8 tips to create a more relaxing work space

Most of us are at work for a large part of our day and a number of us spend ridiculous hours at a desk in front of a computer. If our work environment is stressful, cluttered and messy it can be difficult to focus on your job properly which can lead to increased stress further down the track (not a good cycle to get yourself into!).

Follow our top tips to de-clutter your desk and mind, and create a more relaxing work space:

  1. Listen to music while you work
    On the other side of the coin, listening to music you dislike may have a negative effect on your ability to work and some music may be too distracting. Get some headphones or have a discussion with your workmates and find a radio station or CD you can all appreciate.
  2. Tidy up your desk clutter
    Keep only what is needed on there – if you have no drawers to keep your things in, find a funky stationery caddy, a vertical desk filing box or an in-tray in your favourite colour.
  3. Adjust your computer and chair
    There’s a reason that large companies go on about ergonomics to desk workers! You’re less likely to get neck, back and wrist problems if your workspace is set up correctly. Make sure your feet are firmly on the floor, that you have good posture, that your wrists are straight and ‘float’ above the keyboard (not rested on it!) and that your eyes are about level with the top of your screen.
  4. Ensure your desk is well lighted
    Low lighting can place stress and strain on your eyes which can cause headaches. Best to avoid those, so try to get a bit more light to your desk by either sitting closer to a window or getting a desk lamp.
  5. Unleash your inner home decorator
    Nothing will make you feel more comfortable at your desk than making it a personalised space. Add a personal photo, a small pot plant, a fun mousepad, a themed calendar or some bright decorative stationery to put on your desktop.
  6. Get some fresh air
    If you’re lucky enough to be in a building with windows you can open, ditch the air conditioning and open them for a bit! It will help clear your mind. If you’re stuck with the aircon, make sure you get out of the office when you can for your breaks to breathe in some fresh air.
  7. Take microbreaks
    Too much time spent looking at a screen isn’t ideal, so try to have a break every now and then to give your eyes a rest and your mouse-hand too. It doesn’t need to be a break from work – you can do other tasks. ACC recommends to do non-computer related tasks for 5-10 minutes in every hour if possible, such as filing or photocopying etc.
  8. Working from home? Make sure you have a work area!
    It’s all too easy to make every room in the house your office when you work from home. However, this can provide a number of distractions and means you have no set location that you associate with being ‘on the job’ when you sit down. If you don’t have enough room to have your own office, make sure you at least set aside a proper desk somewhere, where you can lay out all your work-related gear and have a separate work space from your personal space.

Image / Flickr – Dave Fayram

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