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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Here are some websites that can help simulate a productive work environment from home

What AI thinks work from home can look like.
Ai Art Generator
What AI thinks “work from home” can look like.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a homebody. Pretty much anyone close to me can figure that out about me within seconds. I love staying at home; anything and everything I want to do can easily be simulated from my house.

But I still don’t love staying home all of the time.

Getting out of the house is something I’ve always struggled with, and with the added struggle of enduring COVID-19, my freshman year of high school was one of the most pivotal years of my life. It heightened my feelings of loneliness, so when it was time to get outside and fall back into the routine I had been following my whole life, I found it nearly impossible to adjust. 

But as time went on, I was able to train my body within a couple of months to get back into the flow of things. However, I’d be lying to everyone if I said that this transition was easy. This is why I’m going to show some of the tools that helped me bring fun to my life during this difficult time. 

Don’t get me wrong, no amount of technology can ever replace the memories that are created in person, but these websites can be used if plans get canceled or even just for fun when spending time with friends. 

Even though some of these websites share similarities, I wanted to showcase them all due to their many different benefits and unique aspects.

I Miss My Cafe has eight different sliders for sounds, ranging from the rain pitter-pattering outside to the barista making conversation with customers. It also has 30, 30-second previews of songs on an actual Spotify playlist that you can listen to. 

 

I miss my library has a similar setup but with six sliders for sounds and a to-do list that you can check off as you work. In terms of customization, there’s not that much to it. 

 

 Just like the other sites, I Miss My Bar has sliders for sounds, though this one has seven of them. However, unlike I Miss My Library and I Miss My Cafe, it has no place for a to-do list or listening to music. It’s simply a website that simulates the ambiance of a bar. 

 

Lastly, we have I miss the office, which has a very different setup than the other three websites. It took me a while before realizing the shapes represented ‘colleagues’ and that you’re allowed to ‘work with’ ten of them. The amount of shapes and work appliances you choose determines what you will hear. While this website may be helpful for some, this workspace is the definition of overstimulated and isn’t my go-to website for studying. 

All these websites have their individual strengths, but I do wish that the bar, cafe, and library had more of a visual appeal than just the simple drawing. As far as the office goes, I don’t have anything against it, but it’s not something I would use.

The next websites I’m about to explain are probably the most elite platforms that are at the tips of your fingertips. They are probably the best study spaces out there to maximize optimization. All these websites are free for the most part, and most of the features can be accessed just with a free account.

First up is Flocus.  Not only does it have three modes, ‘ambient’, ‘home’, and ‘focus’, but it also has a plethora of scenic backgrounds to choose from for each. 

On top of this, there are built-in timers for both working and taking breaks to maximize focus and prevent burnout. Additionally, there is a curated playlist for the website that can be played through Spotify while still being on the web browser. Lastly, they have quotes that you can choose from to circulate throughout the day and markers to track how many timed sessions you have been able to complete. 

Next up we have LifeAt which is probably one of the websites that I see myself using the most in the future. LifeAt is nice because of the amount of study spaces available on the website. There are so many, in fact, that sometimes it’s hard for me to comprehend just how many options there are. What’s even better is that some of these spaces are live-action which makes me wonder if they are video recordings or are occurring in real time. 

It also has a timer for everything you could need along with a space to virtually input your tasks, a calendar that synchs up with your account, and media for when you want to listen to music. 

Furthermore, there’s an entire page that’s accessible through the ‘explore’ toggle. This lets you join virtual study rooms with other people as well as places to read blogs on anything related to self-care, productivity, time management, and more. 

Finally, it also has AI creators which I am a little skeptical of, and new study spaces that the websites have created. 

Last up in this category is Lofi.co. This website is a little less free-range as opposed to Flocus and LifeAt. What’s especially convenient about this website is that everything you need to access is all in one place. You can choose if you want to be in day or night mode and select from three types of music: sleepy, jazzy, or chill. There’s also a wide array of sounds ranging from the sound of a keyboard to the sound of natural noises that enhance cognitive abilities like brown and pink music, it also has a Spotify playlist. All in all, it’s a good website for productivity, but when it comes to aesthetics and flexibility, it doesn’t get a checkmark in my gradebook for satisfaction. 

