Optimising work space: The benefits of inviting the outdoors, inside your home

As the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown is now underway, we begin our journey back to normal life (again).

Although, this begs the question – what is ‘normal life’ going to be like? Whilst it’s evident none of us are sure on when our lives will resume as before, due to the ever-changing rules and restrictions, we need to continue adapting our methods of working, socialising and living whilst under these rules, ensuring we do so in a way that enriches our lives and well-being as much as possible.

Whilst the government has stated that employees will commence working from offices again in ‘a few short months’, a recent study found that 89% of participants in the UK would be happy to work from home for at least one day a week, if not more in the future.*

Since the pandemic hit last March, 87% of employees reported their businesses have adapted to hybrid working, and it’s looking likely that organisations will adopt a hybrid working model for the foreseeable, with the workforce divided between working remotely and in the office.*

We understand that sometimes, it can be incredibly difficult to self-motivate at home when in work mode, especially if you’ve been affected by the pandemic burnout. So, we’ve compiled a list of benefits to help you understand why inviting the outdoors into your inside working environment will set you on the right track to a more focused, calm and optimised mind set.

Letting light in

As we step into spring, the sun begins to grace us with its glorious presence. Letting the light into your home creates a more comfortable, breathable environment, allowing your area to feel more spacious whilst connecting us to the outside world. Therefore, our cooped-up space feels bigger and less claustrophobic.

So, open a window, draw those curtains back, and bask in the ambience of natural lighting.

Sunlight exposure

In addition to this, the sunlight also increases our serotonin levels, which provides us with copious benefits such as:  improving our sleeping pattern, helping us to focus better and making us happier. A recent study shows that since the start of the pandemic, 58% of participants sleeping patterns have been negatively affected, therefore exposing ourselves to a generous amount of sunlight is key to our psychological well-being.*

Earthy tones

Dulux’s colour of the year for 2021 has been voted for as ‘Brave ground’, a warming neutral shade inspired by the peaceful simplicity nature presents to us.

After spending a year indoors more than ever before, we have found comfort in being outside within nature, and quite frankly, we crave it.

By introducing warmer earthy tones throughout your house, enables you to create a calming ‘sanctuary’ for yourself, whilst helping to uplift your spirit as a sense of connection to the outside world is created, all in the comfort of your own humble abode.

Sage greens, inky blues and pastel pinks are key shades to help create the perfect palette.

Houseplants

Not only do they add to the aesthetic appeal of a room, houseplants actually provide us with an abundance of benefits in terms of our well-being. It’s been found that house plants improve the air quality around the house. Not only do they transform the carbon dioxide around them into oxygen, but they also increase humidity levels – which is perfect if you’re an allergy sufferer.

Houseplants also increase our productivity levels as air purifying elements help us to balance the levels of CO2 within our bodies.

Finally, if you’re finding yourself suffering from headaches after the end of a tiresome day, houseplants have been found to help reduce levels of ‘formaldehyde’ in the air – which is a chemical found in many indoor environments and is often a common cause of headaches. So put the paracetamol away, and pot the plants instead!*

Natural materials

By introducing natural materials such as wood throughout your household, without even knowing it, you are in fact reducing stress and blood pressure, whilst increasing levels of creativity and productivity.* Who knew?

Ultimately, spending time within nature is the remedy we all need for a rejuvenated lifestyle, but whilst it’s not always feasible for us to enjoy the delights nature presents to us due to hectic work schedules – there are certainly adjustments we can make to our environments, allowing the exposure to enhancing assets that nature poses to us, as much as we possibly can.

Contact us today at Jennie Holland PR – as your PR agency, we can adapt and implement new strategies, strengthening your brand and business.

References –
Stats – https://voxeu.org/article/working-home-revolutionising-uk-labour-market
*VoxEU, 2021.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/27/coronavirus-boris-johnson-workers-will-return-to-offices-in-a-few-short-months
*The Guardian, 2021.
https://news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2021/02/15/research-reveals-how-we-really-feel-about-working-from-home/
*Microsoft, 2021.
https://www.realhomes.com/advice/benefits-of-houseplants
*Real Homes, N/A
https://www.creategiftlove.co.uk/blogs/blog/natural-materials-and-biophilic-design#:~:text=By%20incorporating%20natural%20materials%20such,while%20increasing%20creativity%20and%20productivity.
Create Gift Love, N/A

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021 – here’s the music that powers us through working from home

It may be the start of a new year, but the events of 2020 continue to impact our everyday lives.

With many of us spending more time indoors, working remotely and looking after loved ones in our homes, we wanted to highlight one thing that always picks us up, keeps us moving forward and helps us stay motivated – music.

At the end of 2020, streaming platform Spotify released its intriguing ‘Wrapped’ feature, identifying the world’s favourite artists, songs and genres over the last twelve months, and insightful stats including how long we all spend humming along to our favourite tunes.

But what are the most popular music genres to listen to whilst you’re working from home? And what effect can music have on our general outlook, wellbeing and productivity?

Listening to music working from home

From feel-good to fierce, the top genres that got us through 2020 included hip hop, rap, alternative rock, punk and house music. Not surprisingly, mainstream artists and chart-topping tunes were amongst our favourite songs, with The Weeknd’s hit ‘Blinding Lights’ taking the crown for most played song, with almost 1.6 billion global streams.

Our music trends also reflected the unpredictable and unsettling nature of 2020 – as many of us turned to nostalgic playlists to perk us up. The most popular decade of music played was the 1980s – the peak of new wave, electronic and hard rock – perhaps a sign of our collective emotional mindset and effort to seek comfort throughout the year.

In line with the nation’s shift away from the office due to lockdown, the creation of working from home-themed playlists grew by more than 1400%, proving our need for inspiring and motivational music to power us through our new working routines.

Spotify Wrapped 2020
Image: https://newsroom.spotify.com/2020-12-01/the-trends-that-shaped-streaming-in-2020/

From relaxing chill out tunes, to fast-paced and uplifting dance anthems, the music we listen to can really optimise our concentration levels and help with overall positivity. Whether you’re looking for a melody to keep you calm or a beat to get you marching through a project, listening to a variety of music during working hours helps to lift your mood and focus throughout the day.

We can also be inspired by our favourite film soundtracks or classical masterpieces – as often the absence of lyrics can serve as less of a distraction when looking for background music.

Podcasts enjoyed a rapid growth in popularity during 2020, and with The Joe Rogan Experience and TED Talks Daily topping the list – it is clear that we search for content featuring inspirational guests, interviews and ideas delivered straight to our earphones.

So, what are team JHPR’s go-to genres to keep us feeling positive, creative and productive?

Our managing director Jennie loves a bit of 90s dance – love, life and laughter is all she believes!

Senior manager Becky has an eclectic taste in tunes, but you can usually find her singing along to 70s disco – young hearts run free, Becky!

Senior account executive Eloise chooses liquid drum & bass to power through her work – high energy and melodic beats combined, sounds like a winning mix to us.

Account executive Tamara can’t resist some RnB – much success, no stress and lots of happiness is her mantra.

Copywriter Georgina loves some chillstep electronic music to help her stay focused throughout the day – relaxed music = a relaxed mind!

Contact us today at Jennie Holland PR – as your PR agency, we can adapt and implement new strategies, strengthening your brand and business.