Career & Finance

Home Sweet WFH: 14 Ways to Romanticize Working From Home

written by EMILEE JANITZ

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Source: Alaina Kaz
Source: Alaina Kaz

If you work from home, then you can probably nod your head in agreement to the not-so-secret secret I’m about to reveal: Being a mom working from home isn’t always as glorious as it sounds. Ideally (at least, in my version of “ideally”), working from home includes daintily typing away in a perfectly decorated home office while sipping an $8 cappuccino and snuggling a favorite pet that’s napping contentedly in your lap. But realistically (again, in my version of reality), working from home typically entails hunching over a kitchen island for eight straight hours, frantically typing like your life depends on it, mindlessly shoving handfuls of Cheez-Its into your face, and chasing them down with a steady stream of lukewarm coffee.

Of course, working from home is a privilege. This I cannot deny. There is undoubtedly a certain brand of convenience that comes with being able to roll directly out of bed and onto your laptop (I mean that figuratively—mostly). As a mom of two toddlers, I also appreciate the ability to hide behind Zoom’s “camera off” feature on the days I am both running and feeling ragged. And not having to commute to the office saves me a solid 60 minutes a day compared to when I worked for my previous in-office employer. 

On my journey to create a more colorful, fulfilling experience for myself, I’ve been leaning into romanticism to improve the quality of my workdays. For those unfamiliar with the social media-driven trend, the act of romanticizing one’s life is all about cultivating peace and joy in your daily routines. It’s choosing to see your life and day-to-day through rose-colored glasses, very intentionally transforming the mundane into something much more fantastical and, well, romantic.  

Romanticizing my WFH life has improved both my mental and physical health and has—quite simply—made my work week more enjoyable. If you want to get away from the dreary snack-food-binge-eating-computer-robot routine described above, here are some tips to romanticize your work-from-home life: 

14 Ways to Romanticize Your Work-From-Home Life

1. Take short walks throughout the day  

When I started working from home during the pandemic, I very quickly realized I could never go back to working in a traditional office. Why? Because I realized I need—and I stress, need—time outdoors to feel balanced and fulfilled. I’m a firm believer that humans spend entirely too much time indoors and that nothing can chase away an afternoon work slump quite like a brief walk outdoors. It’s amazing how much a 10-minute walk can not only boost your step count but also your mood. Leave your cell phone indoors and enjoy taking in the sights (whether it be nature or a cityscape) as you decompress from your screen and enjoy the special little privilege of being able to step outside beyond the confines of an office-designated lunch break. 

2. Work outside

Weather permitting, I’m a huge advocate for working outside as much as humanly possible to romanticize your work-from-home life. Again, this is just my humble opinion, but I think everyone would be happier if we all spent more time outside. While perhaps not always totally convenient (missing your second screen and being without a charger and all that), working outdoors is almost always worth the effort. Fresh air does a person tremendous good, and I always feel I’m making the most of my WFH situation when I spend an hour or two working from my patio during the summer and fall. My favorite work days include bird calls, sunshine, and the scent of fresh air—there’s nothing more romantic than that.  

work outside
Source: ColorJoy Stock

3. Set up a home coffee bar 

As a busy, work-from-home mom, you probably don’t have the time, energy, or funds to visit a local cafe every day for your morning caffeine fix—as wonderful as that might sound. Last year, I turned my dining room hutch into a mini coffee bar, and the small change has brought me so much joy. Now that I have a home espresso maker, I love being able to shake up my morning coffee routine with different beverages, crafting myself cappuccinos and lattes as the mood strikes.

And you don’t have to be a professional barista or home decorator to execute a home coffee bar. Simply designating a small spot in your home aimed at fueling your coffee addiction can add a fun element to your WFH space. It can make that ritual of pouring that first cup in the morning (and refilling between meetings) just a little bit more elevated and enjoyable. 

