We may be living, working and playing in a completely different environment to our ancestors but can we learn about how our evolutionary path to unlock greater productivity and happiness? This study, Evolution in the Office: How Evolutionary Psychology Can Increase Employee Health, Happiness, and Productivity, by Carey J. Fitzgerald and Kimberly M. Danner discusses the positive influences of our ancestral environment. Research have found positive and psychological outcomes for employees when factors from our evolutionary past are incorporated into the workplace. Here are the highlights from the research that we highly recommend you reading in full.
The importance of Vitamin D produced via the absorption of UVB rays have shown to improve mood and decrease depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder from decreased availability of the sun is a real thing during the winter! The authors site that sunlight exposure through workplace windows has been found to be positively correlated with worker job satisfaction and their general well-being on the job, as well as negatively correlated with their intentions to quit.
Scientists found links between urban living and increased levels of stress and brain activity, because of this, greenery and plants may be able to combat the stress experienced from urban settings. Plants could increase one's ability to concentrate and maintain attention, as well as decrease blood pressure, stress and anxiety.
Sleeping and Exercise
Our mum always told us to get enough sleep, and that doesn't change as you get older. Additionally, getting enough exercise helps increase blood flow and oxygen intake, and decrease blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose level.
The modern workspace has been a beneficiary of social life. Informal social relationships in the workplace have both direct and moderating effects on reducing depression. This is especially a hard thing to do during the pandemic, as we are still isolated in many parts of the world.
Has these habits stayed the same, increased or decreased while we're at home? How will you adjust your new "workspace" to ensure that you're taking care of yourself?