“Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.” – Anonymous
Working in an office-based job is a very different idea from what it was only a few years ago. No surprise there. The world of work and the world at large has gone through a few things since then. A fair comment, I think. For a huge number of us, that meant working from home for a period of time. In some cases, this was an easy transition, in other cases, jobs had to be adapted to become productive in a new ‘home-based’ setting.
Working from home has its pros and cons. Regardless of its many pros, it does take some getting used to. However, speaking as somebody who has worked from home for around seven years, the plus points are overwhelmingly worth it.
However, many people, maybe you are one of them, are now back in ‘the office’. Perhaps you prefer it there. But some of you, undoubtedly, will not. You may be missing the lack of commute, the flexibility, the control, and the ability to run work and home lives alongside one another. You may also be missing the home comforts. When working at home you have complete control over your environment and how best to set the atmosphere for productive working. This article may not be able to help you to replicate all the conveniences of working from home, but there may be some suggestions here that help you to move your workspace closer to a comfortable working environment that feels more homely.
1. Calming Aromas
Creating a calm space works wonders for your resilience. If you are lucky enough to work for a conscious business, that allows you to make additions and changes to your immediate environment, perhaps this will be allowed. Aromas are not just ‘nice to smell’, they can conjure up feelings, be evocative, relax our muscles even. Perhaps invest in a scented candle (health and safety allowing) or a diffuser of a scent that relaxes you. For me, it would be some kind of orange scent or grass. The scent of grass transports me to calm summer days spent in fields.
2. Productivity Propelling Playlist
I am a huge fan of listening to music, or, most of the time, ‘sounds’ to get me through the workday. The right playlist can help to release tension without distracting from the task. At the same time, it will distract you from anything not in your immediate vicinity and help you to zone in on what you are doing. For playlists, make sure it is nothing that is too upbeat, and nothing you will end up singing along to. I sometimes find a ‘chill’ playlist on Spotify, very often songs without words. Sometimes classical music is the one for me. But most of the time, I am most helped into productivity by listening to rainfall or crashing waves.
I mean, to be fair, home is not always tidy. However, having an ordered space free of any unnecessary clutter will make you feel more relaxed. Resilience is aided by a lack of distraction, and mess can be very distracting. So, be conscious of the material possessions you have around you in your workspace, and consider whether you might be able to let go of any of them.
4. Comfortable Furniture
Can you invest in comfortable furniture? Will your workplace allow you to bring your favourite chair in from home? There’s nothing worse than trying to get work done when your back is aching, or your neck is getting more stiff by the second.
5. Temperature Regulation
Again. Comfort. Do you have the tools to regulate your temperature? At home, I have a blanket slung over the back of my chair, in case I get too cold. I also work by the window, which will be cracked should I become too hot. So, perhaps you can facilitate this in the office too. If not a blanket, then maybe your comfiest sweatshirt. If not a window, maybe a fan.
6. Plant Life
Sure, you may not be a plant person at home. However, plants genuinely help wellbeing and resilience. They look lovely, bringing a bit of the outside in. But also, they boost the oxygen levels around you, and boy does the human body love oxygen. Depends upon it, in fact. More oxygen helps the brain function at a good level. So, maybe it’s worth popping a plant or two on your desk.
By Chris Thomson
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