Target | Nespresso
Vertuo Pop+

6 colors available

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Bruvi BV-01 Brewer
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4. Add flowers to your space 

Flowers and romance go hand-in-hand. Because they aren’t exactly a “necessity,” treating yourself to a bouquet to adorn your desk can really do a lot to boost your mood. During the summer months, I even enjoy going for brief walks throughout the day and collecting wildflowers for my office bouquets. They’re far from the most elegant arrangements you’ve ever laid your eyes on, but truly they don’t have to be. Natural elements breathe life into a space, and flowers, in particular, can elevate the entire WFH experience. 

romanticize work from home life
Source: ColorJoy Stock

5. Light a candle 

I recently lit a candle at my desk on a random Monday morning and was slightly shook by how much this small action improved my mood and workday experience. I chose a cozy smell and truly enjoyed having the aroma surround me as I purged my inbox and worked through my to-do list. The flickering light of the flame also added a cozy, upscale feel to my home office. Similar to flowers, because candles are not a life necessity, their addition can really add that feeling of romance and elevation to your everyday routine. 

Fernweh Editions
Sparkling Champagne Scented Soy Candle
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Etsy | Viva Workshop
Morning Coffee Wood Wick Candle
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6. Leave your home and work from different places 

Speaking from experience, I know that working from home can sometimes make you feel like a social recluse. Or a convict on house arrest. Either way—too much time spent in one’s own home is not good for one’s mental health or meaningful networking. A few times this past year, I made a point to pick up my laptop, charge my AirPods, and work from a local coffee shop for a couple of hours. And every time (every single time), the experience was liberating.

If you’re feeling stuck in a rut with your routine (working from home and motherhood both have a tendency to bring that fun little feeling on), I can’t recommend changing up your location enough. Whether it’s temporarily relocating to a cafe or library, I’m always reminding myself that working remotely doesn’t have to mean working from my house. 

romanticize wfh
Source: Elevae Visuals

7. Give your WFH space some love

If you’re like me, you don’t like spending any more time in your work-from-home space than is absolutely necessary. My son is often asking to play at my desk, and I’m (just as often) telling him that mommy doesn’t like being at her desk outside of working hours. Because I don’t like spending “extra” time in my office, and because I’m pedal-to-the-metal busy during the workweek, my home office definitely doesn’t receive the same cleaning attention as other areas in my home. 

This year, I’m committing to cleaning my home office more regularly and truly taking the time to optimize my desk organization. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind for “romanticizing,” setting aside time to do a deep clean of your home office or WFH space can seriously improve your working conditions and make spending time in the space approximately 100 percent more pleasant. Clean your keyboard. Furniture polish your desk. Go through any and all desk accessories and paper files and purge what you no longer need or use.

Amazon | Windex
Electronics Wipes
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Rifle Paper Co.
Floral File Folders
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8. Enjoy a hot breakfast 

Probably one of my all-time favorite parts of working from home is having the ability to cook myself hot meals. While lunch is truthfully usually consumed at hyperspeed between meetings (something I’m working on course correcting this year), I love being able to take five minutes between daycare drop off and the start of my work day to cook up a quick egg, toast a piece of bread, and brew myself a fresh pot of coffee. There is something so satisfying about enjoying a healthful, fresh-cooked meal made in my own kitchen compared to the packets of sugar-laden oatmeal I used to microwave in office break rooms.    

9. Invest in quality slippers 

This Christmas, my husband gifted me a pair of UGG Tasman slippers. Considering he scoured the internet for said slippers and withstood several “on backorder” lists, he certainly deserves a shout-out for this feat. While I’m not saying you need to drop $100+ on a pair of slippers to romanticize working from home, I do recommend nabbing yourself a quality pair that will hold up beyond a week of wear. 

When my husband, confused in general by the masses’ beloved Tasman, asked if they were a shoe or a slipper, I explained that they could be either, but that I was designating mine as my WFH shoe. “That’s an expensive slipper,” he noted. To which I responded, “I wear my slippers more than I do my shoes.” Game, set, match. My point: Grab yourself a pair of slippers that are durable and comfortable. And if they stylishly complete your outfits, well, that’s a bonus. 

