It can be hard to find a space that promotes focus, productivity, and a zen workflow when you’re working from home with kids running around in the background, noises of the tv, and a million other distractions to derail you from your workday. However, even if you only have a small corner of the house, it’s still possible to create the zen at-home office that you need. Here are some of our top recommendations that have helped our team immensely while working from home over the years.
Lighting is everything.
The lighting in your space will greatly impact your mood and productivity. According to the National Institutes for Mental Health, there is a nucleus in your thalamus that processes the input from your retinas. This brain region also regulates your emotional responses and sends these signals to other areas of your body. Not only does light affect the ambiance of the room, but studies have also shown light can decrease depression scores and even increase cognitive performance such as reaction time and activation. Work near natural lighting if possible. Working by natural lighting boosts Vitamin D, wards of seasonal depression, improves sleep, and reduces health risks associated with fluorescent lighting. If you aren’t able to find a space with good lighting or with natural light, consider investing in an inexpensive therapy lamp and stay away from overhead fluorescents that have been known to trigger migraines.
Surround yourself with plants.
Working in the presence of plants has been proven to boost memory, concentration, and improve performance. Having some greenery nearby accelerates the healing process, generates compassion and empathy, and reduces stress. Certain house plants will also help boost oxygen levels and remove pollutants and toxins from the air, such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. Studies have also proven that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15 percent!). Certain plants are also very inexpensive and easy to take care of, regardless of where you are keeping them. So start filling that corner of yours with plants!
Organize, organize, organize.
An organized office will promote an organized workday, which will lead to higher productivity levels. This is also something that your Virtual Assitant can help you with. Make sure that in a convenient place — so you can access what you need at the right times and not take too many breaks. This also means stocking your desk up with color-coded pens, sticky notes, notebooks, calendars, to-do lists, and anything else that you might need to keep yourself mentally organized as well. For more tips on how to organize your desk, check out our blog post on How to Feng Shui your Office Space.
Add your personal style.
Make your office your own. Make it reflects your personal style and vibe, and make it a place that you feel excited to hang out in. Decorating and organizing your space (whether it’s the island of the kitchen or the corner of the guestroom) brings energy and personality to the space. Choose office supplies that is your favorite color. Just like you would in a cubicle or office, hang pictures of your family, have your favorite pens, maybe a few inspirational quotes, or a vision board for you to glance at when you need a pick-me-up. You can also opt for coffee mugs and photos that inspire your creativity. You could also add some stylish candles to help set the mood!
Ignite your senses.
Speaking of candles, we can’t forget to mention the power of aromatherapy. Studies have shown that aromatherapy works by stimulating scent receptors in your nose, sending messages to your nerves through your limbic system. When designing your work-from-home space, consider choosing a stylish desktop plugin diffuser with your favorite scents. A good old-fashioned candle will work as well, but be mindful of the scents that you are choosing and why you are choosing them. Different scents have different effects on your brain and your body. Scents like lavender and chamomile relax you, while others peppermint and sweet orange invigorate the senses. If you need an energy-boost, select uplifting citrus blends or opt for calming varieties on chaotic days or stressful days.
Take care of your body.
Comfort is key. It’s impossible to work at your full potential if your body is not comfortable. Make sure that your desk and chair are comfortable for your body. If your lower back gets sore from sitting for long periods, one 2018 study suggests you can reduce your pain by 50 percent by using a variable-height or standing desk. If you don’t have money to get a standing desk, stacking boxes or large books will work as well. If you get chilly, make sure to leave a blanket or sweater hanging from your desk chair. Staying comfortable directly impacts your productivity, so do not slack in this area!
Whether you have an entire room designated as your at-home office, or you have a small corner of the kitchen table, these ideas can be implemented in any environment and they have been helping our Rivvly team for years! We hope that these ideas can help promote productivity and reduce stress in your workday like it has for us. For more tips on bringing zen to your workflow, follow us on Instagram.
The Rivvly Team