January can be a gloomy month. With the Christmas season over, temperatures still dropping, and daylight minimal, it can feel like a bit of a slog.
But while staying home may seem tempting during this period, it’s worth considering the benefits of going into the office.
In this article, we’ll discuss how doing so can benefit your body, mind, and work as we head into 2024.
1. You’ll create variety in your day
Though it may feel like you’re protecting yourself from the cold, staying cooped up at home can actually make days feel repetitive and increase stress.
Dr. Paul S. Pottinger, a professor and director at the University of Washington Medical Center, suggests that a balanced routine—one that’s predictable yet flexible—can help.
Heading into the office is the ideal way to do this, as a daily commute gives some structure to your day.
But once you’ve arrived, even simple interactions, like chatting with a colleague or the barista at a coffee shop, offer a useful change of pace.
2. It will help you maintain healthy routines
Darker days and bad weather can make it hard to keep up healthy routines. For example, consistent sleep is important for good health. But many people’s sleep habits suffer during the colder months.
According to the NHS, adults generally need between seven to nine hours of sleep each night, all year round. Not getting enough sleep or oversleeping can lead to health issues like high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and obesity.
When working from home, it’s easy to fall into irregular sleep patterns. However, having a regular commute can help you stick to a more consistent sleep schedule, which is beneficial for your overall health.
Another challenge that can become more pronounced in January is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. While working from home offers many benefits, it’s important to remember that it can blur the lines between work and personal time.
Working from an office can provide some much-needed separation between your professional and personal life—which can go a long way in protecting your mental well-being during the wintertime.
3. You’ll be exposed to more natural light
During the winter months, many people in the UK experience a drop in Vitamin D levels because they spend less time outdoors in natural light.
Among other things, Vitamin D is essential for supporting your immune system and helping you fight off illnesses. Low levels can also lead to feelings of fatigue and tiredness.
The darker days can also contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition linked to reduced sunlight exposure. Symptoms of SAD include irritability, low mood, and a lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy, affecting about one in three people in the UK.
Getting more natural light can help combat these issues. Natural light improves sleep quality, boosts Vitamin D levels, and reduces the strain that comes from using artificial lighting for extended periods.
At Uncommon, we understand the benefits of natural light for your well-being and work performance. That’s why our spaces are specifically designed to make the most of natural light.
4. It’ll be easier to stay active
Adding some movement to your day can help keep you motivated, especially during the early months of the year. When working from home, some find it challenging to stay active. Free time—if you allow yourself any—often gets filled with household chores or personal to-dos.
However, heading into the office gives you a reason to move a bit more. Even just walking to the bus or train makes a difference. And if your office is closer to a gym or fitness centre, it’s much easier to fit in some exercise before or after work, or even during your lunch break.
At Uncommon, we make it even simpler to stay active during your workday. For example, we offer complimentary fitness classes—from yoga to HIIT and kickboxing—at our workspaces, and the wellness studio at our Liverpool Street workspace even has Peloton bikes.
These facilities, paired with our onsite showers and bike storage, make it easier for you to include movement in your daily routine, helping you feel more energised and focused.
5. You’ll feel less isolated
Social connections play a huge part in our mental well-being, especially during the winter months when things can feel a bit down.
Going to the office gives you a chance to interact with others, which can lift your spirits. This is even more true if you’re part of a coworking space like Uncommon.
At Uncommon, we aim to create a community where people feel connected. Whether you’re using a private office or hot desking in our coworking spaces, you’ll have numerous opportunities to interact with others.
We also have a regular events calendar that offers chances to meet new people and build relationships, making your workday more enjoyable and fulfilling.
6. Your surroundings are designed for work
A workspace environment significantly influences your mood and work effectiveness. At home, you may well be working in the same place where you relax or hang your washing. But at Uncommon, we’ve specifically designed our spaces to support productivity.
You’ll find practical features like soundproof phone booths for private conversations, modern meeting rooms for important discussions, and comfortable break-out areas for brainstorming or team meals.
We’ve also paid attention to details that contribute to a better working atmosphere. For instance, our buildings have regulated airflow to ensure a comfortable setting.
These elements combine to create a workspace that is conducive to your overall well-being and work performance.
7. It’s the best environment for strategic planning
January is a time when many businesses focus on planning and setting goals for the year ahead. While you can of course do this remotely, meeting in person can help align the team and build camaraderie.
In-person meetings offer a straightforward way to discuss plans and objectives. Plus, being in the office allows for casual team lunches or coffee breaks, which can provide welcome pitstops amid taxing planning sessions.
Setting goals together in person helps everyone start the year on the same page and stay motivated to reach their goals.
Find an office that nourishes your mind, body, and business
While working from home might seem appealing during the winter months, going into the office has many benefits, too. It can improve your physical health, mental well-being, and work performance.
If you’re considering a new office space for the new year, Uncommon has exceptional spaces for work in key areas across London, including Liverpool Street, Borough, Fulham, and Highbury & Islington, with a new space opening in Holborn early 2024.
To see what we have to offer, book a tour with us today.