fill our office space can increase — or decrease — productivity and health. From basic ergonomics and brightly-colored post-its, to feng shui, here are a few ways to hack your work day.

 Go Green

Speaking of flowers, a study from the University of Exeter in Australia found houseplants in the workplace may lead to increased productivity and well-being by 50 percent; flowers in particular have been found to make employees feel happier and less negative and forgetful. Dr. Craig Knight, a psychologist at Exeter, found plants produce a calming, friendly environment at the same time they negate the effects of a controlled or inferior workplace. Bonus: plants filter air to remove mold and bacteria, further boosting an employee’s health. If for whatever reason you can’t have a plant, get your fix outdoors; separate research shows a nature walk boost optimism and self-control, reports Medical Daily.

 Take a Stand

When human resources would include information on workplace ergonomics, they simply meant the position and height of your chair, desk, mouse, and keyboard. But as science continues to support evidence prolonged sitting significantly raises risk for death and diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, standing desks have taken center stage. Whether one magically appears at your office (as it did at Medical Daily) or you curate one of your own, it’s worth figuring out a way to spend less time in your chair. Note: Treadmill desks and surfing desks are also a thing.


This one seems to be a catch 22: On the one hand, a clean environment promotes health and discourages crime and littering, according to research from the University of Michigan. But messy desks have been shown to inspire productivity and fresh insight, too. Given the many other ways to source creativity, keep it clean. Additionally, Forbes cited research that found clutter usually undermines productivity and motivation, and an organized, precise office space “creates the mindset and motivation to work.” In 2012, a survey found disorganization prompts employee’s to lose items, information, and it can hurt their professional image. Invest in file folders for memos, projects, and otherwise important information.