Does it seem like all you do is work? Does it feel like your life is out of your control? Does it seem as though you spend more time embroiled in projects for your employer than you spend with your own children? If so, you’re not alone according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, welcome to the modern world. Most of us have a work/life balance that’s out of whack, off-kilter and skewed so that we lack control over the one thing that we actually own – our time. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The following tips will help you improve your work/life balance and regain a measure of control over your life.
1. Leave Work Where It Belongs
All too often, it seems like we bring our work home with us. This might be literal – you’re bringing home that file that just HAS to be done by tomorrow. It might be figurative – you’re carrying home the arguments, stress and interoffice politics that plague your workday. Do yourself and your family a favor. Leave work where it belongs – at the workplace. Separate your work life from your home life and you’ll immediately feel better balanced.
2. Track Time
If you feel like your work and home life are spiraling out of control, chances are that you’re spending too much time on things that ultimately don’t matter. Track the amount of time you spend on everything, whether you’re taking your kid to the soccer field or making a mad dash to complete that project at work. Based on your findings, cut out anything that’s unnecessary or superfluous. Eliminate time-wasting activities and you’ll free up time for more important things.
3. Take More Time Off
Taking more time off might seem like a pipe dream, but it can (and should) be a reality. There are plenty of benefits to getting away from the workplace for extended periods. You’ll find that it helps to combat burnout and improves both your creativity and your productivity when you return. The more time off you take, the better you’ll feel and the better you’ll perform on the job.
4. Communication Overhaul
How much time to you spend corresponding via email each day? How long do you spend on the phone? How much time is wasted talking to coworkers about a project? Most of our communications are meaningless. Cut out any extraneous communications during the day (that includes those hours you waste on Facebook and Twitter), and you’ll feel more in control of your life.
5. Organization Is Essential
If you’re disorganized, you can expect to waste time. That wasted time comes directly out of your personal life, not your work life. Get organized (both on the job and at home). The more organized you are, the more free time and flexibility you’ll enjoy both at work and at home.
If you follow these five simple tips, you’ll be able to make drastic improvements in your work/life balance and regain control over your own destiny.
Going green is important today, and not just for consumers. Increasingly, customers expect the businesses they patronize to do their part for the environment. While that might include massive changes like installing solar panels or buying carbon credits, it doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming or difficult. In fact, there are several simple things you can do to green up your office that will benefit your brand’s image, as well as improve the health of your workers. Here’s what you need to know.
Let in the Light
The harsh fluorescent lights used in most offices are bad for eyes, for skin, for mood and more. They’re just plain bad. Get rid of those (or limit their use) by letting in more natural sunlight. If your office windows are covered by blinds most of the time, open them up and let in the sun. Of course, your office might not have that many windows, but there are still things you can do. Lighting options are available that mirror the wavelength and color of natural sunlight, and they can be installed affordably. You can also invest in greener lighting options – CFLs are less harmful to the environment, last much, much longer than traditional bulbs and are good for your company’s image.
Bring in the Green
For thousands of years, humanity lived in close proximity to nature. Our bodies and minds still crave that connection even if we don’t realize it. Cold, sterile, synthetic environments sap our productivity, reduce our morale and impact our moods. They can also lead to health problems as well. Adding plants to your office will improve the health quality of the office environment, and will also have an impact on worker productivity and happiness. Don’t stop with the interior, though. Go ahead and green up your building’s exterior. Not only will this make a big impact on clients or customers, but plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, so you’ll be doing the world and your lungs a favor as well.
If you think that recycled paper has to be low quality, stiff and virtually unusable, it’s time to think again. There are some very high quality recycled paper options on the market these days. Every piece of recycled paper you use helps conserve vital natural resources. It also helps save space in those overcrowded landfills. Finally, switching to 100% recycled paper can be a big boon for your company’s PR – consumers love to see companies doing their due to protect the world.
While we’re not suggesting you let your workers bring their household trash to work, you can make it easier for them to recycle the waste generated in the workplace. Add recycling bins for cardboard, paper, plastic and glass in strategic places throughout the office. Most employees will appreciate both the nod toward protecting the environment and the chance to do more on their own.
Greening up the workplace is important, but it might not be as hard as you think. Follow the simple steps above to make big changes.
Many chairs are labeled ergonomic, but few people actually know what the word means. To some, it merely means the chair is designed somewhat strangely, with interestingly shaped seats and backrests. For others, ergonomic chairs are all about helping out the user’s health. However, not everyone understands just what the components of an ergonomic chair can do for a person’s comfort and well being. Many jobs require the individual to sit all day, staring at a computer screen. While no one should sit for eight hours a day, in many cases, it is unavoidable. Employees sitting in chairs that don’t have ergonomic components might be experiencing aches and pains.
A common problem with standard office chairs is that they can create a whole laundry list of health problems for the user. As a result, days are missed from work due to piercing back pain. If you have a chair with ergonomic components, you will quickly discover just how different the workplace can be. In addition to assisting with productivity, ergonomic chairs provide features that promote better health. If you are suffering from any of the following aches and pains, here are a few ergonomic solutions that can help reverse the problem.
One of the most common complaints of office workers is that they are experiencing back pain. Back pain is often caused by sitting for too long and in a bad position. An ergonomic chair for back pain aims to reverse these pains by supporting the back. A key aspect to ergonomically designed chairs is a lumbar support adjustment feature. This aspect allows the user to adjust the support of the chair to fit their back. As a result, the back is supported and pain is lessened. The lumbar support feature corrects slouching that might be causing the back pain. As a result, the strain on the lower spine is eliminated. If you are dealing with back pain but you don’t want to buy a new chair, you can always look into ergonomic lumbar support pillows for that added boost.
