How to Turn Your Home Office into a Zen Oasis
It’s safe to say a lot of Canadians are working from home.
In fact, 40% of jobs in Canada are now being done remotely, up from 13% in 2018. It’s not just quarantine that’s driving more people to set up makeshift cubicles on their kitchen counters.
With advancements in virtual conferencing and more companies allowing their employees to log in remotely, telecommuting is quickly on the rise.
Although working from home can seem like a dream come true for those who are sick of the morning commute, it comes with its own set of challenges.
Working from Home Can Take a Toll of You Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally
Sitting for hours on end in a less-than-ideal set up doesn’t do wonders for the body.
Not to mention that working from home means there are blurred lines between your personal and professional life. Between your kids and pets vying for your attention and knocks on the door for deliveries, it can be impossible to get anything done. When you finally do settle into your day, forgetting to take adequate breaks to stretch your legs or grab a snack can leave you feeling burned out.
There is good news! Whether you’ve made your dining table into your new workspace or you have a home office, you can make the experience more “zen-like” with a few simple redecorating tips.
Zen is a Buddhist philosophy that emphasizes living mindfully, intentionally, and with tranquility. Incorporating these small changes can go a long way in keeping calm and boosting both your mood and your productivity.
1. Set Boundaries
Designating one location in your home as your home office will help to create mental personal and professional boundaries. This might require creativity and the maneuvering of furniture, but if you’re in for the long haul, it’s worth it.
If you live with other people, communicate your work schedule so they are aware of when you’re going to be tied up. This will help keep disruptions to a minimum and prevent potential conflicts over use of space.
2. Ditch the Clutter
Simplicity is key to helping you feel relaxed. In this case, less is more. It’s time to call on your inner Marie Kondo and commit to tidying up. A clear home office leads to a clearer mind. Dirty dishes and piles of paper are an unwelcome distraction and can disrupt your creative flow. Go minimalist.
3. Bring Nature Indoors
Greenery can do wonders for your mindset. Not only are the colours of nature soothing to the nervous system, many indoor plants are great air purifiers as well. Philodredrons, snake plants and spider plants are great choices as they’re relatively easy to care for, thrive in moderate light conditions and keep your space feeling fresh.
4. Set the Mood
Make your workspace feel like a spa by using tension relieving aromatherapy. Add a few drops of calming oil like Rocky Mountain Soap Co’s. Stress Away Tension-Reducing Blend to an ultrasonic diffuser and feel your woes melt away. Music can also have a strong effect on our mood, so throw on a good, focus-enhancing playlist to elevate the vibe.
Need more quiet time? Consider noise canceling headphones or a white noise machine to filter out background noise like your neighbors barking dog or road construction.
5. Get Comfortable
This might mean investing in an ergonomic chair to add comfort to your workday or make-shifting a sit-stand desk to change up your posture to avoid hunching. If you already have an office chair, consider adding additional back support. Find more tips for keeping yourself injury free while working from home here.
Your current home office conditions may be small or less than ideal. Regardless of size, using these “zen” hacks, you can cultivate a space that is both functional and supportive to your health as you navigate this new way of working in these unprecedented times.
I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Life Coach working in Vancouver, BC that specializes in eating behaviour and body liberation. I am deeply passionate about helping people re-connect to their bodies through movement therapies, make peace with food and step into their personal power so they can live whole-hearted and fulfilling lives.