Our home environments have turned into workplaces, schools, and daycares, as well as places where we relax and restore. The inability to leave our homes has created a sameness in our days that is directly at odds with humanity’s innate need for variety. Biophilic design taps into this biological impulse for change, challenge, excitement, and difference that contribute to a vibrant, healthful life. In nature, we find variety exemplified—the unique grain of wood, the unknowns of a winding path, the transformation of plants in bloom.
Variety in our space and in our day can stimulate creativity, boost productivity, and combat monotony. We asked KSSers’ how they are incorporating variety while working, and living, from home—check out their responses below.
Find variety in place.
“I’ve been moving to different areas of the house. When I’m feeling unproductive in one spot, I change location. I usually change my work area location once a week.”
“Lawn chair in the morning and patio in the afternoon.”
“I work in my office for heads-down focus time and move to my dining table, which gets great afternoon light, to tune in to webinars and longer team calls. The variety in space keeps things interesting and makes me feel less confined.”
Find variety in nature.
“I endeavor to take a daily walk around Princeton to refresh myself mentally and physically. I find it also helps to reduce tension and stress. I recently came across a beautiful garden on the university campus with a stunning, colorful array of spring flowers in bloom. I felt the empty bench was a poignant reminder that there was all this natural beauty, but barely a soul around to view and enjoy the vibrant scene.”
“I go for walks after work and watch the leaves and blossoms fill out the trees”
“I take a work break and see how many flowers have bloomed on the azalea bush in my front yard. I look forward to full bloom!”
Find variety in activity.
“I try to do different activities/hobbies throughout the week. Some nights I’ll play guitar, while others I will paint, and others I’ll watch TV”
“I’ve been trying to end the day by closing my laptop and stretching for 10 minutes. If I’m feeling up to it, I will do a workout.”
Find variety in food.
“I treat grocery shopping and meal planning like a game, or an episode of Chopped—how many different recipes can I make with these ingredients and how long can I make them last?”
“I’m trying new recipes for all meals. It makes eating at home more enjoyable.”
Find variety in experience.
“Every day I find a new photo from my travels to use as my Zoom backdrop, at least for internal meetings. Seeing myself transported to places so different from my home and thinking back to those environments memories is a great way to start the day with a positive push. Yesterday I was in Guatemala, today I was in Cartagena, Colombia.”
“My variety today is embracing the take-your-child-to-work day. Except that my son insists on showing his guitar skills to the whole music class while I am in a Zoom meeting.”