According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 60 percent of U.S. employees whose jobs can mainly be done from home are working from home – even two years into the pandemic! This blurred work-life boundary, if not kept balanced, can lead to emotional exhaustion.
So, whether you work from home most of the time, or if you have more of a part-time-lover arrangement with your home office, here are some tips to reinvigorate your space and your approach to working at home!
Re-Establish Work – and Home – Boundaries
Has your “do not disturb” door sign fallen off? Or did you not even have a dedicated workspace to begin with? Maybe you’ve developed a pesky habit of checking the fridge for a new snack to appear every 30 minutes. Or maybe now that your kids are on summer break, they’ve rediscovered how funny it is to make surprise cameos in their underwear on your Zoom calls.
Whatever the case may be, consider having some more formal boundaries in place to remind yourself – and your half-naked “colleagues” – that your home does double-duty for living and working space.
Perhaps that’s by designating a quiet corner for yourself or putting up curtains or a folding privacy wall.
Another way to delineate a space that says “work goes here” is to make the space dress the part! Invest in a good ergonomic chair, upgrade your desk from the dining room table to a – dare we say it – desk. You get the drift! If you’re planning on working from home for the foreseeable future, these investments are worth it.
Oh, and don’t forget to shut it down when your workday is done! Close the curtain, power down your laptop, tape an “out-of-office” sticky note on your forehead if you must. We know it’s easier said than done sometimes, but what we’re trying to say is: try to leave work at work, even if it is in your home space.
Thrifting for New Finds
Making over your workspace doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Hit up a local thrift store or scour Facebook marketplace for a few pieces that will really liven up your office space: a bold painting…a sad old table with chipping paint but good bones that – after a few coats of paint -- would make for the *perfect* custom desk.
Breathe New Life into Your Space
Allegedly, being in nature helps ground us and makes us more creative. Not sure about you, but between the heat waves and allergies this season, being in nature hasn’t exactly been a breeze. That’s where bringing the elements in comes in handy!
Ask your favorite plant-loving friend for some recommendations for easy plants that you can add to your workspace. Or, go an even lower-maintenance route and plaster some temporary nature-y wallpaper throughout your space.
Candles with subtle scents can also boost your mood and healing crystals (yes, we’re going there) can also help change up the energy vibe in your office space.
Adding new accessories to your desk can also drastically help. Good lighting (major), functional accent pieces like desk trays, decoupaged pen holders made by your favorite water-cooler buddies (made in their underwear, of course) are all sure to make you smile when you catch a glimpse of them during your workday.
Build in Breaks to Your Routine
Nothing is worse than realizing you haven’t moved from your seated desk position in five hours. As part of your work-from-home overhaul, make sure you’re prioritizing yourself physically, too! Some tips to help achieve that are:
- Set a timer to get moving. Maybe that’s every hour, or every 30 minutes. Set a yoga mat nearby so you can get a few stretches in. Or, if you’re feeling really fancy, invest in an under-the-desk bicycle (those are real things!).
- Build in healthy treats to your work routine. One of our favorite ways to incent ourselves is with a treat (I mean, we are warm-blooded humans – who doesn’t operate that way?). Dreading putting together that end-of-month analytics report? Promise yourself two pieces of Calm Chocolates once you’re done! Have a standing 9am Zoom call with the guy who still hasn’t figured out – after two years’ worth of weekly calls – that he is talking on mute? Enjoy a few pieces of Energy for a much needed boost while he figures out where that unmute button is.
- Stay hydrated. Set a gigantic bottle of water on your desk (just not too close to your electronics if you’re on the clumsy side) and set a goal for yourself to finish it before lunch or the end of the workday. Bonus: you’ll need to get up and move to make your way to the restroom after all that H2O!
We hope these tips leave you feeling inspired to change things up this season (and regularly) in your own work-from-home space. Workspaces should be functional, but no one said they can’t be beautiful, inspiring, and comfortable at the same time! Happy revamping, friends!