Workplace at home – include daylight and biophilia!

2020-03-30 13:23 Blog


New challenges lays ahead of us. Millions of people around the world are working from home during an indefinite time to help flatten the curve of covid-19. These temporary actions are showing respect for each other. Nevertheless we should not forget ourselves and how we could boost ourselves making our home offices productive and healthy.

This indefinite period of time at home could be stressful and feeling isolating. To boost us and making the best out of it, we could take some actions to create healthy home-offices. There are different things to think about and we would like to high-light some of them.

Sunlight has an immense impact on our wellbeing. It makes us feel better, learn faster, achieve more and become more productive. The natural light affects the circadian rhythm: our hormone levels of melatonin and cortisol are just on right levels during daytime, keeping us alert during daytime and sleepy during the night. The access to natural light should be a natural part of our everyday life no matter if it is where we work, learn or live. These days the place for work and living and also learning and living corresponds for the many of us. With just some small changes in our everyday life, we could give us good start of the day.

Try to be outdoors for 20-30 minutes in the morning. For example:
– Drink your coffee or tea outdoors in the morning – despite weather! (For those in quarantine, open the window!)
– Cycle or walk with your children to their school or daycare (if they are open).
– Simply, take a walk.

If you are in quarantine all the examples above are not feasible, but you and everyone else should find a workplace at home by a window. The dynamic natural light and the view will give you a connection to the outside, which is important for us humans. The light has a positive effect on the mood and reduces the stress.

Sunshine is vital for our wellbeing

Biophilic Design is the impact of nature on the places where we live, work and learn. By mimicking the nature and designing our workplace with our biology in mind, we can create good and healthy home offices where we become more productive. An important factor in this aspect is to let the natural light flow indoors. (See the previous chapter.) Other things is to let elements from the nature boost your work space. For example, if you have the fortune to be close to the forest, the sea or the mountains, chose a work place with that view. Perhaps you are even able to open a window or door and let the sound of birds, the wind or water inside. If not, you are able to put small plants or water features nearby. If you want to enhance the effect of being close to the nature, you could via Spotify listen to sounds of the ocean, the birds or other natural sounds you find relaxing.

When sitting at home working, the normal go-to-a-colleague-and-ask-something, go-to-a-meeting, take-a-walk-to-the-lunch-restaurant, take-the-stairs-to-the-office and so on has totally disappeared. We need to think extra of how to move during the day. Sitting for long time could negatively impact our cardio metabolic health. You could set an alarm on your computer or phone every 30 minutes to remind you to stand up before you have adapted to the habit. Remember to every hour walk around for some couple of minutes. It is perfect to take some extra steps when getting a cup of coffee or tea, walking around while talking to a colleague, reading a report or other work task you could think of. Do not forget to exercise outdoors as well; then you also get your natural light boost!

Take care of yourself and your loved ones!