A woman in a striped sweater typing on a laptop in an apartment

Working your nine-to-five in the dead of winter can be a struggle regardless of whether you do your job from a cubicle or the comfort of home. Although remote working certainly has its perks — like skipping slushy rush hour commutes or shoveling the driveway early in the morning — it can also present unique challenges during the winter months.

A lack of sunlight, frosty temperatures and shorter days can make your at-home workday feel unproductive and stagnant. Working and living within the same four walls can make it seem like the days are blurring together without a break in routine. Luckily, with a few minor adjustments to your office space at home, you can stave off that sluggish winter feeling.

Here are a few great ways to help you beat those winter blues when working from home:

Feed your brain images of joy and motivation

Your workspace should be one that sparks creativity and energy. Promote an uplifting home work environment with bright decorative items, inspiring artwork and images of loved ones. Make your space feel extra productive in the wintertime with additions like desk organizers, your favourite stationary or a whiteboard calendar.

Brighten your space to make it your happy place

Your daily dose of sun is a great way to get a boost of vitamin D and serotonin. There are fewer daylight hours during the winter months, which can make it harder to get the rise in serotonin levels that we require. Get that much needed dose during your working hours by placing your desk in a sunny spot in your home. If your workspace lacks access to light, invest in a desk sun lamp – a special type of light that mimics natural sunlight – to help you soak up those rays.

Add plant-power

With constant slush and snow on the ground, it’s understandable that you’d miss the sight of lush greenery. Bring a bit of life into your workspace with the addition of house plants. Whether you prefer fiddle-leaf fig trees or tiny succulents, a collection of indoor shrubs can help to lift your spirits. Plants are not just pretty to look at — many of them provide stress-reducing and air-cleaning qualities, such as aloe vera, snake plant and lavender.

Enjoy a little aromatherapy

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly brewed coffee to get you up and running ahead of a busy workday. Introduce scents into your at-home office to make the space feel inviting and invigorating. Use a diffuser with your favourite essential oils, or simply burn a candle to take in your preferred aromas. Certain smells are known to promote concentration and alertness, such as citrus, vetiver and peppermint.

Bonus Tip – It’s important to take breaks, especially when working from home. Even when temperatures are below zero, getting outside can be beneficial to your mood and mental health. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, throw on your parka and enjoy a blast of fresh air to boost your energy levels.