Tips for Being Happy Working from Home

Many of us now need to work from home, but many feel isolated, lonely and demotivated by it, but using these tips, it is possible to be happy working from home.

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The COVID 19 pandemic saw the levels of people working from home soar. It was the obvious solution to not meeting with other people and spreading the virus.

Many companies saw the benefits of working from home in terms of the reduction in travelling time for employees, reduction in the need for costly office space, and the great efficiency seen by many.

However there are downsides to working from home: people can feel less happy after a while, and they can become demotivated, and even depressed.

There are a few simple steps that can be taken to possibly help reduce the downsides of working from home and to being more cheerful, happy and brighter.

Being happy when working from home is very important not just in terms of productivity for the company, but more importantly for your own wellbeing and enjoyment of life.

There are a few relatively simple steps that can be taken to make sure that you are happy when working from home.

Natural light

Good lighting can also be important. It is no secret that some people suffer from SAD: seasonal affective disorder where the lack of sunlight adversely affects their mood and meant disposition.

Although we may not all be affected as much, having sunlight enter the office can brighten up the day. Everyone feels happier on a sunny day, and trying to enable sunlight into the office area can help improve anyone's mood.

As working from home can be lonely and not always as stimulating, having external light, especially on a sunny day to improve the mood can only be beneficial.

Although not all home office areas may be able to have access to a good window, any improvements can help, possibly even installing suitable lighting.

Take time to do some exercise

Exercise is beneficial to our mood apart from just being a healthy activity.

Sadly when working from home it is all too easy to go straight into the office area and get to work without moving around very much.

Often the more usual commute to work at the office will require some activity - far more than just moving from one room to another.

As it really helps to move around, it is well worth building in times of exercise into the working day.

It can help to go out for a run or walk, or even just move around the house. With most smartphones having "health" apps, it can help to use them to make sure that you do sufficient exercise, obviously within any health restrictions you may have.

Personal contact

One of the items that is top of the list for many people who are working from home is that they miss real live personal contact. Although having a chat on the phone or via a video conferencing app, it is not the same as having real contact with someone.

Even within many social distancing limits, it is still often possible to see other people, especially outside. This can certainly help maintain mental health and keep you happier working from home.

Remove clutter

Another improvement that can be made to reduce stress and create a much happier environment is to remove clutter from around the work area.

With all of us leading busy lives, it is very easy to accumulate clutter, have untidy desks or workspaces and the like.

Although a lot of people laugh about working better when they have all the clutter they need easily placed around them, in fact studies show that clutter is not helpful.

Clutter can cause conflicting stimuli in the brain, and this makes it harder for the brain to filter through the required stimuli that are need to do the work in hand.

Too much clutter, and hence too many stimuli can result in rising levels of stress and mental discomfort. Accordingly, removing clutter and having a more ordered work area can give a much happier feeling.

In view of this it is good to have a proper clear out and tidy up, get organised, and if necessary buy some additional storage to ensure that the things that you need are available quickly and easily. But be careful not to re-accumulate too much stuff again.

Keep the noise out

Noise can be much more distracting and disturbing than you may think. It can not only be distracting but also tiring, and it can increase the levels of stress.

Research has shown that the brain is constantly analysing the sounds that are present, trying to recognise the different sounds that are present, and also searching for changes.

Often sharp noises can be far more distracting than a low background babble.

Sounds can link to the basic fight or flight response within the brain, and if this activity increases because of increased levels of noise then it can be very distracting and unsettling.

Shutting windows and trying to keep the noise levels down can help create a less disturbing and stressful environment.

Whilst a little stress can help productivity, too much continual noise, especially the constantly changing noise that seems to come in from outside can have a detrimental effect.

Have some green plants by the office space

A lot has been said and researched about having contact with the natural world. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, stress and rumination (endlessly going over the same thoughts). Not only this but it also improves attention, memory and sleep.

All of these are good for our health and make us much happier and brighter.

Having a few plants around the office area, or access to an outside space with plants helps considerably. A quick glance periodically can provide a welcome momentary break for the relentless viewing of screens, etc.

Also when combined with exercise in an outside area with plants, it can have a double effect on improving your mood and mental health.

These are just a few actions that can be taken to improve your mood and make you happier when working from home. They are generally quite easy to build into the working from home office environment or the day and they can make a great difference to your overall wellbeing.

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