5 things in your home office that could be adding to your stress - and how to handle them

Business Insider US
Visible clutter and insufficient lighting can add stress to your home office.
  • About 94% of employees feel stressed out at work, according to Wrike, a project management company.
  • While the pandemic has many working remotely, some common stressors can be found in home offices.
  • Therapists shared five stressors in home offices with Insider, from cord clutter to dim lighting.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Visible clutter in a home office can stunt creativity and workflow.

Clutter on and around a work desk.

While it's easy for clutter to pile up in an office, Therapist Weena Cullins told Insider that everything in your workspace should have a home. When sheets of paper and loose cords accumulate, finding what you need at specific times may become stressful.  

Mark Loewen, a therapist and the founder of LaunchPad Counselingpreviously told Insider that clutter gives our minds more visual information to process.

"By freeing up space, you are giving your mind a break, too," he said.

Insufficient light in a home office can cause stress.

A man works in a dark space.

Cullins said that offices with insufficient lighting could make certain tasks hard to accomplish.

"Adding lamps, wall sconces, or ceiling lights can help redefine a space that promotes stress," she said.

Having your home office in the same space where you relax can make it harder to separate work time and chill time.

A work space within a living room.

"During this past year, when many people were working from home, it became very difficult for people to separate work from their personal life," therapist Ariel Sank said. "By creating a separate area where you work versus relax, you are not only creating a physical separation but a mental separation from the two."

Sank added that separating your work and chill environments could be tough when living in a small space.

"Even changing up the chair or table you sit in to work versus relax can make a big difference," she said.

Outdated or worn-out furniture in your home office may prompt feelings of stress.

Unwanted furniture on a sidewalk in Berlin.

"Outdated decor or run-down furniture can bring down our spirits," Ahrens said.

Anywhere in the home, unfinished projects can create stress, Ahrens said.

A woman works on building a new chair.

An unfinished home office renovation could add to your stress.

"When we are surrounded by things that do not feel inviting or soothing or invokes some kind of a stress response, we tend to spend much less time in that space," Ahrens said.

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