Study Finds Up To 77% Productivity Increase for Hybrid Workers
So It’s not just about the What, Why, How, and with Whom — but now more than ever, it’s about Where we work too.
As per the first line of Getting to G.R.E.A.T.:
“A Great Life Depends on a Great Fit Between Who We Are and the Environments in which we Work and Live.”
When we say environments, we mean both internal and external environments. So that includes the quality of your headspace, the voice in your head, and externally, the industry you work in and the kinds of activities and people that surrounds you with.
But what I mean to be talking about here is the actual physical environment. Hybrid Workers. Where they work when.
After all, when Darwin taught us that the world belongs to those best adapted to their environments, he very much meant the physical environment. And yet, up until now I really don’t think we gave the actual physical environment that much weight.
Environmental and Evolutionary Psychologists say that we humans long for our ancestral home, let’s say around 2 million years ago, the lush landscapes on the Savanna.
No wonder when my last employer turned a broom closet with no windows into an office for me, the first think I did, without even thinking much about it, was to hang a big picture of a park bench in a lush and lovely garden on the wall.
Studies show that connection to nature can be a really good stress buster and blood pressure reducer for us. One 30-minute romp in the park per week has been associated with benefits for heart disease, stress, anxiety and depression: “If everyone visited their local parks for half an hour each week there would be seven per cent fewer cases of depression and nine percent fewer cases of high blood pressure.” Nature being part of our nature from so long ago.
How Far Back Hybrid?
At some point, however—researchers believe around 400,000 years ago—hominins (modern humans and our immediate ancestors) were enjoying semipermanent, more-indoor versions of “home.” Since we had by then taken control of fire, we were able to ward off dangerous animals so we could sleep and eat together in a single space.
From there we began to use closed-in spaces for more than just shelter. As communities grew larger, communal spaces were built for toolmaking, and so people could congregate, not just to make decisions affecting them all, but also to share stories and catch up on the news of the day.
Fast-forward to today, and we have bleak and barren concrete spaces where people convene, when we can, for all of these same things. This should matter to us more than we let it, because there actually are benefits to correcting the mismatch between who we are and how we live. And negative health and well-being consequences if we don’t.
Tips for Better Hybrid Spaces and Places
Research shows that we can decrease environmental mismatch and increase the health, well-being, job satisfaction, and productivity of employees, as well as the company’s bottom line.
A number of savanna-like steps include sunlight, greenery—for when we return to the office— do we always have to meet or work inside, haven’t we learned how to be outside more.
I know numbers of people who moved to houses they loved, with beautiful gardens they grew to enhance their spaces and cheer themselves us.
So, what if we made office spaces more like home, and home spaces more like the office.
Why not create physical spaces at the office that support napping, meditation, breaks, exercise. Covid gave us more space for all of these health promoting things. And why not creating better boundaries and rituals at home, more conducive to getting work done.
What modifications are you making in your spaces and places to enhance your own work and life. No better time than now. Let us know!