New year, new lockdown: five simple steps to improve your remote working environment

Nulab survey of remote workers

1. Air flow

Might seem simple, but get some fresh air! Studies from Harvard and Syracuse Universities showed that employees in a ‘clean air’ environment performed 61% better on cognitive tasks than those in the standard office conditions. Open a window or a door; get outside for five minutes. Fresh, cool air can help us to stay alert, on the ball and a little more revived, wherever we happen to be in the house.

2. Plants

It’s been proven through various experiments that indoor plants can reduce all kinds of stress by calming the nervous system and even lowering blood pressure. According to a recent survey by Arboretum, 42% of participants said that being around plants improved their mental health. This figure was even higher in London, where more than half (56 per cent) admitted plants make them happier. Nothing like a little asparagus fern dropping its needles all over your keyboard, right?

3. Natural light

As much as humanly possible, from all directions, everywhere. Plainly and simply, sunlight is great for you! It increases productivity and it boosts our vitamin D levels. In fact, Northwestern University research showed that workers in offices with windows slept an average of 46 more minutes per night than those without. More light = more sleep = one happier you.

4. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb

Notifications, notifications and more notifications. In case you didn’t get enough from Slack, Teams, emails and everything else. Turn them off. A study from three researchers at Florida State University suggests that merely receiving a push notification is as distracting as responding to a text message or a phone call. So even if you don’t look at them, you’re still adding to your stress levels.

5. Tidy up

You know how it goes: tidy space, tidy mind! In a survey from Brother 40% of people admitted a messy workspace makes them less productive and 20% said it actually adds to their workload. While it may not be top of our lists to go round clearing up, it’s well worth giving yourself 20 mins at the start of the week to make sure your space is clear.

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We write about customer experience, employee experience, design, content & technology to share our knowledge with the wider community.