Hand, Arm and Finger Pains
You might not think that your office chair could affect your hands, arms and fingers. However, how your arms are positioned while you type can be deteriorating the health and wellness of those fingers and hands. Ergonomic features tend to involve adjustable armrests. The idea is that you should be able to adjust the arms of your chair based on what you are doing. For example, arms should not be resting when typing. It slows down blood flow and can lead to problems down the road. A chair with adjustable arms allows you to move the armrests to prevent these aches and pains.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
An improper seat in an office can lead to pains in the back, but also pains throughout the neck and shoulders. Ergonomic solutions call for chairs that have height adjustment. If the height of your chair doesn’t match with your desk or your person, you might be raising your shoulders. As a result, pain sets in. And the neck is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. If it is not properly supported, you could be doing serious damage to your health.
To deal with neck and shoulder pain, there is always an ergonomic solution. Most ergonomic chairs come with a headrest. A headrest can help improve neck comfort by propping up the head to create less strain. Pains due to a bad office chair are often all related. The same can be said with neck and shoulder pain. If you start experiencing neck and shoulder pain due to your office chair, your pains might trickle down the back. It is essential to find an ergonomic solution to correct the problem from the neck down.
Stress enters our lives from any number of places, relationships and situations, but the most common source is the workplace. If you’re feeling frazzled and stressed out at just the thought of heading into the office, there are some things you can do to kick that stress out the window. While there’s no surefire way to remove workplace stress completely (that would require you to work in a vacuum), there are quite a few steps you can take to at least minimize the situation.
If you’re like most of us, your blood is really 90% coffee. However, experts have determined that’s actually a huge contributor to workplace stress. While coffee (and other sources of caffeine) certainly give you that jolt to get you going in the morning, the situation is more complicated. You get an adrenaline boost, but caffeine suppresses your body’s natural relaxant production (a chemical called adenosine). This automatically makes you more susceptible to stress. Cut out the coffee (or at least cut down your consumption).
Get Out of the Office for Lunch
If you’re one of those who hangs around the office for your lunch break, you’ll find a lot of benefits in getting outside for a bit. You might consider eating lunch out, or if you can’t afford to or prefer to pack your lunch for health benefits, eat it outside on the grounds of the business. Getting fresh air and sunshine, plus putting a little distance between you and the job, can do wonders for your stress levels.
Take Breaks and Stretch
A lot of emotional stress is actually brought on by physical stimulus. If you spend most of your day hunched over a computer, make time to get up and stretch throughout the day. Most experts recommend getting up and taking a break about once per hour. Walk around the office, up and down the stairs, or just around your desk a few times. You’ll get your blood flowing and heart rate up, and that can do a lot of good for your stress levels. You should also take mini breaks (20 seconds per 20 minutes of typing, for instance).
A lot of the stress you’re feeling might not be due to external forces, but to something that your body’s missing. Vitamin C and B vitamins have been proven to reduce anxiety. Invest in a good multivitamin that contains high levels of vitamin C and all the B vitamins, and you might be surprised at just how much better you feel on a daily basis without having to do anything else.
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to beat stress (both physical and emotional). Physical exercise encourages your body to release endorphins, which automatically elevate your mood and make you feel better. Plus, there’s always the benefit of better physical health to be had as well.
Beating workplace stress is as simple as following these brief tips and making a few necessary changes in your daily routine.
With so many different ergonomic chairs on the market today, from Office Star and Jobri to BOSS and ergoCentric chairs, finding the right seating choice for your specific needs can be difficult. Ergonomics are certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach. An ergonomically designed work chair should be able to conform to your height, weight, and body type, and also be appropriate for your line of work and professional environment. A tall and heavyset man will probably need a different ergonomic design than a short and petite woman, just as an IT professional will probably need a different office chair than a laboratory technician. With so many different factors to consider, how does one find the right work chair? The following information should help.
Why are Ergonomics so Important?
Ergonomic design is a multidisciplinary field of science that considers various human factors with the goal of designing furniture, equipment, and tools that complement the human body and mind, ideally resulting in more productive workplaces and happier, healthier workers. The way people sit is a very important part of this. Sitting is not as sedentary of a position as one may assume. When a worker in any given field sits in a chair all day (or for a large chunk of their workday), they are also engaging in activities in that chair, which are all influenced by the way that worker engages with their surroundings – especially their chair. The following video is by Allseating a chair manufacturer that describes the cores needs in building your ergonomic workstation.
What Makes a Suitable Work Chair?
If you’re shopping for ergonomic chairs, the most important human factors to consider are the body dimensions of the individual who will be sitting in each chair. And this means all the body dimensions. An ill-fitting chair might be ideal for someone’s height, but not appropriate for their weight and body type, for example. This can lead to stress and strain, and ultimately injury, which could in turn leave a worker unable to work and an employer in hot water. There are other factors to consider, such as the costs of repairs and maintenance, in addition to the initial costs of purchasing the chairs. Avoiding repetitive stress injuries is worth the investment, but not if the company goes into the red from the costs of owning the chairs. Luckily, many manufacturers make some very affordable models that are also high in quality. The following video is for the ergoCentric Geocentric petite ready chair.
It All Comes Down to Body Type
Make sure to gather information about the heights of employees before purchasing new ergonomic chairs for the whole office. An ideal work chair will be roughly a quarter of the user’s height. While most employees doing similar jobs will probably be comfortable in similar or identical chairs as long as the seat and armrests are adjustable, there will also probably be a few outliers who will have special ergonomic needs and require somewhat different chairs. No one should be punished for being uncommonly short or tall, having a long torso or unusually sized limbs, or being otherwise out of the norm. To avoid repetitive stress injuries and find the ergonomic chairs with the best value, consider body type first.