Need a workday energy boost? Just step outside

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(NEW YORK) — It’s certainly no secret by now that working from home, as cool as it may have sounded pre-pandemic, can be every bit as stressful as working in the office.  But unlike the office, there’s no occasional chat with co-workers or stepping away for a quick group lunch to alleviate the tension.

Instead, try stepping outside for a bit.

A new poll, commissioned by computer manufacturer Lenovo and conducted by OnePoll, surveyed 2,000 employees and 1,000 managers to discover that stepping outside for just 29 minutes can increase daily productivity by as much as 45%.

To go along with the research, Lenovo asked U.K. psychologist Honey Langcaster-James to compile what they’ve dubbed the RDNA, or ‘recommended daily nature allowance’ — that is, how much time we should spend outside to perform at our best.

Langcaster-James says just 20 minutes of active time outside significantly increases our feeling of well-being.  Not up for a jog?  Try upping your RDNA to 40 minutes outside in mindful contemplation to earn the same benefit.  And of course, don’t forget you can always tote your laptop and mobile phone outside and work for a while in the fresh air and sunshine — an hour seems to do wonders there.

It appears many of us have already learned this lesson.  The survey finds 40% of us find we’re more productive if we take a little outdoor exercise every day, even just a brisk walk.  Just stepping outside to stretch our legs now and again was a tonic for 62% of those surveyed. 

And if we ever do return to our offices, the survey finds 84% of us want to keep work-from-home flexibility on the table, working from home at least a few days a week.

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