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heike-kluskaAs an integral coach according to ITA®, body psychotherapist, professional singer and dancer for flamenco and herself highly sensitive, Heike Kluska uses a body-oriented approach to accompany self-employed, highly sensitive people (HSP) and those who want to venture into independence to step onto the stage of their lives. More information at www.heike-kluska.de. All texts by Heike Kluska.

Highly sensitive and home office: 7 checklists & 9 tips for the comfortable office

The Home Office poses great challenges for many people. Highly sensitive people, on the other hand, will find optimal conditions here - if they observe certain conditions. An overview.

The characteristics of the highly sensitive

In my experience, highly sensitive people (or HSP for short) prefer to work independent and from the home office. About 20-15% of the population are highly sensitive. In ordinary workplaces, they rarely find the working conditions they need to do their work in a relaxed manner and to be in a flow.

The channels of perception of the highly sensitive are wide open. Unlike with normally sensitive people, many stimuli patter on them unfiltered. A special constitution of the nervous system is responsible for this. This quickly leads to overstimulation. Withdrawal or switching off the sources of stimulus is necessary for the highly sensitive to recover.

The special perception of the highly sensitive

Many highly sensitive people can avoid being overwhelmed by working from home. But there are also disruptive factors there. Often there is no separate room for the office or the creative workshop. What can highly sensitive people help create the best working conditions at home?

That sometimes depends on the type of perception. This is primarily determined by the 5 senses, hearing, sight, taste, smell and touch. Likewise through body awareness, interpersonal perception and the sensation of energy fields. Knowing your own special channels of perception and eliminating sources of interference is the first step towards yourself. Tests or corresponding tables on high sensitivity can provide information about your own perception. Keeping a journal of feelings and sensations and introspection helps in assessing what type you are.

Design according to your own needs

The home office is your own realm. It can be designed in such a way that it offers few sources of stimulation and optimally supports the needs of the highly sensitive. The following tips are sorted by sensory perception in order to get a quick overview.

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1. See the checklist

  • Pleasant lighting protects sensitive eyes.
  • Intensive solar radiation should be avoided; curtains or blinds provide a remedy.
  • If you don't have an office, you can use room dividers to separate the work area in order to minimize optical distractions. It also helps to put the desk in a corner or against a wall so that the focus doesn't wander too much.
  • Many highly sensitive people have a very pronounced one Sense for shapes and aesthetics. These people benefit from creating a workplace that they feel comfortable in and that appeals to their eyes.
  • Fragrance lamps or humidifiers increase the humidity and help keep the eyes well moisturized and relaxed.
  • Order ensures that the eyes do not get caught in too many things and that concentration can be kept better.

2. Listening checklist

  • It is often a technical device whose basic noise disturbs highly sensitive people. Here it can be helpful to move the devices to another room or to replace them with quieter ones.
  • If you have to make a lot of phone calls, it is better to get a hands-free system with high quality sound or a good headset with cable.
  • Some people mute the ringtone and use visual cues.
  • It is worthwhile to introduce telephone times. This means that noisy and quiet working hours can alternate. Quit Call this beforehand and discuss your answering machine. All you have to do is put the phone on mute and stop answering.
  • If the home office is in a room that other family members use, headphones can be used to filter out background noise.
  • If the apartment is on a busy street, it is better to breathe in the air than to be exposed to constant noise.

3. Smell checklist

  • Look for natural and naturally treated materials when purchasing office equipment. Office furniture, floor coverings and paints can evaporate unpleasant solvents and other harmful substances. The air analysis center advises you to pay attention to TÜV or environmental seals. This also applies to used furniture.
  • Plants often create a better indoor climate for highly sensitive people. But also test for odor sensitivity here.
  • If you are open-minded, there are 100% natural essential fragrances for room clarification from different providers as sprays or for the fragrance lamp. The terpenes and messenger substances of the plants contained in the essences increase the concentration of anions in the room and also have an effect on the body and mind. It is worth testing which one you can smell good.

4. Key / Feel / Touch checklist

  • Work equipment, office supplies and furniture should have an appealing surface and be easy to touch.
  • Clothing made from natural materials that won't scratch or constrict you will help you stay grounded and relaxed. Synthetic materials and soles cause electrostatic charging, especially in winter when the air is dry. Floor coverings with synthetic fibers reinforce this effect. So here too, pay attention to natural materials. In his books, the biologist Clemens G. Arvay examines the effects of materials and the human environment in relation to the consumption of anions in the body and the effects on health.

