For all sorts of reasons, life in the office can be tough. Whether it is negotiating the ups and downs of workplace politics or ensuring you remain comfortable (and healthy) sat in front of a screen for eight hours a day, a desk job is certainly not always an easy option.
The truth is, whatever your line of business and wherever your place of work happens to be, there are always going to be good points and bad. But given the amount of time you spend at work, you owe it to yourself to maximise the pros and minimise the cons.
So what can you do to make office life that much more pleasurable and comfortable? Here are four of our favourite tips.
Get the right chairs
Nothing will sap the enjoyment out of work and make your days drag on endlessly like having an office chair that does not support your posture properly and becomes uncomfortable after an hour or so. Worse than that, in the long term you risk doing serious damage to your back which could end up making sitting at a desk all but impossible. Read our guide to the essentials for choosing an office chair here, and make the necessary changes to protect your wellbeing.
Introduce standing desks
It is still one of those ideas that many people rank as ‘out there’, but there is now a pretty convincing body of evidence to suggest that standing while you work on a computer improves productivity, satisfaction and long-term health. The facts are, the human body is not really built for sitting down for extended periods, we’re designed to be on our feet. That is why you have to be so careful to protect posture with carefully designed chairs. But also, the longer we sit still in one position, the more likely we are to get drowsy and stop working at our best. Having standing desks as an option is a great way to give staff a release from that mid-afternoon slump and find a new lease of energy as they work.
Maximise natural light
We’ve all experienced that feeling of forlorn longing on a bright, sunny day when we are stuck in the office and can only peer helplessly at the joyous world outside. There is one very simple reason for this emotional response – our bodies quite literally crave sunlight to generate the Vitamin D in our skin that helps to keep us healthy. To keep spirits up all year round: remove blinds and other obstructions to let as much natural light in as possible; invest in things like screen filters where necessary to overcome unwanted blue light glare; make sure you leave you desk and get outside at lunchtime, especially in Winter – even ten extra minutes of natural light a day can make a huge difference.
Maintain a little greenery
Plants in an office look pretty, but they also serve a more practical purpose. If you have ever complained about the air in your office becoming a little stale, that is because all of the people in that enclosed space are consuming the oxygen and replacing it with CO2. Although fresh air inevitably filters in through doors, windows and so on, over time the balance between oxygen and CO2 becomes upset, with more CO2 in an enclosed environment causing drowsiness. Plants help to counteract this because they ‘breathe’ the opposite way to people – they take in CO2 and give out oxygen, helping to redress the balance.