Flexible work arrangements allow us to have better grip on our lives, a better work life
balance as some would say. But blurred boundaries is also a part and parcel of flexible work
arrangements. Often without a regular routine, one could fall into irregular sleep patterns,
irregular meal timings and this could impact one’s circadian cycle. So why all this hullabaloo
over circadian cycle?
At its core, circadian rhythm is our body’s internal clock which regulates various
physiological processes, including sleep, wake cycles, body temperature, hormone
production, and even our moods. This 24 hour cycle is influenced by external cues, such as
lighting and temperature. In a traditional work setting, many of us have fixed routines that
helped us keep our circadian rhythms relatively stable. Waking up, commuting to work,
working in an office under consistent lighting and then returning home usually took place at
similar times each day. However, with the rise of hybrid work, this routine has become less
consistent and our internal body clock is paying the price of it.
Chronic disruption, commonly observed in modern lifestyles, is linked to a myriad of health
issues like sleep disorders, mood disturbances, hormonal imbalances and impaired cognitive
function. Moreover, prolonged circadian misalignment is associated with a higher risk of
cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even certain cancers. Recognizing and mitigating the
impact of disruptions on the circadian cycle is crucial for maintaining optimal health and
How to Minimize this Disruption?
To mitigate these everyday challenges, several effective strategies can be embraced. First
and foremost, establishing a stable daily routine right from waking up and starting work to
taking breaks, eating, and sleeping is essential regardless of where one chooses to work.
Additionally, investing in adaptive smart lighting that mirrors natural daylight offers an
advantage with adjustable brightness and colour temperature as it simulates the external
environment, aiding in circadian regulation. It is also wise to limit screen time, particularly
an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can hamper melatonin production,
thereby affecting sleep quality. Drawing distinct boundaries, such as allocating a dedicated
workspace at home is crucial in creating a mental division between work and relaxation. In
addition, harnessing the benefits of natural light remains indispensable; even brief stints
outdoors or short walks can be instrumental in re-syncing our internal clocks.
The impact of circadian rhythm on well-being is so important that companies, especially
those with 24/7 operations, have made that extra effort to create an environment which is
conducive to one’s health, with human-centric lighting as is the case with a global
agricultural and industrial powerhouse, which has integrated innovative lighting solutions
into their 24/7 operations. Similarly, Samsung introduced “Sunnyside” an artificial window
that uses groundbreaking technology mimicking natural light patterns, another testament to
the corporate world’s acknowledgment of the impact of lighting on circadian rhythm.
In essence, it’s important to mindfully tackle challenges that may arise from irregular habits;
and strive towards maintaining a healthy worklife balance and a healthy lifestyle too,
irrespective of where you work from.