There is a famous saying that we should never regret investing in shoes and beds since we’re either wearing shoes or sleeping. It’s actually difficult to argue against an idea that we need to create the best possible conditions around us, but surely we can do much more than just buy a pair of expensive, though comfortable and brilliantly designed shoes?
Lots of people spend several hours each day in an office. Some work from home, but they still have a room or a nook they retreat to when they need to get some job done. Is there anything preventing us from making offices much more pleasant environments, which would in turn increase efficiency? Does it have to cost an arm and a leg? The answer to both questions is a resound “no”.
Needless to say, one of the greatest problems with offices is the quality of office furniture and computer monitors. An unsuitable and uncomfortable environment that we work in can quickly lead to health problems that can easily escalate and become serious health hazards.
For example, many companies have introduced the concept of standing desks and it might be an idea worth considering, provided there are still chairs available if someone wants to sit down.
This increasingly important aspect is finally receiving the attention it deserves. An HVAC system should be fully functional, although it’s realistic to expect that different people in the same office will have quite opposing opinions about what the right temperature is. If you are converting a space into an office, you definitely need to hire experts to help you with the installation of air conditioning units.
Make sure you regularly open the windows to let some fresh air in, preferably at the time when the level of air pollution outside is the lowest. Also, it is vital to have your HVAC system regularly inspected and maintained properly, advise Sydney-based experts for aircon repairs.
Ideally, there should be as much natural light as possible, since being exposed to fluorescent lighting for so long is not really healthy. Luckily, today’s market offers new solutions, such as compact fluorescent light (CFL) or LED, which resemble natural light much more. Also, look into the option of having indirect light provided by lamps or other sources. It’s been proven that overhead lighting makes us edgy, and that’s not the feeling we want to bring to the office.
It’s a well-known fact that colors affect us in a way that is much more powerful than we imagined. Red is associated with warmth, power, and energy, but also with aggression. Blue suggests communication and efficiency, but also coldness. Yellow oozes optimism and creativity, but anxiety and fear, as well. Green is the color to go for if you’re after harmony, peace and rest, but be careful – it may also suggest boredom.
So, with some paint, we can completely change the atmosphere in the office and go for the desired effect. This is probably one of the most inexpensive ways to contribute to the working conditions.
Bring nature to your office
Either by simply opening the shutters to let some daylight in and create a nice view from the office or by opening a window to invite fresh air we are actually helping ourselves in terms of both our physiological and psychological functioning.
Studies have shown that having a plant on the desk or in the room is also beneficial in many ways (e.g. they are great stress-relievers). If you find it difficult to do any of these things, you could at least hang a picture or a photo of nature. No wonder many people have similar pics as their desktop or screensaver themes.
As you can see, there’s no excuse for failing to improve the working conditions. Regardless of how much money and time you can invest, every improvement to our health and productivity will bring much more benefits.