Finally, we have websites that are accessible without an app, and instead with a quick Google search, which has been convenient for me. Although not the most visually appealing, I will give it brownie points for being able to have all the aesthetically pleasing noises of nature as well as frequencies and music. 

A Soft Murmur is nice because it has a subtle yet dark vibe that matches the background, but what is the most appealing to me is the icons that represent the different sounds. It’s accessible on a mobile phone or computer and even has a built-in timer. 

 Moodil is another great website because it works similarly to how A Soft Murmur does, and it also has a tab for your favorite sounds. It has some of the same noises as A Soft Murmur, but it also has sounds that aren’t expected to be heard on websites like these like the sound of footsteps or frogs croaking. However, Moodil unfortunately does not have brown and white noises like some other websites do. 

 

 

Noises Online is another very helpful website because it is aesthetically pleasing, as opposed to A Soft Murmur and Moodil. Even so, if I had to choose between the three sound platforms, I’d choose Noises Online. It’s easy to use, you can adjust the intensity, and the sounds are very serene to listen to. 

Finally—yet just as important—there is Brain. fm.This website is known for being backed by a scientific team of experts, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and featured in articles such as Forbes and NBC News. It’s no surprise as to why there is so much hype around the platform. 

That’s not my favorite part though, my favorite aspect of it all is that the website takes you through a couple of questions to cater to your ideal work environment based on what type of person you are and if you have any disabilities that hinder your focus to craft the perfect frequencies for sounds and music so that your brainwaves can sync up in a way that works for you. 

Additionally, it can be used to have better sleep, relaxation, as well as meditation and you can choose what you want to focus on: learning, creativity, or deep work. The platform needs an account to function but is not limited to what it’s able to offer for your brain. With a plethora of music genres and nature soundscapes to choose from it’s the perfect way to experience the realm of studying in a way that works best for you. 

Because let’s be real—I think we all need some me time—and sometimes for us to reach our fullest potential we want to be able to enjoy it in the best ways possible.

However, when all is said and done, when it comes to such websites, there are bound to be errors, aspects of it you won’t enjoy, and it’s guaranteed to take out that authentic aspect of it because it’s not real, all of it is virtual. Additionally, some of these websites replicate similar features and there are far more websites that do almost the same things, they are copycats, to say the least. 

In no way shape or form am I trying to enforce using these websites, but I would encourage you to use them to the best of your abilities when life forces you to be your own best friend. 

Because let’s be real—I think we all need some me time—and sometimes for us to reach our fullest potential we want to be able to enjoy it in the best ways possible. Me time can look different for everyone, but sometimes that entails creating a flexible workspace for you regardless of what everyone else is doing. 

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About the Contributor
Arpita Das
Arpita Das, Publicity Editor
Arpita is a senior entering her third and final year as a staff writer on The Central Trend. She has been a part of the Science Olympiad team since the 7th grade but made the tough decision choice to step down this year. However, Arpita still keeps herself busy working once a week with kids on Thursdays and being a part of clubs such as Model UN and DECA. When Arpita isn't writing, you will often find her rewatching The Flash on Netflix, playing the piano, doing press on nails, going on walks, studying at the library, and visiting new coffee shops. Despite the fact that it's her last year of high school, she is so excited to see what senior year has in store for her and is curious to see what pieces of writing she will produce. Car: A black Volvo SUV that goes by the name of Ali whom Arpita adores. Favorite food and color: The Fettuccine Alfredo from Olive Garden and Navy Blue Favorite class: Advanced Writing for Publication and Honors Model UN Favorite actor from The Flash: Grand Gustin, also known as Barry Allen Does she have an unhealthy obsession with The Flash? Yes, yes she does, and she always will!  

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