We spend most of our waking lives at work. For some people, it might not be the best time of their lives and most people would prefer not having to work (there’s a reason why it’s called work, not fun), there are certainly things that companies can do to make the time spent at work more enjoyable.
Move your ass! If you work in an office, chances are that you spend most of your day sat on your bum. They now say that sitting is the new smoking, as the effects of sedentarism can be terrible for one’s health. If that is your case, I would suggest to get up as much as possible. Even if it’s just a trip to the printer, the loo, making a cup of tea or if you your in my office, a game of ping pong.
Take breaks and get distracted. This is something that a lot of old fashioned employers don’t really like – how can you be productive if you just took a break to check your email or went to the kitchen for the second time this morning? Sorry, grumpy bosses of the world but science is on the employee’s side. By taking regular breaks you can actually become more productive and there are methods for that – the Pomodoro technique being one of them. It is pretty simple as it prescribes breaking your tasks into chunks of 25 minutes, separated by short breaks. You should also take frequent breaks from your computer screen, by looking away into the distance or out the window, will not only be a good reset for the brain but will also help maintain ocular health.
Avoid eating rubbish! If you have free food in your office (as it is our case), ask your employer for healthier snacks such as fruit, nuts or anything that’s not riddled with sugars – and you’ll see how many people actually will agree with you. If you are close to a vending machine, you might have to just suck it up and try to avoid temptation – or again ask for better snacks to be made available. Ask for lemon to be included in the weekly shop and instead of tea with sugar or pop, have some lemon water as it is cleansing, aids digestion and many other benefits.
Get your spandex on and do some group exercise. In our building we have yoga and power plates classes and it makes it so much more convenient! It’s also good to have people you know doing the classes with you – you can have a laugh together and have a pact to hold each other accountable.
Open the windows! Even though we work in an open space and fairly wide office, sometimes it stinks. That’s just the way it is, put a bunch of people in one closed room and it will start smelling of bodies. So open those windows and let the stink out and let the nice oxygen in. By opening the windows you might also be able to lower temperature a little, which will facilitate staying alert – a warm environment will make you feel sluggish and like crawling under your desk for a nap… sadly although I work for a tech company we don’t have one of those dreamy sleep pods yet.
These are some of my suggestions for making your life easier and healthier at work, you can find a few more ideas over at SimplyHealth. Do you have any suggestions of your own?
Oh how I laughed just thonking of showing these to the average portuguese middle manager… apoplexies gallore!! I am so glad I don’t work in an office!!
Haha, you bet. It’s not just in Portugal that you see these old fashioned attitudes… we all have had bosses that only think you’re being productive if you keep your head down and don’t deviate your eyes from the screen… too bad that science is against them and soon enough mentalities will start changing.