Let’s all be honest here—working from home is not as pleasant as it sounds. We all understand the perils, from crying kids in the background and a floral couch instead of a black office chair for your workstation to people coming and going behind you while trying to close a deal and the smell of food becoming more of an irritation than a welcome distraction. While quarantine dictates that we can’t go back to our usual workplace anytime soon, there is a ceiling to what we can tolerate as work-life balance at home.
Worry no more and see how you can transform your domestic sanctuary into a powerhouse of productivity while keeping daily stress at bay:
Plan your OOTD.
While most of us would like to make it about the H part of WFH, it is important to remember that we are still working, albeit the not-so office-y environment. Going through the same morning routine you’ve had before the quarantine can help condition your mindset away from domestic concerns and back into the workplace. It doesn’t have to be the usual corporate suit attire, but something sharper and sleeker than a sweatshirt-and-sweatpants number. Try going for a laidback look—for girls, your favorite white oxford button-down shirt and cropped skinny jeans paired with a pair of crisp, white sneakers will do the trick. For guys, a classic outfit consisting of a black round-neck shirt paired with gray chinos and white sneakers is both casual and effortlessly cool.
Make sure your area is clean and organized.
Marie Kondo was onto something when she popularized the KonMari habit of cleaning up. A cluttered and dirty workspace is distracting and can drain your mental energy.
Remove that old décor behind you that was given as a wedding souvenir ten years ago, and trade in an indoor plant for that archaic lampshade that makes your workstation look more like a scene from the Godfather than an awe-inspiring modern area of productivity. Less is more here.
Work near a window
Whether it’s in an airplane or your office cubicle, there’s a reason the window seat is much coveted. Sitting near the window gives you a view to rest your eyes on while you’re constructing your next sales pitch or preparing for that big marketing presentation. Having your workstation near the window makes your area feel more spacious and gives you more access to sunlight and greenery, two things that will help you feel awake.
For your view of the outdoors to be more relaxing than vexatious, however, check that your garden or yard is well-maintained. Have your foliage and home regularly fumigated by a reliable pest control service provider to ensure that there won’t be any insects crawling from your garden and into your indoor workstation anytime soon.
Put on your favorite Spotify playlist.
Music has relaxing benefits while your mind is working. Having your favorite playlist in the background adds a personal touch to your workstation and helps you focus more, as well. You can use upbeat lounge music for morning work and lighter, happier tunes as you progress towards the end of the day.
Add ambient lighting for a warm glow.
Stark white lights can be severe and make you feel like you’re working in a laboratory. The trick here is to layer white light with warm ambient lighting to create the right glow for your office nook at home. The warm light makes your workstation feel cozier while the white balances out the shadows and adds brightness to the room. Use a Scandinavian-inspired lamp that acts both as a light source and an accent to your workspace.
Use aromatherapy to keep you awake and stimulated.
Aromatherapy has many uses, and it can be incredibly helpful in creating the right mood for your WFH workspace. Use a few drops of rosemary oil to help increase memory retention or a combination of lemon and peppermint to keep you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed while working.
Keep the coffee machine on.
Having the scent of coffee brewing the whole day can help take you back to workplace mode. Keep a small coffee machine nearby so you can quickly grab a cup of java when you start to feel drowsy from all the online meetings and emails. Create your pantry-style coffee bar by putting a few sachets of coconut sugar, a few bamboo stirrers, and your favorite coffee mug on a trolley or side table that’s within reach of your workspace.
With a few adjustments and a lot of creativity, you can transform your WFH experience into a pleasant, even enjoyable one. You may find that your productivity is up, and the option to do it permanently may open up.