There are lots of upsides to working from home, such as no commuting time or transport costs. But there are downsides too, from not seeing enough of the outdoors to feeling confined to a small room.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to reduce stress and increase your connection to the outside world.

Keep it practical and low maintenance

Making sure your workspace is always clean and tidy, will ensure you’re productive and never worrying about anything other than the job in hand. Plus, it will help you start, and more importantly finish, on time. No one wants their working day encroaching on their family time. So, organisation and practicality are two things to get right.

You could think about fitting laminate flooring rather than carpet, and shutters rather than curtains, for easy cleaning and durability. And stashing your smaller bits and bobs in lidded storge boxes, to keep your desk clutter free and dust free.

Finally, make sure you remove any items you don’t use. And keep the things you use daily, close to hand. 

Make it light, bright and inspirational

But it’s not all about the practical things. Ideally, you want to be working in a space that isn’t too oppressive. It should be light, bright and inspirational.

If you can choose where you work, pick a space with a large window that looks out onto green spaces or has a nice view. If not, make sure you keep the windows clean and clear to maximise the light. Don’t block panes with bulky curtains or furniture and make sure fresh air flows through the room whenever possible. And choose paint finishes that reflect this light and bounce it around the space.

Connection to the outdoors is a big factor in reducing stress and can help spark our creativity too. So, make sure you’ve got some low maintenance plants in the room. And use artwork to reinforce this idea. Prints with flowers, plants, trees or natural scenery are great. And if you’ve got a favourite place or holiday destination, then put up some photos or pictures of it.

Finally, don’t be afraid to add a few pops of colour into your workspace. It can also be a good way to stamp your personality on your office, without filling it with clutter. Perhaps include a stylish and colourful wall clock, or some pretty pots for your plants. Or, if you are using plain storage boxes, spruce them up by covering them with decorative wallpaper.

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