There’s a lot more to “good posture” than just keeping your back straight, according to Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy.
Based on her book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Cuddy says, “we don’t just make ourselves smaller when we feel powerless, we can create a sense of powerlessness when we put our bodies in those positions.”
These tips are just relevant when working in an office environment; however, modern cloud and collaboration solutions provide the flexibility to work from home (or anywhere) where the possibility of working alone in your pajamas is a reality.
With no one around you to “impress”, you might find your posture suffering, which seems harmless enough—only it’s not.
At a recent talk at New York’s 92Y, Cuddy outlined several small adjustments people can make at when working to help give them a jolt of presence, confidence and perhaps even productivity.
Sit up straight (thanks, ma!)
Yes, seriously, sit up straight! It makes you more expansive.
In Cuddy’s book, she refers to the iconic Wonder Woman pose, which suggests presence. This also helps people feel more in control.
Basically, slouching down on top of your laptop or slipping down on your office chair as you work sends a signal to your brain that you are small.
So keep that spine straight and if you can, rest your arms on armrests to help keep yourself alert!
Positioning is key
Cuddy equates expansive postures to creating presence—which you can create for yourself by simply keeping essential work items just slightly out of reach, so you need to stretch a bit to reach it.
Things like pens, papers or your phone should be placed just far enough so that you create more space when reaching for them rather than limiting and basically constricting your body movements.
This is especially applicable for those working from home. Positioning your family pictures or even children’s art projects higher up than usual means you have to lean back and raise your gaze to see it—also a confidence-boosting move.
Walk it off
Get up and walk around, Cuddy advises. This helps increase blood flow to the brain, which makes you more productive and therefore more confident. It also helps people feel “more present.”
So the next time you find yourself hunched over at home working on that deadline, straighten your back and give these tips a try.
Or better yet, take advantage of your ability to work anywhere. Consider a standing treadmill desk or even working poolside—we won’t tell anyone!
Interested in working anywhere? Give us a call!