From finding the right chair and using a standing desk to de-cluttering and creating an energetic work flow, we show you how to up your workplace wellness.
DID YOU KNOW? One of the earliest innovators of the modern office chair was Charles Darwin who added wheels to his chair to get to his specimens quicker while in his study.
It’s time to refuel and re-energise and get your ducks in a row for a successful and productive year ahead. From taking stock of progress on your business goals and getting organized for tax season, to adding a little colour and zest to your desk area - here are six tips for spring-cleaning your office space to brighten up your mood and become more productive at work.
MAKE A DATE
Half the battle of a good spring-clean is committing to a day to begin. Unfortunately, chores don’t happen just because we want them to; we need to make a concerted effort to create the environment we want. Make a commitment to yourself by scheduling a cleaning session in your own calendar. If your days are jam-packed, try to schedule your spring-cleaning session for a time when the week begins to wind down; like a Friday afternoon. If your office allows, you may even want to go in over the weekend to freshen up your desk before Monday morning.
WATCH YOUR WINGSPAN
Everything you use regularly should be within arm’s reach to create a seamless flow of work. This seems a simple rule to follow, though how much of what’s on your desk are you keeping for ‘just in case’? If you can’t go a few hours without referencing an important folder, place it within arm’s length. If you’re constantly stapling materials, keep your stapler within close reach. But, if you rarely use that pile of reference books, move them to a more distant corner, or into filing cabinets behind you.
What better time to take control of your technology than during a good spring-clean? Tech exists to make our lives easier; though it can quickly become the antithesis of convenience if you don’t stay on top of your virtual clutter. It can be mentally taxing to get rid of emails so consider this six-D method: look at each email and choose to either Discard, Delegate, Do, Date, Drawer (keep on file) or Deter (unsubscribe). Just like an overflowing email inbox, an overloaded computer desktop is as distracting and tricky to navigate. Create an email folder called ‘desktop’ or ‘2016’ and drag any old icons, documents and folders there. That way, you still have what you need, but it’s not haunting you each time you start your computer.
STAND UP FOR YOUR HEALTH
The detrimental effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time are certainly no secret. Whenever possible, it’s always advised to get up and take movement breaks throughout your day; but it’s not always easy to walk away from a task you’re fully immersed in. If you’re always completely immersed in your work, get your computer to remind you once every hour or so to stand up and stretch – it’ll help your eyes, too, by ensuring you look at a more distant object than the screen in front of you. Have you considered using a standing desk? As the name suggests, it’s a desk which allows you to comfortably stand while you get work done. Along with a host of health benefits, the physical stance you assume at a standing desk can also boost your mood and energy levels; leading you to be more productive, optimistic, and motivated to get important tasks accomplished.
While spring cleaning is definitely about throwing out the old, it’s also a chance to welcome in the new and improved. Not only will a desk-plant improve the air quality around your desk, studies have conclusively shown that a plant on your desk can actually reduce your work stress and increase overall productivity. Look for a plant that doesn’t need daily watering or require direct sunlight; especially if your desk isn’t near a window. Succulents and cacti are great low-maintenance plants that require just a tad of water once per week, however they do need at least some daylight to survive.
The revered Chinese art of arrangement focuses on the placement of objects in particular directions to align Chi (or energy) to manifest a desired outcome. Feng Shui can help you facilitate an office environment that keeps you energized and brimming with new ideas. Introducing office plants into your environment, for example, promotes the growth of your wealth. If you want your work to be noticed by the people who matter, fire up the South side of your desk with all things red. Adorn your computer monitor with crystals like citrine and blue calcite; the first promotes energy and liveliness and the latter facilitates communication. Cultivating the West of your desk is imperative to stimulate creative ideas and provocative new solutions to everyday challenges. Choose things Orange in colour; a flowering plant, tools of your trade or posters of inspiring words. Understanding your personal energy map, or Bagua, is essential in the placement of objects on your desk. Help identify the corners of your desk by using a compass app which uses your GPS to tell you exactly where each direction is.
Studies have shown that a supportive office chair increases productivity and maximizes efficiency. A bad office chair, on the other hand, can lead to back strain, leg problems, and carpal tunnel; all of which cause lost time at work and sends productivity spiralling. We speak to Mark Gurwicz from Geo Cloud Chairs and Office Furniture on tips for choosing the most effective office chair:
• Lumbar Support: A good office chair will have support for the lower back. Some of the better ones will even have an adjustable lumbar support that allows the user to fit the chair to their lower back. This is important in preventing back strain that can worsen and become sciatica, a condition which can be debilitating.
• Adjustability: Important features that should be adjustable include lumbar support, arm width and height, seat back width and height, seat and back angle, and tension control.
• Wheel Base: Nearly all office chairs have a wheel base; however, if the office is carpeted it may be necessary to get a chair with wheels specifically made for carpet. Rolling is important in preventing strain due to reaching across a desk to retrieve out-of-reach items.
• Swivel Base: All office chairs should swivel freely to allow for easy access to various parts of the desk. If the chair doesn’t swivel freely, arm fatigue can result from over extending to reach for things.
• Fabric: The fabric should be breathable to keep the chair from becoming hot and uncomfortable after hours of sitting in it. It should also have enough cushioning to support the person sitting in it without feeling the base of the chair through the cushion.
• When sitting, make sure your hips are higher than your knees. Your feet should be planted steadily on the ground and you should get up frequently and move around.
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