Show Notes: Episode 181 – [Rebroadcast] Handling Workplace Conflict
November 6, 2023
Transcript: Episode 182 – Writing with ChatGPT
November 20, 2023

10 Small Things that Power Joy in Your Workspace


What does your workspace look and feel like? Does it help or hinder your desire to work, your productivity, your level of joy?

John Coleman writes in the Harvard Business Review that a “beautiful workspace can make your job more joyful.” Who doesn’t want that!?


Learning to Adapt

For most of us, our workspaces changed pretty significantly over the past few years as we’ve navigated a shift in where and how we “show up” to work. Whether you commute to an office, post up on your couch or kitchen counter, spend time at a coffee shop, or have a dedicated office in your home, your workspace surely (or should) support the work you do and the way you do it. Ideally, it should be an integral part of your JoyPowered work story.

How do you create a workspace that feeds your soul, helps you focus, and gives you joy? You pay attention to the small things.


JoyPowered Workspace Suggestions

Here are some simple suggestions for powering joy in your workspace. Pick a few that work for you and begin adding more JoyPower to your workspace and life.

1. Plants or other “living” items

Incorporating plants, a desktop fountain, a mini zen garden, or other pieces of nature can have a calming effect. Since I can kill pretty much any plant, I go for succulents, cacti, or artificial “nature” elements to give my mind that rest and peacefulness I need to work.

2. Color

Add a few pops of your favorite colors through accessories, art, stationery, etc. Choose colors that resonate with you and evoke positive emotions. The bright poppies I have on my shelf just make me happy – no getting around it.

3. Music/Soundscapes

Create a few playlists of your favorite music/sounds that either soothe or inspire you. (I prefer music without words, but I know some people can work fine with words.)

4. Natural Lighting

Maximize the natural light in your workspace. If you have limited access, be sure to get outside to expose your eyes to natural light a few times a day to reap the benefits.

5. Organizational Tools

Invest in stylish and practical organizational tools to keep your workspace clutter-free and efficient. A tidy workspace can reduce stress and boost joy. Thanks to Sarah Ohanesian, my favorite productivity guru, I now use the Full Focus Planner to identify my top To-Do’s and document other important tasks. I love it!

6. Vision/Whiteboard

Create a vision board with images and quotes that represent your goals and aspirations or use a whiteboard to capture new ideas or inspiring quotes.

7. Healthy Snacks

Keep some healthy snacks (protein sources and high-crunch fresh vegetables are ideal) nearby. They should be easy to access and provide a quick satisfaction.

8. Personalized mementos

Include items/quotes/pictures/art etc. that inspire you. I am personally highly motivated by the smiling face of my new grandson. He gives me hope and encouragement.

9. Ergonomic Comfort

Being uncomfortable definitely restricts your JoyPowered working. Invest in a great chair and make sure your laptop is at the right height to minimize strain on your eyes, hands, and neck. Mayo Clinic offers some great advice on proper ergonomics worth considering as you set up your workspace.

10. Toys or stress relievers

Have a few spinners, stress balls, or small toys nearby to relieve stress. Or maybe you have your pet nearby to give a rub or make you smile.


What would you add to this list?

Take a moment to take inventory of your workspace and assess whether it’s helping or hindering your productivity and overall joy. Making a few additions or adjustments may be the key to finding more joy in your work experience.

Christine Burrows
Christine Burrows
Christine is the Vice President of Strategy and Operations. Meeting and connecting with new people is in her DNA, and leading a national network of people professionals, puts her in her zone.

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