Working from home is becoming more and more common as companies look to cut overhead and people are branching out on their own entrepreneurial endeavors, but working from home does bring some challenges of its own. If you’re dealing with the small space of an apartment, you may find it difficult to create the space to work from home successfully. Here are some tips to make working from home and apartment life a better fit for each other.
1. Carve out Room for a Dedicated Desk
To work from home effectively, you need a dedicated space. Working from the kitchen table or your laptop on the couch isn’t realistic. That’s going to cause distractions that will limit your effectiveness and efficiency. If you’re short on space, consider a fold-away desk that you can put away when you’re not working. Your desk doesn’t have to be large, but it does need to give you a space to do your work.
2. Make Boundaries for Your Workspace
Your workspace needs boundaries that you can enforce. This will help you mentally be “at work” when you’re working and “off” when you’re not. It will also help your partner or your children understand that when you’re in your workspace, you aren’t available to chat or help with small problems. Also, provide visible cues for your family that indicate when you’re free and when your busy, like a sign at your desk or headphones you wear when you’re on the clock.
3. Leave Your Apartment
Don’t leave your apartment to work every day, but do get out of the apartment from time to time. Learn about the local Internet cafes, take a walk on your lunch break or head to the gym when your work day is done. It’s easy to become a bit reclusive when you work from home, so spend some time outside of the apartment to give yourself a fresh perspective.
4. Invest in a Good Laptop
Even though you are going to try to carve out a dedicated workspace, there are going to be times when you need to fold up that desk to utilize the space for some other purpose. Using a laptop instead of a desktop ensures you can do this when needed. Also, a laptop will take up less space, allowing you to make your workspace smaller if needed.
5. Dress for Success
You’ve probably heard that working from home means working from your pajamas, but you’ll be more productive if you put on real clothes. This doesn’t mean you need to dress to the nines, but do put on some real clothing. You’ll be more productive, and you’ll also be ready should the need arise to take video conference call.
Working from home is very freeing and can help cut down on your gas and wardrobe bills, but you have to be smart. With these tips you can make it work, even in a modern apartment, so you can enjoy the freedom of telecommuting.