Whether you work from a home office, or you work in a huge corporate building, packed full of other people, we all face similar challenges and risks from our offices. When we spend upwards of eight hours in those spaces, they really need to be set up with health and comfort in mind. But we’re all guilty of writing off aches, pains, and sniffles, rather than attempting to understand their cause and get to the root of the problem. Here are some common ways that your office or workplace could be harming your health, and what to do about it.
- Your desk
The best thing for us is sitting with a straight spine, looking directly ahead at a monitor, feet flat on the floor, with our elbows at right-angles on the desk. Chances are, at least one of those things are missing. This puts unnecessary strain on muscles and joints, meaning you’re at risk of repetitive strain injuries, or even trapped nerves. If you’ve not got this configuration, speak to your office manager, or yourself if you work from home, about rejigging the furniture to find something that works for you.
- Trip hazards
With box files and wires dotted all around the office, it isn’t surprising that trips and falls are commonplace. If you’re worried about any hazards that need addressing, be sure to bring it up to your office manager, they have an obligation to keep you safe. If you’ve experienced any problems in the past, be sure to follow this lawyer for advice. Your safety and security at work are of fundamental importance, and all employers should be doing everything they can do keep you and your colleagues safe.
- The open plan office
Did you know that open-plan offices aren’t anywhere near as good for productivity as people originally thought? Sick days are increased significantly, probably because germs and bacteria are shared so freely throughout the workspace. The constant hubbub and background noise can give concentration levels a serious problem, and can even result in raised blood pressure and anxiety. If you work in an open plan office, try to ensure you take your breaks in a quiet, peaceful spot, and keep your immune system boosted with vitamin C.
- The AC
Without the AC system, your job would probably be pretty uncomfortable, right? But it could be hiding all manner of problems. If the filters and ducts aren’t properly cared for, it could be spreading dust and allergens through the air, and even mold spores, all of which can cause significant respiratory problems if left unaddressed. Be sure to speak to your office manager if you’re experiencing any problems that could be connected to the AC system; they have a legal obligation to ensure it is safe.
- Your monitor
If you’re using a computer for extended periods of time, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure you minimize any negative side effects. Ensure it is at head height, so you don’t have to strain your neck up or down to see it. It also helps to put an anti-glare filter to keep the risk of headaches to a minimum. Make sure you’re taking regular screen breaks, at least every hour, to avoid eye strain.
Offices can be dangerous places, so be sure to keep your wits about you and report any concerns to management as soon as possible.