top of page

Are You A Home Office Lover Or A Hater?

Noeli Naima is Heartegy’s Co-Founder & CEO, a unique Brazilian blend combining over twenty years of experience in Holistic Coaching (Corporate Wellness & Stress Prevention through Naturopathy, Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda Medicine and Psycho-Aromatherapy) with Cutting-edge Strategies (Neuroscience, Vibrational Recalibration, Positive Intelligence) and New Work Analytics (Applied Change, 360 feedback and Vibrational Reading).

 
Executive Contributor Noeli Naima

Working from a home office can have positive and negative impacts on health and well-being, its effects varying from person to person… So, how does it affect you?


Happy woman sitting on white chair

In this article, we will explore how to make the most of it, expanding our horizons and integrating new ways of working for the benefit of all.

 

For some employees, working from home is a big release from long commuting hours and the key to more quality time with family and better focus.


Other employees who are more extroverted may need the office catwalk to feel alive, making them feel quite lonely without the buzzing daily routine.


Some will embrace the home office as a gift, while others experience it as a loss of social integration.

Let’s take my client Sarah as our Avatar to illustrate the point of

this article.

 

Social life’s death


Sarah is a single child from a family with almost no social interactions outside the family setting; she was never married or had long relationships with a shared home partner (not even a roomie). She is over 50, loves to dress up for work, sing in her car on her way to work, say good morning with an air kiss to the other girls, and exchange the most recent gossip at the coffee machine.


Her work shaped her social life, and without that frame, Sarah feels deprived, sick and lonely as never before.


She’s bored, everything is so quiet, and she describes those days as “dropping by slowly with very formal meetings not giving a real chance to interact”. She could understand why she was working from home during the pandemic; however she did not see the reason to continue afterwards and started to feel more anxious and helpless. Her mind started playing games on her and to cope with the additional stress, she was overeating and drinking way too much alcohol. She had gained almost 10 kg and was on the rise without knowing how to stop this unwanted consequence of her situation.


Desperate about the vicious circle she finds herself in, she came to seek my advice, subconsciously knowing that her case could not be unique and that there needed to be a better way to cope for her. And she was right; of course, we have had many similar cases from other companies popping up everywhere.


It’s a new work conflict asking for new inclusion strategies and solutions. If Sarah can’t work in a hybrid system, we are facing a new level of diversity and exclusion here, not cultural or foreign, but actually, a new age where loneliness has become a corporate theme for home office employees.


To feel alive, many of these employees must be shown how to find new pathways back to social life outside the office limelight.


So, how do we create new strategies that work for them when everything already seems to be outside of their comfort zone? We figure it out by walking the path with them, as each client requires a tailored and unique plan that suits their needs.

 

The big lessons from pandemics


Corporations learned through the pandemic that we don't need all employees sitting at the offices daily for the work to be done efficiently.


Scientific research conducted during pandemics used home office productivity as a parameter, showing results of over 80% more productivity due to decreased commuting stress. However, there still are around 30% of employees that feel like Sarah; what they call life has been rapidly extinguished with the home office model. No after-hour drinks, no lunches together, no gossiping around the printer or at the coffee machine.


Sarah feels excluded by being forced to work from home and thinks her Boss has something personal against her. How could she be forced to stay at home when she feels like she’s the life of the office?

 

The mental health taboo


Mental health themes that arose throughout the home office experiences led us to work with our life coaching clients in the company departments that sensed a calling for integrating a new diversity modality quite new to the traditional DEI hubs: lonely home office employees.


How do we keep them socialising and feeling connected to the team?


Which strategies are working for them now?

 

Let’s name some factors to consider before we deep-dive into the mental health aspects.

 

Positive impacts of the Home Office:

 

  1. Reduced commuting: eliminating the need to commute can lower stress levels and provide more time for relaxation, exercise, or family activities, and it is environmentally more sustainable.

  2. Flexibility: Home office work can provide greater flexibility in scheduling, allowing individuals to balance work and personal responsibilities better.

  3. Customized work environment: Employees can create a workspace that suits their needs, potentially reducing discomfort and distractions.

 

Negative impacts:

 

  1. Social isolation: Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation, as employees may have limited opportunities for in-person social interaction with colleagues.

  2. Sedentary behaviour: Without the need to move around an office environment, individuals may be more prone to prolonged periods of sitting, which can have negative health effects.

  3. Work-life balance challenges: Some individuals may struggle to establish boundaries between work and personal life, leading to longer hours and increased stress.


Individual needs


It's important to note that the impact of working from a home office can depend on an individual's specific circumstances, including their job responsibilities, personal preferences, and living situation.

Employers can support their remote workers' well-being by providing resources for maintaining physical and mental health, promoting work-life balance, and fostering social connections among remote employees. Employees can create a more balanced home office environment with healthy habits such as setting regular breaks, incorporating physical activity into their daily routine, and maintaining regular social interactions.


