Working remotely creates an opportunity to improve the wellbeing of workers. No more long commutes, no more fighting for kitchen space at lunch, no more struggles with deep-thinking in an open-office filled with noise. However, people report working longer hours, working more intensively and having difficulty creating a work-life balance which ultimately leads to poor mental well-being1.
Physical inactivity is now the fourth leading cause of death world-wide and is regarded as the ‘new smoking’3. Whilst new technology offers potential benefits (e.g step-counters) eHealth only generally reaches a small part of the population that are already interested in fitness or data capture3. In order to tackle the wider impact we need solutions that can meet the needs of people across a wide range of abilities and aspirations.
eWorkLife is a collaborative research project between our clients, the eWorkLife team who are a collaboration between University College London, the University of Birmingham, and Northumbria University. It aims to provide evidence-based strategies to support desk-based workers’ physical and mental wellbeing. It builds on a decade of research into how to best manage our digital devices to support both the work and non-work parts of our lives.
eWorkLife has the goal of identifying strategies to support the future of desk-based working whether that be in an office, working remotely or a hybrid. Passio is delighted to be involved in one of their most interesting projects, which seeks to understand how music can foster both positive working mindsets and break-taking behaviour in desk-based workers.
eWorkLife Radio is a browser based app that promotes periods of focus and breaks away from desks while people are working.
The platform encourages good break taking habits through the use of music and tips and advice. The app has two modes, Focus mode and Break mode. Each mode plays different music to ensure the right mindset for the right context. Instead of adding to the barrage of alarms and notifications we have all become accustomed to, eWorkLife Radio uses ambient queues to indicate that the mode is about to change. When the timer runs out, the app gently transitions the user into the next mode by fading the music for that mode out, before starting the timer and playlist for the next mode Think of it as an enhancement to the Pomodoro technique!
Data is collected on people’s work and break-taking behaviour in order to better understand how music can best support these two activities.
Passio has completed development for phase 1, the project will now undergo a research trial to determine its effectiveness as we plan for phase 2.
How do I get involved?
Please visit this website for information on how to be involved in the research study.