As the work-from-anywhere culture has exploded over the last year and a half, more of us are experiencing screen burnout. Smart home design is rich with brilliant technology for comfort, health, and security—but are you using it in all the ways you could be?
Take a look at how a South Florida homeowner utilizes his smart home to support daily well-being.
I thrive in the work-from-home lifestyle. It suits me. Even pre-pandemic, it was my modus operandi. Of course, pre-pandemic, the time I spent working from my home office was broken up with in-person meetings with clients in conference rooms and restaurants or at networking events and happy hours.
While the world is slowly emerging from its Covid cocoon, the past 18 months have contributed to my own Zoom fatigue. Those of us who had already embraced WFH prior to 2020 are just as susceptible. Every meeting had been via a screen. So were those networking events and happy hours. Time spent catching up with my friends and my parents in their retirement community was as well. All that virtual face time was intense and I felt worn down.
For my own well-being (and sanity) I decided to proactively combat this issue. Turns out my smart home can be used for more than creating the perfect home-theater atmosphere and alerting me to visitors. It can actually counter the effects of all this darn technology—ironic, isn’t it? Even though we’re transitioning back to more in-person interactions, I still use the measures I implemented during safer-at-home orders. It makes Zooming more enjoyable—and if things close down again, I already have a healthy routine in place.
First, when I take a virtual meeting, I make sure to turn off self-view so I’m not constantly checking in on what I look like during the call. Second, I’ve set my monitor further back to create more space between myself and the faces on the screen as well as to create a more natural scale for myself on the call.
Through my Crestron Home system, I’ve created a pre-programmed scene specific for meetings—plus an exit scene for a “refresh.” I simply say, “Run the meeting scene” and the windows opposite my desk silently lower part-way (so I can take a break from the screen by glancing at the view while not washing out my face with intense outside light), the overhead fixtures dim, my floor lamps adjust to a flattering warm glow, and any music I may have been playing stops. The thermostat also adjusts to make the room just a touch cooler. When the meeting is over and I’m offscreen, I say, “Run post-meeting scene.” The shades rise, the lights gradually brighten, and my exit-Zoom playlist starts. Total, effortless control over my space and energy.
The same goes for social video calls. While I’m getting together in person more often now, it’s still more convenient to use Crestron HomeTime to chat with long-distance family and friends through my TV. I can stand, stretch, pace, or even stroll on the treadmill rather than slouching at the desk or on my couch.
Throughout the day my virtual assistant—in my case, Josh—reminds me to get away from my desk. I take a break, move my body, and look away from the computer. I also love Josh’s natural voice recognition for this, so I can say what I need without swiping or tapping. Meanwhile, my highly customizable Ketra fixtures, with their circadian lighting abilities, keep me in tune with natural light’s rhythms throughout the day.
When work’s done, it’s a simple voice command to “Turn off the lights and play Dua Lipa outside.” The technology fades into the background so I can focus on something else. One less screen for me to look at.
Responsive Living, the term coined by Acoustic Architects founders, Aaron Flint and Spencer Hauldren, is the concept of seamlessly enhancing the client’s unique lifestyle using smart home technology. Responsive Living allows you to interact with your space via touch input, voice command, and predictive automation, placing you in full control of your home.
If you would like to learn more about integrating new systems into your smart home system, feel free to connect with us. We will be happy to schedule a demo with you.
For more information, visit acousticarchitects.net.
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