+44 203 287 0899 info@solvaa.co.uk
A view of an office desk next to a window with computer, chair, bookcase and freestanding plant.

If you’re wondering how to make your workspace more productive then we have crowdsourced some fantastic ideas which are proven to work.  Whether you work from home or in an office, there are small things you can change to help you get more done in less time.  We also cover ideas from people with medical conditions which means they have to take extra care with their workspace to maximise productivity.

We think everyone should work smarter, not harder, and these simple ideas can really help supercharge your day.

Using a standing desk

According to our Founder and Chief Problem Solver Kelly Goss, standing desks are a winner.

A business woman is standing up, leading a team brainstorming session, writing in a notebook with two male colleagues sitting down next to her and looking at her, smiling.


Kelly tries to stand during meetings, and sit only when working on her laptop, or if her legs need a rest.  She usually has a split of 70/30 split of standing/sitting in the day and finds that it works really well for her.  She also has an anti-fatigue mat which she loves.  These are designed to encourage small muscle movements to improve comfort, blood flow and energy.

There are proven health benefits to standing more, but standing for long periods of time may not suit everyone.   This article on Healthline reports the pros and cons for working on your feet, and it’s worth reading if you’re considering making the change to a standing desk.

Keeping your phone out of reach

It sounds so simple but Clair Sturzaker always keeps her phone just out of reach to stop her from picking it up all of the time.  Clair, from Digital Nomad Cities, also has a portable laptop stand and bluetooth mouse and keyboard, which she finds much more comfortable than just using a laptop.

Use old-fashioned methods to stay productive

Mirela Latailleur from The Travel Bunny  uses a blackboard calendar and to-do list with colour-coded tasks and events that she updates and changes as necessary.

Mirela is pleased that using blackboards is more eco-friendly than printing planners on paper and also finds it’s faster to check them compared with electronic planners or trackers.

A happy worker is a productive worker

When thinking about how to set up her workspace to be more productive, Francesca Baker doesn’t think it needs to be clear and sparse.

Francesca, from marketing consultancy And So She Thinks surrounds herself with photos in her office because when she’s happier she’s better at her job.   The photos remind her that she wants to have a full and rounded life, and work is part of it.

Using natural lighting and room temperature for optimum productivity

Justin Fox’s biggest tip is to consider the temperature where you are working, with the optimal working temperature being between 20-25 degrees.  Justin, from Courses Online, also recommends as much natural light as possible as too much artificial lighting can lead to headaches and eye strain.

An office desk next to a window with laptop computer, notebooks, glasses, calculator and tablet.


Charu Goyal also recommends natural light and a tidy desk.  For Charu’s physical workspace she keeps her desk near a natural light source to try to get the most of her work during daylight.  Charu is a travel blogger at Travel With CG and tries to keep only work-related documents around her desk to make sure she doesn’t get distracted easily with other things.

Mary Charie also sets up her table near a window, so she can take a break from staring at her computer screen to look at trees, roofs, or even street signs.  She also recommends using an ergonomic office chair as a comfortable worker will be a productive worker.  It’s vital that your office chair be set up correctly, and this excellent guide from Posture People explains exactly how it should be configured.

Ali Richards from Summerley Digital also loves natural light but recommends suitable window coverings that can be easily adjusted to restrict glare and direct sunlight on screens.   Ali has adjustable venetian blinds in her office which are perfect for when the sun moves around the room during the day.

Keeping your workspace tidy and organised

Jeni Machon shared a few top tips with us, all aiming to cultivate a more productive workspace to become more effectively organised.  She uses separate to-do lists for work, home, children and groceries.  Keeping her planner organised is also key, and she uses time blocking and to-do lists to ensure she keeps on top of tasks.

Jeni sells a subscription service for planners and stationery via Blue Raspberry BoxShe has a set space for desk items, with post-it notes in one corner and notebooks-in-use in another.  She loves keeping her space happy with fun pen pots and desk accessories.  She believes that having nice things around you makes it more likely you’ll keep your space tidy.  Jeni also takes 5-10 minutes to tidy up her workspace at least once a week.

Using a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lamp

Isabelle Hoyne runs the Cultured Voyages website and for the last few years has had a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lamp beside her desk.  She says it makes all the difference in terms of maintaining energy levels, motivation and general mood during the darker times of the year, or when she doesn’t get to go outside too much.

We think this is a great tip if your workspace doesn’t have much natural light, particularly during the winter months.

Using a laptop stand

Lisa McLachlan’s favourite item from her work from home survival kit is an extendable aluminium stand that raises your laptop screen to perfect eye level and your keyboard to a more comfortable typing level.

A laptop on a riser stand.

 Since Lisa started using one, her neck ache has completely disappeared.   It’s very portable too, as it folds down, so you can take it with you to the office or wherever you choose to work – which is so useful.

With so many people working from a laptop we would recommend ensuring the screen is at head height to avoid back strain.  This is also important for monitors which should be raised if needed, even if you just use a pile of books or packages of printer paper (two reams is usually perfect!)

