My company moved office recently to Dajeej. I know, your thinking ‘Dajeej’ and laughing real hard. Yes, it’s nothing like the city but supposedly the rent is 10 times cheaper which means the company will save a bundle and hand out big bonuses this year …hopefully! ;) Anyway, my new office/desk space sucks! It’s very depressing. Mostly cause i’m surrounded by walls & bad lighting and it’s 1/3rd the size of my last office. By the end of the day, I’ve usually got a headache and am in a bad mood.
I did a little digging on the net and tried to find out what should be the ideal “healthy” office space and what I can do about my current one. Decided to share what I found (copy paste from some sites with my own rants).
The Correct Chair: “Ensure that you have a chair that you are comfortable in. You are likely to spend the majority of your eight hour day in this chair so you need to make sure you are comfortable. Most offices choose to implement swivel chairs, as they have the ability to adjust the height, backrest and even the height of the arms. It is also good for if you have a big desk as you can maneuver between stations very easily.”
This point was my main complaint the first day. If you sit for long hours at your computer …working (doesn’t include facebook & youtube time) you should use a high-back bucket chair… bucket meaning that the back-rest doesn’t swing independently from the seat. It took 2 weeks to get a decent chair for me. No more favours for the admin department. ;) At least now the back aches have stopped. There seems to be little hope for a decent size desk though. :(
Green Plants: “Plants add a great deal of colour to an office environment, and they can enhance the beauty of your surroundings. They also have health benefits as many will clean any pollutants out of the air as they add oxygen and humidity to your office, which can help fight against illness and disease (so hopefully your employees wont be taking too many sick days!). In addition, recent psychology studies have shown that the presence of plants tends to make people more creative.”
Did I mention that the IT department is right in the middle of the building! No windows, no natural light, no fresh air. So I guess there will be no plants either.
Lighting: “Many studies have researched how employee productivity can be increased, and many have drawn the conclusion that light plays a big factor in productivity, as it reduces anxiety, fatigue and stress. One of the reasons office partitioning is becoming increasingly popular, is because it helps to emit natural light into your workspace.”
Very few spaces at the new office have natural light flowing in. Everyone has about one or two orange/yellow glaring bulbs above them. I counted 5 at my desk. Must be caz I’m so popular. :) And with the two zoo-like glass panes behind me, even more glaring light from the corridor shines in.
Aromatherapy: “Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. Not only does the aroma of the natural essential oil stimulate the brain to trigger a reaction, but the natural constituents (naturally occurring chemicals) of the essential oil are drawn into the lungs and can also supply physical benefit. Aromatherapy can help with a physical condition, can help with symptoms, can affect your mood, or help alleviate or temporarily eliminate stress or other psychological factors. Scenting your office with Lavender essential oil is said to reduce computer errors at least 25%.”
25%!!! This is amazing. I should recommend this to our vendors. That way I can report 25% less bugs every day! :)
Air Quality: “The EPA informs us that 6 out of 10 buildings are “sick” and that indoor air quality is the United States’ number one environmental health problem. A recent study by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture found that ionizing a room led to 52% less dust in the air, and 95% less bacteria in the air (since many of the pollutants found in the air reside on floating dust particles).”
If the EPA did a study in Kuwait, I guess all 10 out of 10 buildings would be “sick”. Guess nothing can be done about this when you live in the desert.
Colors: “Scientific studies recognise that colours bring about emotional reactions in all individuals. Our reactions and attitudes to colours differ from person to person, and it is important to ensure that you change your colour scheme from time to time to help keep all the individuals refreshed. Colors that are useful in the office are: orange – stimulates creativity; yellow – intensifies the intellect and heightens motivation; red – energizes; blue – calming, fights physical and mental tension; green – fights irritability and has a healing effect on the body.”
I guess I can’t really complain about all the bland beige walls and the orange glass frames. People do seem a little more creative at the new office.
Music: “A little bit of background music will have a soothing effect on your workforce and it can also help motivate them with their daily tasks. Music can affect emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills. Generally, people adopted soft, uplifting music to keep the office happy.”
The only saving grace at my new space are my headphones. Brightens up my day and disturbs everyone else. :) I’m gonna try shifting to instrumental music this week onwards, soft uplifting numbers. Any suggestions?
Breaks: “Even the most focused person needs a break at least twice a day. Change of scenery also helps with emotions. One of the best ways to eliminate stress and recharge the body is to go outside for a ten-minute walk. Focus on your surroundings and take deep breaths. This will give you a renewal of energy and will also aid in Vitamin D production. Walk by yourself and focus on clearing your mind. Walking will also get the blood and the lymphatic system flowing.”
10 min walk, focussing on surroundings …in Dajeej! I don’t think so. But I guess a walk to and through the mall next door can do me good.
Organization: “Keep your office clean and organized. There is no excuse for clutter. Make sure that your desk is clean and that everything is put away before you leave each day. A well-organized, uncluttered desk leads to clear thinking and reduces stress. Make a habit of putting items back in their original place after you are finished using them.”
This week should look better at the office with all the piles of boxes used during shifting out of the way. Luckily for me, my desk will always remain clutter free. Two large monitors, a laptop and my large ergonomic keyboard make sure there is no desk space left to clutter on. :)
This week I shall give the 10-min walks a try and shift to softer music. Maybe I’ll spray paint the walls around me yellow, red and blue. Maybe I’ll run into the idiot who designed this new office and shoot his dumb ass. Hopefully I’ll end up more relaxed and get inspired to blog more often …as I should.
BTW, thanks for your emails guys (u know who u are).

healthy-office-space

My company moved office recently to Dajeej. I know, your thinking ‘Dajeej’ and laughing real hard. Yes, it’s nothing like the city but supposedly the rent is 10 times cheaper which means the company will save a bundle and hand out big bonuses this year …hopefully! ;) Anyway, my new office/desk space sucks! It’s very depressing. Mostly cause i’m surrounded by walls & bad lighting and it’s 1/3rd the size of my last office. :( By the end of every day, I’ve usually got a headache and am in a bad mood.

