29 Aug 2012

How your office can be an oasis of comfort

Want to stay refreshed, relaxed and ‘in the zone’ at your desk? Here are six tips for a healthier and more comfortable experience: 1.  Stretch your legs Airlines routinely encourage passengers to exercise during long-haul flights, and an eight-hour stint at your desk is no different.  Get up and stretch at least every hour, and set an alarm if you need to.  It’s good for your eyes and body to take a break. 2.  Sit comfortably Make sure your chair is comfortable, and adjusted for your height.  Long hours in a bad chair can cause back problems.  Likewise make sure your computer screen is at an appropriate level for your eyes.  A couple of phone directories can come in handy. 3.  Ergonomic equipment As well as comfortable furniture, consider asking for an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, or supply your own.  Studies have shown that these can both prevent and alleviate wrist pain and repetitive strain injury (RSI).  A good ergonomic keyboard can actually allow faster work. 4.  Cool gadgets USB gadgets can be fun as well as useful.  From an infrared heated computer mouse – great for chilly air conditioning – to a USB fan (with foam-blades) for warmer workplaces  You can get a USB mug warmer to keep your coffee hot, and a USB desktop vacuum cleaner to suck the crumbs out of your keyboard when you’ve finished your snack. 5.  Take a mind-break The average person cannot read or input data hour after hour without losing accuracy and productivity.  Switch to another task for a few minutes every hour or so, or visit a work-related website.  You’ll be far more clear and refreshed, and possibly figure out the solution to a problem you were stuck on. 6. An office plant Scientific research shows that greenery is vital in an office: it improves air quality and productivity, and reduces stress and “sick building syndrome”.  If your office doesn’t have potted plants around, bring one for your desk.  Plants have been shown to be particularly effective in windowless offices. What are some of the ways you keep your workspace productive?  Any brilliant gadgets around your desk?