With many of us now working from home, it’s important to create a calm environment to aid productivity. Here’s how…
BySameeha Shaikh www.telegraph.co.uk
With life having changed in a way we would’ve thought unimaginable just a few months ago, many of us are now adjusting to our new working from home reality. For many people this new reality is an all together unfamiliar one and trying to adapt to it has brought about a set of challenges in itself.
Countless conversations with friends, family and colleagues over the past few days – who are lucky enough to be working from home – have proved that while some of us have adjusted perfectly fine, others have felt their world turn upside down amid trying to navigate a new way of work.
And in the absence of things we’ve come to rely upon, like a designated work space and team spirit, you wouldn’t be blamed for feeling anxious or confused about not knowing where to begin (one glance at the news is enough to set us off with trepidation, let alone figuring out the best place in the house to set up shop). But among the chaos, it is as important as ever to carve out a calm space for yourself to which you can retreat and work productively.
“Creating space is the foundation for our mental and physical health. Right now, everything has shifted, so redesigning the space in your home to create a workspace is key,” says Michael James Wong, Rituals Ambassador and Founder of Just Breathe. “For those working at home, it’s important to have both boundaries for our workshop, but also an area or environment that allows us to feel both calm and productive.”
Getting the feng shui right is as much about making your space look aesthetically pleasing as it is about the physical reaction which subconsciously makes you feel more positive, allowing you to cut through the chaos long enough to get the day job done. As Micheal notes, “when our physical space is calm, it drastically impacts our mental attitude. For some we’re more focused, productive and attentive when there are less distractions around us.”
Whether it’s keeping little, soothing necessities at an arms reach like your favourite nourishing lip balm and hand cream (mine is the Cle de Peau Lip Glorifer, £40, and Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino Hand Cream, £35), or strategically picking out a naturally well lit corner of the house to work from, there are a host of things we can be doing to make the most out of our at-home workspaces. Here are Michael’s five easy steps to zen-ing out your new makeshift office.
1. Pick a space (just one)
With the merging of our work and home lives, it’s become increasingly difficult to tell the two apart, especially if you’re not strict about start and end times, and constantly find yourself working all around the house. But, allocating yourself with a ‘workshop’ will help, whether that’s one end of the dining room table or a desk in the spare room.
“Try not to blend the bed and the office, give yourself permission to a desk or an area that is for work only,” says Michael. “Even though you’re at home, and you have nowhere to go, the mind needs separation from work life and home life. A top tip – leave the office outside of the bedroom, let this be your sanctuary from the outside world.”
Picking an area of the house as your ‘office’ will help you to find concentration and sense of place, Michael adds.
This is where you let your inner Marie Kondo transpire. Whatever workspace you allocate yourself, keep it minimal and free of clutter. This means getting rid of any excess, unrelated work items (yes, that even means non-essential tech and the unhelpful sounds of the TV in the background). Michael emphasises that by keeping your area clean and clear, you’ll give yourself more space to focus and breath.
3. Let in the light
It seems a given, but working under artificial or dim light does little for the body and mind. Michael says, where possible, give yourself access to natural light and fresh air. Setting up near a window will keep you inspired and attentive during your home office hours.
4. Create a sense of calm
This is very much down to personal choice as what brings serenity to one person may not to another. When creating a sense of calmness for yourself, Michael notes, we should do whatever helps us to feel our best. “Adding a candle to your space can be a nice addition to help create a feeling of calmness– like Rituals’ new The Ritual of Jing Scented Candle, £19.90. You can also use a scented room spray or diffuser to make your workspace area somewhere you want to be, and somewhere that you feel safe and supported, no matter the job at hand.”
5. Add in some greenery
There’s a lot to be said about the impact of nature on our mental as well as physical wellbeing. Studies have shown that being around plants can ease the mind, reduce stress and even improve productivity. “Move your plants into your workspace,” Micheal says, “natural living things like plants and flowers are great to keep your mind and mental health fit and engaged during this time.”
3. Essentials to zen-proofing your workspace
For those who seriously want to zen out their workspace, Neom’s Wellbeing Pod instantly emits a heatless, fine mist of scented vapour to simulate and boost your mood with the touch of a button. What’s more, the clever pod also humidifies the air around you, meaning it will increase the level of moisture in the room.