8 Ways To Create A Healthy, Serene Workspace

July 6, 2015

Jacqueline[Written by Jacqueline Perreault]

Our work environment sets the stage for our productivity, effectiveness, happiness and overall wellbeing.

Whether you work in cubicle land or have a more creative workspace; work alone or with others; there are creative ways to make your workspace more serene and productive.

Incorporate these eight simple solutions and immediately feel more relaxed, focused and ready to take on the world.

  1. Get a green finger – Research has shown that plants increase concentration, improve productivity and lower stress levels. In addition, they purify the air we breathe. Adding just a couple plants or fresh flowers can help us relax and bring attention to the quality of our work.
  2. Adjust your workstation – Let’s face it – we were never meant to be sedentary beings held hostage to our desk all day.  It affects our posture and our overall health.  If you work from a computer, as many of us do, take note of your positioning including your screen, keyboard, mouse and chair to ensure correct back and neck alignment.  Check out the Mayo Clinic’s guidelines link here to learn about an ergonomically correct workspace. Take it one step further by investing in a stand-up or cycling desk like these ones here.
  3. Drown out distracting devices – It is easy to get bogged down in emails and messages.  Use the “do not disturb” setting on your device for periods time so you can be mindful of the task at hand.  Set time intervals for when you reply to e-mails [e.g., every 2 hours].
  4. Take regular breaks – No matter how ergonomically correct your workstation may be, you have to remember to get up, stretch and move.  There are apps that can help you remember such as Stand Up! link here or Big Stretch Reminder.  Host walking meetings in your office so that you encourage others to move a long with you and invest in a tracking device to ensure you get the minimum 10,000 recommended steps per day.
  5. Have a nap – Huge global companies such as Google and Huffington Post are encouraging their staff to take a nap or meditate by providing dedicated space.  Jump on board and enjoy the benefits of a 15-minute power snooze. No room to nap?  Try the ostrich pillow and nap anytime, anywhere.
  6. Create space to move and breathe – If you have spare space, invest in some fitness equipment such as a stationary bike, a treadmill or a pull-up bar.  Take a break and try a few pull-ups or drop down and for a few push-ups.  It’s easy to add a yoga matt and use your ipad or phone for a little yoga or guided meditation with apps such as Yoga Glow or Simply Being.
  7. Get your peers on board – Sometimes our peers may be inadvertently sabotaging our health rather than supporting it.  Eating tempting cake in the lunchroom and skipping your evening workout in favor of after work drinks wreaks havoc on your health.  Instead, encourage your colleagues to be healthy by blending a smoothie and getting active through a company sports team or an after work walk.
  8. Seek leadership support – Seek the support of your company leadership.  Support from the top will ensure that wellbeing remains a priority in your organization.  The CEO’s active leadership will set the tone for the rest of the organization.  Other leaders, including department heads and team leads, throughout the organization should also endorse, participate and lead by example.

- Jacqueline Perreault [pictured] is the Corporate Wellness Director for Colonial Medical Insurance.

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