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4 tips to increase productivity and well-being while working from home

With the number of Covid-19 cases increasing across the country, the UK is now in a new lockdown. Since the beginning of the pandemic, almost half the UK’s workforce say they have been working from home[1]. While millions of people are working remotely for the first time, 30% of Brits claim that their productivity has fallen[2].

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When we work from home, we often have to make some adjustments in terms of habits, space management or organization to keep our productivity at its best level. If distractions are commonly blamed for a lack of productivity, one of the most unexpected factors that can impact our work is bad indoor climate. Thus, it is important to maintain a healthy indoor environment. Here are some simple tips to improve air quality and provide comfortable conditions for home office.

  • Bringing fresh air in 

Indoor air is up to five times more polluted than outdoor air[3], which can have an influence on concentration and health.  For instance, a high CO2 level affects our cognitive performance and can cause a headache, burning eyes or an annoying feeling on the chest[4]. Thus, it is important to air our home frequently to lower the level of CO2. 

  • Monitoring humidity 

A high humidity level can have an effect on comfort, health and productivity[5]. People can feel tired and lethargic when they are in an environment with a high humidity rate. Therefore, monitoring humidity is an important step in achieving the ideal environment for home office.

  • Heating wisely

Being in your living room and watching a movie under a blanket does not require the same temperature than sitting at a desk for 2 hours straight. While we all know that temperature has an effect on comfort, not everyone is aware about its impact on productivity. Studies show that work performance declines by 2% per degree Celsius when the temperature is above 25°C[6]. Thus, controlling thermal conditions is key to high productivity and well-being, including at home. Giving up excessive heating or using smart thermostats, which monitor the room temperature on an ongoing basis, will not only allow energy savings, but will also create a healthy indoor environment.

  • Controlling and reducing the noise 

Sound is one of the principal factors affecting our productivity. Annoying noise sources such as conversations, ringing phones or air conditioning have a negative impact on the quality of our work[7]. To avoid significant loss of performance at home, we have to make sure to choose a silent room, far from background noises.  

While spending a lot of time at home working, the quality of the indoor climate is decisive for our performance and ability to concentrate. Some smart home devices, such as Netatmo’s Smart Indoor Air Quality Monitor, can help create the optimum conditions and boost productivity and well-being while working from home. They monitor CO2 level, temperature, humidity and noise, and alert us on our smartphone if one of them is too high. We can therefore take the necessary actions to improve our home’s indoor air quality and purify the environment. 

[1] Coronavirus and homeworking in the UK: April 2020, Office for National Statistics 

[2] Understanding Society Covid-19 Study

[3] United States Environmental Protection Agency 

[4] Ibid. 

[5] Air humidity requirements for human confort, Jorn Toftum, P. Ole Fanger, 1999 

[6] Control of temperature for health and productivity in offices, Olli Seppanen, William J. Fisk, David Faulkner, 2004

[7] The effect of sound on office productivity, CM Mak, YP Lui, 2011

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