Stressed About Your Home Workspace? These Simple Changes Can Help

If your workspace is making you feel tense and anything but productive these easy changes will help create a more zen, focused area for you to work in. 

Does your workspace at home make you feel stressed? Don’t worry you’re not alone. Importantly, you also don’t have to put up with it. There are some simple changes you can make to boost the zen and and focus in the area you work. Here are a few to get you started: 

Strip Back

One of the most common reasons that people get stressed by their workspace is chaos. Lots of paperwork, furniture and other bits and bobs just all over the place. To easily fix that problem you do need to put a little bit of time and effort in, but it will instantly make a huge difference. 

  • First, make sure all the items in your office are out so they can be seen. This avoids chaotic clutter hiding in drawers. 
  • Then, split it into different piles that work for you. Some items will need shredding, some will need to go into deep archiving in a cheap self storage unit, some will be kept and better organised. 
  • Once you have done that, remove the items that no longer need to be in your office. Then, look at your furniture and think carefully about what truly serves you. Could that filing cabinet be in cheap self storage instead of your working space? Do you really need that plant table you always knock your leg on? 
  • Then, reconsider the furniture you have left and think about whether it could be traded for something more slimline or with better storage. For example, if you always end up having a pile of paperwork on your desk top despite having a huge desk, maybe it needs switching with something with more storage, and less worktop square footage. 

This decluttering session and switch around should leave you with well-considered items in your space that make sense. 

Make It Ergonomic

Sometimes our workspace makes us feel stressed because we are physically uncomfortable when we work. Maybe your chair gives you backache, or you’re always getting fried by the direct sunlight coming in at noon. 

Adding some blinds, getting a comfortable workstation setup, and adding some heating and fans to regulate the temperature should make your space much more ergonomic. There are also some great tips in this ergonomic workspace guide if you want further information. 

If you’re physically comfortable, that’s a really great foundation for a more relaxed workspace overall. 

Have You Over-Inspired Yourself? 

Sometimes in our enthusiasm, we might literally surround ourselves with inspirational sayings, a goal chart and white board full of to-do’s thinking that this will spur us on. Unfortunately, consciously and subconsciously these things can rob us of a sense of achievement in the moment, and leave us consistently carrying the weight of expectation on our backs. This is stressful, anxiety-inducing and unnecessary. 

One inspiring phrase on the wall is wonderful, but otherwise, try to only have your current project or goal in front of you at any one time. Everything else should be held digitally, or in a notebook for you to access when you feel able. 

Are You Comparing Yourself? 

Are you constantly hooked up to social media accounts, work colleague chats or other pressured spaces that cause you to constantly compare? If you are, it’s time to unplug and only have your work files open when you work. Inbetween, you could spend five minutes chatting or checking in, but otherwise, you don’t need that pressure and distraction constantly in the background when you’re trying to get tasks done. 

Stop The Outside Spilling In

Maybe there is always noise coming in from outside that distracts you from your work. Maybe the kids always run in and out of the office, or the cat has a habit of yowling outside until they are let in, when they then immediately want to leave again. These stressful things can be easily rectified to give you a more zen workspace. Consider: 

  • Adding locks to your door
  • Making some rules with the family about not entering your office when the door is closed
  • Playing some relaxing background noise to block out the outdoor noise
  • Adding some soundproofing to your office 
  • Keeping the cat away from your office during working hours, or ignoring the cat until they eventually stop trying 

“Stop a minute, right where you are… Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.” – Barbara Kingsolver 

Working from home does have its benefits, but you do have to nurture the perfect zen space to work in, to avoid stress spilling in. With our tips above, hopefully you will be one step closer to a much more relaxed workspace that inspires, and supports you in your daily professional goals.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.