Sensory Focused Tips for Remote Workers
Posted March 31, 2021
It may sound strange, but engaging your senses can make you a more involved and proficient worker. For the many people currently working remotely, it can be harder to stay focused and connected, especially when your days involve a lot of Zoom meetings with your coworkers vs. in-person. One remedy for this? To engage your senses while you work. Your main senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell have a profound impact on how you feel and perceive the world. Below we’ll cover how to engage these main senses while you work to make you feel more connected, productive, and happier.
It’s ideal if you are able to work in a room with plenty of windows and natural light. Studies have found that people that work in a room with natural light have improved mood and are overall more productive. Speaking of sight, when on video calls, be mindful of your background and make sure to have a clean or blank space behind you so your co-workers are not unnecessarily distracted. Not only should you try and make your physical workspace more enjoyable and organized, but think about how others will perceive the space behind you while you’re on camera.
Whether you’re on the phone or a video conference, high quality audio is essential. While the occasional background noise is to be expected while working remotely, constant disruptive noises are distracting and make it almost impossible for others to concentrate. On calls when you’re not speaking keep yourself muted; also consider investing in noise canceling headphones if numerous calls are a daily aspect of your day.
During virtual meetings or calls, it can be helpful to have a fidget toy nearby to keep your hands busy. You’ll be less tempted to check emails or multitask so you’re able to fully focus on the conversation.
Before sitting down to work for the day, grab a large water bottle or glass carafe so water is right there at hand (not to mention having it so close will be a visual reminder to help you drink more). Also, while it can be easy to get too busy and distracted during the day, it’s important not to neglect your physical needs. Have easy to grab snacks at home and eat balanced meals throughout the day (even schedule it into your calendar if you need to).
Our sense of smell is tied to the emotional and memory center of the brain and can be considered one of the most important senses. Certain scents like rosemary, cinnamon, and peppermint can help increase your productivity and attention span. Play around with what scents you like best. You can either use candles, aromatherapy diffusers, or other scent delivery systems. Here’s an article that goes into different scents and the impact they can have on your work.