In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are currently working from home. Unfortunately, a lot of people continue to struggle with adjusting to the fact that home, a place you’ve typically reserved for unwinding and relaxing, is now a hub of concentration and productivity. It’s easy to find yourself lazing around on the couch, sleeping, and taking excessive coffee and food breaks.
If you live in an apartment, setting up a home office can be hard, especially with family or roommates. Luckily for you, we share 6 effective tips for working from home in small spaces.
Pick the Right Space
Look around your home for that perfect workspace. It doesn’t have to be in your living area if that’s where everyone stays. A few things to consider when looking for space include:
- Choosing a quiet place
- Considering comfort, even for short periods
- Ensuring it’s close to an electrical outlet
- Considering space for the chair and a work surface
Sometimes, you might even think of converting your garage into the office or picking the far corner of the kitchen. You might want to choose a little wall area in your room, rearranging the furniture or shifting items around.
Beware of Distractions
Many things can affect your productivity when working from home – the kids, TV, social media, your partner, the doorbell, and more. Some of them are harder to prevent than others and they may be the reason why you might be struggling with your attention span.
For instance, your children running into your room when you’re in the middle of work or even the doorbell being rung can be hard to prevent, but you can avoid it if you communicate this to them and try to keep other distractions to a minimum.
- You can try a few adjustments to decrease the odds of distracting yourself. Some tips that might help include:
- Putting your phone away
- Keeping the phone off your desk or anywhere from your sight
- If possible, working in solitude
- Listen to instrumental music (no words)
The secret is to remove anything that’s not related to your job. Purge all non-essentials, including books and magazines, as you don’t have the luxury of a large workspace. It’s hard when these reminders surround you.
Manage Your Cables
Nothing affects your productivity in a small space more than messy cables that don’t feel safe. Let your cables stay close to the wall or tuck them behind your desk. You can go further ahead and use zip ties and clips to keep them from tangling. You can even use cable organizers to stay neat.
Light the Area Properly
Small spaces tend to create a cave effect, which can affect your mood and productivity. An important aspect of your workspace is sunlight because it improves your Vitamin D levels. Besides, sunlight maintains the body’s circadian rhythm, which keeps you alert.
Keeping your desk area properly lit will help you focus and make your area look larger than it really is. If you don’t have a window, equip the space with a decent lamp.
Act as If You’re in the Office
This is a hard pill to swallow for many people who work in sweatpants, but getting ready to work from your home office can keep you focused. This means getting out of your bed and sitting at a table in the right posture.
Consider having designated work clothes to get you in the right frame of mind. Don’t wear the same t-shirt you wear to relax while working. Like in any office, you need to stay hydrated, but you should avoid those kitchen trips by keeping a large jug of water near you.
Set Boundaries With Those You Share Space With
This may be a challenge when working in small spaces where your family, partner, and others access regularly. It’s important that they understand your work time and respect it. This means choosing an area with less foot traffic and telling people to treat it as a professional environment.
Still, you need to allow for a few distractions, especially if you are a parent with small kids around the house. Be sure to reduce the ones you are able to, such as controlling the possibly loud volume of the TV.
Being productive while working in a small space is possible. First, you need to establish a workplace and a space where you know you’ll get things done.
Knowing how to make a small office in a small space is crucial, especially if you share the house with others. Remember, when working in a small workspace – less is more.