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Office Hacks to Make Your Day Brighter
by Startacus Admin
Office Hacks to Make Your Day Brighter
Life in an office can sometimes be boring, frustrating, messy, and unproductive. Someone’s stolen your pen again, the stapler always seems to be out of staples, and no matter how you try to keep your desk tidy, it never seems to stick. But, in the age-old tradition – started a few years ago – of ‘life hacks’, there are some things you can do with stuff… Things that will make your office life a little easier, relieve some boredom, and generally take the place of actual products that would cost you 20p. Some of these are just fun, some are silly, and some are genuinely useful.
These are some of the best we have seen on our journeys across cyberspace.
Specifically the type with the folding wire loopy bits. These can be used to make docking stations, simple phone holders, clip monsters, to replace broken keyboard feet, and many other things. The handiest use for them though, other than holding papers together, is as cable holders. Clipped to the edge of your desk, phone chargers, USB cables, and most kinds of cable can be passed through the hoop and just rest there ready at hand. See? Handy!
Having said this, if you make a lot of Skype calls from your phone, then the phone holder hack might actually be the handiest.
We’ve been caught out before in the Startacus office. There are no coffee filters left and the need for coffee almost outweighs the need to not have a mouthful of grounds. Certainly, you could go out and buy some filter paper, but you need to be fuelled up with coffee before the huge effort of venturing outside! Do you have a Styrofoam cup and a paperclip or pin? Well, all you need to do is spend the next 30 minutes poking holes in the cup and you have yourself a filter. Whether resorting to this speaks of a deeper problem is a question we’ll leave unasked.
It’s arguable whether this counts as a hack, but it’s handy and potentially lifesaving (Disclaimer: this will not save anyone’s life). Not every office if filled with mature, professional people; sometimes a colleague will forget that they aren’t in school anymore and for various reasons they’ll try to get into your computer while you’re not there. You don’t necessarily have to insert a string of numbers and symbols to keep your password un-guessable. Simple use of the Alt Gr key will allow you turn many letters into foreignese. If you’re Abba’s biggest fan, then your password YayAbba might be easy to guess. YáyÁbbá, less so.
Colleagues who steal food from the office fridge can be the bane of office workers. But take a dark green or blue marker pen and draw some blotches on your sandwich bag, and the resulting snazzy mould aesthetic will make those food thieves disinclined to gobble up your lunch. But don’t blame us if they throw it in the bin.
We stumbled across this idea on this crafty blog. Take, in this case, a wooden doorknob (heavy wood, unsurprisingly, is a plus) and smother it in chalkboard paint. Hey presto, you have a mini chalkboard and a paperweight! Leave yourself inspirational quotes, to-do lists, or simply use them to label the stacks of paper they are weighting. Definitely don’t throw at colleagues.
I’m not late, I’m thoughtful
Overslept? Not to worry, just get some extra coffees from the café on the way to work. There. Now you aren’t late, you’re the office hero who saved everyone from zombie-ism. Might not work if you have a meeting first thing. Or if you work in an office with 100 people.
Is a whiteboard too expensive (we have no idea what they cost)? Not allowed to put holes in your walls? Or maybe you just want a unique twist for your office. You can buy whiteboard paint, and give yourself as big or small a whiteboard as you want, in any shape, in any colour. You can also buy clear whiteboard paint, if you’re particularly fond of the colour of your wall. Or paint a section of your desk. Or paint your mug. Or paint your arm. Do NOT paint your cat.
Relax with rain
Rainy Mood is a website where you can get the looping sound of a thunderstorm, with various other options in the associated app. This serves a dual purpose. First, rain has proved to be a popular background sound for people who are studying or relaxing, both of which are useful for work – why would you not want to be relaxed while focused on working hard?
Second, wearing headphones at work is a polite way of telling people to get lost when they’re thinking of talking to you. As long as you aren’t smiling away and banging your head to music, this is an acceptable way to work.
What office ‘hacks’ have you come across or invented? Let us know in the comments section down below!
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.