Quick Tips To Improve Your Home Office Experience, Part 1: Clean Air

Aktualisiert: 18. Nov 2020

How To Turn Your Working Place At Home To A Heavenly Oasis Of Bliss

Quick Tips To Improve Your Home Office Experience:

Part 1: Clean Air

This article belongs to a series of articles in which I would like to dedicate myself to the question about how to improve our life at home and how to transform our living space to a more inspiring place.

Based on my own experience and research, I would like to cover one topic per article to guide you to a more enriching living and working experience at home.

Here I also go in more detail what is needed to achieve a clean space and how to get fresh air, since it’s the most essential foundation which needs to be set, ideally before further steps for improvement can be taken.

Let's begin with the simple fact that for most of us our home is the place where we spend the most of our time.

This becomes more evident, since the COVID-19 pandemics has all spread around the world.

Risk reducing measurements like higher hygienic standards, home office and social distancing became part of our every day lives.

So to cope with this whole challenging situation, one recommendable step is to make yourself a better and inspiring place at home to counter fatigue and stress.

For this I am of the opinion that it’s absolutely crucial, that at first the air you are breathing at home is clean and free from harmful chemical substances.

In this particular article I would like to go into the question what home office means for us nowadays and then further explain step by step the simple steps one can take to transform our homes to a better working and living environment.

1.1: Why it is important and good to have clean air at home

As I have explained before the first element we should consider is the most important but most of the time also the most disregarded one: It’s the air we all breathe.

Therefore I dedicate this article to the improvement of the indoor air quality since air is the most vital and subtle element which surrounds us.

To transform our home to a more livable place, we should at first begin to transform this element to the better, since it’s one of the most important and fundamental elements which makes life possible, because without air we simply cannot live or exist.

Also it’s not only important to simply have air available but what matters is not only where it comes from but much more important is how the quality of it is.

So to begin with my explanation, let us begin to see how we live and work nowadays and what working at home means with all its implications.

1.2: What Home Office means and how it changed how we work and live

Nowadays, at the present time with the presence of the global pandemic, more and more employees from many companies, are transitioning to do their work at home. For safety reasons and to protect employees from the Corona Virus and to reduce the possibility of new infections with the virus, employees are consequently sent to home office. The best known companies which took those measurements at first are big players of the IT industry like Apple, Facebook and Google.

But even many smaller and mid-sized companies are making this step towards sending their employees to home.

With this extraordinary situation given by the pandemic, this seems to be the new status quo on how work is getting done and at the moment it’s the situation we need to become accustomed to.

But what does home office mean exactly, how does it change our lives?

To begin to form an answer to this question, I would like to tell you about my actual life situation in short, so that you have a better impression of what all this means.

When I first began to do my office work at home, I began to realize how much it changed my way to work and live. When you ask why: First and in short I think it‘s because of the simple fact that you hardly go out of your house anymore.

For example you don’t need to commute to your office in the morning, also because of this you save about an hour per day. It’s that one hour commuting time to arrive at your working place and also getting back to home after your work is done.

The time which we need to commute is approximately about an hour or more, or maybe less, of course depending on where you live and how far the distance to your office is.

Therefore we save about 1 hour on a daily basis. So what do we do with this one hour saved per day?

The fact that you hardly have to go out of your house is quite convenient in my opinion but also a sad fact. Since you hardly leave your home except the absolutely necessary things, to protect yourself and your beloved ones from the virus one spends the time mostly at home.

Especially if you or others in the same household belong to a risk group, one restrains to go out except for the absolutely necessary things like buying groceries and to have a small walk to keep oneself fit.

I think it’s a widely accepted fact that it’s more clever to stay at home in times like these.

Some of us get a little bit lazy, others try to get out of their homes to go i. e. jogging as much as possible to stay fit.

There seems to be a lot of different ways to cope with this new normal situation, but when you are enclosed at home or you do spent much more time at home than you are usually accustomed to, one begins to see the own home with other eyes.

After a week or so after the exit lock had come in effect in Austria in spring 2020, I realized that I got to notice some areas and details of the furniture and rooms in my home more consciously since I am at home nearly 24 hours per day and I am surrounded by my home’s walls. So what happened?

In my case it was like this: First I realized that some of the furnitures should be send to repair/be exchanged/in the worst case should be disposed.

It got apparent that some small details at home like the color of the walls should be painted in a more fresh color.

Also during the first weeks of the lockdown in Austria, I realized that I was getting lazy and tired. In short I suffered from mental and physical fatigue, which was a side effect of the inertia which built up in my mind and body since I hardly left my house.

I felt the immediate need to bring fresh energy to my home. After spending a lot of time at home, I had a strong feeling that I needed new energy, some new inspiration, just something fresh and new, which was the opposite of what I felt, because what I felt was exhaustion and inertia, and that experience was somehow new to me, but in a tiring way.

So I began to make some research on the net, how to make my living space a more inspiring and lively one.

1.3: Einstein, Feng Shui and New Energy for Your Home

At this point we should pose the question, what new energy, fresh air, disposing of unnecessary items and empty spaces have in common?

In fact they are interrelated, it’s like this quotation:

New Energy=Fresh Air=Dispose unnecessary things=Empty Spaces

Like Einstein once said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This fact has relevance in our efforts to make our home a more inspiring place because things like furniture and other objects we have been accumulating during our life time are somehow like habits that manifested to physical objects. What we accumulate or collect in our home also how/where we place them tells and reflects a lot about our personal preference and our personality.

So you decided to make a change in how you live? The first thing is to get rid of things you thought you needed but in fact you don‘t need!

