How to Feel at Home at Your Workplace - Common Sense Living Newsletter
Common Sense Living India

How to Feel at Home at Your Workplace

Apr 10, 2015


At 4pm sharp, every day, I get an intense craving for a hot cup of homemade chai. I don't know why, but I do. And along with that craving comes one big wave of homesickness. And it makes me wonder why my craving for hot chai - made on the gas and not in a machine, like we get in offices nowadays - is triggering a feeling of homesickness.

Maybe it's the ceremony behind the making of homemade chai, which itself wakes you up and makes you more alert. You spend time deciding which flavour you plan to make it, a little spicy with tea masala or some grated ginger to give it that extra zing. And then you choose which biscuits go along with it... Yes, the ones that you dip into the tea and whose taste changes forever once you do.

Aah... homemade tea is a feeling of complete Moksha.

Chai Times
Source: Lilyana Vynogradova / Shutterstock
While you sip it, in that mid-afternoon break, you peacefully go through what happened in the hours before, and you make your plans for the evening ahead. You take some time off to introspect, to share a few exchanges with whoever's at home and voila... you're ready for the rest of the day.

Now does this even closely compare to the experience of going to a coffee or tea machine, that has a vaguely inviting logo on it, pressing the button on your chosen beverage, listening to it growl out some dirty odd mix - which is not even steaming, but plain tepid - and drinking it from an impersonal cup?

Okay, I'm complaining, maybe I'm even revolting. But what I'm trying to do, is figure out how to recreate the same homely feel in the workplace. If at all that's possible. And please feel free to chip in here, because I will need as many suggestions from you as possible.

And this leads me to a bigger philosophical question - Is it really possible to take your home wherever you go? Is it possible to recreate the same spirit of "being at home" in any environment?

My answer, after much contemplation, is an emphatic yes. Because the home is a reflection of the people who live in it. And likewise, any space is. All you need to do is add more of yourself to it... large tablespoonsful of yourself.

Not your diluted version... your own distinct personality, along with all its idiosyncrasies. There's no point being who you're not in a place that you spend more waking hours in than even your home. Be at ease, feel secure and comfortable, both personally and professionally. Look at the people around you as family, because that's who they are. An extension of your existence.

Capture your essence and bring alive that small corner of yours with loads of colour and character. Imagine what will happen when many such colours come alive in an office... will it remain the same monotone and modular interior that it originally was?

Also, bring a bit of what you like from your home to the office, it won't make you miss your home that much. You know how a child carries his favourite toy with him everywhere? It's ok to feel like a child. It's ok to take some small belongings that you need from your home to your office.

Keep with you a personal coffee or tea mug that you use at home, bring along bric-a-brac like pen stands and small artefacts that you can place at your desk. Add some photos of friends and family to your green board. Small additions make a big difference in boosting morale in the workspace.

Eat together with colleagues during lunch time. Some of the best conversations in an office take place over lunch, and you really don't want to miss out on that bonding time. It's like having dinner at home with your family - a ritual that definitely helps you communicate better and stay connected with each other. You can discuss random issues, talk about politics, books, movies or anything else on your mind.

Sometimes, even sip chai together. Make an effort to go over to someone's desk and sit with that person over tea time. The other day, we had a nice small tea party in my corner. A colleague had got tea from Peru and wanted us to sample some... we laughed and joked and spent some valuable together-time. It sure took away the stress of the day.

And lastly, share a slice of you with those around you. We tend to stay guarded and don't venture too far in our conversations or even in our emotions at the workplace. We try not to shed a tear or laugh too loud, but that's what makes us human, that's what makes us real, and that's actually what makes us feel at home.

So no matter where you are, don't hesitate to savour that tea for a moment longer, don't forget to bring your true spirit into the experience. If you successfully do that, every place will be your own... and every place will be home.


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10 Responses to "How to Feel at Home at Your Workplace"

Sreeja` P

20 Apr, 2015

Rithika, I agree, most of us stay guarded in our workplace, many wear a mask and roam around, they tend to show they are too busy for these trivial things, but heart does crave for some relaxation, some ease and some peace... I believe when you become relaxed only , your work can be enjoyed more as it wouldnt be seen as an ordeal anymore

Anil B Kapadia

17 Apr, 2015

I have been working for the same organization all my working life and consider the workplace as my 2nd home..whichever office/ plant/ town I am placed..It is only now after a long gap that I am in my hometown and reach home at a decent hour .Even if I have left office with a dose of Tea or coffee, I look forward to having the home made tea with spices, Mint and ginger. I agree that if you consider workplace as your home, working does not seem to be an ordeal...and colleagues will be like family.


12 Apr, 2015

Savouring my afternoon tea in my hotel room in a town called Huambo in Angola. The Tea and the column got me closer to home :)

shripad narvekar

12 Apr, 2015

Dear Ms Ritika, I liked you article very much and i am one of the such fan for such tea in the afternoon.I am 68 years of age and still working after retired from Air India of 36 years of service. Every afternoon I gather my beautiful young crowd and we go down to tapriwala chai stalls and we call him tambi and all of us we enjoy the Chai with all masala at his tapri. In this private company making home is not possible but when i reach home at 1930 Hrs once again I take the same Chai But I enjoyed your article .Why not publish in the News paper ? My Best wishes for some more such articles. With Regards

Srivatsa Madhavan

12 Apr, 2015

You are so right Ritika. To me, Home is where one wants to spend maximum time in life before this body becomes one with nature. It is also true that "Home" is state of mind free of stress and full of relaxation. I'm generally in professional/business trips to countries outside India and try becoming part of my extended work teams full of diverse cultures and ideas. Its truly challenging but nothing bonds better than sharing love towards making either other's work life better. BTW, You are doing a great favor by writing such thought provoking letters/blogs.. please keep this up. Your writing is such a wonderful inspiration. God bless you.

Manoharan Thottarath

11 Apr, 2015

This article is quite good in the sense that it touches upon an important aspect of one's working life. On a day to day basis, we carry a lot of burden of stress and strain. But if the work place is made a happy place, a lot of good and positive things can be achieved. It is always better to develop good and workable relationship with colleagues. In fact, if we treat our colleagues as an extension of our family, a lot of bonhomie can be achieved and the output will be much more. This article highlights many practical aspects in our daily life. Best wishes to the Common Sense Living Team for publishing such a brilliant article.

Anil Arora

11 Apr, 2015

Ritika, we walk down to a kiosk nearby under a tree. We sit on a bench and order a cup of tea with adrak and atta biscuits to dip in it and eat. Believe me it is wonderful in sunny day in winter or a cloudy day. This half an hour recharges you.

Inderjit Singh

10 Apr, 2015

A home is the best at the end! _Inderjit Singh


10 Apr, 2015

Super article.i completely relate to this .Will keep in mind these tips as I feel similarly at workplaces.thanks


10 Apr, 2015

Great. Really very important in present situation. Most of them searching Peace Balance energy in between Home & Office. Most of them home stress transform at Office, office stress transform to Home. your article touch the sense to move further to empower at home and office. Let us make further action on this issue. Om shanthi Vedaravishangar

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