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Working From Home
The Latest
Published Wednesday Mar 18, 2020 by Brittany Raine

Working from Home: How to Create a Home Office Oasis—and Increase Productivity

Personal Growth
Perspective
Renewal

It’s a digitally-driven world, and if you’re an employee, you’re probably working from home right now. The daily schedule for a WFH employee has quickly become redefined. Let's look at the home office: The desk is the kitchen table. The break room, whatever room you feel like that day. Zoom is the new meeting room and workplace. And your fellow employee helping you with time management and knocking your desk lamp over may have 4 paws and more concerned with finding the sun than any other task at hand. In this day and age, how can you organize your at-home workspace to be a beacon of productivity, a flexible environment, and most of all a room you actually want to commute to for work each day? 

Whether you’re working in your studio apartment, remotely meeting in your mega-mansion, completing a task in a tiny home or discussing your job with your employer from your parents' house, we've put together the following tips in an employee guide to working from home, retaining productivity, keeping focus, and finding a workspace that keeps you focused (and accomplished).  

Desk
Dedicate (and decorate) an “office” area.  

While all of us might not have an at-home desk or office for our work from home jobs, it’s essential to have an appropriate working area that is both productive and flexible. Regardless of space size, establishing a motivational, no-nonsense workplace will help create personal and professional boundaries and keep your focus on track, task list in order, and work in order. Since you're working remotely, treat this area like you would if your job was still at the office—organize it regularly, maybe a file cabinet, a motivational "I'm the boss" sign, etc. You know what we're talking about. Trust us, you’ll feel even more official when you take your next video conference call.   
  

1
Desk
Dedicate (and decorate) an “office” area.  

While all of us might not have an at-home desk or office for our work from home jobs, it’s essential to have an appropriate working area that is both productive and flexible. Regardless of space size, establishing a motivational, no-nonsense workplace will help create personal and professional boundaries and keep your focus on track, task list in order, and work in order. Since you're working remotely, treat this area like you would if your job was still at the office—organize it regularly, maybe a file cabinet, a motivational "I'm the boss" sign, etc. You know what we're talking about. Trust us, you’ll feel even more official when you take your next video conference call.   
  

Window view
Let the natural light in.   

A benefit of natural light is to alleviate any angst you may have from being indoors. Choose a space to work that offers natural light—and fresh air, if the weather allows. You won’t have to deal with those flickering fluorescent office lights, and you’ll reap the real benefit of natural light—upping your Vitamin D intake, warding off seasonal depression, making you happier, and your space, brighter. Opening the shades will keep you connected to the outside world and invite a little nature into your home. Remember to have a backup spot, though, in case backlighting becomes an issue when you’re on video. 

2
Window view
Let the natural light in.   

A benefit of natural light is to alleviate any angst you may have from being indoors. Choose a space to work that offers natural light—and fresh air, if the weather allows. You won’t have to deal with those flickering fluorescent office lights, and you’ll reap the real benefit of natural light—upping your Vitamin D intake, warding off seasonal depression, making you happier, and your space, brighter. Opening the shades will keep you connected to the outside world and invite a little nature into your home. Remember to have a backup spot, though, in case backlighting becomes an issue when you’re on video. 

dog in kitchen
Standup, disconnect, and schedule Savasana.  

When you’re working from home, and your commute is from your bedroom to your home office, it’s easy to get sucked into sitting all day—heads down at your desk going through your work email and never leaving your home office. Try creating a “zen zone,” adjacent to your workspace, but within sight (it will remind you to take a break). Roll out a yoga mat/blanket/towel and surround it with whatever helps you to focus and be present—no work materials allowed. Take advantage of the wellness space you’ve created by closing your computer at least two times a day to get working on a few yoga poses (these seven are fantastic) and take advantage of these ahh-mazing stretches. Your mind and body will thank you.  

3
dog in kitchen
Standup, disconnect, and schedule Savasana.  

When you’re working from home, and your commute is from your bedroom to your home office, it’s easy to get sucked into sitting all day—heads down at your desk going through your work email and never leaving your home office. Try creating a “zen zone,” adjacent to your workspace, but within sight (it will remind you to take a break). Roll out a yoga mat/blanket/towel and surround it with whatever helps you to focus and be present—no work materials allowed. Take advantage of the wellness space you’ve created by closing your computer at least two times a day to get working on a few yoga poses (these seven are fantastic) and take advantage of these ahh-mazing stretches. Your mind and body will thank you.  

music
Turn up the tunes. 

