The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many apartment dwellers into a unique work situation. Widespread stay-at-home orders have forced everyone except for essential workers to work from home, and for people who previously worked in offices alongside their coworkers, the sudden transition to a work-from-home lifestyle may be challenging. How can you recreate an ergonomic, efficient workspace in your apartment? What can you do to make your apartment office feel like your actual office? Here are some tips that can help you work from home in an apartment.
Organize and arrange your work-from-home desk
Whether you’ve repurposed a folding table into your work-from-home desk or are struggling to make proper space on a small desk you’ve long had, you can optimize any surface for minimal workflow interruptions if you organize and arrange your workspace properly. Manage your cables and wires with twist ties or cable management organizers. Invest in a filing cabinet to keep papers and other office supplies from taking up precious desktop area. Move any items not fully necessary for work to another part of your apartment.
Expand or rethink your work-from-home surface
If you find that the desk you’ve long had in your apartment is too small, there’s nothing wrong with buying another small table to give yourself more working space. Conversely, if your desk just isn’t working for you, you can consider setting aside a portion of your kitchen countertop, living room coffee table, or another apartment surface as your work-from-home space. You can even switch to a standing desk if you think you can go through a full day of work without sitting. No matter where you find that you have the most space for your work-from-home operations, your primary goal should be to create a dedicated office space.
Get high-quality work-from-home equipment
If you’re using a folding chair from your living room or a bar stool from your kitchen as your work chair, you’ll be surprised how much better your workday will flow if you invest in a proper office or computer chair. Likewise, if you’re struggling to make space for all your tasks and software platforms on your laptop screen, buying an extra monitor might help you to keep your desk organized.
You should also buy additional lighting if you have to work from home in a part of your apartment that isn’t as well lit. Good lighting is correlated with not just increased productivity but less strain on your eyes, lower fatigue levels, and fewer headaches. It can also be vital for ensuring that you appear professional in any video calls you make for your work.
Work from home like you’re working from the office
Besides equipment concerns, one of the biggest shocks that can accompany the shift to working from home instead of the office is how much it can blur the line between work and the rest of your life. That’s why it can be important to set boundaries and routines that simulate an office working experience.
When you wake up, go about your usual morning routine – including putting on an outfit you’d normally wear to the office – before starting your work. Set work hours and include breaks in them. Do everything you can to separate your work-from-home space from distractions, whether the snacks in your kitchen, the TV in your living room, or any roommates with whom you live. Working from home may not immediately feel comfortable, but if you treat your time on the job as though you’re actually in the office, it might feel like your usual routine soon enough.