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Why The Home Office Life Isn't Working For You

If you’ve been working from home since the start of the pandemic, you’ve probably come across many articles promoting the benefits of remote work environments. Working from home is liberating. You don’t have to worry about getting up early to commute to work. You only need to get up and turn the laptop on. When one knows how stressful and time-demanding commuting can be, it’s a huge difference for professionals. Working from home can enhance your work/life balance and make it significantly easier to spend meaningful time with your family. Besides, remote employees have been vocal about the productivity and creative boosts they’ve experienced in the home office. Many found themselves able to focus better once they removed the typical distractions of an office day, such as conversations with co-workers or unexpected meetings.

But, despite all the positive things you’ve heard about, somehow you can’t unlock your full potential in the home office. Why isn’t the home office life working for you? Here are some surprising obstacles that can make it more challenging to work efficiently from home.


You have an uninspiring view

What do you see out of the windows? If you live in the middle of a busy city, all you can see through the window is street traffic and gray buildings. Needless to say, cars and apartment blocs are not the most inspiring views you could get. Something as simple as adding some potted plants to your window sill could create a new eye-catcher. Yet don’t think you’re off the hook when you live in a suburban area with your own garden. A dull-looking garden can affect your creativity and motivation just as much. It might be a good idea to flex your green thumbs and add some tasteful elements to the garden. A lovely bunch of wildflowers can add color and bring wildlife to your backyard. The presence of nature enhances creativity and focus, as it helps relax the mind. Your blood pressure significantly drops when you are in nature, and you can reproduce a similar effect with potted plants or a beautiful garden.

It’s always cold

Shivering at the desk? That’s no good! When you’re cold, your body focuses on regulating its temperature. You may not realize how temperature fluctuations affect your cognitive abilities. Does being cold make you less creative or productive? The answer is yes. While it doesn’t rob ideas, the temperature regulation process drives energy away from the brain into your limbs and other organs. You’ve got less blood flow coming to the brain, while means that your brain is not receiving as much as it needs for cognitive and creative performance. So, it’s a good idea to tackle the temperature problem. Does your home office have an old window that lets the cold air through? You should book a window replacement appointment with a specialist. Does the heating system fail to keep you warm? Regular servicing can be a life-changer.

You don’t have the right snacks

Snacks? How do your snacks improve your home office routine? Here’s the thing: Snacks can make a huge difference to the way your brain works. Here’s an example. If you like to recharge your energy with a creamy latte and a donut, you may want to think twice about your choices. Sugary treats tend to deliver a rapid boost of energy, the sugar rush. However, sugar affects the connections inside your brain, making it hard to make decisions. Additionally, the sugar rush doesn’t last for long and is rapidly followed by a drop in energy. On the other hand, brain food will keep you focused all day long. A handful of berries can deliver the boost you need without any side effects. Guacamole or avo toast is also a fantastic alternative, giving plenty of healthy fat to support brain health.

It’s too loud

Working from home can be surprisingly loud. Traffic noises can register 80 dB at roughly 50 feet from the highway. Depending on where you live, it can be a highly disruptive environment. If you live in the city or by a highway, the constant rush of cars creates damaging noise pollution. Even if you live away from high-traffic spots, neighborhood and household sounds can be challenging on a day-to-day basis. Lawn-mowers, children playing in the streets, dogs barking in the backyard, or your partner doing a Zoom call in the other room, all these can affect your stress levels. Noise pollution is highly stressful, affecting your productivity, creativity, and mental focus. Changing your home office setup to account for noise pollution can help you regain your lost productivity. The addition of houseplants, for instance, can help reduce sound levels around you. So potted plants around the windows or along the wall can help absorb excess dB. If you have the possibility to soundproof the roof, it’s always worth investing in soundproofing material, which can be placed directly on the wall and ceiling, or inside the insulation layer. Additionally, noise-canceling headphones can also enhance your day and improve Zoom call quality to ensure you only hear what is necessary.

It’s lonely

Working alone means nobody interrupts your thoughts. It also means you’ve got nobody to talk to when you want to test your ideas. In a typical office, people naturally exchange thoughts throughout the day, asking for advice on an email, sharing opinions, or simply showing their latest strategic plan. Nothing stops you from introducing casual brainstorming or coffee break meetings to your day. This could be the opportunity to pick a coworker’s brain on something or simply to bounce off ideas at each other.

It disrupts your work/life balance

You’d think that working from home would help you spend quality time with your family. But for a lot of professionals, it’s been the opposite. Home-based workers are more likely to work longer hours, accumulating extra two hours every day. There is no secret. If you are going to manage a healthy work/life balance from your home office, you need to create a strict schedule to leave the desk on time every day. Share your schedule with co-workers and clients too, as most people tend to assume that out-of-hour calls are acceptable.

Working from home is a change of work habits. Your work environment and routine need to match your personality and requirements. Longer hours, dull environments, and lack of comfort can affect the way you think and create. In other words, when your home office setup isn’t right, you can’t unlock your full potential!

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