Is your workplace conducive to your well-being? Unfortunately, working in the perfect environment is not always possible. However, small changes to your routine can bring lasting results. Simple things like avoiding unhealthy snacks, cleaning the keyboard, or taking a walk during lunch can boost your productivity and happiness.
If you work in an office, those 8 hours in a chair 5 days a week will take a toll on your body. The negative effects range from tension neck syndrome to eye strain to extra calories. The work environment can also affect your mental health. Click here for some simple ways to de-stress and follow these 10 tips.
1. Be Self-Aware
The first condition for well-being at work is self-awareness. You need to understand yourself and your limits. Listen to your body and be mindful of your feelings. Know when to take breaks and take a vacation. Monitor your own mental and physical health to feel comfortable, healthy, and happy.
2. Do Not Work Too Long
Employees who work long hours multiple days in a row put their well-being at risk. Avoid lengthy stretches at all costs. Sometimes, it is easy to lose track of time when you focus on getting a project completed.
Remember about the physical and emotional toll of overworking. Heavy stress impacts your health, mood, productivity, and relationships with other people. Burnout has a spectrum of negative consequences. It will impair your immune system, disrupt sleep patterns, and make it difficult to concentrate.
3. Take Vacations
This is a tip everyone wants to hear! Vacations are crucial for well-being at work, as well as your overall health and happiness. Moreover, you should get away for a long vacation, not just a city break.
Every employee needs time to recharge their batteries and de-stress. A vacation will take your mind off current projects and any problems in the workplace, such as a conflict with your boss or a toxic coworker.
Stress does not only make you less productive — it can also impair your immunity. The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to fall sick. Time off is a great way to minimize the harm, so make the most of your vacation time!
4. Drink Water
The average adult needs around 10 glasses of water per day to stay healthy. This also includes hydrating foods, such as fruits. To stay healthy and hydrated, bring some grapes, oranges, apples, or watermelon.
The afternoon slump you experience around 3 p.m. may be caused by dehydration. Bring a bottle of water (16 ounces) to work and finish it by lunchtime. Then, refill it and finish by 3 p.m. Refill and drink again. You can also set a refill reminder on your smartphone or computer.
5. Do Exercise
Try walking during lunch. This way, you will not only burn some calories but also de-stress. You could find a walking partner in the office — a colleague who will drag you out when you are too busy to remember about exercise. If getting out is impossible, park your car further away from the office and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Eat a Healthy Lunch
A well-balanced diet is important for your well-being. Try to eat healthily inside and outside work, and practice portion control. Make sure you are not consuming too many calories and then sitting in a chair for hours. Sometimes, the size of portions is more crucial than the food itself. For example, pizza is not bad by definition, but eating too many slices is. Share your food with coworkers if possible.
7. Choose Healthy Snacks
Some coworkers like sharing their snacks, but be careful. It is easy to put on weight by adding a few hundred calories to your diet every weekday. Three out of five Americans are overweight! Think twice before helping yourself to your colleague’s treats.
A candy dish on someone’s desk can be difficult to resist. There is a simple solution — “out of sight, it’s out of mind”. Prepare a healthy snack the night before, so you have something better to eat when you get hungry. Communicate more with colleagues who are also watching their weight. Arrange fruit bowls instead of candy.
8. Treat Tension Neck Syndrome (TNS)
Office workers often sit in uncomfortable, awkward positions for prolonged periods. This is particularly common for employees who type or talk on the phone a lot. They keep their neck bent to the side for hours, which causes this syndrome. The symptoms include pain in the neck and shoulders, muscle tightness, and tenderness. To prevent or alleviate the condition, switch to a speakerphone, a headset, or a shoulder cradle.
9. Prevent Eye Strain
Eye strain from hours in front of a computer causes headaches, lack of concentration, and increased sensitivity to light. To prevent it, make sure the screen is at least an arm’s length away from your eyes. At the same time, you should be able to read comfortably without squinting. If this is difficult, try increasing the font size.
10. Clean Your Equipment
The office machines you use daily, from keyboards to phones, harbor countless germs. They are just waiting to make you sick! Disinfect the surfaces regularly. Viruses can survive for hours or even days. For example, if a diarrheal virus lands on the surface of a phone receiver, anyone using the telephone can potentially get infected.
Cleaning with wet wipes is not enough. According to the National Consumers League, you should use a disinfectant spray or cleaner which is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Choose products that kill a variety of viruses.
To Sum Up
Well-being at work is a complex subject. Listen to your body to understand when to take a break or a day off. Make the most of your vacation time, and remember that stress in the workplace spreads to other areas of your life. If the environment is uncomfortable or toxic, but changing it is beyond your control, try discussing it with your boss.