Once upon a time, many of us may have sacrificed a fair amount to be able to work from the comfort of our own homes and forgo the tradition of dressing up for the office. However, the presence of the pandemic has made working from home to be more commonplace than not. After a lengthy time exposed to the same environment for months on end, that home office may seem dreary and demoralizing. After all, days that feel identical can become very defeating when work and personal life blend together. Career strategist Carlota Zimmerman spoke to the importance of having a healthy space when working at home, “Staying home can be very lonely. … Try to remain calm. Listening to music, playing a funny movie in the background–in the early years of launching my own coaching practice, old episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, literally saved my life and allowed my business to thrive. But, do whatever it takes to create a warm environment.”
Seeing as our physical environment has a direct impact on our attitude and performance, it is necessary to utilize quick and easy tips for creating an inspiring home office. For that reason, we connected with a handful of those in the know.
Jim Beard is the COO of Box Genie, a brand offering product packaging for companies to demonstrate themselves to their customers. He suggests identifying and incorporating items in the working area to inspire drive and energy.
“Everyone has some ideals, stories, beliefs, or anecdotes that really strike home and cause them to go after whatever’s in front of them. For some, it’s a motivational saying on the wall and for others it’s a figurine of their favorite character. The item itself is not important, the sentiment behind it is. Find a few things that bring about this same feeling of galvanization and place them in strategy spots so that they remind you to stay on target in your work day.”
After living in the same space for an extended period of time, the colors of the rooms may be more than an afterthought. That being said, these colors have more of an impact that one might assume. Flatline Van Co is a business providing products to be used to turn vans into adventure vans. Their co-founder and CEO, Kevin Callahan, advises giving the hues of an office a second thought.
“Did you know that the colors presently around you have a direct influence on your demeanor? It’s true and should be considered when you’re evaluating your current workspace. If you’ve struggled recently for reasons you can’t identify, it might simply be the hue of the room or items around you setting you off on the wrong path at the beginning of the day. Try to fill your space with colors such as green, blue, or yellow as they have been shown to have multiple positive benefits.”
Unhide specializes in luxury blankets. Their founder and CEO, Leo Livshetz, recommends adding items that represent the meaningful aspects of our lives to bring feelings of inspiration to a space.
“One of the age-old traditions of the office was to have a couple of personal objects placed around each person’s workspace. I’ve seen it all from mini gumball machines to digital photo frames with rotating family pictures. All of us have people or hobbies that get us up in the morning per se. If you’ve been working from home, I would guess that you have not put the thought into these items like you once did in the office. What are some things that make you who you are? Introduce them to where you’re working.”
Lauren Kleinman is the co-founder of The Quality Edit, a brand offering reviews and suggestions for ecommerce products. She cautions others against working in areas that are not properly lit as doing so can be detrimental.
“Contrary to popular behavior, the human body does not belong in a cave. So many people spend their working life in areas that are not properly lit because the screens are easily visible regardless of the scenario. But, the human body absolutely requires light. From vitamin D to mental and ocular stimulation, light is one of the best things you can give your body to keep it going throughout the day. When you’re working from home, find a bright place that will inspire you on multiple levels.”
The right chair
Physical health can become an issue when spending many hours sitting in the same place. The pain caused by extended time in a bad chair can demotivate anyone. SONU is a business providing revolutionary sleeping products. Their CEO, Bradley Hall, proposes purchasing a comfortable seat.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re doing, back pain is one of the most distracting and irritating feelings out there. If you work from home, there’s a good chance your workspace has some makeshift elements to it. While I understand that not everyone lives in a fifteen bedroom mansion, sitting on a wooden kitchen table chair for forty hours a week will absolutely cause problems. Do your research and invest in the right chair. Your back and productivity levels will thank you.”
Anne-Marie Faiola is the CEO and founder of Bramble Berry, a brand offering a variety of health and beauty products. She cautions others against working in an especially artificial environment.
“There was once a time in the world where everyone came in close contact with nature on a daily basis. Before insulated homes, cars, large indoor areas, humans spent much of their time outside working, traveling, or simply passing the time. And, they were healthier for it. While your at home office job may not offer you the ability to work out in a sunlit field, you don’t have to work in a fabricated room. Locate some plants you enjoy, and can care for, and keep them around your work area. Multiple aspects of your health will be impacted before you know it.”
Tumble specializes in rugs providing easy care related comforts. Their co-founder, Justin Soleimani, believes that when it is difficult to locate items on a desk or in the office it can be harmful to work efficiency.
“When your desk or office looks like a tornado has ripped through this, this is a recipe for disaster. Obviously, a lack of organization means it can be much more difficult to find items you need. But with an excessive amount of items comes more distraction. Cleaning off and organizing the area where you work should be a consistent priority so as to stay on top of your game. If you haven’t used an item on your desk recently, find a new home for it.
Doctors emphasize exercise for a reason and spending the entire day sitting in front of a screen does not do much to meet that need. Becca’s Home is a business providing stylistic furniture and unique purchasing options. Their CEO, Eliot Schwarcz, considers the implementation of a new style of desk to be helpful.
“Your back, hips, and legs are not meant to sit still for lengthy amounts of time. Without constantly engaging those things, you’re sure to suffer from muscle and energy loss. In recent years, the desk that can be lifted up so that the user is standing rather than sitting has gained much popularity. People have found that the change of posture has been helpful for both their physical health and mental clarity as well. In the long run, you’ll find yourself more energetically inspired to work.”
As working from home is and likely continues to be a staple of the working world, being prepared for that reality is advised. The space where work is accomplished has a large influence over the being down. Working from home is a drastic change from the traditional office space and making the shift takes continuous effort. While creating an inspiring home office cannot be created overnight, striving to make it happen is worthwhile. Alex Turnbull, the founder and CEO of Groove, summed this up, “Successfully working from home is a skill, just like programming, designing or writing. It takes time and commitment to develop that skill, and the traditional office culture doesn’t give us any reason to do that.”