Amazon | Dearfoams
Greta Genuine Shearling Clog

6 colors available

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Zappos | Ugg
Tazz Slipper

3 colors available

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10. Keep touch-up makeup and moisturizers on hand 

There is a simple, specific joy that comes with simple beauty routines, such as applying hand cream or swiping on a classic red lip. While both serve distinctly different purposes, they are both luxurious and feel ultra feminine (i.e., romantic). I keep a handful of beauty and self-care products at my desk and promptly reach for them every time I need a little pick-me-up.

m2ü nyc
Moisturizing Lipstick
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Bee Inspired
Sweet Lips Honey Lip Balm
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Beekman 1802
Pure Goat Milk Hand Cream
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Fishers Finery
100% Pure Mulberry Silk Hair Scrunchies
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11. Listen to an audiobook or music 

The beauty of working from home? You don’t have to wear airpods! I love being able to listen to my latest audiobook while sifting through my emails in the morning or while making myself lunch. It’s relaxing and indulgent. The same can be said of music, of course. Listen to your favorite playlist when you’re in need of an energy boost or while enjoying that daily walk. 

romanticize your work from home life
Source: @emileejanitz

12. Get dressed 

And no, I don’t mean in sweatpants. I am a huge (and no, “huge” is not an over-exaggeration) advocate for getting dressed for work, even while working from home. I truly believe that putting a little effort into your outfit can boost your mood, give you energy, and also communicate to your remote colleagues that you mean business. While it may not be the news we all want to hear, the truth is that a collared shirt sends a very different message than a hoodie. I personally find dressing a little bit nicer as a form of self-care. Perhaps doing a closet clean-out can help you get reacquainted with the clothing you actually foresee wearing. In terms of romanticizing your WFH outfits, lean into hair accessories, chic and cozy knits, and button-down shirts. 

Target | A New Day
Satin Bow Hair Barrette

2 colors available

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Quilted Puffy Headband

6 colors available

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Abercrombie & Fitch
Oversized Linen-Blend Step Hem Shirt

4 colors available

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Classic Knit Members Club Sweater
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13. Run quick errands if you’re able 

Somewhere along the line in my WFH journey, I discovered that a remote job will take as much time and energy as you allow it to. I could very easily find myself sitting at my desk for eight-plus hours straight with no bathroom breaks, water, or food every single day. Meaning, there is always, always, always work to be done. But this is not a healthy way to work. 

My job is fairly flexible, so I’ve started taking advantage of this flexibility and forcing myself to take breaks by running at least one small errand every day. This is usually a five-minute trip to the post office or a walk down the street to grab a gallon of milk for the two aforementioned toddlers who drink the stuff like it’s their job (I guess, in a way, it is). These small errands may not seem like an obvious way to romanticize your work-from-home life, but they do help me step away from my desk (which is also beneficial to productivity). Short errands also allow me to get a few small tasks done while the kids are at daycare. 

romanticize work from home life
Source: @emileejanitz

14. Get a desk that you adore 

Even if you commit and spend a lot of time either working outside or from new and different locations, the reality is you’re still going to be spending a lot of time working from your designated WFH space. As someone who’s been working from home for several years, I highly, highly recommend getting a desk set-up you love.

For one, the ergonomics of working from a well-adjusted desk and chair is vastly better than hunching over your kitchen counter (speaking from experience, as I think we’ve well-established at this point). Additionally, a desk is the heart of your WFH space. Having one that is aesthetically pleasing will make you more excited to show up to work each day. I’ve found that when you invest in work tools and pieces that bring you joy, you’re setting yourself up for success. If you give yourself a desk that’s made for a boss, then you, in turn, will begin to view yourself as nothing short of a boss.  

E7 Premium Standing Desk

10+ styles available

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Wayfair | 17 Stories
Storage Desk with Hutch

3 finishes available

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