Julie Lilley, Business Development Manager of Whitespace Design Consultancy Ltd works with many companies to help them create spaces to fit and (if necessary) transform the culture of their organisations. With her wealth of experience, our fabulous member Julie takes us through some top tips to maintain our workplace wellbeing where ever it may be!
For many years, designers have been studying and applying best practices for collaboration spaces and hot desking solutions where co-workers are dispersed throughout an open office plan rather than being assigned to one desk. This approach allows individuals to select the space that best meets their needs for any given task throughout the day.
Now, throughout Covid-19, instead of opting to sit in the office café responding to emails, we are now sitting at our dining room table attending or hosting endless zoom meetings (formally dressed from the waist up!) and working various hours to keep up with the care of children, loved ones or pets.
It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed by the countless strategies and tips on ways to maintain productivity in this new working environment, trust me I’ve tested most of them. I prefer to focus on the reason we are all working from home in the first place: our health and well-being. Nobody knows with certainty how long it will be until we can fully venture back to our professionally designed offices; in the interim, however, we can look at ways to create workspaces that serve us now and also for the long term.
Here are our 5 tips on maintaining wellbeing in any workplace to help us all stay engaged and productive;
1) Create a happy space to work.
Find a space away from the main home area if possible and definitely not in your bedroom. Invite plants and colours in any form (pictures, plant pots etc) into your workspace. Studies show that office plants can increase the humidity around your room and are linked to improving productivity.
2) Always think, Posture.
You may not have the perfect workstation or equipment but do consider a supportive chair or a stand-up desk/table. Proper office ergonomics — including correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing and good desk posture — can help you and your joints stay comfortable at work.
3) Create routines.
Try to establish a routine with regular start and finish times. Share diaries with co-workers including childcare duties. The team at whitespace usually like to make a week planner on a Friday for the following week. This allows a free weekend to turn off and not plan on a Sunday night for your week ahead.
4) Stay in touch.
Managers – don’t be too task orientated, ask how someone really is and be really interested in their answer. Some people are working from home alone remember. Consider using technology as a substitute for face to face meetings and remember, not everyone is as tech savvy as perhaps you.
5) Regular breaks and exercise.
If you’re used to traveling in the morning, why not consider using those 30 minutes (or more) to start something new? Our whitespace team joined free yoga sessions before starting their working day. Every 25 minutes get up and stretch, breathe, go outside, go up and down the stairs anything to move your sedentary body. Drink plenty of water so you will have to get up or even set an alarm.
Whether you work permanently from home, or have a variable mix, we need to make sure our home set up is as comfortable and safe as current high office standards. Working 8 hours a day off a fixed, hard kitchen chair or slumping in the sofa is going to create a lot of problems in the not too distant future.
Luckily, our contract furniture manufacturers have been putting a lot of thought into the matter. So, whether it is something pretty smart for yourself or a cost-effective solution for your staff, contact Julie Lilley for free friendly advice.
T: 07947 489 342
Get in touch with Whitespace, as they are delighted to offer all Women in Business members 10% discount on WFM furniture!