Do you work a career that requires you to sit at a desk? Stare at a computer for extended hours of the day? Type away through aches and pains on your keyboard? Odds are, you do. According to some studies, almost 86% of Americans have a job that requires them to sit down all day. These statistics are startling and have serious health implications. The results, as you may expect, include a larger percentage of unhealthy Americans and an increase in national obesity. It’s been shown that since 1960, jobs that require physical labor have plummeted from 50% to 20%. This fact is directly tied to the country’s average decline of about 130 calories of physical activity per day. If you can relate to this, please stick around as I am going to discuss the disadvantages and advantages of working in an office and tips for sustaining productivity and motivation.
While working 8-5 five days a week in an office inside a building may scare you, don’t be alarmed! While there are certain disadvantages, there are also many advantages people don’t always see. Time management, behavior, and interpersonal skills can all improve or benefit from working in an office.
Advantages of Having a Desk Job
As an employee of a company, you’re expected to start and end your day at a certain time with a set number of breaks. This can work wonders for improving your discipline and time management. You have a set number of hours to get a certain amount of work done. Simple as that. Your behavior and interpersonal skills can increase, too, because you will be around coworkers all day. When surrounded by people, you automatically become more alert and conscious of your thoughts and actions. This is a good thing! Work to become a friendlier, more efficient, honest, hardworking employee, coworker, and friend.
Other advantages come from being close to the heart of your business, as well as building relationships with your coworkers. A great way to climb up the ladder is by making contacts and relationships with those you work with. If nothing comes out of it in terms of business, you’ve made new friends. You can also benefit from being close to your coworkers and boss by simply being able to ask them questions and get help when you need it.
On the Other Hand: Disadvantages to Any Office Job
While advantages to working in an office are certainly observable, there are plenty of disadvantages as well. Some of those advantages I discussed can double as disadvantages if proper precautions aren’t taken. While being expected to sit at an office a set number of hours a day can be beneficial for discipline, it can be detrimental to the workplace and mental health. Nobody loves being forced to do something, but we all make sacrifices for things that matter and… money.
The other advantage that can also be considered a disadvantage is the socially dynamic environment. Yes, it can be a good thing, but co-workers can also be distractions and things that get in the way of work. Other obvious disadvantages are injuries to employee health, strains to employee's eyes, and reduced creativity. According to the Health and Safety Commission, 30% of tripping and falling accidents belong to those working in offices. Eye discomfort and injury is an obvious one. Nothing great can come from staring at a computer screen all day and to make matters worse, most do the same thing when they get home. Strains on the eyes can cause serious discomfort, headaches, difficulty focusing, and blurred vision, dry or watering eyes. Toxic air from poorly ventilated buildings, increase in blood pressure from sitting too long, and poor eating habits are just a few other disadvantages that can result from office work.
Healthy Habits to Adopt for Any Employee
It’s obvious now that working a desk job in an office can have its downsides. If you didn’t realize it before reading this article, you should have by now. Luckily, there are things you can do to strengthen your mental health and stay true to yourself. First off, take breaks. And take breaks away from where you sit all day. Eat lunch outside, go somewhere, take your 15-minute breaks away from the office. The act of walking, however simple it may seem, can do wonders for your body. The change in scenery and fresh air can help revitalize your mind so you can be even more productive and focused when you come back from your break. Stretching frequently can also be a great way to stay focused at work. Take water breaks when feeling unfocused or bored. The cold water can help you focus and get things back on track. Another tip: avoid meetings! This isn’t me telling you to be disobedient, but maybe thinking of ways to not have to go. Some meetings, as we all know, are very pointless and you may be pleasantly surprised to learn you don’t always have to go.
However, this differs from office to office, so examine your own workplace culture to see if unnecessary meetings can be made more efficient. The last tip, and maybe the most important, is to get some sleep! Let your body and brain rest, and get rejuvenated for the next workday. Your energy levels will increase and your focus will be stronger and last longer.
Mental Health in The Workplace
When it comes down to it, office desk jobs are unavoidable in this day and age. The world is run on technology and we need people to control that for companies. This doesn’t mean your mental health has to suffer. Recognize the pros and cons of the job you have and take the smart, appropriate steps to reduce the cons. There are plenty of great resources and tips online, apart from the ones I have already shared with you. Thanks for reading and good luck!