What’s your favorite part about working from home?
This fall, things look a little different. Many students are starting the school year remotely. And around 42 percent of the U.S. labor force is working from home full-time.
When you’re spending so much time at home, it’s important to develop a remote lifestyle where you feel inspired, calm, happy, organized, and productive.
I’ve worked remotely for nearly two years, and I’ve learned a few lessons:
- If you don’t love your workspace, it’s difficult to love your work.
- The clothes you wear influence your mindset.
- A morning routine is so important for your productivity and your mental health.
Let’s start with some home office ideas to make your workspace comfortable and productive.
Creating a Comfortable Home Office
Decorating your home office is a fun way to channel your imagination and personality. Think of your workspace as your happy place – a space where you get to be you.
When designing your office, think about ways you can appeal to your five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.
By activating your senses, you’ll keep yourself engaged and relaxed during your workday.
Here are some elements to consider for a sensory, ambient workspace.
Research shows that working in a space with plenty of light can boost your mood, productivity, and decision-making.
If possible, place your desk by a window to get natural sunlight. Natural light stimulates the brain to produce serotonin, the happy hormone that makes you feel positive.
For a decorative source of light, consider a Himalayan salt lamp. The reddish-pink glow is warm and soothing.
Candles also create relaxing light, not to mention amazing smells to enjoy while you go about your work.
As long as it doesn’t distract you, listening to music or podcasts can help make remote work less lonely.
Since quarantine started, a ton of music mixes have been uploaded to YouTube. Search your favorite genre, and I guarantee you’ll find something. There’s classical music, acoustic, jazz, R&B, and many more.
Plants are like good co-workers, they help you accomplish tasks and put you at ease.
Research suggests that when your workspace includes plants, you feel less tired and more comfortable.
Succulents are cute and small enough to fit on your desk. There’s a lot of adorable succulent pots out there, so you can choose one that makes you smile.
You can also hang a photo collage on the wall by your desk. You can even do it in a cute shape, like a heart.
Especially if you’re feeling isolated, it’s a good idea to put up pictures of your loved ones. You’ll think about them throughout your day, and remember how loved you are.
I know it’s tempting to stay in your PJs. But getting dressed in the morning will help you get into a productive mindset.
There are ways to dress comfy, while still looking professional for your Zoom meetings.
Cozy cardigans and knit sweatshirts are great business casual options. In Zoom meetings, it’s smart to avoid bright colors and patterns – for the sake of your viewers’ eyes.
Joggers and linen pants are lightweight and breathable. You can also look for some fun, cute socks or slippers. I’m a corgi owner, and I have socks with corgis on them. They always add some joy to my day.
One of the best ways to stay active during your workday is to wear workout clothes. You’ll be ready to stretch at your desk and get active on your breaks.
Search for some cute yoga leggings, joggers, tank tops, sweatshirts, and sneakers.
Find good deals on active, fun styles at a Goodwill Retail Store near you!
Set Up a Morning Routine
Working from home, it’s tempting to roll out of bed in the morning and go straight to your computer. But don’t skip your morning routine.
A morning routine is your key to productivity. It helps you set a positive tone for your day. Include these activities in your morning routine to start your morning off right.
Research suggests that skipping breakfast has negative consequences on your thinking ability, attention, and memory. This makes it more difficult to concentrate on tasks at work.
Drinking a glass of water before you get started is also important. Good hydration gives you energy and helps your critical thinking.
Connect with Yourself
Do something to connect with yourself, whether it’s exercising, journaling, meditating, or something else you enjoy. When you do something you love first thing in the morning, you’re excited to get out of bed.
Headspace is a popular app that many people are trying right now. It has morning meditations to help you feel calm first thing in the morning.
Write Out Your Priorities
Before you dive into work, write down your work hours and the tasks you need to accomplish each hour.
Start with the highest priorities first. When you get your most difficult tasks out of the way immediately, you feel accomplished. You can carry that feeling of accomplishment with you through the rest of your day – and you won’t be dreading those big tasks all day long.
Make Working from Home Fun
Working or studying from home might be a little different than what you’re used to, but there’s no reason it can’t be fun.
With a little thought and creativity, you can make it an enjoyable experience. You may need to be a little more intentional about your physical and mental health. Remember, a little self-care goes a long way.