If you have an office gig, whether it’s the number-crunching-hour-billing type or the reinvent & save the world type, and whether you have a corner office or a cramped cubicle, you deserve comfortable working conditions. Hey, you’re there a minimum of eight hours a day, so why not make yourself as happy, healthy & comfortable as possible there.
1) Use an ergonomic chair.
A bad chair can ruin your day, not to mention your back, so an ergonomic chair is a great investment. There are plenty of slick execu-chairs on the market, but if you want to improve your posture and get a six-pack, consider a stability ball or a stability ball chair. The one above is fantastic (my work buddy has one) and it’s from Gaiam.
2) Adjust for the weather.
If you’re in a place with long, dark winters, this means a Light Therapy Pad to ward off Seasonal Affective Disorder. Elsewhere, get a fan if it’s hot & a space heater if it’s cold . The small investment in climate control can make a huge difference in keeping you happy at work.
3) Add music
There are some people that just can’t concentrate with music I’m not one of them. Listening to my ipod, FM radio, or Pandora brightens up my day and boosts my inspiration.
4) Add some inspiration
Display something huge & inspirational: a piece of artwork, a photo of friends and family, anything that will anchor you and remind you of why you work so hard. Even if you’re just punching the time clock saving money for a round the world trip, post something that reminds you where you’re going. When you’re parked in the same (now ergonomic) chair for 160+ hours a month, it’s easy to lose sight of exactly why you are there. Don’t let that happen (The poster is by mae chevrette.)
5) Bring in something living.
Best case scenario is a BYOP (bring your own pet) workplace. If you have a well-behaved pet, perhaps you can lobby for this perk. Your puppy’s adorableness will improve your work satisfaction, reduce stress, and improve your productivity. If you can’t bring your dog to work, a cool plant can also have a similar mood-boosting effect. (You can get the one pictured above at this sweet Etsy shop)
6) Stay Hydrated!
Dehydration leads to headaches, crankiness, drops in productivity and general nastiness. Luckily, it’s very easy to avoid. Stop buying plastic bottles & bring in filtered water from home. If there’s no place to re-fill, bring two or three bottles from home or ask the office to start a water-cooler pool. (This water bottle is engravable).
7) Add some aromatherapy.
I love a gorgeous scented candle. But for those of us that work in places with fire codes, reed diffusers are a great option. Weather & building permitting, there’s no aromatherapy like opening the windows after a rainstorm or during the fall (that wintry smell in the air) or spring (flowers!)
8) Bring in a fresh fruit bowl
On Monday morning bring in a bounty of fresh fruits & veggies. Display those lovely goodies (seasonal fruits & lemons & limes for your water) that don’t need to be refrigerated on your desk. Grab fruit instead of heading for the vending machines whenever you want a workday snack.
9) Stash some serious indulgences.
Hide a bottle of champagne or some dark, dark chocolate, in your bottom drawer, for emergencies only. Under lock & key, if possible.
The idea is to make your workspace so inviting that you are just tickled & delighted to be there every day. You probably spend more time in your office than you do at home, so put up your artwork, put down a cozy rug, bring a meditation cushion & score fresh flowers every week. Whatever it takes. However impermanent the situation might be. Make yourself feel happy & at home there.