I don't dream of labour...but do I dream of hybrid working?
A new study says hybrid workers sleep more, eat better and exercise more
image Euphoria, HBO
words Megan Wallace
As you might know, we live in a capitalist society. This means we have to exchange copious hours of our one wild and precious life for numbers in a bank account, which are necessary in order to gain access to things like food and shelter. The long and the short of it? Work: we've got to do it, even if we hate it (at least until we get another socio-economic system over the line).
But, post-pandemic, the landscape of work has changed a lot and we can now happily dance on the grave of the 9 to 5. After lockdowns normalised the joys of WFH, we're no longer forced to don business casual attire and commute to an office with fluorescent lighting five times a week. And there are plenty of benefits to this: reclaiming our morning for a lie-in rather than a sweaty train journey and no more passive aggressively beefing with the woman from accounts who refuses to stop using your office mug.
While it would admittedly be good to never, ever return to these stuffy boxes of grey carpets and roller blinds, employers love to have people around for in-person meetings and whatnot. In a compromise between workers (who're increasingly hard to engage and retain) and businesses who want to make the most of their city centre buildings and see camaraderie between workers, hybrid working or spending a couple of days in the office and a couple of days WFH has become more common.
And new research says that hybrid working like this could be seriously beneficial for our health. Specifically, a survey conducted by IWG (the world's largest workspace network, who admittedly have a vested interest in advocating for hybrid working) polled 2000 hybrid workers and discovered that they were sleeping and exercising more and eating better than before the pandemic.
Those polled reported undertaking an average of 4.7 hours of exercise a week, as opposed to 3.4 hours before the pandemic, completing activities like walking, running and strength training. They also said they were getting more kip, with their new morning lie-in adding up to 71 extra hours of sleep a year. 70% of respondents also said that they had more time to prepare a nutritious breakfast every day and more than half have been able to spend more time cooking nutritious meals during the week. Fruit and veg consumption reportedly rose by an average of 46% and 44%, respectively, compared to pre-pandemic levels.
But, then again, this isn't exactly surprising, is it? It's obvious that hybrid working and WFH is better for work-life balance. Less unnecessary hours wasted travelling to work, the ability to stick on some laundry after a meeting, and cook a quick, healthy meal for lunch rather than wasting money on an uninspiring meal deal.
As long as we have to work, long may hybrid working reign.
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