I did a little digging on the net and tried to find out what should be the ideal “healthy” office space and what I can do about my current one. Decided to share what I found (copy paste from some sites with my own rants).

The Correct Chair: “Ensure that you have a chair that you are comfortable in. You are likely to spend the majority of your eight hour day in this chair so you need to make sure you are comfortable. Most offices choose to implement swivel chairs, as they have the ability to adjust the height, backrest and even the height of the arms. It is also good for if you have a big desk as you can maneuver between stations very easily.”

This point was my main complaint the first day. If you sit for long hours at your computer …working (doesn’t include facebook & youtube time) you should use a high-back bucket chair… bucket meaning that the back-rest doesn’t swing independently from the seat. It took 2 weeks to get a decent chair for me. No more favors for the admin department. ;) At least now the back aches have stopped. There seems to be little hope for a decent size desk though. :(

Green Plants: “Plants add a great deal of colour to an office environment, and they can enhance the beauty of your surroundings. They also have health benefits as many will clean any pollutants out of the air as they add oxygen and humidity to your office, which can help fight against illness and disease (so hopefully your employees wont be taking too many sick days!). In addition, recent psychology studies have shown that the presence of plants tends to make people more creative.”

Did I mention that the IT department is right in the middle of the building! No windows, no natural light, no fresh air. So I guess there will be no plants either.

Lighting: “Many studies have researched how employee productivity can be increased, and many have drawn the conclusion that light plays a big factor in productivity, as it reduces anxiety, fatigue and stress. One of the reasons office partitioning is becoming increasingly popular, is because it helps to emit natural light into your workspace.”

Very few spaces at the new office have natural light flowing in. Everyone has about one or two orange/yellow glaring bulbs above them. I counted 5 at my desk. Must be caz I’m so popular. :) And with the two zoo-like glass panes behind me, even more glaring light from the corridor shines in.

Aromatherapy: “Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. Not only does the aroma of the natural essential oil stimulate the brain to trigger a reaction, but the natural constituents (naturally occurring chemicals) of the essential oil are drawn into the lungs and can also supply physical benefit. Aromatherapy can help with a physical condition, can help with symptoms, can affect your mood, or help alleviate or temporarily eliminate stress or other psychological factors. Scenting your office with Lavender essential oil is said to reduce computer errors at least 25%.”

25%!!! This is amazing. I should recommend this to our vendors. That way I can report 25% less bugs every day! :)

Air Quality: “The EPA informs us that 6 out of 10 buildings are “sick” and that indoor air quality is the United States’ number one environmental health problem. A recent study by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture found that ionizing a room led to 52% less dust in the air, and 95% less bacteria in the air (since many of the pollutants found in the air reside on floating dust particles).”

If the EPA did a study in Kuwait, I guess all 10 out of 10 buildings would be “sick”. Guess nothing can be done about this when you live in the desert.

Colors: “Scientific studies recognise that colours bring about emotional reactions in all individuals. Our reactions and attitudes to colours differ from person to person, and it is important to ensure that you change your colour scheme from time to time to help keep all the individuals refreshed. Colors that are useful in the office are: orange – stimulates creativity; yellow – intensifies the intellect and heightens motivation; red – energizes; blue – calming, fights physical and mental tension; green – fights irritability and has a healing effect on the body.”

I guess I can’t really complain about all the bland beige walls and the orange glass frames. People do seem a little more creative at the new office.

Music: “A little bit of background music will have a soothing effect on your workforce and it can also help motivate them with their daily tasks. Music can affect emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills. Generally, people adopted soft, uplifting music to keep the office happy.”

The only saving grace at my new space are my headphones. Brightens up my day and disturbs everyone else. :) I’m gonna try shifting to instrumental music this week onwards, soft uplifting numbers. Any suggestions?

office-clutter

Breaks: “Even the most focused person needs a break at least twice a day. Change of scenery also helps with emotions. One of the best ways to eliminate stress and recharge the body is to go outside for a ten-minute walk. Focus on your surroundings and take deep breaths. This will give you a renewal of energy and will also aid in Vitamin D production. Walk by yourself and focus on clearing your mind. Walking will also get the blood and the lymphatic system flowing.”

10 min walk, focussing on surroundings …in Dajeej! I don’t think so. But I guess a walk to and through the mall next door can do me good.

Organization: “Keep your office clean and organized. There is no excuse for clutter. Make sure that your desk is clean and that everything is put away before you leave each day. A well-organized, uncluttered desk leads to clear thinking and reduces stress. Make a habit of putting items back in their original place after you are finished using them.”

This week should look better at the office with all the piles of boxes used during shifting out of the way. Luckily for me, my desk will always remain clutter free. Two large monitors, a laptop and my large ergonomic keyboard make sure there is no desk space left to clutter on. :)

This week I shall give the 10-min walks a try and shift to softer music. Maybe I’ll spray paint the walls around me yellow, red and blue. Maybe I’ll run into the idiot who designed this new office and shoot his dumb ass. Hopefully I’ll end up more relaxed and get inspired to blog more often …as I should.

BTW, thanks for your emails guys (u know who u are).