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The Cubicle Survival Guide

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Can you recall the first time you laid eyes on your cubicle? It’s often exciting to get this first “real” office space – a space with your very own desk, desk chair and file cabinet. But it doesn’t take long for life in the cube to wear on your physical and mental health. If all you’re looking at for 8+ hours a day is your cubicle, it’s going to get old fast.

Here are some tips to make your space more relaxing and enjoyable so that you can survive your work days with a smile on your face. Believe it or not, simple changes to your office cubicle can have positive effects on your mood, productivity and relationships with co-workers.

Go Green

Studies show that plants have a positive impact on our health by reducing tension and stress. It could be due to the decrease in carbon dioxide in the air. Less carbon dioxide means reduced dust, bacteria and mold, which can mean less sickness and absenteeism for you. Plants can also act as a sound barrier for a noisy workplace. Good picks include aloe, cactus, ivy and peace lily.

Zone Out Noise

Noise is distracting and can break your concentration, but it’s not like you can request that all your neighbours spend their days being silent. Fortunately, there are things you can do to zone out the noise so that you don’t fall victim to illness, accidents and stress. Absorb noise by setting rubber mats under electronics, placing plants near your desk, running a fan and arranging your furniture accordingly.

Pick Your Color

Color can have a profound effect on your mood, so pick your decor wisely. Red raises a room’s energy, orange evokes excitement, green is restful and yellow communicates happiness. Blue is another good color because it has a calming effect. Try incorporating these colors to build the atmosphere you work best in.

Let in Air and Light

Don’t you wish you could put your cubicle outdoors for a day? To freshen up the air and reduce pollutants, try an air purifying device. These machines purify the air up to 97 percent and can make you healthier. If you’re lucky and have a window, you get dual benefits: fresh air and natural sunlight. If you don’t, use the right lighting to achieve a comfortable setting that is not too dark and not too bright. Harsh lighting can cause eye-strain, fatigue and headaches.

Go for Ergonomics

Finally, if you have any say in your office furniture, speak up. Choose furniture that is ergonomic such as chairs with lumbar support and desks that accommodate your body size. Sitting scrunched up at a desk all day will only add to your mental and physical fatigue. Select a work-efficient layout that allows you to answer the phone, reach for your file cabinet and jot a note down on your dry erase board all from your chair.

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