During the pandemic, many of us have radically changed the way we work, live, raise our families, and get by. From online schooling to masks, it seems like the entire world has shifted from underneath us.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home during this time, you may have encountered some challenges setting up your space. Creating a productive WFH space is difficult, because it can feel like you’re eliminating the boundary between work and home. It’s also a challenge to take care of yourself while handling the myriad duties and responsibilities that come with being home all day.

Here’s a few tips for creating a productive, healthy, and maybe even joyful work from home space.

  1. Find your lightIf you can, it’s so important to place your desk or table near a source of natural light. Natural light will help keep your mood higher throughout the day, and being exposed to light during the day will help you sleep better at night as well. If your home just doesn’t have a space where you can set up near a window or door, consider investing in a natural light therapy lamp. Place one on your desk and use it throughout the day to simulate the effects of sunlight on your face.
  2. Consider taking a standIf you’re able, opt for a standing desk. Standing, rather than sitting all day, can boost productivity, improve your mood, reduce back pain, and even lower your risk of weight gain. If you don’t want to commit to standing all day, you can find an adjustable desk that easily converts from sitting to standing with an electric converter.
  3. Fill your space with greenMuch like the rest of your home, your workspace can benefit from the healing power of plants. Plants improve the air quality of your space, encourage better moods, help reduce background noise, and help humidify the air while cleansing it of toxins. That’s a win-win-win-win!
  4. Set timers for yourself Keeping track of time, and staying productive, can be even more challenging when presented with the distractions and responsibilities of home life. Whether it’s kids playing, or the pile of laundry to be done, or just the lure of the TV, there’s always something else to do. Use a timer to stay on track by keeping yourself dedicated to blocks of time where you’re productive, and then give yourself breaks throughout the day.
  5. Make your boundaries clear With more of us working from home, many people are reporting that they’re working longer hours than ever. Workers are responding to emails long-past working hours, and with your office just feet from your living room, it’s hard to feel like you’re ever truly “clocked out.” Set hard and fast rules for yourself, and make those rules clear to your colleagues as well. Set up an email auto-response to let people know when you’re in and out of the office, and let people know your “on” hours so they know when they can reach you and when they can’t. And then do your best to stick to it.