9 Ways to be Less Boring at Work

In a recent post, I suggested that it makes sense to add more “play” into the workplace.  You may not be able to install a two story fun slide or a putting green by the espresso machine but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on the factor of playfulness.

Let me be clear: I am not saying that you should dye your hair blue and shock everyone around you.  What research does support is that an environment where people work should be an engaging place where laughter is acceptable and even encouraged.  The bottom line: it's ok to have fun at work.  

I used to think that showing up early and staying late was “enough” and maybe it is most of the time.  Still, I like to try and do some new things each year that add value to others and really make me stand out in their mind.  A recent example was inviting some other executives to lunch so that they could meet one another, forming a sort of “mastermind” group that would allow them space to talk about their struggles and successes. It was a hit!

With that said, here are 9 ways to be less boring at work:

  1. Wear funky socks.  Even the Wall Street Journal has noticed this new trend.
  2. Buy new eye glasses. Glasses change your face and even how others perceive you.
  3. Upgrade your wardrobe.  With stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, anyone can afford decent clothes.  
  4. Drive a car that fits your personality.  This is a big one but take a look at your car.  Now think about what it says about you.  
  5. Use a pen that doesn’t have “Bic” on the cap.  Nice pens add some flair to our work and increase our sense of style.
  6. Install a new desk lamp.  Lamps are increasingly style-oriented and communicate precision and detail.
  7. Use an email signature that people will remember.  
  8. Coin a phrase.  I work with someone who says "Best day of my life!"  It's memorable to be sure.
  9. Deliver results.  At the end of the day, the best way to be remembered is to deliver awesome results, period.

Being memorable is important but not for reasons of popularity.  Rather, being at the “top of mind” of your boss will promote you faster and make you stand out when you go for a new job somewhere else.  Finally, being memorable for the right reasons (and less boring) tells others that you really care about them and about your work.  That sense of caring is a road-sign on the path to excellent things.

The question for your homework is this: what are you currently doing to be more memorable?