Let's face it; we spend a great deal of our time working. Even when we're not working, we're either commuting to and from work or thinking about work. With a great deal of time spent working, it's vital to make your workplace a happy and productive environment. Being happy and healthy at work means being more productive, creative, and more focused on work.
Today's work environments are pretty demanding, coming with their own share of challenges, including sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy habits, and general work stress that can significantly impact one's well-being. Nonetheless, regardless of how demanding your work may be or how stressful your work environment is, you can still make your office life healthier and happier.
Whether you’re working from a personalized home office, as is the trend, or from shared corporate office space, try these tips to make your workplace as happy, healthy, and productive as possible.
10 Proven Tips to Creating a Happier and Healthier Workplace
Develop an upbeat routine to start the day
The way you start your day affects how the rest of your day will fare. As such, it's essential to start your day on a high note and with a positive mindset. Set the mood for a productive day by waking up early, setting and reviewing particular goals you'll want to achieve that day, working out, kicking off the day with a healthy breakfast, meditating, and ultimately tackling the day earlier on.
By developing a positive morning routine to start the day, you'll undoubtedly become happier, healthy, and more productive at work. You'll know exactly what to do at particular times and avoid unnecessary stress that comes with work.
Personalize Your Office Desk
Decorating your office desk as per your taste can make you feel more relaxed and significantly reduce the stress and pressure that comes with work. Several scientific studies have shown that personalizing your office space comes with psychological benefits enabling you to be more comfortable working while keeping up with stress and distractions.
Therefore, personalize your desk and office space by maybe putting a framed picture of your favorite person(s) on the desk or hanging photos of yourself, your family, or friends on your cubicle wall. In essence, personalizing your office environment makes you feel relaxed and comfortable working, making your office life healthier and happier.
You can create a happier and healthier workspace by integrating nature into your workspace. Adding one or two office plants to your workspace creates a feeling of relaxation and creativity for better work performance. Studies have shown that the presence of indoor plants in office environments lowers stress levels enabling workers to be more happy and productive by creating a conducive environment perfect for tackling demanding tasks.
Scientists at the University of Exeter established that office plants enhanced well-being by 47%, increased creativity by 45%, and improved productivity by 38%. What's more, office plants enhance air quality and enhance humidity in the office space enabling office workers to stay cool and comfortable.
There are a variety of indoor plants ideal for your office. They include:
- Peace Lily- As the name implies, Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) offers a great ambiance making it a suitable houseplant for the office. The plant features beautiful white flowers and green leaves that will brighten your office. It's great at purifying the air in a room and does well in medium to low light.
- Snake Plant- The snake plant is one of the most common office plants thanks to its visually stunning appearance with low maintenance. It requires very little light and water plus can withstand low temperatures. It’s also great at air purification and produces oxygen at night.
- Gerbera Daisies- The gerbera daisies produce beautiful, brightly colored flowers that can liven up your office space, lifting your distressed mood. While they require a bit of attention, they are gorgeous and fantastic at purifying the air.
Allow More Natural Light to Your Office Space
Scientific studies have established that exposure to natural light significantly enhances energy, creativity, and productivity. Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago established that office workers exposed to natural light during the day had better sleep, quality of life, and physical activity compared to their counterparts with reduced natural light exposure at the office. As a result, employees exposed to natural light are more focused, productive, and generally happy.
While you may not have control over natural lighting in the office, there are several things you can do to increase your exposure to natural light. For instance, you can move your office desk next to a window to be exposed to natural light during the day. You can also head out to have a snack in the nearby café or pick a phone call outside to enjoy the natural light from the sun. If you don’t have the luxury of the above options, you can set up daylight lamps or bulbs that imitate natural light and avert depression and fatigue.
Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated
Healthy eating is a prerequisite to your well-being, productivity, and overall health. Healthy eating habits keep you in good shape, enabling you to keep your blood sugar level, blood pressure, and weight at optimum. Healthy nutritional choices allow you to minimize the risks of lifestyle diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
In essence, eating healthy and staying hydrated enables you to be happy and productive at work. With this in mind, ensure that you eat nutritious breakfast, snack, lunch, and dinner without forgetting to drink at least six glasses of water a day.
