2020 has been a transformational year for most of us. For many of us, this includes changes in where we work, how we work, and even how much we work.
As remote working becomes the norm, research shows that a majority of employees have maintained their office productivity levels or even increased productivity!
Still, over a long period of time, ensuring the same level of employee engagement can be difficult. Apart from facilitating easy interactions and creating a seamlessly connected remote work environment with the help of advanced platforms, surveys, and more, it’s important to cultivate an inspiring home environment as well.
Work-life boundaries are disappearing, and the less structured lifestyle balance can have a way of showing its uglier side. So, I started looking for more permanent ways to boost productivity.
Employee engagement activities can be great, but in order to leave a more long-lasting impact, we need to make a more permanent change in the home office.
Green Your Scene
Turns out, the secret ingredient is green! Going green, in terms of nature, furniture, and as a philosophy, can make a distinct difference for people looking to navigate and find a balance in the unpredictable and stressful pandemic-era.
While it’s well known that greener workspaces can improve employee productivity, the fluid work environment of today can also be enriched with a greener work environment!
Are you trying to improve employee engagement and promote a greener home office? Wondering where to start?
Try gauging your employees’ engagement and productivity levels.
Is their productivity consistent or have you seen a change? Connect with them via anonymous surveys, one-on-one check-ins, and more, and discover their routine roadblocks to productivity when working from home.
Understanding just where they stand will be essential in understanding the best green measures to promote. Borrowing a page from greener office practices that boost productivity, here are the best measures to add to the home office and how they can help your employees.
Grow Your World
Encourage your employees to be plant parents! The next time you’re thinking of sending a small present over, let it be a low-maintenance plant! While the pandemic has increased the number of pet adoptions, it has also seen a distinct increase in people trying to indulge their green thumb.
Green workspaces have been linked with higher employee retention, and we recommend taking that lesson home. If this lockdown has showed us anything, it’s the importance of having a mentally stimulating and relaxing environment to offset the stress of a constantly changing and completely unpredictable world. House plants help with just that, much like a walk in the park or a drive through a forest. Nature has a relaxing impact on our nervous system, encouraging us to unwind, relax, and think, thereby boosting productivity.
So once you’ve sent over the little green saplings, you can always check in with your employees to see how they are doing while also regularly monitoring productivity. While this is not the absolute solution, it’s a great start!
Advantages of a Green Home Office:
- Increased productivity levels
- Balanced stress levels
- Better sleep
Let it Shine
Have you ever noticed that somehow your productivity increases when you’re in a space that has plenty of daylight? You’re not alone! Daylight has several benefits for physical and mental health as well as for our productivity levels.
Our body takes cues from our environment to decide our state of being, and daylight helps with just that. It reduces the melatonin (sleep hormone) creation, improves our physical health, and all in all, puts us in a more inspired and creative mindset. Consider asking your team how exposed they are to natural light, and try understanding whether this is affecting their productivity.
Working from home can get monotonous and employees need all the help they can get to maintain a consistent level of productivity. That’s why you need to encourage them to create the perfect environment at home. Since it’s no longer the office space, encourage your employees to sit in areas that have an abundance of natural light coming in. You can also encourage the installation of color-changing lights that mirror the patterns of natural daylight and increase productivity. This is much better than the use of blue light alone. While blue light is known to increase productivity and wakefulness, long exposure to this disrupts our circadian rhythms!
Advantages of Natural Lighting:
- Reduced eyestrain and headaches
- Better sleep quality and improved productivity
Add in the Green
Just seeing hues of green can often make people feel connected to nature. This in turn boosts creativity and concentration, thereby increasing the work output!
Adding in more green elements into the home office can create an atmosphere that helps employees remain productive yet calm. I am by no means suggesting home offices and workspaces should look like a leprechaun’s second residence, but having a few more green elements can never hurt.
It has become more and more common for workspaces to incorporate the color green into their design, and with long-term remote work looking like a realistic future, it might be a great idea to take this tip home!
Advantages of Green:
- Calmer mood
- Increased alertness
- Improves focus and efficiency
Remote working can be a challenge.
While working from the comfort of our homes has shown a distinct increase in productivity in many cases, it’s essential for companies to foster a remote culture that helps employees maintain this consistently. This is best done by making it easier for teams to be connected, ensuring meetings that promote collaboration and reduce a sense of isolation, and encouraging home environments that act as mood-boosters and productivity enhancers.
By creating an eco-friendlier and more verdant atmosphere, you will be sure to notice that the grass is greener on your turf as well!