Woman working with child

Working from home is the new normal, not just for the privileged any longer.

It’s not for everyone, and it depends on the career. It’s comfortable, economical, and fulfilling. It should also improve your mental and physical health.

Gone are the treacherous commutes that take your time, money, put you in danger, and add stress. Still, working from home has drawbacks. First, you better be driven. If you’re not – or you don’t enjoy your profession – it’s going to be a long day. 

It may take time to adjust, but you will make this work.

Feed the Plants

A friend suggests plants to brighten the home office. Merriam-Webster abbreviates Phytoremediation as plants that remove or stabilize undesirable substances. It works. Additionally, plants are pretty, smell fresh, and require care – all positive distractions.

There are numerous lists of effective plants for a home office. Here are the top five from Architectural Digest:

  1. Rubber Tree (oxygen producer)
  2. Chinese Evergreen (mood booster)
  3. Spider Plant (air cleaner)
  4. Snake Plant (air cleaner)
  5. Golden Pothos (toxin filter)

Make Yourself Comfortable

Are you good on a laptop with a small monitor? Do you need two, three, or four monitors to create your happy place? Working from home is all about the office. 

Here are five tips from varied sources that solve common home office pitfalls:

  1. Invest in Yourself (don’t skimp on office furniture, especially the chair and desk)
  2. See the Light (combine natural and artificial lighting to avoid eye strain)
  3. Everything in its Place (use cabinets or shelves for easy access)
  4. Nix the Spaghetti (tie and conceal your cables to reduce clutter)
  5. Control the Temperature (if it’s too cold or too hot, guess who’s too stressed?)

Relax, Breathe Deep, Let It Go

Another friend said there’s added pressure working from home. As your own boss, you push yourself harder. Working in solitude is normal to some, not to others. Walking, stretching, exercising, and meditation are reliable options. Not only for the eyes but the body and soul. 

Newsflash: Stress is counterproductive in the workplace. It lies in the roots of depression, anxiety, irritability, forgetfulness, and relationship problems.

From the University of Colorado, here are the top five quick stress reducers: 

  1. Breathe (slow, deep breaths)
  2. Listen to Music (whatever does it for you)
  3. Take a Walk (quick walk around the block)
  4. Find the Sun (bright light can cheer you up)
  5. Stretch (hands in particular carry tension)

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

A trait of successful entrepreneurs and happy teammates is starting early. Distractions are fewer, it’s dark, and you have time on your side. It’s a proactive approach that invites sharper, positive energy.

Whether it’s behind a desk or not, you must enjoy your calling. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you won’t do it long. Your mental and physical health will suffer.

Working from Home Takes Practice

As with any skill or craft, it takes practice. Countless professionals never thought they could work from home. Six months later, you’ll never get them in the office again. 

Relax. No need to leave early to beat traffic. You have time for your project. For yourself. Your family. Whether it’s an afternoon school play or being there for lunch on your child’s day off, the rewards are priceless.