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Working from home has become the new normal for millions of us

How to be happier when working from home

December 2020


Working from home has become the new normal for millions of us since the start of lockdown more than nine months ago.

However, even with the promising news of a vaccine ready for distribution, some people may find themselves permanently stationed at home long after the pandemic, as businesses find they can reduce costs and see the same levels of productivity from their employees.

With mental health becoming more recognised in the workplace, it’s important we’re as content as possible in our everyday activities.

Here are some simple ways to keep you and your team happier when working from home.

Let the light in

Sunlight is proven to trigger the brain to release the hormone serotonin. This makes people feel calmer and more focused, as well as reducing anxiety.

If possible, position your workspace near a window, with the curtains fully drawn.

It is also a good idea to have your makeshift office in a room or area of the house that's painted white or a light colour, as this reflects light.

Get rid of unnecessary noise

There’s nothing worse than being constantly distracted by unnecessary noise, especially when it’s repetitive or coming from an external source you can't control, like traffic or construction work.

Listening to one additional conversation can lead to a 66% dip in productivity, so you might find that working from home has led to a significant increase in your workload capabilities in recent months.

To really benefit from fewer auditory distractions, close your office space off from the rest of the world and purchase reliable earplugs or headphones.

If you're missing the hustle and bustle from your everyday life, you can find faint office sounds to simulate the office ambience, which you'll find much less distracting than work gossip or meetings happening in the background!

Organise your workspace

A messy workspace has been found to raise your level of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Whilst occasional clutter can be easily overlooked, if you change that area to a permanent workspace, it could easily become a distraction.

It is best to have a proper clean out of your working area before you start.

Move around

Now you’re at home all the time, your daily commute has changed to being a journey from the bedroom to your makeshift office space.

This means that you’re probably missing out on exercise that benefits you mentally as well as physically.

It is best to take regular breaks from sitting down and go for a walk around the house or outside.

Face-to-face contact

Most of our social contact comes from interacting with our peers in the workplace, therefore working from home deprives us of this.

It is vital for your mental health to be able to talk to others and doing this through a screen is nowhere near as effective.

During your lunch break or after work, connect with a friend in-person (if the current guidelines permit it in your area).

Does your business insurance extend to include remote working? To discuss further please contact us.