How To Beat The Back-To-Work Blues

Anne Hathaway in The Intern; Rex Features

Everyone is bound to suffer the post-holiday blues, but going back to the office after time away shouldn’t fill you with dread. Linda Morey-Burrows, an architectural designer specialising in creating optimal office spaces, explains how to make the most of your workspace and your time in the office, ensuring a more positive attitude towards the 9 to five.

1. Maximise natural daylight

This is one of the most important aspects to get right. You may be lucky enough to have a desk near a window but if you don’t, you should be taking frequent breaks outside. It’s important to keep your vitamin-D levels topped up; in autumn and winter try taking vitamin supplements.

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2. Keep active

Small changes can make a big difference, like taking the stairs rather than the lift. Walk and talk: catch up with colleagues on the move and avoid unnecessarily long meetings; people tend to speed up when standing.

3. Interact with your colleagues

Avoid the temptation to sit behind your screen all day, it stifles creativity and can be bad for your health. Instead, make time for your colleagues and get up and away from your desk. Choose face-to-face meetings or telephone calls from a sofa or quiet area rather than always emailing.

4. Allow yourself some “me time”

The pressure of the daily grind can wear you down if you don’t allow yourself some much-needed time alone. Try a new place to sit and think or work, away from your emails, in a private, relaxed space. Alternatively, try going for a walk. Taking a moment for a digital detox, however brief, is essential.

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5. Keep an organised workstation

If a lot of your time is spent at a traditional workstation, minimise clutter from your work space. Make sure your desk and equipment is cleaned properly and regularly, which is crucial for keeping those autumn germs at bay. Have regular clear-outs to minimise the pile-up of papers and clutter.

6. Introduce greenery

Add some plants to your workstation as you would at home to help bring the outside in. Plants are known to help decrease stress in the workplace and have been found to boost productivity.

7. Return to pen and paper

Try using a pen and paper to make notes or draw or doodle while you think. It frees up your mind and is a welcome relief from the keyboard and screen.

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MoreySmith is an architectural-design practice based in central London. Founded in 1993 by Linda Morey-Burrows, it has designed some of the world’s most innovative workspaces including international headquarters for blue chip, FTSE 100 companies and globally recognised brands including Moët Hennessy, Coca-Cola, ASOS and Sony.


From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK