When we think of office spaces, what are the first words we associate with it? Ultra Connected. Demanding. Always on. Productivity. Stressful.
Now imagine an office space that exemplifies the following: Peaceful. Calm. Focus. Mindful.
You may be thinking the latter sounds too good to be true, but it’s really not. With many of us now working from home, we have the opportunity to outfit our home offices to become a productive workspace that suits our needs. We can now equip our home offices to have a calm, focused, and mindful atmosphere that may have been lacking before. Creating a more mindful office begins at home.
Pay Attention to Lighting
Lighting has long affected our mood and productivity, so it’s important that our home offices have lots of light. Moving a desk near the window or keeping the blinds open makes a difference in our mood and ability to focus. However, sometimes natural light can be hard to come by. If you can’t rely on natural light in your office space, you can brighten your walls with light and soothing colours to lighten your office space. Mirrors can also help make a space feel brighter and larger because they reflect light instead of absorbing it.
When our work spaces are cluttered, so are our minds which can divert our focus in our work spaces. Taking the time to de-clutter our work spaces allows us to focus on the tasks at hand without feeling the overwhelming pressure of competing responsibilities that can draw our attention away from the present moment. Consider keeping whatever’s essential to complete your work on your desk and remove or relocate everything else that may become distracting.
When we think of the most calming and soothing spaces, they typically are surrounded by greenery. Humans are outdoor beings, so surrounding ourselves with greenery has a great impact on our mood and mindfulness. Being in nature, or even having a presence of nature with indoor plants, reduces anger, fear, and stress while increasing happiness and calmness. Therefore, adding plants to your home office can uplift your mood.
For those of us who do not have a green-thumb, a low maintenance plant such as a succulent or cactus placed on your desk can do wonders. Another benefit to adding greenery to your office space is that it can provide a fresh and calming fragrance to your space. Plants such as lavender can further soothe and improve the calmness of your workspace, so you can find focus on your work.
Display Art and Decor That Speaks to You
Our creativity and motivation are often tied to the way our environment makes us feel. That’s why it’s important to consider what decor suits you for your office space. Whatever decor you choose should represent your intention or goal for your office work. Hanging up a picture from a recent vacation, an affirmation, or a thoughtful abstract painting are all possible pieces that can resonate and motivate you. When your focus begins to wander, as it naturally does, looking at these pieces of art can be a reminder of your intention or goal to bring your focus back to your work.
Make Room for Self-Care Items
While it’s important to mark a distinction between our work space from home space, it’s also important to equip our office spaces with items used for self-care. Perhaps this means that you ensure that you have an ergonomic chair, an adjustable standing desk, or having a woven towel to drape over your shoulders when you start to feel cold while working. Our physical health affects our mental health, and taking care of ourselves doesn’t start or stop before and after work. Mindfulness encourages awareness of our needs, so ensuring that our office space accommodates our needs is important to achieve a more mindful work space.
Filter Out the Noise
One of the greatest challenges of working from home is not being able to block out noises outside your office door that may demand your attention at any given moment. If you find yourself unable to filter out the noise when working, consider investing in noise cancelling headphones to find the quiet you need to focus on your work. While some of us work well in silence, many of us don’t, so listening to white noise such as an ambient music playlist or coffee shop sounds may be a more helpful choice to help filter out the noise and bring focus to your work.
Mindfulness Begins at Home
Creating a more mindful home office space is all about finding ways to focus our awareness on the present moment to arrive at a sense of calm. With this mindset, we are not only more focused but productive as well. You may not find the right solution immediately, but with time and a willingness to try different ways, you will find your way. And once you do, anything will seem possible.
Written by Eleni Zaptses
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