The famous female Japanese author Marie Kondo, expert in decluttering, recommends to look first at what you have collected. The quintessence of her method is to look at what objects you possess, then to be clear if it has been often used or not, also you should feel it if the object feels good or bad if you hold it in your hands.

If it’s something which you have hardly used, like a second pair of old shoes, and if you have no emotional tie to them, it‘s time to throw them out of the window. Or better simply dispose them. :-)

In letting things go or in disposing them, you create new space, new possibilities and new energies. It‘s a fact, please try it and see it yourself.

Letting things go is like death, but in a positive and necessary way. Through death new things can happen. Old things are replaced through new more lively things, like nature does every day.

It seems like a contradiction, but through death, life can happen.

Look for example at your skin cells. Each day a lot of them is shed away, those dead skin cells are replaced through new cells. If that wouldn’t happen, your skin would not be able to repair if any injury should occur, also this cyclic process guarantees the health of the skin, which is the biggest organ of the human body. The same applies to blood cells, trees and leaves. Everything in nature, is a balance and exchange of life and death.

So in a life affirming way, if we take tarot cards as example, in which the death card symbolizes a major change, transition or transformation in one‘s life, it shows that death is naturally necessary in life.

Maybe you have also heard of Feng Shui, which is the Chinese art of arranging objects, buildings space and life to achieve harmony with the universe.

I wouldn‘t go that far because at first we just want to make our living rooms a bit better than it is. The principle of Feng Shui is mentioned here in short because I would like to point out that according to Feng Shui, the ancient theories of the geomantics, there is a small order and a larger scale of it.

The wonderful idea and hopefully fact is that we, our homes, the buildings, rooms and objects in it, which are the small structures are in direct relationship with the infinite structures of the cosmos.

So you are eager or interested in discovering this?

Then: First dispose all things you don‘t need, to make new space for new energies and thoughts.

But how?

This article is about clean air. So first of all get rid of all things which smell bad, or items that are made out of materials that are contraproductive to achieve our goal, therefore items which may be harmful for your health. I am going to go deeper and more specific on this topic in a second.

So getting back to my research, the first thing I noticed when I compared my home to the beautiful interiors of other designer homes, which are displayed in magazines and websites which are specialized in interior decoration was, that my home was massively lacking in plants, because I simply had no plants, nothing… zero!

The reason for this is that I am allergic to dust mites and pollen, since I was a young child, and the doctors recommended me to have no plants in my room since the increase of humidity through the plants would result in the increase of the growth of mites.

Since I have bought a vacuum cleaner with good HEPA filters a few years ago, there seems to be no issue at all regarding dust mites and pollen, so I wanted to give a new chance to the idea with plants in my home.

On the same time I also began to realize that some rooms smelled awfully after some artificial chemicals, despite the fact that I hardly entered or used those rooms which doors were of course closed.

That became apparent especially and always when I got home from my vacation in the past. This artificial smell, which can be hardly described in words, was very persistent and whatever I tried it came back again and so it was still present.

So I needed to look for a way how to get the air at home better permanently or in the long run. But how do I achieve that I asked myself?

Before taking further steps to improve my home, first the root cause of this problem had to be found and eliminated.

Soon I began to realize that the lack in plants in my rooms and also the bad smell which resided in my room were coherent problems and they needed to be solved both.

Some articles that I found in the web explained that different harmful chemicals are exuded from carpets, glues used in wallpapers, furnitures which are not made out of solid wood but those made out of cheap chipboard, and some synthetic materials which can be found in artificial textiles and foam upholstery are able to continuously exude harmful chemicals into the air.

After identifying the problem, I found a rather radical but simple solution.

It was obvious that I had to dispose all materials and objects that were capable of exuding those chemicals.

I got rid of the root cause after getting rid of unnecessary property, which were the furnitures made out of chipboard, and all the other unnecessary things which I accumulated through the years, that were made from smelly synthetic materials, like gymnastic balls and so on.

That means: The first step to improve the air quality is to consciously get rid of everything which smells or things from which you know that they are made of materials which are not good for you.

So first I got rid of all old furnitures and items at home, which were made of chipboard, that contained glues made of harmful artificial chemical components.

Tabula rasa! :-)

After taking this radical step of getting rid of all of those items, I really realized that I felt better immediately and that they were the cause of so many allergies and health problems I had. If I should ever buy new items for my home in the near future, I am going to consciously choose and I would always prefer to buy natural materials over artificial ones, because this step alone made a big difference in my life quality.

By the way this phenomenon in which residents become sick in their one houses is known as the ,,Sick Building Syndrome’’. In my case, the exuded chemicals seem to have induced irritations in my mucous membranes which made me more sensitive to allergic reactions, especially in the pollen season.

If you heard of the sick-building-syndrome the very first time in this article, I would really suggest you to google it and to make some research if you are suffering from allergies at home or in general, since it can be the cause of it.

Also if you don’t feel or don’t accept it, unfortunately it is a fact that chemicals and artificial chemicals indeed have an effect on our hormones and hormones influence our thoughts and our life energy, therefore it influences our health.

We should be conscious of our body because it is a very sensitive biological machine, which very subtly reacts to changes in our environment, also when we don’t notice it immediately or when we are not conscious of it.

That’s why our body is also the most complex machine we know of.

But what now, after getting rid of all the waste, should I simply go and buy some plants to start decorating my home?

1.4: Plants with Air Purifying Properties

After I had made further research in the net about clean air and indoor plants, I found that there are special plants with air purifying properties according to a study from NASA, which is of course scientifically proven.

Those plants would consume all the bad chemicals and smells through their root systems. Also they bind and change them into harmless chemicals and the end product that the plants evaporate is clean air! It sounds too good to be true, I thought, or maybe it’s hoax I thought.