As things slowly start to return to our collective new normal, we know many of you will be returning to the office. This is isn’t a concept that’s really in our wheelhouse since we don’t have a traditional workspace. Fortunately, our return to the office mostly consisted of my mom and I moving our biz from our living rooms to our local office. And if you know anything about us, you know the two of us can have fun anywhere!
But we do know that there are a few simple changes you can make so your workspace will feel a bit more like home.
If you’ve got a case of the Monday scaries and the thought of heading back to the office is filling you with dread, read on!
Why We Need Wellness At Work: An Optimistic Approach to Returning to Office
The return to office is an extensive topic for discussion right now. Igniting anxiety and stress for individuals just starting to feel comfortable and confident with working from home. Many people have been emphasizing their mental health and well-being during this time. They have grown accustomed to the flexibility of remote working, so employee expectations about their in-office workspace have monumentally shifted, leaving us to beg the question, is our workplace ready for our return?
Whether morning meditation before logging in for the day or walking the dog between zoom meetings, employees quickly realize that their remote routine will be no more when they return to the office. We are here to help you remain focused and optimistic about your return and assure you that there are ways to maintain your routine and other habits so you can incorporate well-being into your office life.
Help Keep Your Mind, Body, and Emotions Healthy While At Work
Take a second to think back on the office space you will eventually be returning to. Do you remember 6×6 cubicles? Beige furniture, accented with taupe painted walls and carpets? Harsh fluorescent lighting and lack of natural light? Overwhelming cluttered desk?
Now, take a second to think about how you felt every day before you stepped foot into the office and how you felt when you left for the day. Do you remember headaches? Fatigue? Irritability? Dread over having to return tomorrow?
Suppose you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally drained over remembering how it felt to be in the office. In that case, your workplace may be working against you and your well-being and is potentially impacting your ability to be a productive employee.
You may be wondering how you could spruce up your ‘office,’ aka an old storage room on the 15th floor. Still, we encourage you to remain open-minded, optimistic and tap into your creativity when it comes to bringing joy into your workplace.
Add Greenery to Your Workspace
It is human instinct that drives a natural and innate desire to be within and connected to nature. Some of the benefits of incorporating nature into your workplace include reducing stress, increasing productivity, cleaning the air, boosting creativity, and preventing sickness. So why is it the ‘norm’ that the spaces we occupy most of our days – the workplace – tend to lack outlets to connect to the natural environment? Studies have shown that simply adding some greenery in the form of indoor plants can have major positive benefits for employees and their organizations. Consider bringing in your favorite succulent, house plant, or even a bouquet of flowers to keep on your desk.
Although you might have to push morning meditation up half an hour or walk the dog after work, you should still prioritize your physical wellness at the office. Whether you take a lap around the office, ask your desk-mate to go on a lunchtime walk, or periodically take 5 minutes to stretch, adding some form of physical exercise to your routine will help you loosen up and remain focused throughout the day!
Combat Excessive Screen Time and Harsh Lighting
Your eyes play a significant role in productivity, creativity, and overall quality of life. Yet, it is the area that is most commonly overlooked, in terms of individual wellness. It would help if you got into the habit of taking frequent breaks every 20 minutes to ensure you are giving yourself, and your eyes adequate time to rest. Explore your options. It is not uncommon to spend the entire day working on a computer screen. Consider covering your monitor with an anti-glare screen or adding a pair of anti blue light glasses to your in-office must-haves; these can help prevent and reduce the symptoms associated with digital eye strain, such as increased fatigue, irritability, and the inability to concentrate.
Tune Into Some Relaxing Music
Returning to the office brings a lot of excitement about seeing coworkers in person again, which means there is a lot more opportunity for distraction like overhearing conversations at the desk next to you. If you often find it challenging to accomplish anything because of the constant noise within your office, tune into some calming and focus-inducing music. Binaural beats increase brain power and concentration and are an excellent remedy to drown out the noise and zero in on your to-do list for the day.
Staying hydrated is another aspect that can help you maintain productivity and focus throughout the workday. Grab your favorite reusable water bottle, take a trip to the water cooler and spark up a conversation with a colleague. Set a daily goal to talk to someone new on a different floor, or in a different department. This not only creates a fun and interactive way to stay hydrated but also helps to encourage workplace collaboration.
Your workspace is where you spend most of your time; it is essential to put a little TLC into your surroundings that better suits your individual needs. When people are in environments that support positive emotions, they’re better able and free to be productive, collaborative, and creative. Well-being at work is a bottom-line issue, do what you love and love what you do!