Do you work in an office? Have you ever thought about how much time of your life you actually spend by your desk, together with your colleagues, typing away at your laptop or computer? It’s a bit scary to think about actually, it’s when you think about how much time of your life you spend sleeping. And then when you think of both of those things you start wondering how you ever have time to do anything other than sleep and work. Sorry, I don’t mean to bring you down, and this post is not going to be able how to make the most of your time when you’re not sleeping or working, but how to make the best of your time when you’re at work. Not in the sense of you should love what you do kind of way (which is very important as well of course) but your physical and mental health when you work in an office environment.
I’ve worked in an office for more than 4 and a half years now and have recently gone from a relatively large office pace in a converted mill to a hyper modern glass box for 4 people down in London. I have to admit it was kind of a big change for me. Not just because I have less colleagues around me, but mainly because I have loads of new people around me that I don’t work with! As we’re in a shared office space with glass walls, I see a lot of people every day that I don’t actually work with. Don’t get me wrong, I love people watching and it’s great to still have people around now there’s less of us, but it’s a less ‘cosy’ environment to what I was used to. In our Leeds office (which I still go back to regularly) we’ve personalised more or less every wall in the office, be that with a mural of our favourite work related memories, our branding, or white board paint with silly messages, there is a strong sense of community I don’t get in our new London office.
I’ve always been obsessed with our company’s brand colours and refuse to even have post-it notes that are not in any of our brand colours. I think this is an important thing about working in an office: consistency in the branding or theme of the office. It creates a stronger sense of belonging and makes you feel safe and secure in where you work. It can also has the added benefit of reinforcing brand values too.
Another important thing to think about, going back to my point about how much time we spend at work, is to not forget that the way you spend all those hours in the office will have an effect on your body. You wouldn’t sleep on a really bad mattress that you know will give you back problems in the long run, so why would you sit on a chair that gives you really bad posture, or use a mouse that strains your wrist? I don’t have a really good posture and I don’t always connect my laptop to my monitor at work (which is much better for my eyes), but I’ve found that mixing things up really work for me. Some days I’m just really busy and all of a sudden I’ve been sat still for hours in the same bad posture on my laptop – it’s not great, and I feel awful afterwards. What I try to do instead is to move around to different places, connect my laptop when I’m at my desk, but then take my laptop out to the common area and sit on a sofa for a bit for example. The facilities we have in our shared office space is really good for this as we have a lot f different creative places you could sit and work (including kitchens with free cookies!).
Check out this infographic made by experts of office fit out in London, K2 Space for some more inspiration regarding your office space. It’s called “What Makes London Workers Tick – How The Decor Of An Office Affects A Worker’s Well Being”
Do you walk in an office? Do you ever think about your surroundings and how they affect you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter!