Working from home means transforming the way you work – but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your motivation, output or enjoyment. Think of it as an opportunity to discover a way of working that puts your happiness and productivity first. It all begins with creating a harmonious space for you to enjoy working at home. Here are some ways to jumpstart your journey to a more Zen workspace.

Give your workspace a personality

Every person has their own unique style and sense of flair when it comes to decorating their home office or workspace. Some people love to be surrounded by a kaleidoscopic, fractal landscape that ignites their creativity, while some prefer a serene and calming environment that lets them gather their thoughts. Your workspace should depend on what works for you.

Your perfect workspace should give you feelings of serenity and inspiration. If you want to stare out across a captivating view, add some scenic artwork to remind yourself how beautiful the world can be. Start every day with a quote or new mantra. Throw in some modern accessories to add a punch of colour and personality to your home office and get rid of anything that fails to inspire you.

To help you bring out your inner interior designer, you could try apps like Homestyler, which lets you take a snapshot of any room and add 3D models of designer furniture.

Pay attention to the little things

Colour psychology and spatial psychology are significant factors that can affect not only our mood, but our ability to focus and motivate ourselves to complete tasks. They show us how colour and negative space in our surroundings can either help or hinder our everyday productivity.

Covering your walls in too much confusion and colour can affect your mindset by overstimulating your brain. Try to get your colours complementing one another, rather than all fighting for your attention. Cooler colours can add a sense of calm, while warmer but subdued yellows and pastels can lighten your mood. If you’re having trouble staying concentrated, avoid frantic patterns or overly prominent clashes of red and other bright colours as these can become distracting.

Colour psychology is also effected by personal experience though and everyone is different. Apps like Color 911 let you put together colour schemes for decorating projects, so you can experiment and create a palette that reflects your own aesthetic preference.

Create the illusion of space instead of breaking down the walls

Meditation often involves visualising a calm area around you that stretches beyond the confines of four walls. This allows the meditator to remove any sense of claustrophobia and feel the expanse of their limitless imagination.

Designing your workspace to feel spacious is so important especially when working from home. By adding mirrors and lighter colours you can truly get a sense of space. Removing unnecessary clutter is also an important aspect in giving yourself room. Finally, bring the outside world in with plants, artwork, small water features and natural textures like stone and treated wood. Reinventing your space begins with reinventing your perspective.

Most of all, get as much vitamin D as you can – and that means opening up the curtains and letting light in every morning to start your day.

Think of the office as a time – not a place

Some of the quintessential aspects of everyday life are the least noticeable. Going for a short walk to get some fresh air and exercise, talking with someone about your weekend, shutting your computer down and switching yourself off work mode – these are all important little rituals to give you a sense of life outside of work, and working from home shouldn’t mean losing track of them.

Another way you can stay productive is to learn when you are at your peak headspace for working – are you a morning person, or do you find yourself kicking into gear in the afternoon? Shift your workday to prioritise your momentum and not the other way around.

Giving yourself a strict sense of when work begins and ends also means balancing it out with little everyday habits to keep yourself happy. Write down the little rituals that make your work enjoyable and practice them every day.

Give yourself breaks instead of losing yourself in the loop

It’s so easy to fall down the social media or online content rabbit hole. How many times have you instinctively clicked on a notification only to find yourself realising that ten minutes have passed in an instant? One second you’re checking a Facebook notification, the next you’re watching a cat teach Swahili on YouTube or researching the Spanish Inquisition on Wikipedia.  The infinite scroll of social media and the video recommendation loop of YouTube can be like river rapids, carrying you with a single slip to somewhere you didn’t realise you’d end up.

Turning off your social media notifications for your personal accounts means that you won’t slip into that river and get carried away. Self-motivation begins with self-discipline.

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Jesse Brand

Digital Copywriter

Jesse Brand,
Digital Copywriter

Jesse is a national award-winning poet, musician, writer and knower-of-all-things digital. After winning the Australian Poetry Slam and publishing his first book, ‘Cranes Falling in Unison’, he toured internationally with literary festivals and spoke on some of Australia’s biggest stages. When he isn’t immersed in the creative arts, Jesse spends his time working with global brands on major campaigns and developing new ways to create compelling content.