Whether you’re locked down working from home or preparing for a return to the office, it’s important to make your work space as stress-free as possible.
BIBO has found 10 tried and tested ways to make 9-5 more fun than glum
If you’re happy at work, you get way more done, and the hours race by so quickly you wonder where the day has gone. But if the thought of sitting at your desk fills you with dread, a single day can seem like an eternity.
Studies show that the more you love your job, the more productive you’ll be. And it works the other way – disengaged workers make 60 per cent more errors, have 50 per cent more accidents and a third more sick days.
If you’re stuck in lockdown, it can be even worse with no one to have a natter with by the printer.
Life’s far too short to be miserable, so here are 10 easy ways to pep up your day…
1. get out for lunch
Fresh air and sunlight immediately lift your spirits as they trigger the release of a hormone called serotonin, which boosts mood and helps you feel calm and focused. It doesn’t matter where you go – two laps of a car park is better than nothing!
2. declutter your space
Untidiness breeds anxiety. One study found that women who described their homes as tidy and clean had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, while another concluded that the mere presence of clutter makes it much harder to focus and leads to feelings of low self esteem.
If you’re forced to work in the kitchen, a good start can be to get rid of the kettle with its untidy power cable! Did you know 12 times as many bacteria live on a kettle handle as on a toilet seat?!
3. back to nature
Yes, I know we just agreed to declutter, but introducing some plantlife can have a surprisingly strong effect on wellbeing. Just having greenery in your line of sight reduces blood pressure, improves memory and helps with sleep.
4. bag a brew
If colleagues (or home schooled kids) are driving you up the wall, nothing beats a relaxing mug of herbal tea. Nothing!
Chamomile calms the nerves, rosemary boosts memory, peppermint relieves tension headaches and ginger settles the stomach if you’re feeling tense.
READ MORE: Why we all need a friendly cuppa
5. turn to drink!
No, not that kind! Studies show that feelings of unhappiness and stress can be caused by dehydration. Even if your levels are only a little down, you could get headaches, cramps, dizziness and exhaustion.
Get a BIBO2 water bar installed in your office or home for instant chilled or boiling water that’s been filtered and purified to taste delicious. No more waiting around for the kettle to boil. And it’s a third of the price of an undersink boiler/chiller!
6. be together apart
If you’re missing the banter at the Friday afternoon drinks & nibbles, then it’s time to do something about it. Zoom and Facetime are all very well, but conversations can be a bit stilted. There are loads of free online trivia quizzes to play. Or appoint a colleague to be quizmaster and award a prize to the winner.
7. let there be light!
Being stuck under a fluorescent tube all day is a fast way to a splitting migraine. Wherever you are, try to work where there's natural light as it helps restore Vitamin D levels, improves circadian rhythms and makes you feel happier.
Modern humans spend 90 per cent of their time indoors so it’s no wonder we sometimes go stir crazy!
READ MORE: Why the BIBO² is the ultimate water bar
8.…and shut out that racket!
Whether it’s that irritatingly chatty IT technician, next door’s dog or the building site over the road, nothing gets hackles rising faster than an unwanted noise. For a start, it can lead to the release of stress-inducing catecholamines in the blood as well as causing you to make more errors and poor decisions. And your colleagues make enough of those!
Noise cancelling headphones can be a godsend, or stick in the Air Pods and find a Spotify playlist designed as background work music.
9. make a stand
If your bum is taking the strain for eight solid hours then your back isn’t going to be happy! It was bad in the office, but squashed into the spare room on a dining room chair is much, much worse.
Set an alarm to go off once an hour so you can stand up and have a decent stretch. It’ll reduce fatigue by increasing blood supply to your muscles. The most important stretch is the one you do before starting work. Think of yourself as an athlete – you wouldn’t run a marathon without a few stretches, so treat a work day in the same way. Bad posture leads to a whole heap of debilitating long-term conditions.
10. gulp down some snacks!
We’re getting all too familiar with ‘lockdown tummy’. The fridge is just ridiculously tempting when you’re a few metres away from it all day. Get in loads of healthy snacks so you’re not tempted to reach for the cheese and cake.
Fizzy drinks are another hazard, so make sure you have fresh, filtered and chilled water available at the touch of a button.