Covid brought with it many changes to the way people live and work. The financial implications brought to a close many struggling small businesses and some big names too. Retail and hospitality suffered worse than most industries, and there was little they could do once non-essential businesses were ordered to temporarily close.
However, some other businesses were able to carry on by utilizing remote work. In the not-so-distant past, only a select few employees were able to enjoy working from home, but now it is fast becoming the norm. Indeed, a report by Forbes suggests that around three-quarters of employers and workers believe that remote working will become commonplace over the next few years.
There are indeed many perks to remote working, but there are also some problems with it. Working from home requires a complete transition and brings with it many challenges.
Challenges to remote workers
Many people have embraced the chance to work from home and employees and employers alike have no intention of switching back to the old standard. However, some people have found the change much harder. Switching to remote working is not as simple for some as it sounds, and the problems listed below can be typical for the remote worker:
- Working too many hours
- Being unable to switch off
Remote workers need to find out how to separate their home life from work. This can be difficult unless they have the right environment set up, and they are away from other distractions and noise in the home.
It has been noted how a sudden shift into remote working is affecting people, and many find it harder to stay focused and motivated. If you begin remote working you may find you work more hours than before, cannot switch off from work, or you find your productivity drops.
What are the benefits of home working?
One of the reasons that many people prefer remote working is due to the amount of time saved. You will no longer have to put up with the commute or long meetings. This can lead to a better work-life balance. Studies have shown that remote workers can save around two weeks a year just by cutting out a standard daily commute.
Then there is the money-saving aspect. Remote workers no longer have to pay for travel, and they are less likely to pay for lunch or snacks. Hours can be adjusted to suit, and in some positions, workers will be able to take time out of the day for other chores.
There is less bureaucracy and red tape, and remote workers can be more autonomous. To make the most of these benefits, the home office needs to be arranged correctly.
Setting up the right home working environment
Creating a proper workspace that is separate from your family and other distractions is essential if you are to be successful at home working. Many reports do show that productivity is higher in-home workers compared to those who carry out their responsibilities in a traditional work environment. However, many others find it hard to concentrate and keep productivity high.
An office or area that is free from noise, that has good natural light, and is solely used for work is the ideal scenario. Gadgets such as wireless keyboards and a mouse can help reduce clutter, and an ergonomic chair will provide comfort and support to the back.
There are also some tricks to help increase productivity, and one of these is to use scented candles in your home office.
Increasing productivity with scented candles
It has been known for hundreds, if not thousands, of years that different scents can have an effect on the human mind. Some help to lift moods, others reduce stress, and some can help improve energy levels.
Around one-third of employees are worried about their mental health while working from home, and the simple use of scents can help reduce stress and increase a feeling of calmness.
The best way to use scented candles may be to get a few different scents for use in different scenarios. Some can help when you are feeling under the weather, while others can make you more alert when you hit that late afternoon feeling of sluggishness.
The 5 best scented candles for increasing productivity
There are many scented candles to choose from and by experimenting you may find some that suit you perfectly. For now though, and just to get you started, here are five that can help improve your work environment and your productivity.
There may be something of a placebo effect surrounding this fragrance, but however it works, it can bring something of a lift in the morning. The brain associates certain smells with memories or moods, and coffee is something people drink for a boost after they wake up.
The scent can have a similar effect and can make the brain more alert and ready for the day ahead, without even consuming any caffeine. Try lighting one before you start your morning.
Not surprisingly perhaps, citrus can make you alert and ready for action, as the scent is fresh, tangy, and sharp. Lemon fragrances leave a feeling of cleanliness, fresh air, and can reduce tension too. With mental well-being a concern for many remote workers, lemon candles are a useful tool for reducing stress and anxiety.
Citrus scents leave the home office feeling as if it is clean and this works on the human brain too.
Candles are naturally seen as a way to provide light, but they can have other properties too. Having a white candle can be useful in the world of esotericism, and other candles can be used to improve mental wellbeing. Ginger is one scent that can help in this way.
While ginger won’t necessarily increase your energy levels, it can affect your mood. Ginger has antidepressant properties, and anyone who is feeling low can use this scent to improve their mood. If you are feeling low then it can be a struggle to find motivation, so ginger may help.
This scent that is so linked to Thai and other Asian cooking can also work well when used in a candle. Lemongrass helps similarly to lemon and citrus as it provides a clean scent that cuts through a foggy mind, making you alert and focused.
This scent is said to aid with brain functions. This is particularly useful if your role involves problem-solving. Being able to think straight and work through problems will mean you are more productive. Peppermint clears the airways and helps you to think clearly.
Certain smells, odours, and scents can trigger memories and improve, or worsen, moods. Choosing the right scents, and it may take some trial and error, can lead to greater productivity and energy levels.
Some stats from Pew Research show that 36% of workers find it somewhat difficult to get motivated, so anything that can assist in this area is worth trying. There are many expensive gadgets on the market that promise to help with productivity, but it might be that a simple, scented candle is the solution you have been looking for.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.