Working in an office comes with many benefits and challenges. On one hand, you never have to work outside through bad weather…on the other, John in Accounting keeps microwaving fish. Getting through the week can sometimes be a challenge so why not take a few steps towards improving your office work experience?
Get up from your desk
Sedentary life catches up to us sooner or later. Sitting for the majority of your day causes a myriad of problems from poor circulation to hunched posture. Set a timer on your clock to get up from your desk at least once an hour.
Drink enough water
When we are sitting at work in our climate controlled environments it can be easy to feel as though we are hydrated. You might even have a water bottle sitting beside you but how often do you sip from it? Keeping a hydration log can help you stay on track with your water intake.
Avoid the sugary snacks
So you get up from your desk once an hour as per your timed reminders. Great! But what do you do? If you wander down to the vending machine for a pop or a chocolate bar then you could be doing more harm than if you just stayed at your desk entirely. Stop the sugar intake and instead plan for healthy snacking during the day.
Take a walk
You’ve managed to head past the junk food. Hurray! But what can you do in a short amount of time that won’t take away too much from your work? Have a little stroll down the hall and back? Head out for a lap around the building? You don’t need to break a sweat but you do need to move a little. Besides, it can help clear our heads and refocus our efforts for greater productivity once we do sit back down at our task.
Go out for lunch with a friend
How many times per week do you eat lunch at your desk? Your lunch break is supposed to be, well, a break! Make plans with a friend to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. Making time to socialize when appropriate can release stress and make your day so much more enjoyable.
Check in – Stress levels
Speaking of stress, how are you feeling? Has it been a hectic day? Have a few things gone wrong? Maybe your computer is causing you to be upset. Set a reminder on your phone to do a daily stress check in. If you’re feeling a bit tightly wound, take action. Remove yourself to a quiet place – even a washroom stall will do. Take 60 seconds to close your eyes and do a few deep breathing exercises. You’ll be amazed at what this little bit of mindfulness can do for your day.
If you’re permitted to use headphones at work, or have quiet music at your desk then by all means, put on some tunes! Music can help us focus on our task, increase our happiness and encourage relaxation. Choose something you love and listen while you work.
Spruce up your work space
Working in a beige box can depress even the most positive personality. Adding a few items you cherish can really impact our moods in a happy way. A plant will do wonders. Drawings from your children will bring in some colour. Avoid clutter, however, or the effects of personalizing your space can be minimized.
Work is a big part of our lives and doing what we can to make the experience enjoyable and healthy will do us well. Don’t wait for your management to install a wellness plan. You can implement these ideas yourself and I bet most co-workers won’t even notice!