13 tips on how to create a happy workplace

You’ll spend nearly a quarter of any week at your workplace, so don’t waste those hours feeling miserable. Even if your work is demanding, you can still have fun — and feel fulfilled — at the office. Here are 13 tips to help get you started.

1. Create a positive routine to start the day

How you begin your day will affect how you feel for the next eight hours. So take five minutes to enjoy some java, meditate or listen to your favorite song before you turn on your computer.

2. Skip multitasking

Multitasking saps productivity and can cause unnecessary stress. Researchers found that multitaskers were 40 percent less productive. So, instead of trying to do two things at once, practice mindfulness. You’ll finish your tasks faster, and you’ll feel less stressed completing them.

3. Try the Pomodoro technique

Having trouble focusing on that boring report? Try the Pomodoro technique, where you work for 25 minutes, and then take a five-minute break. Use that break for some light stretches or a quick walk to the water cooler for an easy mood boost.

4. Stay hydrated

Lack of water will leave you parched, tired and dizzy. Bring your own cup, and keep it filled with H2O to keep your body happy and your mind focused during your workday.

5. Decorate your office

Beige walls can make anyone feel a little depressed. Invest some time and money to decorate your space with things that make you smile. Swap decorations when they begin to feel stale for an extra boost.

6. Plan a healthy lunch

Don’t raid the break room for a sugar-laden replacement for lunch when you get hungry. Commit to bringing a healthy, balanced lunch that will help you avoid the afternoon slump. Then scope out nearby restaurants with healthy options for the days you forget.

7. Make a work best friend

A work BFF will always understand your work woes, remind you of that big meeting, and be your automatic lunch buddy and cocktail hour companion. Plus, psychologists say a work friend will help you be more productive, more passionate and more focused at work. You’ll also call out sick less than your co-workers who are unlucky in friendship.

8. Avoid negativity

Unhappy people and negative gossip will drain your happy mood. Steer clear of office drama, and you’ll have more emotional energy to use in your personal life.

9. Say thank you

While it’s always nice to hear how awesome you are, appreciating other people can also give you a mood boost. Take a moment to say thanks to a co-worker when she comes through for you, and you’ll both feel great. Research also indicates she’ll be more likely to help you in the future.

10. Take time to clear clutter

Mess causes stress. So take the time to clear off your desk before you experience a massive paper overload. A two-minute cleanup can help you feel less anxious and more productive and creative.

11. Don’t compare yourself to others

Sure, you want to be a rockstar at work, but don’t spend your time trying to scope out the competition. Instead, focus on your own career trajectory — and brainstorm ways to meet your own work goals.

12. Master team collaboration/team communication

If mentioning group work brings up nightmares from high school, now’s the time to master the rules of working on teams in the office. The foundation of good teamwork comes from excellent communication, so don’t be afraid to use a messaging app, video tool/app or other team messenger to keep everyone on the same page. Value everyone’s unique viewpoint, and remember tips 8, 9 and 11, and you’ll rock your next team project!

13. Take your vacation time

Want to know a crazy statistic? Americans gave up 658 million unused vacation days in 2015, and more than half of all workers didn’t take their full time off. Even if you’re a happy workaholic, take a vacation once in a while! Not only will you get some time to recharge, you’ll also come back to the office ready to be more productive and creative than when you left.