If you suffer from technology FOMO (that is, fear of missing out on a single notification, text or Instagram opportunity), you’re not alone. Recent surveys by Pew Internet Research found that 67 per cent of people find themselves checking their phones for messages or calls, even if they don’t hear their phone vibrating or ringing; 74 per cent of adults say they use social networking sites and 44 per cent say they slept with their phone or tablet next to their bed for fear of missing notifications and calls. Without really trying, we’re constantly plugged in, signed in and hardwired for commenting, liking, posting and sharing. We are programmed to be available – to our jobs, our friends and our families – and often feel a heightened sense of responsibility as a result, says Lesley Seeger, staff therapist at Northwestern University. This stems from the fact that we think we’ll be seen as a weak communicator if we don’t respond right away, or that we lack commitment, and so it becomes hard to just turn off our phones.
A recent digital detox’ experiment by Kovert Designs found that, after three days of disconnection, people experienced improvements to their posture, their relationships with the people around them, had improved memory and even began thinking about the big picture’ more – contemplating career and relationship changes. Almost as though they had forgotten that there’s a world outside of that 14- by 7-centimetre screen (the approximate dimensions of an iPhone 6, FYI). But if you do look up and around, you’ll notice that there is, in fact, a space around you that can be filled with wonderful, technology-free things that can improve both your wellbeing and productivity. A 2010 study by the American Psychological Association found that office workers were 32 per cent more productive when allowed to surround themselves with as many plants, objects and pictures as they desired. A similar study by the British Psychological Society found that the colour blue provokes an approach-based, exploratory motivational state, which is conducive to creativity .
To help you refresh your space in 2016, the WH&F team has curated a collection of low-tech accessoires to enhance your home work space..
Ring Mirror by Curio
From $250 at clickonfurniture.com.au
Mr Marius Origami 5 Drawer Desk
$1695 at clickonfurniture.com.au
ie Chair by Harto
Once upon a time, before water bottles with in-built filters, there were cups. Fill a jug with eau de tap and hydrate the old-school way with this vessel that doubles as desk candy. $3.95 at zanui.com.au
Tread the line between shoes and slippers in what we’re calling shlippers. These home office kicks from Hobes come in tranquil pastels including summer’s iciest blue.
$169 at hobes.com.au
Soft furnishings act as a visual cue referencing comfort – even if you’re not snuggling up. Art Club’s cushions in inspired prints and palettes are an easy way to turn your study into a sanctuary.
$69.95 each at elvahem.com (also Arlo reclaimed denim and wool rug by Hammer and Thread, $499, upcyclestudio.com.au)
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