Avoid Clutter - Ensure Your Office Space is Always Clean and Organized
Whether you're working from a corporate office or from a home office, it's crucial to avoid clutter, ensuring your office space is always clean, fresh, and comfortable. Mess and disorganization amplify stress and anxiety, making you less productive. You will feel more relaxed, creative, and productive working in a pleasant, attractive, and comfortable office space.
With this in mind, you'll want to clear off your desk before it becomes a huge mess. Take a minute or two every day to organize and clean your office space disposing of things you don't need. This way, you’ll become more productive, creative and feel less anxious when working.
Consider Using Aromatherapy
For starters, aromatherapy involves using plant oils, essential oils, and other natural substances for physical and psychological well-being. Using aromatherapy can significantly help you reduce the mental, emotional and physical stress associated with demanding office life. Natural substances such as plant oils and essential oils have calming properties enabling you to reduce stress and anxiety while working.
There is a broad spectrum of scents you can use to enhance your mood and productivity at work. Popular office relaxing scents to increase focus and productivity include cinnamon, geranium, lavender, rosemary oil, and lemon.
However, when using aromatherapy, you'll want to consider other workers, especially if you're working from a shared office space. The natural scents may be pleasing to you but irritating to your co-workers, causing severe allergic reactions or constant headaches. Aromatherapy is best used in enclosed, private office spaces or home offices.
Use Brighter Colours
For your home office or if your employer gives you control over your office space, you can get creative with the interior décor using bright colors. Recent studies have shown that there is a substantial connection between colors and mood, and productivity. Researchers from the University of Texas established that white, grey, and beige painted offices generate feelings of sadness and depression, especially in women. Men were found to be sad and stressed in orange and purple-painted workplaces.
Several colors can significantly change our moods and enhance productivity. For instance, red has been found to enhance focus and performance in tasks requiring attention to detail; yellow is perfect for boosting creativity and optimism, while blue and green are calming and improve focus as well as efficiency. Green is particularly great for prolonged working as it doesn't cause eye fatigue and enables one to remain calm and productive.
Ensure Good Air Ventilation
Your productivity depends on the air quality in the office space. Your brain requires good air ventilation to stay alert and focused for long hours. This is the reason why poor indoor air quality causes a 10% drop in productivity. Good air quality enhances creative thinking and lowers stress associated with work environments.
Therefore, it's essential to ensure good air ventilation by opening windows and placing indoor plants in the office to purify the air. You can also invest in air condition systems or install window vents to facilitate free air circulation and improve air quality.
Get Moving-Consider Using a Standing Desk
Staying glued to your office chair for more than 8 hours a day makes you susceptible to depression and burnout. Researchers from the University of Leicester established that employees who sit for long hours are at a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and ultimately dying early compared to employees who are constantly moving.
With this in mind, you'll want to get moving in the course of your workday to alleviate the severe health effects of lengthened sitting and also enhance your mental state. One way of avoiding extended seating, quickly gaining popularity in office spaces, is standing desks, also referred to as sit-stand desks. These desks allow you to intermittently switch between sitting and standing throughout the workday to prevent the effects of prolonged sitting. Standing desks have also been found to boost energy levels and mood, alleviating feelings of stress and fatigue.
Recommended Standing Desk –Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series
The Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series from FlexiSpot is an impressive sit-stand desk that guarantees you a happier and healthier workplace. The desk comes with a highly customizable frame with a dual-motor lifting system providing fast and stable height adjustments even at the highest setting. The powerful dual motors facilitate a maximum lifting speed of 1.5"/s even under the full capacity of 275 lbs. via a simple touch of a button.
The all-natural desktop surface made of bamboo offers twice the durability and elasticity of ordinary wood. The bamboo desktop is moisture-proof, insect-resistant, and scratch-proof. Its classy, woody look will surely complement your interior office décor.
The Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series is steady, quiet, and quick, with a powder-coated steel tubing resistant to scratches and stains. It comes with many features, including a highly customizable frame, advanced control panel, and anti-collision function to make your work life healthier and happier.
You spend most of your time at work or working. Don’t allow yourself to be unhappy and miserable during those long working hours. Regardless of how stressful or demanding your work may be, you can still be healthy and happy at work. It all calls for the small changes discussed above. Remember, you can only be productive if you're physically, mentally healthy, happy, and focused on work. From using standing desks such as the Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series to going green, there are plenty of ways you can create a happier and healthier workplace and realize your full potential.