The journey of finding the balance between your work and your home space

Despite a significant uptick in the number of people working from home, many are still unsure about how to do it well.

We’ve all seen the ‘kitchen counter, dining table, and any space you can find’ approach! Needless to say, this isn’t an effective long-term strategy, especially when your home should be a place that brings comfort and joy to your life.

This ‘new normal’ work arrangement shouldn’t lead to feeling displaced in your own home.

A dedicated home office

Spending hours in front of the computer and other devices can lead to digital burn out – resulting in more stress, anxiety, strain on your eyes and body.

A comfortable work environment leads to the right mindset that contributes to higher levels of productivity.

Make mental health a priority!

So, this is a bit of a balancing act. Meaning – getting the right balance between your work priorities, a happy home set-up and relaxation.

Let’s start with 3 ‘Must Dos’ followed by 5 ‘Home-office Rescue’ tips.

  1. Create a workspace.  Find a spot that you can make your own work zone and not have to clear up every day to accommodate others. 

  2. Establish a “QUIET PLEASE” contract. Others at home need to know when you’re not available, so that you can focus on work and be productive. Create a boundary between work and personal priorities whenever possible.

  3. Take your breaks.
    Be strict about this. Set a timer for every 70 minutes to walk away from your desk, stretch and take a breather.

5 TIPS to optimize your home office:

Declutter and store: Your home office requires order and organization. Take stock of what you have and what you need. Do this annually. Give away or trash what you don’t need.

My advice is to be brutal during this process because keeping anything you don’t need creates clutter, gathers dust and looks unsightly. 

Create proper storage if you don’t have it. 

A filing cabinet, storage bins, shelves or a storage facility are the most common options.

The right furniture: Being comfortable is a no brainer. There are a ton of ergonomic options for your office chair, desk, monitor and other essentials. A standing desk might be a good alternative. As you spend long hours working, a good investment here will keep your joints happy! 

Lighting: Proper lighting makes a BIG difference. Dim lighting adds stress to your eyes and can make the room look depressing.

Where possible, allow natural light into your space because it creates a welcoming feeling and brings a positive atmosphere to any room. 

The right colors: If painting your work area is in the cards, Benjamin Moore paint specialists say that “Warm colors fall into the yellow, orange and red categories while cool options are green, blue and purple”.

The warm palette promotes energy and positivity; and the latter evokes relaxation and calm.

Decades of research shows that colors can change one’s mood. 

Common scents: It’s so important to find opportunities to destress. Simple additions such as scented candles and essential oils can help.

Lavender relieves stress with its calming and soothing effects.

Try infusing aromatherapy into the equation with chamomile and lemongrass to help relieve any tension.

A plant can be a nourishing and healthy addition.

Of course, there’s nothing like fresh flowers to bring a happy and refreshing feeling to your work area.

Walking into your workspace should put you in a positive frame of mind, so that you can concentrate on your work and feel great in your ‘office’.

When you feel positive and productive, others feel it too. Getting the right balance is certainly attainable when you focus on what you want to achieve.

Remember, you’re most productive when you’re firing on all cylinders – and that means creating the right balance at home.