Productivity tips for those managing chronic pain or fatigue

Freelance writer and social media manager Jo Jackson knows that being productive when you have a chronic illness or pain condition requires a bit more thought.

Jo experiences chronic coccyx pain and is extremely limited with when she can work.  The same will apply to anyone experiencing ongoing pain or fatigue.  To maximise productivity from your work period, Jo advises ensuring everything you need is with you, including a timer if you have to pace yourself.  It’s easy to get carried away with a task but working longer than planned can have a severely detrimental effect on your health.

Make sure that you have the full instructions for your work task, and try to address any queries before you start working.  You will also need to make sure you have no distractions that will eat into your precious work time so, if possible, set aside a separate workspace away from others if you are working from home.

Jo’s blog, Tea And Cake For The Soul also offers advice for workplace ideas to reduce coccyx pain.

Productivity for those with ADHD

Charlotte Millington runs The London Local blog and organises her workspace in a very specific way as she has ADHD.  She uses dual screens as it prevents her from having too many tabs open, to reduce distraction.  Charlotte also uses the ‘Background Sounds’ feature on her iPhone to play white noise which helps to block out everything else.  This is a feature available on all new iPhones and can be found under the Accessibility and Audio/Visual option in Settings.

Charlotte also has a bottle of water directly in front of her to make sure she stays hydrated.  If she gets thirsty, she doesn’t want to have to get up from her desk and break her workflow.

A simple but effective productivity hack

Allison Banfield is a massive fan of double computer screens.  Using two screens means that you can use both at the same time and drag information from one to the other using your mouse.  There are so many occasions where you need to look at one window whilst working in another, so having two monitors means that you can see both at once.

An office desk with two computer monitors along with keyboard, notebook and desk ornament.

It’s really easy to set up two screens and this article on howtogeek.com explains how to hook them up as well as the different options that Windows has for using them.

Tips for managing different roles

Helen Costello juggles two roles and separates her physical documents to avoid overwhelm.  She keeps her blogging information completely separate from her day job information to prevent overload.  She also employs separate paper diaries for each role which stops the to-do list appearing too big.  The day job is to the right of the desk, blog info to the left.  It completely works for Helen and stops her from being distracted.  Helen writes for travel, family and lifestyle blog Two Adults Three Children.

Other ways to be more productive

As automation experts, we recommend taking productivity to the next level using no-code automation tools like Zapier.  We have a really useful article about how to get started with Automation and our free Introduction To Zapier e-book explains the benefits of business process automation.

We also have a free cheat sheet with a checklist of Zapier’s inbuilt function which can supercharge your automation.  

Where can I find out more?

Our free articles are great for finding out how to get started with automation, but if you really want to dig deeper then Kelly’s book, Automate It with Zapier, is available on Amazon.  It takes you through everything step-by-step and includes some ready-made templates for various examples so you can get started really quickly.


The book is perfect for new Zapier users as well as seasoned pros. Here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) to get yours now.

New course coming soon!

And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation then we will be launching the Solvaa Automation Academy soon, providing you with a bunch of training courses to help you run your business on autopilot.  You can join the wait list below to keep up to date with the latest news.  


Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.



Related Posts

Closeup of computer keyboard with blue ‘survey’ button between the A and D letters.

Our business survey reveals that business owners are keen to automate

We recently conducted a survey of business owners, employees and entrepreneurs to get a better understanding of their attitudes and plans regarding automation.  We were delighted to find that the vast majority of respondents are keen to automate parts of their...
Pages from a calendar with heading of ‘Four Day Week’ and a fountain pen.

How to make a 4 day working week more productive

Many UK businesses are participating in a 6-month pilot programme for their employees to work a four-day week but get the same pay and benefits that they would if they were full-time. It might sound too good to be true but the expectation is that increasing...
Male businessman with a tablet in his hand and icons representing business process automation floating above it.

How to get started with automation and work smarter, not harder

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list? Do you feel like you're working all the time but not getting anywhere? If so, it might be time to start using automation to help lighten the load. Automation helps you work smarter, not harder, and in this blog post...
A bookshop with an arm reaching out to choose a business book from the shelf.

Our 6 favourite business productivity books for overwhelmed business owners

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day running of your business, you're not alone. Productivity can be a huge struggle for business owners, especially when you're trying to do it all yourself. That's why we've put together a list of our favourite business...
Closeup of coins in increasing piles, with someone adding three coins to the biggest pile as a concept to represent earning more money using automation.

How business automation using Zapier can improve your pricing and earn you more money

There's no doubt about it – business automation is a key component to success in today's economy. But what if you could take your business automation to the next level to increase your profits? Zapier is a tool that allows you to connect different applications and...
Small wooden people are lined up to look like members of a membership, next to a sign which says MEMBERSHIP.

