Maggie Stamets is a writer for BUILT BY GIRLS, which prepares the next generation of female and non-binary leaders to step into their power and break into their careers. WAVE is the backbone of BUILT BY GIRLS: it’s a 1:1 matching program that connects high school and college students with top tech professionals across the country. For more information and to sign up check out builtbygirls.com.
At this point, we’re all in our work-from-home routines — or very possibly a work-from-home rut.
Whether you have a desk in your room, a dedicated office, or a corner of the kitchen table, revamping your working environment can help you refocus and refresh.
Here are a few easy things you can do right now to give your workplace a makeover.
Declutter your desk, your room, and your house
Having a clean and orderly working environment can help you focus on the task at hand. There’s a kind of zen that comes from knowing everything is put away and the only thing that needs your attention, for now, is work.
Challenge yourself to not let cups, papers, or random items pile up on your desk and see how that helps your concentration.
Add some new plants
Having some fresh plants near or on your desk provides some much-needed life. It also gives your eyes something to focus on when you need a break from the screen.
If you’re worried a potted plant would be dead in a day in your care, get yourself a bouquet. Flowers provide a lively pop of color and can help transform a room or desk.
Think about your lighting
If possible, try to work near a window as much as possible. Natural light is energizing.
Get a lamp to sit nearby on your desk or kitchen table. When you’re working past dark, the warm lighting will help you feel calm and prevent eye strain. Plus, overhead and fluorescent lights can make a space feel cold and are just plain ugly.
Pick the perfect chair
We don’t all have the option to use high-end office chairs, but putting thought into how you can make your chair as comfortable as possible will go a long way.
Add a pillow or two if you’re working on a hard dining room chair. It’s also a good idea to stand if possible.
Now that we are stuck in one place all day, working and not, it can be very helpful to rotate where you work throughout the day.
Moving from the dining room table to the couch and even sitting on the floor for a few minutes can help mix it up and avoid the boredom of working at the same place all day. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a dedicated working space like a desk.
Make the space as relaxing as possible. Working, going to school, or looking for work in the middle of a global pandemic is hard, but you’re making it through.
So light a candle, find some good lighting, and add some nice flowers to your environment to make this weird situation a little nice for however long we will be working from home.
Read more information and tips in our Advice section