Sitting in complete silence, tapping away on your laptop, or be dialed into conference calls all day can weigh on you, especially if you’re coming from a lively work environment. If you’re alone and WFH, take advantage of that Bluetooth speaker or record player by tuning in and jamming out to some upbeat songs. Spontaneous dance party, anyone? Whether it’s turning up Tycho’s futuristic, multi-sensory musical experience, belting it out to Celine, bouncing to Biggie, or rocking to the Rolling Stones, trying diving into new (and old) playlists—we have quite a few WFH faves. You might even find working to music more powerful and invigorating than that fifth cup of coffee you’re sipping on.

4
music
Turn up the tunes. 

Sitting in complete silence, tapping away on your laptop, or be dialed into conference calls all day can weigh on you, especially if you’re coming from a lively work environment. If you’re alone and WFH, take advantage of that Bluetooth speaker or record player by tuning in and jamming out to some upbeat songs. Spontaneous dance party, anyone? Whether it’s turning up Tycho’s futuristic, multi-sensory musical experience, belting it out to Celine, bouncing to Biggie, or rocking to the Rolling Stones, trying diving into new (and old) playlists—we have quite a few WFH faves. You might even find working to music more powerful and invigorating than that fifth cup of coffee you’re sipping on.

Plug in and power up the diffuser. 

In a time of change, uncertainty, and chaos, stress can manifest in many ways. It’s essential to find calm in your every day, and that can be hard when you’re dealing with everything—including panicked co-workers and endless virtual meetings. So, what better way to clear the negative air than with essential oils? From boosting your immune system, to managing stress, to increasing your overall mood, a few drops in your diffuser can make a huge difference. And if you’re like me and think it’s never too early for pumpkin spice everything, check out these blends. Plug in your diffuser within a few feet of your WFH workspace for optimal soothing scents, all workday long.

5
Plug in and power up the diffuser. 

In a time of change, uncertainty, and chaos, stress can manifest in many ways. It’s essential to find calm in your every day, and that can be hard when you’re dealing with everything—including panicked co-workers and endless virtual meetings. So, what better way to clear the negative air than with essential oils? From boosting your immune system, to managing stress, to increasing your overall mood, a few drops in your diffuser can make a huge difference. And if you’re like me and think it’s never too early for pumpkin spice everything, check out these blends. Plug in your diffuser within a few feet of your WFH workspace for optimal soothing scents, all workday long.

desk plants
Bring the outdoors, in.

A little green never hurt anybody, especially when being inside is becoming the new norm. Make your WFH experience an urban oasis with (drumroll, please) plants! Succulents, ferns, aloe, a plethora of foliage—the list goes on and on. Plants will freshen your air and give you a little *extra* company as you WFH. Where our plant ladies at? Try contacting your local nursery or flower shop to see if they are open and schedule a quiet time to swing by and support your neighborhood business. If going outside right now isn’t possible for you, check out brands like The Sill to find a plant (or two) that can be delivered right to your door. And if you have a brown thumb—hey, we aren’t judging—search for some faux greenery on Amazon. Real or fake, plants can help add a little color to your space (and give your co-workers plant envy on those Zoom calls). Don’t forget a desk-sized one for your new WFH workspace!   


How are you building your WFH sanctuary? We want to know! Please share your tips, tricks, and creative ideas when it comes to making your home happening, and tag @mindbody on Instagram! 

6
desk plants
Bring the outdoors, in.

A little green never hurt anybody, especially when being inside is becoming the new norm. Make your WFH experience an urban oasis with (drumroll, please) plants! Succulents, ferns, aloe, a plethora of foliage—the list goes on and on. Plants will freshen your air and give you a little *extra* company as you WFH. Where our plant ladies at? Try contacting your local nursery or flower shop to see if they are open and schedule a quiet time to swing by and support your neighborhood business. If going outside right now isn’t possible for you, check out brands like The Sill to find a plant (or two) that can be delivered right to your door. And if you have a brown thumb—hey, we aren’t judging—search for some faux greenery on Amazon. Real or fake, plants can help add a little color to your space (and give your co-workers plant envy on those Zoom calls). Don’t forget a desk-sized one for your new WFH workspace!   


