Create a joyful workspace at home: Tips & tricks from designer Ingrid Fetell Lee

Photos by: Ingrid Fetell Lee

As many of us are adjusting to working from home, we want to share some tips from designer, author, and former Company speaker Ingrid Fetell Lee on how to create a joyful workspace. Trust her, she wrote a book on joy!

BE PLAYFUL. A playful workspace creates more opportunities for play in your day. These can be small, like the miniature spinning tops I keep on my desk to spin when I get stuck on an idea, or they can be larger, like having a trampoline to bounce on or a hula hoop to play with. Changing out a desk chair for an exercise ball can bring a sense of play to a workspace. A giant bowl of Legos or a big puzzle can keep hands busy while your mind is working through ideas.


CREATE A SENSORY LANDSCAPE. Create a sensory landscape that works for you. Part of this may mean eliminating unpleasant sensations, by getting noise-canceling headphones to tune out distracting noises or turning up the heat to a comfortable temperature. Look for ways to add pleasant sensations to your workspace. Hang art that gives your gaze something to rest on while you look away from your screen. Play nature sounds. Choose a bright mug for your morning coffee.


GET SOME SUNSHINE. In your home, you have more control over where you choose to work. If possible, choose a space near a window. If you don’t have much natural light in your space, use lamps to boost the brightness. Just as too much blue light from our screens can keep us up at night, a healthy dose of bright artificial light during the day can help keep our 24-hour internal clock in sync.


GREEN YOUR WORKSPACE. Add greenery! Plants that might struggle to survive in the dim light of your cubicle can thrive at home, and you gain the extra benefit of getting to enjoy them when you’re not working as well.


PACK IT UP AND PUT IT AWAY. When your laptop sits out on the dining table, or the coffee table is covered in stacks of manila folders, it’s hard to fully feel like you’ve turned off. Simply having a nice basket or closet to tuck your laptop and papers into at night will do the trick. Creating a physical boundary will help you reset your mind and reclaim your home life.


For more on how to make your home more joyful, head over to Ingrid’s blog, The Aesthetics of Joy.