How to make your home office your wellness haven

7 Awesome practical ways for wellness in your home office

 

By Bridget Puszka, BP Architects

 

As a home based business, you spend a lot of your time in your home office and working environment.  You want your home office to be conducive towards productive work without any distractions.  At the same time, you want your home office to have a high level of wellness.  So it can be your haven while you work.

 

1. The benefits of being Green

A room with a view into a garden space can add a sense of harmony to our working day.  If this is not possible then consider bringing the garden into your workspace.  For example, indoor plants are easy to add to your home office and add a sense of wellness.

 

Indoor plans also provide a connection to your environment.  Some plants will absorb indoor air chemicals.  In other words, these plants will help clean your indoor air.

 

NASA clean air study held in the 1980s investigated which plants removed what chemicals Specifically, plants such as mother-in-law tongue and peace lily will filter the air for benzene and formaldehyde. Both of these chemicals are carcinogens.  So it is well worth considering including these plants in your healthy office space.

 

Home Office. West St Kilda Home designed by BP Architects
Home Office. West St Kilda Home designed by BP Architects

 

Other benefits come with having air filtering plants in your office.  Good indoor air quality will increase your productivity.  Indoor air quality studies have taken place at Harvard and Syracuse Universities.  Tests found that adequate ventilation and low levels of carbon dioxide and emissions improved work performance.  Workers performed 61% better on cognitive tasks.  When you doubled the ventilation in a green condition environment, they found that cognitive performance increased by 100%.

 

Benefits from a green environment carry over to your general health. You will most likely have fewer headaches and colds and could find that you sleep better at night.

 

In addition to these health benefits, a green environment is perceived to have good air quality.  A green environment creates the background for your general sense of relaxation and provides you with stress relief.

 

2. Comfortable indoor air temperatures

If you are feeling hot or cold, this may unconsciously affect your judgement.  John Bargh, a psychologist at Yale, has been researching the influence of temperature.  He looked at how temperature plays an unconscious factor that influences the way we think and act.

 

Bargh states that “Physical warmth can make us see others as warmer people, but also cause us to be warmer — more generous and trusting — as well.”

 

The practical advice Bargh takes away from his study is that you best make important decisions with a cold drink in hand.   The reason for this is that cold sensation stimulates the part of the brain that triggers caution in economic and trust decisions.

 

Home Office. West St Kilda Home designed by BP Architects
Home Office. West St Kilda Home designed by BP Architects

3. Time management

Implementing a time management system will add volumes to your sense of wellness.

 

Kanban was developed by Toyota motor company to improve a never-ending task.   Sound familiar?  It is a scheduling system for lean manufacturing and just-in-time manufacturing that only does what is required.

 

Having a personal kanban board is one way of managing your tasks. The principles of Kanban are practical and logical and include the following:

  • Visualize workflow
  • Limit the number of jobs under “in progress”
  • Pull work from column to column
  • Monitor, adapt, improve

 

Home Office. kanban board
Example of personal kanban board for your home office. image from Wikipedia

 

The most straightforward Kanban board consists of three columns: “to-do”, “doing” and “done”.  The above image from Wikipedia illustrates this method.  You limit your work tasks in progress located in the “doing” column to 3 to 5 tasks. Once completed, you move the tasks identified on the sticky notes to the “done” column, with a sense of satisfaction.

 

There are many other time management systems available.  The Kanban is a simple method of identifying the numerous tasks a home business or small business person may have to undertake.  In particular, it recognizes the limitations of completing more than 3 to 5 jobs at any one time.  It works for me.

 

4. Dedicated workspace area

Dedicate a part of your home as your home office.  Ideally, this will be a separate room set aside and set up just for your home-based business activities only.

 

Some people find that even the act of entering this dedicated room or space from an external door will help them be in the right frame of mind for business activities.  It gives them the sense that they are leaving their home behind and are starting their business day.

 

Home Office. Essendon Home designed by BP Architects
Recycled silky oak benchtop. Bamboo flooring. Home Office. Essendon home designed by BP Architects

 

5. Establish a functional working environment

Functional aspects of setting up your workspace including making sure you have sufficient desk space for your working environment.  Such as allocating specific areas for your computer and printers.  In other words, every item of other office equipment has its own space.

 

Once you identify all the functioning aspects of your business and allocate the required area within your office environment, you are ready to go.

 

6. Clear office of clutter

Ideally, your office should be set up for productivity and business activities.  Other than this, if you can remove all other items, this will help to keep a clear workspace.  Allowing you to stay on topic and work through each of your allocated work tasks.

 

Essendon Home designed by BP Architects. Home Office.
Home Office. Storage cupboards made from plantation hardwood solid timber cupboard doors. Essendon Home designed by BP Architects

 

7. Set working hours

As busy business owners, we all tend to spend long hours in our businesses.  If you can configure your working hours say from 9 to 5 or 8 to 6, then you can concentrate your business activities during these time frames.

 

You will then dedicated and concentrate your business activities during business hours.

 

 

Carrajung Home designed by BP Architects. Home Office.
Carrajung Home designed by BP Architects. Home Office.

 

 

These seven straightforward and economic practical tips can help you to achieve a high level of wellness in your home office.  Your home office can be your wellness haven.

 

Bridget Puszka, BP Architects

 

BP Architects design green homes that allow you to live a premium sustainable lifestyle, which your family will love, your guests will admire and saves you 25% on your energy.  Learn more on how we work without Clients on their architect home designs.

At BP Architects we help you realize your dream home.  Contact Bridget at BP Architects and find out how we can help you get your dream home.