DETROIT (WXYZ) — Whether you work from home or in an office, sometimes your work environment can get a little stagnant. So, we consulted with a design strategist for four simple hacks to transform your workplace.
If you’ve been uninspired or uncomfortable in your current office setting, consider changing it up!
“For us, we look at it through the lens of health – through health and wellness,” said Don Ricker -- a workplace strategist at Gensler – a global consulting and architecture firm in Detroit.
Ricker said the first simple hack to support your mind, body, and spirit at work is ergonomics.
“We know that people should change posture probably every 20 minutes or so,” Ricker said.
He recommends a sit-to-stand work station to improve blood flow and creativity.
Caitlin Bush recently started using one for the first time in the Gensler office and already is noticing her posture is better, among other changes.
“It gives me more energy. I like to start my day standing. That’s when I’m most productive,” Bush said.
Gensler has several dozen employees. About a third of the desks are sit-to-stand desks. The employees rotate using them. All of them use an adjustable chair with good lumbar support.
If you’re interested in buying a sit-to-stand desk for your home office, there are many options. Prices range from as low as $159 to as high as $1,849. You just need to see what works for your space and your budget.
A more affordable way to keep the blood flowing is by just changing up where you work. Ricker recommends you try part of your work day in an office lounge, at a counter, or in a cool coffee area.
2. WARM LIGHTING
Just changing a light bulb can be a game changer at work.
“As long as it can dim and you can start to look at it as a warm bulb versus a cool bulb, making sure that you’ve got that warm, natural-feeling light,” said Ricker.
Warmer, softer light helps ease eye strain and creates a more comfortable setting.
Energy-saving LED bulbs with dimmers work well along with adjusting light settings on your computer.
Ricker said incorporating more natural light in the office is ideal. Having a view is a bonus. Gensler offices overlook downtown Detroit and the Detroit River.
But not everyone has windows in the workplace. If you don’t, try to take a break outside when you can.
A nice walk in the middle of the day helps get your circulation going. And if there's some sunshine to enjoy, that's even better!
Biophilia is the importance of reconnecting with nature and incorporating nature inside your workplace.
“[The idea is] to help bring a certain sense of calm to your office,” Ricker said. “Nature can be a variety of things. Right? It could be plants, it could be water, it could be sounds of nature.”
One of the easiest ways to do this is to put a plant on your desk. Ricker recommends something easy that doesn’t need much watering – like succulents. But if you have a green thumb, feel free to add more.
Gensler has larger plants in the lounge areas.
In your home office, you can blast whatever music you might like, but that probably won’t fly in the workplace.
“We look at sound as a way to create a different tone or a different vibe,” explained Ricker.
In the Gensler common area, speakers play music that’s pleasing to most ears. Ricker describes it as a slow, coffee house-style jam. He suggests music in break rooms and work lounges or at special work events.
At your desk, Ricker recommends using headphones to play music that boosts your mood and helps you stay focused and productive.
Got any ideas? What helps you in the workplace?
Share your “Living a Better Life” journey with Alicia Smith: Alicia.firstname.lastname@example.org