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Eight Tips to Create a Work From Home Sanctuary on a Budget

Eight Tips to Create a Work From Home Sanctuary on a Budget

My workspace has always been my sanctuary. To me, a cluttered space equals distraction, which can lead to dysfunction.

I’ve always been drawn to the feng shui principles of elements in a space. You don’t have to fully feng shui your house (unless you want to) to create a productive environment. When I came up with the concept for Hera Hub coworking space back in 2011, I wanted to be sure to bring those feng shui principles into the workspace. Many of these elements are what we see in a wellness center or spa, so I coined the term “spa inspired” workspace.

You can also bring these elements into your home workspace to create an inspiring environment.

White noise lessens distractions.

Yes, headphones work, but you may not be able to wear headphones all day. (Perhaps you need to keep an ear out for other family members.) Running water - real, flowing fountains are elements we put into every location.

If you choose this option, make sure you get one that’s audible. If you don’t want the real thing, you can fake it with a white noise machine.

Lighting brightens your mood.

This makes a big difference, not only for Zoom calls, but just for overall wellbeing. If you don’t have good natural light, I recommend purchasing a bright desk lamp with a warm light bulb. Cold overhead lighting is not only bad for video, it’s also harsh on your eyes. Try to introduce lighting at the seated level.

[Related: The Highs and Lows of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Working Parents, and the Implications for the Future of Work]

Art adds inspiration.

Put something on the walls that inspires you. It could be art or a mural or inspiring quotes. We feature local artists in our spaces (it’s great to support local art). Do splurge, if you can, because this is something you’re looking at day-in and day-out. If you can’t afford great artwork just yet, then consider a vinyl mural or inspiring vinyl quotes.

Live plants improve wellbeing.

Our favorite are pothos plants - they are extremely easy to care for. They root themselves in water (you can easily create a living wall) and they don’t require much light.

Houseplants are good for your health — they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. This not only freshens up the air, but also eliminates harmful toxins. Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours.

Plants, especially those with broad leaves, will help regulate humidity and increase levels of positivity — seeing greenery and nature help us feel more relaxed and calm, which in turn benefits our mood.

Seating doesn’t have to be a chair!

If possible, give yourself the option to stand now and then. You can place something right on your existing desk or workstation.

Want a cheap, fun, ergonomic seating option? Buy a stability ball to sit on — without a stand! It will improve your posture and help you strengthen your core. We recommend buying a slightly larger version (potentially 75cm) so your height is ergonomic to your worktable. Plus, pumping it up is a good arm workout!

[Related: Give Grace During the Time of COVID-19]

Candles set a mood.

They not only smell good, but they also set the mood and can be a centering point for you. We usually stock up at HomeGoods, but you can also find great options in your local boutique. Find a scent that inspires you. This is one of our favorites.

Separate your space.

If at all possible - don’t work at your dining room table and don’t work on your bed. If you don’t have a spare bedroom for a private office, then try to at least create a designated corner and use shoji screens to section off your area from visual distractions.

Spa water keeps you hydrated.

None of our spaces would be complete without fresh spa water in the fridge. It’s that little, healthy twist that can make your workday more enjoyable. Cucumber/lemon is always refreshing. I also love rosemary/lemon water (which lasts for days). It can even be as simple as cutting up a fresh orange and putting it in your water.

It’s these small details that can make a big difference in how you feel throughout your workday, and may even be the inspiration to launch your own business someday!

[Related: How to Safely Reopen Offices: Physical and Behavioral Changes are Key]


Felena Hanson is the founder of Hera Hub, a spa-inspired shared workspace and community for female entrepreneurs. She is the author of "Flight Club - Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business," which provides tools and resources to women at every stage of launching their businesses.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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Community Discussion
Kristi Duvall

These small steps will make a big impact and more spa-like than my regular office environment. :)

March 7, 2021