5. Body awareness / movement checklist

  • Everyday work gets moving when several workstations are used, e.g. a standing desk or the kitchen or dining table in between as a creative workstation.
  • There are special office chairs without backrests, so-called active seats, or large exercise balls with which you can keep moving.
  • Get up for every coffee or tea.
  • Compensate for movement deficits with walks, yoga or gymnastics.

6. Interpersonal awareness checklist

  • For you, room dividers are especially important if you work in the home and don't have your own office to set yourself apart.
  • Discuss your office hours with other family members so that they are not disturbed.
  • Most of the highly sensitive are introverted. Extroverts can feel quite lonely in the home office. Hang up photos of your loved ones. Treat yourself to a quick refreshment in the café around the corner or take a stroll through the streets.

7. Checklist perception of energy fields

  • There are options to connect the computer to the Internet with a LAN cable and to turn off the WLAN function on the router in order to keep radiation at the workplace low.
  • Headsets or wired telephone receivers are preferable to cordless telephones. However, it is worth researching for low-radiation, cordless models and trying them out.
  • Anyone who is open-minded can put gemstones against radiation at the workplace. Onyx or black tourmaline work very well in my experience.
  • Highly sensitive people can react very easily to so-called water veins or global grids. There are reputable professionals who can find out for you whether it will affect your job. In that case, move your workplace.

This supports all highly sensitive people in the home office: 9 tips

In addition to these checklists, there are a few tips that highly sensitive people should definitely pay attention to when working from home:

  1. Many short breaks in the home office are advisable. Studies have shown that the brain can usually concentrate well for a maximum of 20 minutes (read up on Jim Kwik "Limitless"). After that, the performance goes down. This is especially true for highly sensitive people, as they are constantly open on many levels, create connections and achieve a high level of thinking.
  2. The brain needs water (preferably non-carbonated) and fresh air for its intellectual performance. Open the window during your breaks or take a walk around the block.
  3. You can also read in Jim Kwik that the brain needs carbohydrates, preferably from vegetables and fruits. Too much refined sugar and white flour tend to make you restless. You should take your time to eat in a relaxed manner and avoid eating at work. You draw more energy from food if you consume it consciously.
  4. Super Brain Yoga by Master Choa Kok Sui helps when one is blocked by the flood of information and impressions. Both halves of the brain are activated and energized. To do this, first grasp the right earlobe with the left hand and the left earlobe with the right. The thumbs are on top. In this pose, do 14 squats with your back straight, inhaling while bending and exhaling while stretching. After that, the hands solved in reverse order.
  5. Observing your breath helps when you notice you are getting into overstimulation. Whoever notices that he is holding his breath or breathing shallowly for a longer period of time can direct his awareness to the whole body and try to arrive at the present moment. By consciously breathing in and out into the abdomen, the breathing rhythm will automatically lengthen and the whole body will relax more.
  6. 100% natural essential oils help you regain your senses when the nervous system is overexcited. Particularly brightening and relaxing scents such as grapefruit, neroli, rose, rosewood, rosemary, sandalwood and lavender. Grounding scents, such as those of trees, also work well. Scientifically proven, the action of the messenger substances in the oils reaches the limbic system, the center of emotion control and long-term memory, in a fraction of a second. As you can read at the Aroma Forum International eV, for example, they support the body and psyche.
  7. Pictures with nature photos, especially of waterfalls, forests, trees and savannahs, have an impact on the parasympathetic nerve, the "calm nerve". This helps to prevent overload. The biologist Clemens G. Arvay mentions this fact in his books on biophilia.
  8. Appropriate planning helps to structure the day. Structure is important for the highly sensitive, as it means that the focus can be kept better and thus an overload is excluded. The use of a time recording system helps to be aware of how much time is required for which task, in order to refine the planning.
  9. A reward for completed tasks and projects helps Motivation and increase self-confidence. The latter is often a problem for many highly sensitive people due to their highly sensitive experiences among normally sensitive people.

Well-being, structure and focus help at work

Well-being, structure and focus in the home office have a big impact on the fact that highly sensitive people can work well. By implementing some of the points mentioned, the many positive properties of high sensitivity can unfold in the home office.

Highly sensitive people are characterized by pronounced creativity, empathy, high intelligence, social skills, selective, excellent performance, a good nose for sources of error, a great sense of responsibility and much more. If the prerequisites for a good working environment in your own home are in place, the performance and flow of the highly sensitive can increase.

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