The Office of The Future: The Five Healthier Working Choices
This is where the details count. Seek as much natural light as possible – it’s proven to increase your concentration by up to as much as 15% and can even improve the quality of your sleep. This falls part of biophilic design, where you focus on bringing the outdoors inside (and ties into our point 3). If you can, sit near a window. The next steps: declutter your space (it helps with productivity) and choose your office colours carefully – a study by Science Daily showed that red could increase your attention to detail while blue and yellow spark creativity.
1. You must invest in a standing desk.
While we are huge fans of investing in an ergonomically correct chair (we wrote about the benefits here and provided a few of our favourite healthy chair options), it’s still just the starting point. If you really want to improve both your health and productivity, you should invest in a variable height standing desk that lets you quickly change from a seated to a standing working position. Not only are they much better for your posture and metabolism, but they can also help to avoid the afternoon slump and help keep you focused. These days, the average person sits for 9.3 hours a day while only getting 7.7 hours of sleep – this is wreaking havoc on all our health. We’ve got a range of Fellowes products that helps with all kinds of working ergonomics, from sit and stand dual options through to laptop and tablet risers – see them all here.
View the Sit-Stand Desk here
View the Sit-Stand Desk here
2. Do a mini makeover.
If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught the working world: our health must come first, and we are all responsible for creating healthier offices and workplaces – even when working from home. The good news: you don’t have to spend lots of money to create a healthier, more ergonomic office. You’ll need to invest in the right furniture and office tools as a foundation and then build healthier habits in how you work, eat, and stay hydrated. Here are our five easy steps to transform your workspace – wherever it is.
3. Plant some new friends
Next step: invest in some greenery. Research shows that the right office plants can do more than recycle and clean the air; they can also improve your mood and productivity. A study from Exeter University found that adding plants to your office design can increase wellbeing by 47%, creativity by 45%, and productivity by up to 38%. You don’t need to turn the office into a forest either; you just need a few well-placed potted plants, ones that can thrive indoors and in low-light conditions.
4. Invest in an office stopwatch, timer, or clock for your wall.
Yes, it’s an excellent investment in keeping you on schedule, but for us, it has a much more important reason: you can use it to create your health breaks. The best thing you can do for your working health is schedule a break every 30 or 45 minutes. Use it to fetch some water, visit a colleague, have a quick walk outside, or make a cup of coffee. We’re also huge fans of the famous Pomodoro Technique, which uses 25-minute work periods with five-minute breaks. These little mini-breaks will save your posture, reduce eyestrain, improve your metabolism, and keep your productivity and concentration skills revving high all day. If you don’t want to put holes in the wall to hang a clock, then invest in a digital timer on your PC or load a task-based timer app on your phone. Don’t forget to schedule exercise, self-care, and some meditation. It’s vital for your health, and it will improve your productivity. Lastly, don’t forget to sanitise your hands and wear your mask when you’re sharing an office space with others.
5. Don’t forget to drink water and stretch throughout the day.
It doesn’t matter if you are part of the still or sparkling gang; you need to ensure you’re getting plenty of water throughout the working day. We’re big fans of buying a reusable water bottle and keeping it on your desk, but for bonus points, you can install a water cooler in your home or at the office, but we prefer getting up to refill – it offers opportunities for regular breaks. The same goes for your lunch break – eat it away from the desk, preferably outside. Keeping some healthy snacks on your desk can also help you stay healthier and avoid junk food and fizzy drinks - ‘snackcidents’. Then, you also need to create a daily desk stretching routine. If you need some help finding the best moves, here are two excellent resources: 10 Best Stretches and 8 Desk Stretches.
FACT: After just one hour of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat decrease by as much as 90%.