How to use Zapier like a boss to run your online membership on autopilot

If you're running an online membership, then you know there are a lot of moving parts.  From managing content to processing payments, it can be a lot to keep track of. But what if there was a way to put some of those repeat tasks on autopilot? That's where Zapier...
Businessman holding a mobile device with automation concept and text which says ‘Marketing Automation’.

How to use Zapier to automate your marketing processes and win more business

Are you tired of doing the same tasks over and over again every day? Do you wish there was a way to automate some of your marketing processes? Well, there is! With Zapier, you can connect different applications to create automated workflows. This can save you time and...
Group of young employees in a meeting room giving each other a high five.

Business owners : 5 Reasons why you must empower your workforce with automation

As a business owner, you're always looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition.  You may have heard about the power of automation and how it can help your business grow.  But you may be wondering: is automation really worth it?  Here are five reasons why you...
Wooden blocks with black letters spelling MYTHS on a blue background with heading Business Automation above.

Busting Business Automation Myths : We Reveal The Truth

You’ve heard the hype surrounding business automation, but are these claims true? As a small business owner, you're always looking for ways to save time and streamline your operations. It's no secret that automation can be a powerful tool in achieving this goal. In...
Concept of business meeting showing an overhead shot of hands from a group of business people looking at a colourful report and pointing their pens over it.

How business owners can benefit from no-code workflow automation in 2022

Everyone is talking about the no-code revolution and “no-code” is one of 2022’s most common business buzzwords.  But what exactly is “no-code” and how can no-code automations help business owners?   What does no-code workflow automation mean? A no-code solution...
View from below of five people joining hands as a concept of empowering employees with automation training and mindset.

How to empower employees with an automation mindset

2022 promises to be the year when businesses which adopt an automation mindset will thrive, not only from a more streamlined workflow but also from the resulting increase in profits.  Furthermore, employers don’t need to hire a huge team of developers to build...
An accountant at his desk using a calculator and checking invoices, with a laptop and PC monitor in the background.

How accountants and bookkeepers can use Zapier

Running the financial aspects of businesses usually involves performing manual tasks, but if accountants and bookkeepers learn how to use Zapier then many of these can be streamlined and eliminated. We asked a few accountants and bookkeepers how they use automation to...
Mockup of a computer screen in an office with the Zapier homepage displayed on the monitor.

How to get started with Zapier

  If you’ve never used Zapier before then getting started can seem daunting.  Although the Zapier website has many examples of automations you can build, the most important thing to do before you even consider automation is to review your processes. If you’re...
CRM concept featuring a hand pointing at the word ‘CRM’ surrounded by male and femal client icons in a web.

How to streamline your sales process with a CRM

Every business owner should strive for a streamlined sales process because it will help win more deals, which in turn leads to bigger profits!  This can be achieved quite easily using the right apps and software, alongside a review of business processes.   Making the...
Businessman in a meeting holding a tablet which shows pie charts and bar graphs from a Powerpoint presentation.

What operations processes can be automated?

Your operation is the engine room of your business and automating the processes there can free up valuable time to spend winning more business or serving your customers better. If you’re wondering what operations processes can be automated then we have plenty of...
Rear view of successful businessman relaxing in his office with his hands behind his head.

The benefits of automation in business

Everyone is talking about automation in business but many people aren’t sure what it actually means and what the benefits are.  It sounds really complicated and time-consuming, and (even worse) expensive!  Who would actually bother finding out?  We want to bust those...
A digital whiteboard depiction of a process, represented by virtual sticky notes showing a series of steps with Pipedrive logos above each one.

How to document processes and procedures

Learning how to document processes and procedures has a number of benefits.  It will save you time as you won’t need to think about what to do when carrying out regular business functions.  Your work will become more consistent as you will always be following the same...

Automate It with Zapier book : Initial Reviews

Since our founder, Kelly's Automate It with Zapier book was released it has received some fantastic reviews on Amazon.  We knew the book would help new Zapier users but didn’t realise how useful it would be for people with different levels of Zapier knowledge. When...
Cover of the book ‘Automate it With Zapier’ with byline ‘Boost your business productivity using effective workflow automation techniques’ by author Kelly Goss.

Automate It with Zapier Book

Writing a Zapier book was a natural step for our founder, Kelly Goss as she is so passionate about helping business owners increase productivity in their companies.  As a Certified Zapier Expert, Kelly is the perfect person to impart everything she’s learned using...

The Advantage Of Automation

Our Chief Problem Solver, Kelly Goss recently joined Shelley and Jo on the Virtually Amazing podcast to talk about the advantage of automation and how it can help businesses.  They also discussed how automation skills can be used by VAs to broaden their service...
Get our free ebook

Get our free ebook

Learn about how business process automation with Zapier can help you to run your business on autopilot. The ebook is packed with real-life examples, use cases, and success stories. Whatever kind of business you have, you can use automation to help you work smarter, not harder.

Thanks! Your ebook is on the way.

Pin It on Pinterest