Whether you are working from home temporarily or are trying to carve out a space for a more permanent situation, creating a home office while living in a rental comes with its set of challenges.
When working from your small apartment, you may be tempted to lounge on the couch, but setting aside a specific place to work can keep you more productive and feeling refreshed-especially when you’re stuck inside your home for hours at a time.
These tips can help you carve out an office space no matter how small your apartment may be.
Avoid the Couch or Bed
Sure, lounging in your pajamas may seem like the top perk of working from home, but realistically, you are going to feel more refreshed and ready for the day if you are appropriately dressed and working in a space separate from where you lounge. Since working from home provides a new share of distractions, it is important to provide a mental separation between your work and your day-to-day home life. Having the visual stimulation of a “workspace” can trigger your brain to focus more on the task-at-hand rather than other home activities that could pull your attention.
Work with What You Have
Working with what you have is key, especially if your home office is a more temporary arrangement.
Remember that an office doesn’t have to be a traditional extra room. Be willing to think outside the box; can you do a big decluttering session to turn your walk-in closet into a small office? In your studio apartment, it can simply be a small-space option that consists of a desk and a few essentials.
Even if your rental is bigger and you will have more options, you may never have the “ideal space.” Don’t get stuck feeling like your work from home space needs to be perfect to be effective.
Opt for a Window
If you have access to set up next to a window, take the opportunity. Getting fresh air and sunlight is a great mood-booster, especially if you are forced to be inside for long periods of time.
Keeping yourself energized can ensure that you don’t get tempted to take extra breaks for a sleepy Netflix binge, or find yourself dozing off during your latest email. Keeping yourself extra productive during your designated work hours means that you can comfortably rest at the end of the day guilt-free.
Make it Portable
Remember that a home office in a small space can be as simple as a fold-up desk with your laptop and a few important items. A small space that serves you well (even if it needs to be moved at the end of your work day) is more valuable than a stagnant large space that doesn’t encourage you to work comfortably and productively.
Don’t be afraid to make your space defined-but-portable. Create a make-shift standing desk by using a laptop riser or even a stack of books.
Add the Special Touches
Just as you would a cubicle at a traditional office, don’t forget to add special touches to your workspace. Photos of family and friends, an inspirational book or two, a candle, and a small plant all can serve to boost your mood and create a calming space to get to work. Plus, studies show that incorporating greenery into your space can boost productivity. So, don’t hesitate to buy that succulent you’ve been eyeing every time you go to the store.
Setting up a home office in a small space is completely doable with a little attention to detail and a bit of creativity.