Love it or hate it, work is something all of us have to do. In fact, we actually spend more of our waking hours in this sordid establishment called the workplace than we do at home. Yes, we know there’s never enough time to finish your work—much less think about the strange effect that your cube, your boss, your colleagues and the amount of work you’re shoveling away at every day are having on your health. However, you should, just in case you suddenly concuss on your keyboard. Here’s the I-S breakdown of lurking office dangers.
The Great Email Express
If there are more than 30 people in your office, you probably spend loads of time struggling with the modern evil called email. These things just keep dropping steadily into your email account, until you’re ready to pull your hair out every time you return to your seat to find another 20 freshly-mailed, bolded little buggers in your inbox. Help is here:
• Clear your inbox before you leave the office every day. Without fail.
• Create folders for people you regularly receive email from. Your email account will then be more organized.
• Clear your trash. Yes, we know this allows more mail to get in, but we don’t have a choice, do we?
• Auto-archive old emails that you don’t need to save space.
• Create action folders for tasks you have to do marked “done,” “to be done” etc.
• Heck, if you’re can’t get rid of it, make it work for you. Mark out important events with the calendar and set up pop-up reminders for things you need to get done.
The Unbearable Lightness of Screening
Unless you’ve got a totally dishy colleague whom you can’t take your eyes off, you probably spend your eight working hours gazing at an unpalatable object called the computer screen. Contact lens wearers will find their vision blurring and eyes reddening as oxygen to the eyes is cut off by prolonged screen staring. Even if you don’t wear lenses, long hours of working at the computer will soon give you headaches, fatigue, an aching back and sore neck muscles. In fact, there is a syndrome called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) that’s characterized by symptoms such as tired eyes, eyestrain, redness, irritation and double vision. Put these tips into action:
• Buy a computer screen filter for yourself—a handy device that fits on your computer screen and minimizes the amount of glare you receive every time you look at the screen.
• Get eyedrops and use it regularly if you wear contact lenses so your eyes won’t dry out.
• Take a five-minute break every hour. Heave your butt off that chair, chat with a similarly-stressed colleague or take a walk.
• Blink more often. Research has shown that increased blinking allows the eyes to hydrate more rapidly. It’s easy to forget this because when we’re concentrating, we stare at the screen without blinking.
• Adjust your screen brightness. It doesn’t need to light the way to India.
• Increase your pageview settings to 150 percent. That way, your eyes won’t have to strain when you’re typing feverishly away.
• Rest your eyes by gazing at an object in the distance such as the bus stop where you take the bus home.
Another Germ Bytes The Dust
Think about where you rest your long-suffering elbows at work. Yep, your desk. And ask yourself how often you clean it. Never, right? Research conducted in the States shows that more germs breed per square inch on an office desk than a toilet seat. That means you’re breeding about a gazillion million germs on your desk—which makes you super susceptible to falling sick. Try these steps for a relatively more germ-free existence:
• Don’t eat at your desk. Just think of all the ants and creepy crawlies feasting on the bits of char siew rice you dropped. Gross.
• Wipe your desk area (and PC) every week—including your mouse. Trust us, it’s filthy.
• Clear your desk of all unwanted papers you’ve been too lazy to throw.
• Wash your coffee mugs instead of letting them rot at your desk—with coffee stains and sour remnants of what used to be coffee. Ewww.
• If you talk on the phone often, place a teabag in the nook where you place your receiver. It’ll keep your phone smelling fresh.
• Empty your bin daily. Only dry waste should be in your cubicle rubbish bin. Throw your used styrofoam cups in the pantry garbage bin with a lid.
Messed Up and Stressed
What should you do if you’re always stressed? Follow these rules:
• Prioritize. Clear the most important tasks first.
• Always remember—one thing at a time.
• Lastly, develop a sturdy, they-can’t-get-me attitude. Do your best but hey—it’s just a job.
How to make your cubicle rock:
• Personalize it with knick knacks and cheery things. Work will seem more appealing.
• Minimize your clutter.
• Buy a stress ball and squeeze it when you feel you’re going crazy.
• Use a wrist rest.
• Stick hunky-dory posters and happy messages. Hey, positive thinking, right?
• Organize whatever clutter you have into files, shelves or drawers.