Given the reverts to enhanced community quarantine and then to modified enhanced community quarantines in recent weeks, it’s clear that we’re not moving out from our bedrooms-turned-offices any time soon. Since the pandemic outbreak and first lockdown in March last year, a significant number of us had started working from home. This hybrid work set-up has remained for many and may become the status quo as offices re-examine the purpose of the workplace.
Given the amount of time we have been spending in our makeshift offices, investing in items to enhance our health and productivity is paramount. Here, we’ve narrowed down a list of life-changing items you didn’t know you needed.
Ergonomic office chair
You’re probably spending up to 12 hours of your day in front of the desk, too. Save yourself from backache and invest in an ergonomic chair. According to the Mayo Clinic, the ideal office chair should support your spinal curves and allow your feet to touch the floor. Knees should be at level with your hips, and armrests should enable your shoulders to relax while resting on them.
If your laptop doesn’t already have a built-in ‘night light’ feature, consider getting a pair of screen-safe or blue-light filter glasses to minimize the strain on your eyes. For those unfamiliar with blue light, it refers to the type of visible light that’s emitted from your electronic devices. Prolonged exposure contributes to eye strain, may disrupt sleep quality, and leads to eye problems over time.
Getting these protective glasses, whether working all day or not, is a great preventive measure for anyone who spends a significant time in front of a phone or laptop screen. Anti-radiation glasses are available in most leading optical stores, and can be bought non-graded.
While we’re on the subject of blue light and anti-radiation, did you know that you should still be applying sunscreen even while quarantining all day indoors? Blue light affects both eye health and skin health. Blue light destroys collagen through oxidative stress and may cause hyperpigmentation in medium to dark skin. Take extra care of your body’s largest organ and include adding a layer of sunscreen back to your daily skincare routine.
We all saw how cool those height-adjustable desks in the K-drama Start-up looked. They’re good for your health too, according to recent studies. Research showed that the intervention of height-adjustable desks to break sitting time positively impacted adolescents’ energy expenditures – the kind of energy needed to support daily functions such as breathing, blood circulation, digestion, and exercise. If you’re looking to go the extra mile (pun unintended), there are treadmill and cycling desks available in the market too. Because who wouldn’t want to reach their step count while organizing spreadsheets?
What could be better than a desk with a view? Having a window to your side while working provides sunlight and views to help lift your mood. Health and wellness amenities were property seekers’ top desired property features in 1Q2021, and exposure to nature helps create a calming environment. It also gives you that Zoom-meeting-ready natural lighting, so you’ll always have the confidence to keep your camera on. Just make sure to prevent any glare on your screen by using the appropriate window shades or tints.
Desktop vacuum cleaners
Yes, you read that correctly. There are desktop vacuum cleaners now. They are palm-sized, and optimized to clean your desk’s tiny messes – dust particles in between keyboard keys, eraser debris, and snack crumbs. Keeping your desk clean has never been easier.
If you’re like any of us and are missing office meals with your workmates, having your very own mini pantry might be a way to bring the fun back into work break snacking. There are compact refrigerators, popcorn machines, and portable espresso makers available online to upgrade from the typical snack drawer. Put on some background music to complete that work break experience.
Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, New York Times, Public Library of Science