Workplace Wellbeing and Working from Home

Introduction

More than two thirds of employees working from home feel their wellbeing has been affected by the changes brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The findings come from a recent survey conducted by TotalJobs, which found the wellbeing of 64% home workers had been impacted by the government restrictions. Fifty-two percent claim that their sleep has been affected, whilst 45% find that they are uncomfortable in their new workspace.

Working from home seems to be increasing worry, stress and loneliness for many, but how can we bring that element of workplace wellbeing into the home? We’ve put together a few tips based on our experience of workplace wellbeing technologies and how they can help at home.

Lighting

Business Lighting SolutionsYou may not have the high-tech human centric lighting that you may have in the workplace, but it doesn’t mean you can’t utilise your lighting at home to help with your wellbeing, comfort and productivity.

Natural daylight stimulates our brains to produce the ‘feel-good’ hormone serotonin, making us feel alert and motivated. Then, as light levels begin to fade in the evening, our bodies respond by producing the hormone melatonin, to help prepare us for sleep. On darker days when the sunlight isn’t so prominent, our melatonin levels kick in a lot earlier.

Modern environments and artificial lighting can also play havoc with our body’s natural responses. This can affect us in a number of ways, including our mood, concentration and general wellbeing. The good news is, there are lots of things you can do with your home lighting to help ward off those blues and create a positive mood.

Experts recommend that we should try to simulate natural light levels as much as possible. Whilst you may need a stronger brighter light during the daytime, when it’s time to relax and get ready for the evening, switching to a lower lighting level can help with your circadian rhythm and also improve your sleeping pattern.

The main types of lighting in your home are ambient lighting (generally the main lighting in the room and any wall lights), task lighting (as desk light or table lamp) and accent lighting (recess lightings, up-lights or wall sconces).

By playing around with these lights in your home, you can find the right balance between them to create the right lighting for the time of day. If it’s a particularly dark today, having a combination of all three is a great way to create a brighter, more natural environment. Or, if the sun is shining into your home office, then maybe just a table lamp will do.

Don’t rely on the same lighting on a daily basis, if the natural daylight has a big impact on your room then play around with your artificial lighting on a daily basis to provide you with the best lighting for your productivity and wellbeing.

Sound masking

We often discuss how important an ambient background noise level is in the workplace for your productivity and wellbeing; the same thing can be said for working from home.

An acoustically comfortable place is essential when you are working from home. Note, that we do not say a quiet place is essential. Often, a deadly quiet workplace can be just as unproductive and uncomfortable than a noisy workplace.

External sounds, such as the drone of machines or the voices of loud neighbours, can be quite distracting. These background noises will also distract your clients when you are on a call, so it is important to block them out.

There are a couple of easy wins when it comes to reducing distractions at home. Choosing a room where you can close the door and tell your family or housemates that you don’t want to be disturbed during your working hours is a simple, yet effective, method for reducing distractions. To avoid distractions from outside like traffic and noisy neighbours, try closing the curtains or running a fan in the background to ease the sound.

Unfortunately, creating an ambient noise level for your home office isn’t always easy, particularly when it comes to masking human voices. Luckily there are sound masking solutions to help reduce distractions at home.

Sound masking for home offices is a great addition to your home office and is just as important is the right chair and level of your keyboard. Noise is a well-known factor for reducing wellbeing and productivity, not only is it highly distracting but it can also cause spikes in your stress levels and blood pressure. Having an effective sound masking solution can help your productivity at home and enhance your overall wellbeing.

There are multiple solutions for sound masking at home and they are both effective and affordable. If you are in need of a sound masking system for your home office, get in touch today. To learn more about how sound masking works take a look at our sound masking website page.

Video conferencing

In the survey conducted by TotalJobs, one of the main causes for poorer wellbeing at home was loneliness, with 55% reporting that they feel lonelier at home and 86% say that they’re worried about their colleagues.

Staying connected is key in keeping your workplace wellbeing high, particularly when working from home. Video conferencing is a great way of staying connected with colleagues and keeping that all-important rapport going.

Studies have shown that people working remotely are more likely the find satisfaction in their work with video conferencing, with 9 in 10 employees saying video allows them to feel more connected to their colleagues. Being able to see the emotions and nonverbal elements behind the words of a conversation takes communication to the next level and removes communication barriers for remote employees. It’s amazing what a morning coffee over video can do for team connectedness and culture.

Video conferencing is unique in its ability to represent all of your nonverbal inflections and gestures. It removes communication uncertainty and creates better, more human interactions by giving everyone a voice and a face at the table — even when connecting from thousands of miles away.

We hope these few tips can help you keep your workplace wellbeing high whilst working from home. If you would like to discuss any of the technologies discussed in this article, feel free to get in touch.