Do you know that more than 40% of Australians work from home? Almost all of us work in the hybrid model one way or another. Working from home has its perks, the biggest being saving time on the commute.
But working from home shouldn’t differ as much from working in the office. You should still dress appropriately and look smart. You still need to start on time and be efficient. You still need to have the mental and physical energy to deliver your best.
But regardless of your working model, you need to have an inviting working space.
So, read on to learn 5 ways to bring wellness into your working space, so that you can be more efficient, motivated, and productive.
But before we start, are you part of my community? Join my newsletter to get the latest action steps on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, de-stress, manage your time better, prioritize yourself, and anything in between so that you INCREASE your energy, SAVE time and INVEST well in your wellness!
#1 Declutter Your Desk
Cleaning may not remind you of wellness, but before you start adding things into your space, you need to make room for them. And the best way to clear your mind is to clear your environment.
Because clutter on your desk means clutter in your head.
The best way to start your working day is to walk into an inviting space. Your day will get busier, and you may feel stressed or overwhelmed, so your working space needs to bring you calm.
We like to surround ourselves with objects, but the rule of less is more applies to your working desk too.
Start with removing all the items that don’t need to be there. It, of course, will include any dirty dishes from the day before if you left them there. But any unneeded notepads, pens, cables, and papers belong to this category.
When you start your working day, have only the items you would need for your first project or tasks of the day. I like to use colour pens throughout the day, so sometimes I may have ten or more pens scattered all over my desk.
It is normal and expected to get messier through the day, but you always need to start with a clear desk. But don’t spend your morning energy on cleaning! Get into a habit of cleaning your desk at the end of the day, so it is ready for the morning.
#2 Add More Plants
The green colour is associated with calmness and harmony. And those are emotions you want to start your day with. So how to create those emotions? By adding more plants into your working space!
Plants are good for aesthetics and are always nice to look at. Research shows that to boost our wellbeing we need to spend time outdoors. This may prove difficult if you work long hours.
But by adding more greenery into your working space, you also bring nature indoors.
Plants give us a sense of belonging and connection with something greater than ourselves. They enhance our wellness, but indoor plants help to relieve stress, reduce mental fatigue, and suppress the sympathetic nervous system.
It brings us into a state of relaxation, reduces cortisol levels, improves our focus and mood, and makes us more productive.
There are many indoor plants to choose from, but the best are plants that help to improve the air quality. Air pollution can be caused by cleaning products, paint, mould, or mildew. Indoor plants help to clear the air and replace carbon dioxide with fresh oxygen.
When picking an indoor plant, remember the rule of less is more. If you have a small space get a small plant for your desk. If the room allows you, go bold with your plants.
#3 Get Fresh Air
Sleeping in a hot room does not enhance the quality of sleep the same way working in a stuffy room does not enhance your productivity. You need fresh and clean air to keep your brain cells sharp.
I like to open all the windows, or sometimes even doors, in my studio to let the outside air come in.
The weather is unpredictable at the moment, but I still like to let fresh air in even if I can only have my window partially open.
Fresh air can boost your mood and productivity. It can help you to think clearly, be more creative, and be energetic.
If you are working in the office on the fifteenth-floor opening windows may not be feasible for safety reasons. Make the habit of going outside whenever you can. Even if it is for a few minutes at a time. You will not only breathe some fresh air but you will also be exposed to natural sunlight.
If everything else fails, and you can't have a steady supply of fresh air, invest in high-quality indoor plants to clean the air pollution. You can also invest in a diffuser or de-humidifier.
I love adding essential oils to my diffuser. I experiment with oils and make blends depending on my mood. To boost my energy, creativity, and productivity, I like to add lavender, grapefruit, bergamot or another citrus, and Siberian fir. And to clear the air a bit more I may add a few drops of peppermint oil.
Of course, burning essential oils in the office may not always be feasible, especially if you work in a big, open space. But most of us enjoy the hybrid working model, so a day or two a week you can boost your senses with essential oils.
#4 Move Your Body
Your wellness starts with movement. So regardless of if you work in the office or from home, you need to move regularly. After all, energy creates energy.
Study after study shows that the disease of the twenty-first century is a sedentary lifestyle. We spend way too much time sitting than moving. And our bodies (and minds) were not designed that way.
To be productive, have mental and physical energy, and live in wellness you need to move your body regularly. Your daily exercise routine is important but you need to move throughout the day to keep your energy levels up.
How do I do it?
I get up every fifty minutes and move around my studio. I may do some stretching and breathing exercises or go up and down the stairs. If I feel very sluggish, I may even hop on the exercise bike for a few minutes.
Part of my body movement routine is drinking a glass of water. It not only means that I stay hydrated (which enhances my energy levels), but I have to get up to go to the bathroom!
You may not feel super confident about doing push-ups or Sun Solutions in a room full of people. But you can get up and walk around the office. You can even do simple stretches like touching your toes or standing on tippy toes.
Installing a stand-up desk is also a way of changing your position, helping with your posture.
However, you still need to move away from your desk!
#5 Remove Noisy Distractions
Neuroscience 101 teaches us that our brains cannot multitask. Yes, you can do two, three, five, or ten things at the same time, but your brain uses so much power that you will soon feel depleted. Your work won’t be as good as it could be if you only stay focused on one thing at a time.
The main killer of productivity is distractions. That it is. It is not the number of priorities for the day, lack of time, or lack of motivation. Every time you get distracted, you lose your train of thought and your creativity plummets.
Start by removing background noise and replacing it with soft music. There are a lot of apps that can help you to create a playlist of calming or classical music or to choose nature sounds. Wearing noise-cancelling headphones may be another option.
The true distraction comes from the pings, rings, and notifications through your phone, social apps, or computer. I have most of my phone notifications turned off when I work. And my phone is on silent.
I check my phone regularly, but I do it at the time that suits me.
How to Bring Wellness Into Your Work Space
Building your wellness is not only limited to your mental or physical wellness. Most of your time is spent at work, so bringing wellness to our working space needs to be a priority too.
Start with decluttering your desk. Remember clear desk equals a clear mind. Get into a habit of clearing your desk at the end of the day, so it is fresh and ready to use in the morning.
To boost your mood and productivity invest in some indoor plants, fresh air, and essential oils. Energy creates energy, so moving your body throughout the day will give you the mental and physical energy you need.
Kill all the distractions. Literally. Turn off the background noise, so your focus and creativity can skyrocket.
How are you going to bring a little bit more wellness into your workspace today?
But before you go, are you part of my community? Join my newsletter to get the latest action steps on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, de-stress, manage your time better, prioritize yourself, and anything in between so that you INCREASE your energy, SAVE time and INVEST well in your wellness!