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It’s easy to start the year off strong after making New Year’s resolutions, but it’s easier to slip back into the same work routine rut after enduring the colder, darker months of the year—for those of us in Northern Hemisphere at least.

For many people, the winter season can have a major impact on mood and productivity, and those effects can be exaggerated under the current work-from-home conditions.

With spring finally springing, here some tips that will help you boost your productivity and make the most of your home office.

Bring in some greenery.

Depending on the time of year or your office location, you may not have access to an outdoor or nature-setting view. In that case, bring the outside in and start incorporating plants into your work environment. Aside from the air-purifying and moisture-providing effects of plants, they can also provide cognitive benefits as well. Workers with a view of plants or greenery have been shown to have increased levels of concentration, productivity, attention, and improved mood (Hall & Knuth, 2019).

Soak up the sun.

Based on the research related to green space and nature, we know that having visual access to green space is optimal, but there are still benefits that you can reap from natural light alone, without needing to position your desk directly in front of a window. Working in a naturally lit area, as opposed to electric lighting, has been shown to provide higher levels of visual comfort, alertness, and well-being (Shishegar & Boubekri, 2016).

Stay cozy.

No matter what climate you live in or office you work out of, it’s impossible to set the thermostat to a temperature that everyone is happy with. Researchers have found that the optimal temperature that corresponds to the highest level of productivity is between 69.8° and 71.6° F (Seppanen et al., 2006). One of the upsides to working from home is having control over exactly how warm or cold you want your office to be. At colder times of the year, consider adding a rug to help block drafts from door frames and hanging sheer curtains to keep the heat in while still letting sunlight through.

For more ways to help refresh your home office set-up and routine, check out our Work-from-Home Toolbox, a virtual library of all our work-from-home-related content.


Hall, C., & Knuth, M. (2019). An update of the literature supporting the well-being benefits of plants: A review of the emotional and mental health benefits of plants. Journal of Environmental Horticulture37(1), 30-38.

Seppanen, O., Fisk, W. J., & Lei, Q. H. (2006). Effect of temperature on task performance in office environment.

Shishegar, N., & Boubekri, M. (2016, April). Natural light and productivity: Analyzing the impacts of daylighting on students’ and workers’ health and alertness. In Proceedings of the International Conference on “Health, Biological and Life Science”(HBLS-16), Istanbul, Turkey (pp. 18-19).