Office Space…Is It Killing You?
Office Space…Is It Killing You?
“Didn’t you get the memo?” Your office space could be detrimental to your health, seriously. And it isn’t just spending eight hours a day. It is being confined in a building with fluorescent light, mercurial temperature, uncomfortable chairs and “office politics” that you have to carefully maneuver like a mine field. But there are ways to get around it. You can make your office space less hazardous and more wellness.
Open Office Space
Milton: “Excuse me, but I think you have my stapler.” It is estimated that people who work in office spend at least a third or their time in the office. Seventy percent of offices today are office with an open floor plan. So you are spending a third of your time surrounded by people where it is seen and be seen all day. Privacy…nah. It’s communal whether you like it or not. And yeah that probably is your stapler.
The open floor plan was designed to promote teamwork and increase individual and group productivity. But are they working? Yes and no…mainly no. A recent research has shown that open space offices result in 73 percent less face-to-face interaction and a 67 percent increase in email interaction.
While open office spaces are there to increase productivity and teamwork that doesn’t appear to be the outcome. On the contrary, what they are increasing is a general sense of a loss of privacy and with that a sense of self. So how do you make yourself well in your open office space?
No, not get out of your job…that’s silly. Get out of the open space. Maybe the company can invest in a wellness room. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A quiet space for you to focus on you. Recharge, escape the day to day of stresses of not only work but life. And no, this room should not have toilets…so the bathroom isn’t it.
Take a Break
Get a mental break and a little exercise throughout the day. Engaging in regular amounts of exercise on a consistent basis can set you on the right track towards increased productivity. Much like food provides the fuel for our brains, regular exercise is a significant source of power for our minds. Studies recognize the benefits of exercise in boosting productivity.
Peter Gibbons: “The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.” Employees that feel connected give more to the organization and are positive in what they say and do. So how do you create engagement? How do you become engaged? Team building and interacting with your co-workers. Yes, we just said that open space offices result in less face-to-face interaction. The solution, more team building exercises and activities are required bring people together. These activities can benefit the workplace, bringing people together, create a great company culture, and promote work life balance.
Peter Gibbons: “Well I wouldn’t really say I’m missing work Bob.” The U.S. Department of Labor estimated in 2017 that almost three percent of employer’s workforce was absent on any given day. And spoiler alert…they aren’t missing work.
Healthy employees are less likely to take days off. This translates to a significant decrease in the number of sick days. A study conducted by Brigham Young University reveals a 27% reduction in absenteeism in employees who follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
CareerBuilder’s annual survey reported excuses for calling in have ranged from claims that a bear was in an employee’s yard and they were too scared to come out, to a dog swallowing their car keys. Yeah, we have all been there. The solution is finding a way to make work…less drudgery and more effortless.
Bill Lumbergh: “Yeah…I’m gonna need you to come in on Saturday. Oh, oh and I almost forgot. Ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.” I get it, there are puppies to feed, bills to pay and clothes to buy. Sometimes we find ourselves in a job that is less than our ideal. Besides it has to be done. Nevertheless, you can still make yourself feel well.
According to Psychology Today here are some signs of mental and emotional exhaustion:
- Chronic fatigue
- Having a hard time concentrating
- Loss of appetite
You don’t deserve any of these. What you do deserve is a complete feeling of wellness both mentally and physically.
Taking Time for Yourself
Take care of yourself: take a break, exercise, healthy eating, and participate in activities you love.
For companies looking for more focused and impactful employee experience platforms, our workplace belonging solution uses technology to foster real-world interactions between employees. Moreover, our program builds employee connections to achieve what might otherwise be impossible, creating engagement, promoting health and fitness. It is easy to use, offering a variety of activities.
Our mobile app can be used by anyone with or without the workplace solution. Use this app to connect with people to do activities you love. For example: play sports, exercise, volunteer… Down load the app, setup your profile, and select the activities you want to do.
And watch the movie Office Space, it is hilarious and will make you feel just a little better.