It’s easy to forget that our home offices need to be carefully crafted spaces when we’re constantly working in them.
At the end of the day, the last thing you want to think about is how you can tidy and optimise your home office. All you really want to do is get into your PJs and jump on the sofa to watch the latest episode of Queer Eye. At least, that’s all I want to do!
But when it comes to home wellness, our offices are perhaps one of the most important spaces in the home to address.
What is home wellness?
So what is home wellness anyway? We know that in general, pursuing wellness is taking steps towards a healthy and fulfilling life. So when it comes to home wellness, you’re actively making changes in your home life to meet that same goal.
Your home becomes the centre of your journey towards a healthier life.
Home wellness for your office space
So when it comes to your office. The goal is to create a space which looks after you while you work. Essentially you want to feel good while you’re in it, be productive and not stifled while you work.
The following are five areas you could explore while optimising home wellness in your office space:
Use natural materials
When decorating your home office, it’s worth considering the materials used to make the things you’re bringing in. It’s safe to say that the less processed something is, the better it is for you and the environment. This goes for ‘things’ as well as food.
When it comes to certain items in your home, many are made using chemicals which off-gass or leak into your home environment when you buy them. Not only are these products harsh for the outside environment, but they have a knock-on effect for your inside environment too.
Look to use more natural materials in your home to eliminate this, including:
- Untreated wood
- Natural fibres like hemp, linen and cotton
Not only this but natural materials typically last longer, are more neutral in design and are easy to maintain or recycle if you ever want a change in style.
Bonus: If you have any health conditions like asthma, natural materials more often than not tend to be naturally hypoallergenic.
Bring nature in
We’ve talked about it before, but bringing plants into your office space has some wonderful benefits.
Not only do they clean the air, but studies have shown that the presence of plants in an office environment has a:
- 37% reduction in anxiety
- 44% reduction in anger
- 38% reduction in fatigue
- 15% increase in creativity
- 10% increase in productivity
Plants help us to perceive our surroundings better, allowing us to feel calmer and more comfortable. As a result, we’re able to become more productive and creative.
If you believe these claims or not, there’s absolutely no reason not to add a little bit of nature into your office, at least for the look alone.
Provide air circulation
Some homes were not built with the best human experience in mind. Many of us live in environments where air circulation and wellbeing was a serious afterthought. So it’s even more important to make sure air circulation is at the top of your priority list.
Poor home air quality can lead to a whole host of health problems, some of which we may not even see or realise. With home insulation on the rise to save money and the environment, this also means that houses are not breathing as well as they used to.
To make sure the air is circulating in your office, take the time to open windows daily (even in the winter). If your window doesn’t happen to line up with a door, and there’s still no circulation, it might be worth investing in an air purifier.
Keep it simple
When it comes to being productive in your home office environment, there’s nothing more distracting than clutter. You may have a tidy office, but if there’s a lot going on in the room, all of those ‘things’ could be more distracting than you realise.
The goal of your home office is to help you work as efficiently as you can. So, if there’s excess decor, piles of paperwork or your family’s belongings cluttering up your space, you’re not going to feel very productive at all. In fact, you may feel a little stifled.
Eliminate the excess from your room, keep it simple and to the point. Then when you enter your office, your mind and body will know what the room is for.
Focus on light
Humans need light, it’s literally wired into our makeup. Sunlight helps boost a chemical in your brain called serotonin, which gives you more energy. It also helps keep you calm, positive and focused.
That should give you all the information you need to make light a priority. You likely can’t change the size of your windows, but there are a few things you can do if you’re stuck with a darker room:
- Opt for a lighter paint colour on the walls – white helps light bounce around the room
- Put up a mirror – if you have a dark corner, place a mirror on a wall that gets light and watch as it bounces the light onto the darker wall
- Keep your window dressings light and simple – opt for lighter and natural materials and don’t cover up the light coming in
If you’ve done all this and want to optimise your light further. Artificial light shouldn’t be discounted:
- Get smart lightbulbs that you can change to match your circadian rhythm
- Create an atmosphere in certain sections of your office with light to promote creativity
- Allow for lighting changes depending on the level of illumination that’s required
Note: Artificial light can have adverse effects on sight. Make sure your computer screen brightness matches that of your environment and choose anti-glare bulbs for your main lights.
So there we have it, five areas of your working environment to explore for better home wellness. When it comes to creating a home office that works for you, it’s important to explore all of these and develop your space over time.
Are there any home office wellness tips you implement for a healthy office space? Leave them in the comments below and let’s share.