Rightsize tips to create a healthy and enjoyable work environment
Few people click their heels together, repeating there’s no place like work, there’s no place like work; or make the claim that work is where the heart is. In fact, it’s probably a little bit of the opposite: a place of business is where people go to get a job done and then scurry home to the things that matter most, like your family, children and your X-Box. But when you spend 40 hours a week at the office, the effort to make the space and environment work for you becomes worth it. Here are some tips to make work more comfortable, productive and healthy.
Rightsize Tips to Get More Comfortable at the Office
Part I: How it Looks: Adding visual elements that add color and texture to your workspace can play a big role in increasing satisfaction in the office, give your work area a personal vibe — and prevent your office from being totally boring.
1. Personalize the Walls — Make your workspace feel like home through images that have a personal appeal, such as art work, photos, posters and other decorative items. These super simple visual elements can make a big difference in how the space feels. Tack them up to your cube or office walls and be reminded of what makes you happy.
2. Bring in Additional Lighting — According to the International Association of Lighting Designers, lighting not only enhances the mood and desirability of the workplace, but it contributes greatly to people's sense of well-being. So if you’re work area isn’t well lit, bring in additional lighting to pull the weight.
3. Get a Plant — Having a plant on your desk or in your office can make the space more vibrant. In fact, a recent study shows that enriching your work area with plants seemed to provide restorative potential, meaning it can keep creativity high. Not to mention it adds good color and texture to the work space.
Part II: Office Setup: Customize your workspace so it fits your body size, by moving the chair, adding height to the monitor and adjusting the mouse and keyboard. Ergonomics reduce the risk of injury by adapting the work to fit the person, instead of the other way around, and can increase productivity, reduce turnover and impact morale.
4. Find a Comfortable Chair — An ergonomic chair that provides lumbar support can make quite the difference in overall happiness in the workplace. Besides, how are you supposed to get comfortable at work if you can’t get comfortable in your own chair? According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries study “Office Ergonomics: Practical Solutions for a Safer Workplace,” adjustable task chairs provide support, while allowing workers to improve their posture.
5. Adjust Your Workspace — Arrange the furniture and equipment so it fits your posture. The monitor should be below eye level so you don’t have to strain your neck, and the keyboard should be close to elbow level to help keep your wrists straight. If that means stacking your monitor on books, or hiking up your chair height, then do it.
6. Think About Eyestrain — Sitting in front of a computer all day can cause be a huge strain on your eyes, causing anything from headaches, to difficulty focusing. Adjust your monitor so it's a comfortable distance from your face. "The distance to the screen from your eyes should be about an arms length away,” Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University tells WebMD. “You should also be able to comfortably read what's on your screen at that distance, without having to squint."
7. Use a Headset — Holding your neck and upper shoulders in an awkward position for a long time can cause serious pain and tension in that area, and happens to people in the workplace who talk on the phone for a few hours a day. "Make sure your neck isn't bent to the side for long periods of time, " says Hedge.
Part III: Healthy Habits: Getting comfortable isn’t just about the physical aspects of sitting at a desk, it also comes down to how a workplace can impact your mental and physical health. Being mindful of health and wellness at work is a big part of overall satisfaction and comfort in the workplace.
8. Take Breaks — Every 20 minutes or so, divert your eyes from the computer screen to give your brain — and your eyes — a little rest. Plus, standing up to stretch your legs will keep energy high and the blood flowing. There is nothing healthy about sitting all day.
9. Make Time for Exercise — Either find a walking partner to take a brisk walk during lunch, or incorporate a little walking into your morning commute. Whether that means getting off the bus a few stops away from your office or parking at the far end of the parking lot, physical activity will help you to destress, stay in shape and hit the refresh button on your day.
10. Bring a Lunch — Drink plenty of water while at work, and pack healthy food options for lunch. Dehydration can deplete energy supply, along with the unhealthy selection that oftentimes come with fast food. Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water can improve focus, prevent weight gain and increase overall energy.
For more tips about how to create an office environment that works for you, contact Rightsize and a representative can point you in the right direction.
Rightsize Facility Performance, headquartered in Chicago, IL, is a nationwide office interiors and facilities services firm serving corporate clients in transition. Founded in 2004, Rightsize employs an industry leading “Design/Furnish” approach to ensure seamless workplace transitions and is a single source for interior design, furniture procurement, delivery and installation, asset disposition, facility decommissioning and ancillary project services. Through its Office Furniture Center brand, which includes OfficeFurnitureCenter.com and a 200,000-square-foot showroom, Rightsize also provides a single source for quality workstations, desks, seating, filing, conference and reception furniture.