As many of us shift gears and move more of our day to day business operations (at least temporarily) into our homes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin. Keeping productivity high and distraction low feels obvious, but it seems anyone you ask will tell you that having a home environment that feels customized and in-sync with your personal rhythms is arguably equally important.
Read on for 4 ways you can optimize your at-home working environment:
HOME OFFICE ESSENTIALS #1: ELIMINATE CLUTTER…
The Harvard Business Review wrote a great article touting the benefits, both physically and mentally, of keeping your working space feeling organized and orderly. Our favorite tip? Regularly tidying your workspace, rather than letting things accumulate. Since many of us are blending both living and working space currently, this includes simple tips like: taking your dishes to the kitchen rather than letting them hang out beside you at your desk, or putting a book back on the shelf from which it came, vs stacking a pile precariously alongside your laptop. A clutter-free workspace supports your wellness. Never again have to dig through a drawer for your Peppermint Halo; you’ll find it tucked neatly inside our Home Farmacy.
HOME OFFICE ESSENTIALS #2: … BUT SURROUND YOURSELF WITH WHAT FEELS GOOD FOR YOU
That picture of you and your friends in Vegas? Keep it. Your favorite houseplant? Move it into view. Your grade 6 spelling bee trophy? Display it with pride! There’s an old proverb that says, ‘your home is your castle’. Roughly translated, this refers to your home as a place of refuge that evokes a feeling of safety. ‘A place of refuge’ means something different to each of us, but the sentiment is the same: you will feel your most productive in a working space that is reflective of what makes you, you. One of our work-from-home must haves is a diffuser. You can choose the one that is most aesthetically pleasing to you or that best matches your decor, knowing the benefits are the same. Clear, refreshed air and the ability to personalize the experience, depending on your mood. Some of our favorite blends to boost your spirits and your productivity while working from home are Stress Release to keep nerves soothed with lavender and geranium, and Deep Breath to keep you feeling sharp, with eucalyptus and lemon.
HOME OFFICE ESSENTIALS #3: STRIVE FOR PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION
Work-life balance. We’ve all heard the term, but what does it really mean under unconventional circumstances? When your home and your workspace have melded into one, it’s easy for lines to blur and before you know it, you've got a sandwich in one hand, your laptop in the other, and it’s all happening on your bed in your pyjamas in the middle of the afternoon. It’s prudent to create boundaries when your office suddenly becomes your living room. Designate a working area, ideally at a proper desk or table with a supportive chair. Set and stick to your working hours in this area, wherever possible. Stock this area with products you can use to treat yourself to a moment of wellness: a spritz of your favorite mist, like Cool Spray to uplift you or Yoga to ground you, or roll-on Energy to get you through the afternoon without a 2nd cup of coffee.
HOME OFFICE ESSENTIALS #4: CONSIDER A ROOM WITH A VIEW
Sitting near a window may feel counterproductive; aren’t you going to be tempted to stare longingly through it, yearning for the other side of the glass? As it turns out, all that natural daylight during your work day is really good for you. It can help you feel alert and refreshed, which can in turn, as a side bonus, create the conditions for a better night’s rest. An article written by the Harvard Business Review goes as far as to say the #1 office perk is natural light and a view of the outdoors. Lack of light can make you feel tired and sluggish, so go ahead and push your makeshift desk up against your nearest window. While you’re at it, place a houseplant or two; studies show that employees are 15% more productive in workplaces with greenery.
Remember that like any significant shift in routine, transitioning from an office culture to a work-at-home environment will take some getting used to. It’s important to be gentle with ourselves as we navigate the inevitable ups and downs of settling into new habits and strategies for success. With practice, some laughs (and maybe tears!) along the way, working from home can be as fulfilling and professionally rewarding as we decide it can be.