Chances are high that you’ve had to change your working habits lately and transform your already small apartment into a workspace due to the national lockdown. Since the majority of states haven’t been fully reopened yet and no one can say exactly when most office workers will be allowed to get back on track, you should think about upgrading your remote workspace. Otherwise, you could end up developing back pain from sitting on that backless bar stool in the kitchen while carrying out endless Zoom meetings.
Unfortunately, not all U.S. employees have the privilege of telecommuting. While European countries like Sweden and Denmark have always been less strict with work from home policies (even prior to the coronavirus outbreak), only up to 7% of American private-industry workers have access to it. So as long as you have this option available, try to make the most out of it. With a few changes to your space, working from home might enhance your productivity and have a positive impact on your mental health.
Here’s how to create a simple, yet cozy, temporary home office even if you rent a small-sized apartment.
Get a comfortable chair
Having a comfortable seat is the key to staying productive throughout the day. A decent office chair minimizes the risks of developing any back or neck problems in the future. Good office chairs allow you to customize the armrest, height and seat depth and help you to maintain good posture while sitting. But even an ergonomic seat cushion will help if that’s what your budget allows.
Focus on adequate lighting
You’ll also need a good desk lamp to make your working space more comfortable. Opt for energy-efficient options: LED bulbs, for instance, consume less energy and last more than 20 times longer than traditional bulbs.
If your apartment isn’t well lit or there’s not enough natural lighting, installing additional overhead or floor lamps is essential. Besides, proper lighting helps to maintain good eyesight, especially if you have to spend most of your time in front of a laptop.
Find functional accessories
Once you’ve found a perfect office chair and a desk lamp to make your working corner look more corporate, start organizing your stuff. Get rid of the clutter and the items you’re unlikely to use. Instead, choose functional accessories that aren’t only nice to look at but can also be used for storing documents or keeping stationary. Also, a DIY charging station will solve the problem of tens of outlets and thousands of wires.
Don’t forget to give your home office some life by placing a green plant near your working space and dress up your desk by putting a stylish vase with fresh-cut flowers.
Create a neutral background for online meetings
If you often have online meetings, you may want your background to look simple and decent. Hanging an oriental rug on the wall is a creative way to style your background but it doesn’t give a sense of work environment. It’s always better to stick to neutral colors that won’t distract your colleagues while discussing serious matters.
If you cannot move your desk against the wall, make sure your apartment is neat and clean. No one wants to look at the mess behind your back.
Other working from home tips:
- Check your Internet connection. If it’s not good enough, contact your Internet provider and upgrade it to the best available in your area.
- Listen to light instrumental music or podcasts instead of entertaining TV shows that won’t help you concentrate on the task.
- Maintain regular work hours. And don’t forget to take a proper lunch break!
- Air out your apartment regularly.
- Don’t check social media and news websites too often. That will only make you procrastinate more.
It’s very likely your temporary home office will come in handy even after the lockdown ends. Most of the companies have changed their attitude towards working from home policies…so you’d better find a good office chair.
Overall, creating an inspiring minimalist working spot in your apartment is a must-do if, or rather when, telecommuting becomes a new norm.