Whether you love your job or count down the hours until 5 p.m. every day, your office probably isn't as comfortable as your favorite spot at home. After all, the workspace isn't really your own. It's an area that's meant for productivity and achievement. However, surrounding yourself with a more pleasant environment can go a long way in improving how you feel about your job. And that's pretty important considering the fact that you probably are there for 40 hours or more each and every week.
While you can't necessarily bring a couch and your favorite sweats to the office, you don't have to be completely uncomfortable during the 9 to 5. Make the workday more enjoyable by improving the comfort of your desk with these five tips:
"The right chair can make a big difference in your level of comfort."
1. Choose the right chair
If you spend a lot of time at your desk every day, you probably also spend a decent amount of time sitting down. That's why the right chair can make a big difference in your level of comfort. The perfect choice for your desk will depend on a variety of factors, including your weight, height and build. But finding a comfortable chair can be a game changer.
Lumbar support is an important part of the decision. According to Spine-health by Veritas Health, a chair with lumbar support promotes good posture, which can help prevent pain, especially if you're seated for long periods of time.
Some people skip the chair altogether and opt for a standing desk. If that interests you, consider asking your employer if it's an option. It's likely not a change you can make on your own.
2. Check your keyboard
Working in an office, chances are that you also spend significant periods of time typing on a keyboard at your desktop or laptop. The position of this tool – as well as your mouse – could be contributing to your discomfort. According to Mayo Clinic, when you sit at your desk to type, your wrists should be straight and your hands should be at or below elbow level. To attain that position, you may need to install a keyboard tray.
Another simple way to improve your comfort is by supporting your wrists with the IMAK® ERGO Wrist Cushion for Keyboard. Filled with massaging ergoBeads, this product provides comfortable ergonomic wrist support while you type at your desk.
3. Consider a headset
If you spend a lot of time calling clients, vendors or other contacts, one of the recurring annoyances of your day is likely the continual effort to balance the phone while taking notes, looking up information and performing other tasks. An article in Women's Day magazine recommended investing in a headset if you speak on the phone for an hour or more each day. Not only will this tool make juggling multiple tasks easier, Tamara James, director of ergonomics at Duke University Health System, told Women's Day that a headset "prevents awkward neck positions from cradling the phone." This kind of awkward position can cause long-term neck pain.
4. Reduce the clutter
Finally, improve your peace of mind by reducing the clutter on your desk. According to Jacqueline Whitmore, author of Business Etiquette Expert and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, this is an important step for productivity.
"Clutter and dirt can create distractions, or white noise, and can take your mind away from the task at hand," she wrote in an article for Entrepreneur. "Clear surfaces, walls and floors of extraneous items. Only display what you consciously choose. Clean up your space every evening so that you return to a pleasant office each morning."
Keeping your desk organized will also ensure that you are able to find important paperwork and other physical documents more easily, decreasing your workplace stress.