Times are changing, there’s no doubt about it.
There’s been a lot of fear and worry surrounding the coronavirus outbreak and for good reason. Both our own and our loved one’s health has been put at risk as we all face a global silent killer. The whole world has changed around us. ‘Furlough’ and ‘Covid-19’ were unknown words just a mere 6 months ago. Now, it’s rare that a day goes by without hearing them.
If you weren’t furloughed, then you may well have been asked to work from home. For some, this is a difficult notion. But for many others, the flexibility and ease of working from home is a dream come true!
Whichever way you see it, according to a recent HR Review survey, it looks like working from home may be becoming more popular from here on out.
So, whether you’ve been working from home for the last few years, or you’re new to the whole thing and still trying to get in the groove, we’ve come up with a few ideas on how you can create your very own zen home workspace.
Create a Calmer Desk
Peace. Calm. Tranquillity. Focus.
They are the things that you want your desk space to encompass. If your desk is making you feel overwhelmed with all the clutter, or possibly underwhelmed as it’s all sad and sparse, then it’s time for a rethink.
Even if you’re working on the dining room table, you can make the worktop space work for you. Make sure you clear the desk of all things that you don’t need. Keep the things you do need within reach to make your daily work life easier, such as pens, notebooks, paper clips ect., but organise them so that they’re visually calming and appealing.
You can do this by using vintage wooden boxes or pretty bowls to hold business cards, paper clips and elastic bands and a meaningful mug to hold pens and pencils (and keep them on whichever side is your dominant hand).
Extra tip: Keep a jug of water next to you to make sure you keep topping up your glass and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Start an Inspiration Board
You can create a mantra-like experience for yourself with a Zen-stylized inspiration board. This will give you daily interaction with phrases and images that promote peace, calm, and tranquility recenter your mindset and remind you to practice mindfulness in your work.
Since you’re working in your own home, you can go as large as you like with your inspiration board, but remember to style and arrange it well so it doesn’t end up looking messy. Remember – you want to de-clutter your mind and create an area where you can focus.
Sip Some Calming Tea
Getting up and making a cup of tea is a great excuse for a five-minute break, and regular breaks are great for the mind. Instituting a schedule of regular tea breaks will also give you a series of mini-deadlines to work towards, which can spur you on to finish a task more quickly. As well as help you to retain information, understand the bigger picture, cultivate your creativity, and embrace healthier habits – ultimately combining to enable you to work more productively and effectively.
Plus, sipping the hot, calming tea itself when you do get back onto the task will help you feel more motivated. The best types of tea are green and white because of their higher content of L-theanine. Buddhist monks have been drinking tea for centuries in order to stay calm yet alert during mediation sessions, just as you want to be when you’re working from home.
Harness the Power of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the art of using scents to calm our minds and relieve stress. Essential oils, which are used for aromatherapy, can have a powerful therapeutic effect on the mind. They also help clean the air of toxins.
You can use essential oils at your home office with a misting diffuser, a reed diffuser, or perhaps by hanging a sachet of lavender above your desk. Lavender can be especially soothing and calming: research says it can reduce computer errors by 25%!
Tweak Your Lighting
Is it too bright or not bright enough? The benefit of working from home is that you can tweak the lighting to be exactly as you wish. Adding more light to your work area is easily accomplished by adding a desk lamp, or moving your desk closer to a window. Or, you can make it darker by dimming the lights and closing some curtains. You have the freedom to choose whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
Don’t Forget the Plants
Plants breathe life into space. If you’ve not already become a plant-mum or dad since lockdown, then now is the time! If your home office feels stale or boring, adding a plant is a quick way to perk up the environment.
Choose plants that work for your workspace. If you’re afraid you won’t remember to water them often, opt for succulents. If you’re in a room with zero sunlight, a hardy houseplant is the solution.
Make Space for Self-Care
Self-care is an idea that should be part of our work lives, too. Besides taking regular breaks and enjoying your lunch away from their desk (yes, even if you’re working in the kitchen), the decor in your chosen office space itself could inspire more self-care – when you’re expending tons of mental energy creating, problem-solving, and innovating, you need somewhere to recharge.
To do this, you could toss a throw blanket over the chair, have a cosy rug on the floor, and make sure that you plug into a meditation app at some point during your day to help make your home a more positive space to work.
If you’re in need of a more suitable home workspace set up, check out our wide range of office furniture here.