When it comes to working from home, you may go days without seeing a soul, days without showering, or days without feeling the sunshine outside. It can be lonely, isolating, and while everyone in office jobs daydreams of getting to work from home, those who are entrepreneurs or have remote jobs, often dream of human being interaction.
That being said, working from home most definitely has its perks, but you need to create a little sanctuary for yourself so you are limited from distractions, are inspired by your workspace, and are comfortable (and ergonomically comfy!)
1. Create an airy work space near natural light; no one is inspired while sitting in a dark cave. Just be sure to not put your computer up against a window; it’s really bad for your eyes.
2. Purchase or make a large desk so you don’t feel claustrophobic. I’m obsessed with this one I just ordered on Amazon and it was on sale, so a 63″ tabletop desk for literally under $140 AND free shipping?! Yes, please… Find it here.
3. Decorate your desk space minimally + keep your workspace organized and decluttered. Take a few minutes each morning to go through papers and get rid of junk, file away old projects or shred old records, etc. Put your pens and accessories in an organizer or your desk drawer, keep nick-nacks to a minimum, and create a desk space you want to sit at. Also, be sure to sanitize your keyboard and mouse once a week (and your cell phone!) to get rid of germy bacteria. Did you know desks can contain more bacteria than toilets?! (SixWise, 2018)
4. Keep a diffuser in the room or burn some incense. I love keeping a diffuser near my desk and playing with essential oil combos. Diffusing essential oils can help reduce unpleasant odors and airborne pathogens, relax the mind and body, relieve tension and stress, and can help improve mental clarity and clear the mind; ALL things that can be beneficial, especially if you have a desk job (Loving Essential Oils, 2018). Diffusing essential oils may also calm emotions, increase alertness, clean and purify the air, and help lift one’s mood (Loving Essential Oils, 2018). I love a glass one a company sent me a couple years ago, but I also love this little gem pictured above because it’s compact and comes with pretty decent starter oils. 5. Keep your work station ergonomic – if you don’t have a stand-up desk, be sure to purchase a laptop stand so your neck and arms don’t suffer. I have this one in gold, and also move my laptop throughout the day to areas in my house where I can stand. The kitchen counter or a fireplace mantle works great for me. If you work off a laptop, especially, make sure to set up a keyboard and a mouse rather than using your laptop keyboard and touchpad so you don’t put pressure on the nerves in your arms, fingers, hands, and rest of your body with poor posture.
6. Decorate your work space in whatever way brings you inspiration, creativity, and joy. I love having a picture of my son at my desk, cute decor on the walls, plants, my salt lamp, my journal, and my diffuser. I also keep sage and my little Buddha. They bring me joy and hopes of inspiration and good luck, and I’m always inspired to write with more flow and design more creatively when I’m surrounded by things I love.
7. Stretch and move! Be sure to stand up at least every 30 minutes, even if it’s just for 10 seconds at a time. Cosmo has a great article on 10 stretches for people who sit at a desk all day; check it out here.
8. Use your lunch break to get outside and go for a walk. Get blood flowing back into your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
- Strengthen your bones and muscles.
- Improve your mood.
- Improve your balance and coordination.
Photos by Mike Marquez, Lauren Mancke + Heather Schwartz via Unsplash
9. Surround yourself with real house plants that are easy to care for. House plants are known to help with the following:
- Reducing carbon dioxide levels
- Increasing humidity
- Reducing levels of certain pollutants, such as benzene and nitrogen dioxide
- Reducing airborne dust levels
- Keeping air temperatures down (facts via Ambius, 2018).
10. Keep a large wall or desk calendar where you see it every day so you can write out important deadlines. Working from home can be difficult to stay on-task at times, so marking important dates and deadlines is a lifesaver.
11. TAKE A LUNCH BREAK. It can be a habit to sit behind the screen all day and get so into projects you forget to eat. Unplug for at least 30 minutes to eat, take a breather, and recharge. You’ll be a better employee when you feel refreshed and re-energized after fueling on food and fresh air + a change of scenery. It’s also important to give your eyes a rest away from the computer screen. This is a great chance to sneak in your workout routine, too, if you don’t have time before or after the workday (moms, I see you).
- Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue.
- Promotes Weight Loss.
- Flushes Out Toxins.
- Improves Skin Complexion.
- Maintains Regularity.
- Boosts Immune System.
- Natural Headache Remedy.
- Prevents Cramps & Sprains.
13. Create warm, calm light at your desk space with a salt lamp. True Himalayan pinksalt lamps (HPS lamps) claim that the negative salt ions released by heating can boost blood flow, improve sleep, increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and calm allergy or asthma symptoms (Critical Cactus, 2018). I like this one, because it comes with 2 (so you can put one in your living room or your bedroom, too!)
14. Consider going to a co-working space or coffee shop a couple days a week to get human interaction and give yourself a reason to shower, do your hair, and do your makeup. But, be mindful of your spending habits, as paying for coffee and food a few times a week can add up!
15. Create a playlist to keep you calm or amped up throughout the work day. You can listen to my favorite work day playlist on Spotify here called “Chill Vibezzz.”
16. Invest in a good pair of noise cancellation headphones so you can dial into conference calls without background noise distracting you. I love my wireless white + cream Bose pair, which you can find here.
17. Dress comfortably and stay warm (or cool) enough. In the winter, you can get cold sitting in a large house and stale room. When you’re a comfortable temperature, you may be more productive, so consider using a heater if you’re cold, or sit under a fan if you run warm. Personally, I work in a room with an electric fireplace + room heater and layer so I stay warm!
18. Don’t be tempted to snack all day (unless it’s on healthy foods)! Keep junk food out of your pantry, fridge, and freezer and stock it with fresh whole foods. If snacking on processed goodies is your kryptonite, consider keeping a food journal (when you write down what you eat, you realize just what and when you’re putting things into your body!) When you have a sweet tooth, eat dark chocolate or make a nutrient-rich smoothie. When you want chips, grab nuts or popcorn or grapes instead. Load salads with protein to help you stay fuller, longer.
19. Create a little routine for yourself. For example, I get up and hustle to get my son out the door to school, so look like a bum most mornings. I realized I felt gross and down about my appearance (Gee, I wonder why?!) Slipping out of the house with no makeup on and a rat’s nest bun made me feel like I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier so I can put on makeup and brush my hair. Amazing what simple hygiene does for the soul.
20. Speaking of hygiene, don’t work in your robe all day. Sure, some days it’s nice to know you can veg and give two f*ks about the way you look, but don’t make it a habit. Depression rates may increase when you’re not giving yourself a reason to get dressed and do your hair or makeup. If you have no reason to leave the house for three days, make yourself run an errand, grab dinner or drinks with a friend, or have a play date. Give yourself a reason to take care of your appearance, because studies show that helps mental health (seriously, that’s coming from my therapist).
Those are my go-tos to stay comfy and productive throughout my work days at home! What are your tips??