How are you building your WFH sanctuary? We want to know! Please share your tips, tricks, and creative ideas when it comes to making your home happening, and tag @mindbody on Instagram! 

Brittany Raine MINDBODY
Written by
Brittany Raine
Consumer Content Program Manager
About the author
A free-spirited farmgirl from New York, Brittany traded her job as a journalist and newspaper editor for the San Diego sunshine. Brittany now leads the curation of all creative content. There are rumors she was Middle Earth's warrior elven queen in a past life.
death of the walk-in
The Latest
Published Wednesday May 20, 2020 by Sara Lesher

When Salons Near Me Reopen: What To Expect From The First Visit Back

Beauty
Salon

Times are strange right now, as you all know. We’ve all heard the phrase “new normal” about a million times already, and all the while, things are still changing every day. If you asked me a few months ago what I’d be writing about right now, I would never have guessed I’d be interviewing someone about what it’s like to get a haircut

Nonetheless, we’re all doing our best to band together and help each other out right now. You may have noticed salons and spas offering messages of support, video tutorials for DIY beauty, and now, waitlists and announcements of reopening their doors. But as we all know, this isn’t the “old normal” anymore, and there will be changes. 

Here’s what you can expect to be different when you finally head back into the salon or spa:


Going the distance

As salons and spas begin to reopen, they’ll likely have to make changes due to new social distancing requirements. When you enter the space, you’ll probably see a complete rearrangement. Stations will be separated by at least six feet, and some might even be removed to allow for more space. Salons that don’t have that much space to spare are putting in temporary walls or partitions. 

On top of that, there may be fewer appointments scheduled at the same time (and definitely no walk-ins) to limit the number of people in the building. Say goodbye to waiting rooms and lobbies—you’ll likely be asked to wait outside or in your car until the exact start time of your appointment to prevent too many people crowding the front.


Keeping it clean

In addition to their increase in space, salons and spas will likely up their cleaning standards and procedures. We surveyed active consumers on the Mindbody app and learned that among the many changes beauty and wellness businesses can make upon reopening, following rigorous sanitization guidelines is the most important. You’ll probably see social posts or confirmation emails that outline new cleaning protocols, and you may notice some signage hanging around the building to reassure that the areas have been disinfected. Employees, and even guests, will be wearing masks and/or gloves, and you may even get a spritz of hand sanitizer at the door. According to Salon 124 Group, getting these supplies is turning out to be one of the largest obstacles for reopening.

In between each appointment, they’ll thoroughly disinfect the area before the next client arrives. Not only that, but each time you move to a new station (like from shampoo to haircut), they may also wipe down the station as soon as you get up to make sure it’s clean for the next guest. 
 

literally check ourselves out

Checking yourself out 

After a good haircut, we all want to check ourselves out. And now that we’re all more cautious of germs and bacteria, we also want to literally check ourselves out at the end of our appointments. Out of the various fitness, beauty, and wellness businesses on our platform, consumers feel most comfortable returning to hair salons, and 62.7% said hair cutting, coloring, styling, barbering, or blow-drying would be the first beauty service they book once restrictions are lifted. An extra, important layer of comfort can be added in the form of contactless payments.

Many salons and spas will likely be incorporating some sort of contactless checkout process to limit touch points. They may end up taking your payment information at check-in via text and removing the front desk, so you don’t have to interact with another person face-to-face.


Switching it up

All-in-all, you can expect changes—and lots of them. Whether it’s increased retail offerings, curbside pickups, virtual consultations, at-home appointments, or video tutorials, many salons and spas are getting creative with how they offer support to their clients. Above all, they want to help us feel beautiful, confident, and somewhat normal during this time—and for that, we’re so thankful.


Want to hear about a real salon experience firsthand? One of our own got her hair done at a reopened salon in Georgia—here’s how it went.

Are you a salon owner yourself? Check out the Reboot Kit for Salons, Spas, & Wellness Businesses for extensive info and advice on how to prepare for reopening.



MINDBODY. “COVID-19 APP USER SURVEY #5.” MAY 2020.
Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As Mindbody’s Marketing Content Associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).