If you work from home, make sure that your home does not become a distraction. Keep the TV off. Don’t answer your phone (unless it is for business). Be sure that the time you are wanting to work is uninterrupted work. As you are able to focus more on your work, the results should follow, and you should start feeling more satisfied with your accomplishments.
Are there some odors (someone’s fish lunch? new carpet installed?) or noises that impact your ability to concentrate? It may look odd to pull a surgical mask over your face, but you should be able to get away with a fan or a vase full of fragrant flowers. For noises, try a white noise machine or app. If you can wear headphones, listen to your music group or podcast.
Always have a water bottle at your workspace. Being dehydrated is easily avoided, so why risk it. When your body lacks water, it can lead to headaches, inability to focus and other symptoms.
Keep healthy snacks in reach. When you work at home the ice cream is always one room away. In an office environment, people love to bring in baked goods to share. And on the road the next drive thru is home to your next meal. When eating unhealthy at work becomes a habit, it can lead to eating unhealthy outside of work. Then comes being overweight, obesity and all the issues that come along with that. By keeping fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks on your desk or in your travel bag, you will always have a satisfying option to munch on when hunger strikes.
Don’t forget to take breaks. There’s always an urgency to get your work done. But by staying seated for long periods of time, and not giving your brain a rest, you may be doing your work a disservice. Make a habit of taking a 5 minute break every hour. Stand up and walk around or go to the bathroom.
You may not have total control over some of your office equipment, but if you do, these are some of the top targets to build a healthier workplace. (and even if you don’t have control, you can probably put in a request and maybe some of these elements can be addressed)
Desk and chair. Make sure your chair is comfortable, and provides enough support to sit up straight. The top of your desk should be at a good height for accomplishing what you need, which, for most of us, is usually typing on a keyboard and viewing a computer monitor (or 2 or 3). The desk should also have enough space to hold what you need to do your job, from your monitor and phone to filing systems and writing pads.
Keyboard and mouse. The keyboard should be comfortable to type on and at the right height. The mouse should be easy to use (click and scroll) and be the correct size for your hand. An ergonomic keyboard and mouse combo is a good idea for many to ward off Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other 21st century workplace maladies. And for most, using an ergonomic keyboard and mouse becomes a better overall experience than a traditional set.
Monitors. Make sure your computer monitors are positioned straight ahead of you, and that you don’t have to lift or lower your head to view. It should be a natural position that allows you to read what is on the screen in front of you.
Even though not everything about your workspace may be in your control, there are many things you can do to make any space better for your overall health and wellness. And it can all start with any one of the above ideas.