Welcome back, everyone! We hope you’re enjoying the feeling of a short week and that the weekend is on the horizon. As Chicago seems to have temporarily surpassed the winter cold (shoutout to Punxsutawney Phil!), we are certainly enjoying days filled with sun, warmth, and opportunities to gain fresh air on walks or outdoor runs. For any of you who love to rollerblade, walk, bike, skate, rollerskate, run, or play outdoor sports, this is a perfect weekend to capitalize on a rare winter chance to fully embrace the feelings of Spring.
However, we also know that with warm weather comes feelings of angst being trapped indoors at an office all day. So, we’re here to offer you a few of our key strategies below to help YOU lighten up the work day by integrating pieces of your home routine and ‘home favorites’ into your office space and work atmosphere. Keep reading below to learn HOW to do so as soon as TODAY!
Lighten Up Your Desk and Office Environment!
- Coffee Routine: While caffeinated drinks certainly don’t jive with everyone, curating my perfect cup of coffee is admittedly my morning highlight. I encourage you to find a reason to get excited every morning; maybe your cup of coffee takes the form of a bagel, bowl of yogurt, cup of fruit, smoothie, matcha, tea, or simply water… whatever it is, make it uniquely yours. I specifically enjoy K-cups, with Trader Joe’s chocolate oat milk and a tablespoon of cinnamon (sometimes with a spoonful of collagen when I’m feeling extra motivated). Spending an extra few moments to feel like a barista makes coffee an activity to look forward to instead of another task to complete, it’s all about framing it in your mind. Especially if you’re returning to work, having a ‘sweet treat’ to bring on the go as your commute is a fantastic way to jump-start your day with positivity and delight.
- Pictures! Smiling at a picture of my puppies is always a pleasant and shining moment in my day. Think about printing or collecting a bunch of pictures of your favorite things (activities, restaurants, vacation spots, memories, family, and friends) to serve as a visual reminder of why we work…. to live (and certainly not the other way around)! Printing photos at places like Walgreens or UPS is a super cost-effective way to DIY a collage that can hang at your desk, sit within a frame, and provide you joy throughout the work day.
- Candles and Scents: Another way that I make my space as pleasant as can be is by lighting a candle each morning when I sit down. Crafting a perfect scent to blanket the room and my space makes my day feel curated, custom, and exactly what fits my preferences. This could look like incense, candles, wall plug-ins, flowers, or whatever else you need to feel your best in your space – be mindful of how physically close your desk is to others in the office for this one. But, if you can find an isolated space or set an agreement about scents with your teammates, you can curate an ‘office scent’ that mimics home as soon as today!
- Colorful Pens and Sticky Notes: This may sound pretty niche, but I find unexpected pleasure in writing in colorful pens, crafting notes on colored stickies, and making my space colorful. Whether these details impact your mood and productivity is, of course, a personal preference, but I would definitely recommend it! It is also crucial that you identify the most productive way that you can retain information – whether this is on your computer, physically on a sticky, or even in a notebook, make sure to collect the materials that will allow you to accomplish your best work.
- Cords, Plug-ins, and Technical Equipment: To wrap things up, in order to set yourself up for a smooth transition into an in-person office desk space, you must ensure that you have all the necessary materials handy to complete daily tasks. Whether this looks like your HDMI cord to link your laptop to a monitor, headphones that plug into your computer, or other equipment to ready your space, gather it all or request it from your company prior to your first physical day-in.
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