office culture

Ask LH: How Can I Get My Boss To Let Me Wear Headphones At Work?

Dear Lifehacker, I work in an open office environment, and I’d really like to put on my headphones and focus to some music while I work. I’m worried my coworker or boss might think I’m isolating myself, or not being a “team player” though. How can I explain I’m trying to be productive without coming off like I’m being defensive?


Take Five Minutes At The End Of Your Day For A Gadget-Free Review

For many of us, the workday doesn’t feel like it ever ends because of our connected devices. At the end of the day, give yourself at least five gadget-free and distraction-free minutes to mentally review your day.


Always Looking Busy Isn't Necessarily A Good Thing

Generally, when you look busy, it’s a good thing because you’re doing your work. However, consistently looking busy could make you look overburdened or incapable.


When To Say No To New Responsibilities At Work

Usually you should embrace new tasks and responsibilities at work to demonstrate your potential, but sometimes an opportunity comes along that might only bog you down without advancing your career. Here are four instances where you might be better off saying no thanks.


Figure Out What Compliments Your Boss Prefers To Suck Up Better

It’s important to get on the good side of your boss. There’s nothing wrong with sucking up a little bit, but you need to figure out what kind of compliments he or she prefers — or it’s going to be really obvious that you’re sucking up.


The Three Essentials For Successful Collaboration

You might automatically assume that teaming up on a project makes it easier, but there are some weaknesses that come with collaboration. Ron Friedman at 99u describes three important aspects you should consider when planning a joint effort.


Seek Out Problems At A New Job To Advance Your Career

When you start out at a new job, your first instinct might be to blend into the woodwork and not rock the boat. Instead, actively seek out problems you can solve and you’ll get better work projects.


Invite Seven People To A Meeting To Make Efficient Decisions

Stop inviting unnecessary people at meetings to stop wasting time — common knowledge, right? Well, apparently there’s a magic number to how many people you should have: seven, according to the book Decide & Deliver: 5 Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization.


Ask LH: Can My Former Employer Maintain An Email Account In My Name?

Hi Lifehacker, I recently quit my job, and found out that they’re not shutting down my work email — only my access to it. Is this legal? I worry they could send emails claiming to be me.


Why We Brag About Being Busy (And How To Regain Focus)

We have a problem — and the odd thing is we not only know about it, we’re celebrating it. Just today, someone boasted to me that she was so busy she’s averaged four hours of sleep a night for the last two weeks. She wasn’t complaining; she was proud of the fact. She is not alone.