Make WFH Work for You

By Jenna Bailey - May 20th, 2020

If you’re like me, this WFH stint has lasted longer than you had hoped. Maybe you took the initiative and set up a functional workspace in your home…or maybe your shift from sleep to work is simply sitting on top of your comforter instead of underneath it. Regardless, your space may need some sprucing up to maximize productivity as well as positivity. Here are some tips that will help you organize your home office into a space that works for you.

Find Your Favorite Fragrance:

Have you ever stepped inside a house for sale and been hugged by the warm scent of freshly baked cookies? That’s because realtors know the science behind smell. Smell is the strongest of the five human senses and ties heavily into emotion and memory. If the smell of fresh cookies can make you associate a model home with the comfort of grandma’s house, you can bet that aromatherapy can make you feel alert and productive as well. Essential oils like lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus are widely recommended, but candles and incense work just as well! Experiment with scents to see which ones make you feel excited to be where you are. Seriously–drop some peppermint, lemon, and patchouli oil into a diffuser and then tell me that your morning email rounds weren’t more pleasant.

Bring the Outside In:

If the air around your desk feels a little stale, freshen it up with a plant or two! Not only do nearby plants boost your oxygen supply, studies have shown that workers tend to be more productive and alert in offices with some greenery. Even if you are able to carve out little nature breaks throughout your day, bringing some of it into your office can increase your engagement. What’s that you say, you’ve never met a plant you couldn’t kill? I hear you–my track record with plants has been historically bleak, but I’ve recently invested in easy plants that are more forgiving (hello, cactus collection!). Let us help you find some plants that are, shall we say, more resilient.

Soak Up the Sun:

Natural light does wonders for your mood and your productivity. There’s just something about sunshine that a fluorescent light can’t compare to. If your work materials are easily transportable, try making nature your office for an hour or two! Upping your vitamin D intake may power you through that afternoon slump. When deciding where to set up your indoors workspace, try to find a spot near a window or two. It will help you feel more connected to the outside world, as well as boost your serotonin (those brain chemicals that make you feel happy).

Desk for Success:

The Common Desk design team may not be able to visit each of our homes (she sighed wistfully), but our WFH offices can still be beautiful and effective! A tidy, thoughtfully arranged desk makes work much more enjoyable. Remove anything you don’t use, and incorporate personal items that bring you joy. Find a comfortable chair, prop up a picture of a loved one, organize frequently used materials so that they are easy to find, and surround yourself with the colors you love. You may even decide to bring decorative pieces from other areas of the house to your desk. Use whatever makes work more fun; remember this is your space, so make it your own!

Sound Off (or On):

Everybody works differently. While some need complete silence to get anything done, others find the quiet distracting in itself. This element may be harder to control (we’re looking at you, kids), but it pays to try to give your brain the level of noise that it craves. If you find that you do your best work in silence, set up your WFH space where you can close a door and muffle the activity of your housemates. It may even be worth it to invest in some noise-cancelling headphones. If, on the other hand, you prefer background noise, we’ve got you covered. Love music? Check out our Common Desk staff-curated playlists on Spotify and groove while you work! Spotify also has a wide range of soundtracks available, including ocean waves, gentle rain, nature sounds, and white noise.

If you want more inspiration, check out our WFH membership! Our members and staff consistently spur each other on with pictures and anecdotes about how they are making their workday great. Camaraderie and new ideas abound in our Community Slack channels, and we’d love to share them with you!

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About the Author

With one foot in coffee and the other in hospitality, Jenna helps keeps our Downtown Dallas location caffeinated and ready to work.
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