In Sarah’s case, she needed a hand to get out of her Home Office blues and brought her Home Office colleagues along with her. Together, we created a hybrid proposal for her employer, including individual plans tailored for each person’s reintegration into social life.


It brings nothing to sit at home making money and paying our bills when it’s making us extremely unhappy; that would be a practice of incivility on ourselves.

 

Solutions for home office blues


You can embrace change and build bridges to socialise not only with your work colleagues,

You can run during lunch with a local jogging group (are you acquainted with your neighbours?), do Nordic walking, or have a good swim. You can go for lunch in a new restaurant and eat something unexpectedly good.


There is a life waiting to be discovered outside the office walls, and even “office animals” that can't imagine life without going to the office to work (the chained elephant effect ) can find a new connection to work and life by getting more busy with life than with the office buzz.


Sarah decided to change everything about feeling down about her Home Office.


She obtained a budget from her employer for one-on-one Coaching and decided to apply for another position where a hybrid system was possible. She also managed to lose the extra weight (we designed a Cleanse based on Ayurveda) and get her social life back on track, becoming a “home office” ambassador and forging solutions for her fellow colleagues that continued in full home office settings. She helped them to remember that everyone has not only a voice but also a choice and that it’s possible to change without losing your job.

 

Here are some of the general solutions we created together with Sarah and her employer


  1. Acknowledging that the Home Office setting is not healthy for everyone and looking at the individual needs with care. Helping employees to apply to a different position and find another job where needed, instead of forcing people into situations they can’t deal with.

  2. Hybrid Systems for those employees who are happy to adapt and embrace the diversity of both options.

  3. New Work mentality and flexibility for Home Office employees needing help and socialisation strategies finding new ways to feel satisfied, included and social again.

 

New socialization pathways


While we don't need complicated new work rules to socialise, we may need some strategies to start with sometimes. Socialising means finding contrast and meaning in our daily lives. We are a primarily behavioural species, and we need other humans to feel safe and loved, talk, and communicate on all levels so we don’t feel isolated.


Building bridges for people like Sarah to learn how to enjoy solitude during Home Office days and love socialising at the office was crucial for her well-being. She was eager to adapt and evolve, integrating yoga and aromatherapy as a part of her one-on-one Coaching Sessions.

 

In our coaching sessions, we first explored her deep dissatisfaction with sitting alone at home. Childhood dynamics arose, like being loud and noisy to get her busy parents’ attention. Through Vibrational Recalibrations we reached her little girl and gave her the awareness that today she is loved and well, therefore not needing to be loud and noisy all the time to get attention and validation. We also addressed her food cravings, and she willingly went for a Metabolic Cure cycle to detoxify her body, losing her extra weight as a consequence of it. We also worked with her breath to help deepen it and deal with the rise of anxiety when her breath was getting shallow; with it she even managed to get control over her anxiety, avoiding it turning into a panic attack.


She enjoyed the flexibility and physical strength training through yoga while using aromatherapy to relax and enjoy her breathing exercises. Initially being very new in the energy work, she ended up loving the effect of the Vibrational Recalibration sessions as they felt like guided meditations and proved very effective in moving towards her goals with more and more flow and enjoyment.


Coming to the end of our 6-month contract with Sarah, she was in a good mental space and physical shape, feeling resilient and confident about her most recent job and living choices as she had moved from her former flat in the city outskirts to a contact-friendly area around the town centre.


She now loves the variety and options of hybrid work, relaxing from the intense grip that her office once had on her. As she went on with the metabolic cure, Sarah’s awareness of her food and drinking addictions became the key to seeing how far she was ready to go for her inner peace and compromises where certainly needed, such as stopping drinking 5 coffees with tons of milk & sugar (now it's one coffee in the morning with oat milk). Also refraining from snacks between meals, principally sweets, and learning how to combine healthy food with some comfort food.


She renewed the contract with us for another 6 months as she wishes for a life partner, and we are helping her hone her skills.

 

We have been guiding New Work Strategies, D&I, since 2020. We look forward to collaborations on New Work DEI.


We are heartegy, bringing the heart into all strategies, in offices or life, uniting teams, spirit, body and mind.


If you face challenges inside your home office life, step out of this toxic cycle and get in touch for a virtual tea.


 

Noeli Naima, Heartegy’s Founder & CEO

Noeli Naima is Heartegy’s Co-Founder & CEO, a unique Brazilian blend combining over twenty years of experience in Holistic Coaching (Corporate Wellness & Stress Prevention through Naturopathy, Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda Medicine and Psycho-Aromatherapy) with Cutting-edge Strategies (Neuroscience, Vibrational Recalibration, Positive Intelligence) and New Work Analytics (Applied Change, 360 feedback and Vibrational Reading).


She is a living example of how outdated corporate behaviours pull us down while updating our approach and focusing on the human aspects elevates us.

In her Project Soul Soup 4 Coaches book series (available through Amazon), she discusses how combining energy work, coaching, and health prevention can positively transform corporate & life environments enabling them to soar.

تعليقات


CURRENT ISSUE

  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04

CHANNELS

bottom of page