In today’s world, more people are working from home than in physical locations outside of the house. Where there are multiple benefits to working from home, there can also be many challenges. Finding a healthy work life / home life balance that works for you can be difficult. Your household can be the make or break of your success working from home, especially in apartments.
Ideally, working from home would be paired with an at-home office. However, for people who ended up working from home unexpectedly they’ve had to find other options for comfort.
1. Setting Up a Specific Workplace
If you’ve been working from home for a while, you have noticed that working from your bed gets old, quickly. When you’re trying to be productive in spaces that are generally designed for relaxation, it’s easy to feel unmotivated.
Though many of us never planned on having to shift places in our homes to have a little work nook. We have had to adjust our ways to be more suited to working from home. This space doesn’t need to be big, it should just be a place set up for working where you can be motivated to do tasks, and be separated from distractions. This balance is hard to find, but will be so rewarding.
2. Balance Work Equipment with Home
One of the biggest problems when beginning to work from home is finding a chair that won’t cause back pain. In a typical office, you are fitted with all of the things that allow for productive working. At home however, when it’s your responsibility, people are less inclined to make these annoying purchases. Chairs like this however, boast significant benefits to your physical health and posture.
Of course your space will determine what type of chair you will be able to get for your workspace. However, it’s very important that you find comfortable seating for your balance during your work day.
3. Find Balance With Functionality and Design
Everyone pictures a home office being a sleek, beautiful design that they would love to show off. Though for practical reasons, it doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes foregoing the design, and leaning into having a functional workspace makes all the difference when it comes to productivity. In even the smallest of places there is opportunity for finding a creative solution. Sometimes you have to experiment with options in a few different places before finding balance that works right for you!
4. Good Lighting
No matter where you’re working from, good lighting is key. Without it, finding balance like this can be hard to find. Working from home transfers you to constantly sitting somewhere staring at a screen and with improper lighting that job can feel impossible. Poor lighting puts constant strain on your eyes which can lead to headaches and overall exhaustion.
If your apartment allows for it, you should set up your desk space beside a window. Natural light works wonders for your mood and has been known to increase productivity. You are increasingly motivated and productive when you’re in a good mood, and natural lighting definitely adds to that. Of course having a nice view is also a plus, but even without the nice view you can still have benefits. The lighting that comes in naturally even on a day that isn’t sunny really helps your home-work life environment. Even bigger benefit if you have a window you can open to let the light breeze in during your work day.
5. Finding Balance For Video Meetings
Location, location, location! Working from home can lead to many technological issues. Though there are many things that can prove challenging, having a good spot or backdrop for video conferences is the most important. One of the best parts of being in a physical working location is that when there are meetings; you actually get to engage with people in person. In an online world, that balance is a bit different.
In an online world where non-work related distractions are everywhere, it’s important to not have anything behind you that will cause distractions to your audience. If people are trying to understand things behind you, the likely chance is; they’re not actively listening to what you’re talking about. Having a blank wall behind you, or a subtle image paired with good lighting is the best way to approach meetings!
Another video meeting best practice tip; make sure to tell all of the people in your household what time you will be in a call to avoid anybody ‘popping in’ unexpectedly. There are many distractions in a remote working space, but planning ahead and making sure to stay on top of your schedule makes all of the difference.
6. Finding Balance With a Clean Workspace
When working at a regular job, having a clean workspace is a typical habit, but at home when you’re not feeling pressure from other people watching, it can get a bit more difficult. Finding balance between these things has been the most difficult thing for most when transitioning to working from home. A best practice tip that works for us is to keep a garbage can beside your desk for any waste. Also making sure that you never get that stack of dishes piling beside you; if you’re working from home, the kitchen can’t be too far away, take a short walk and put your dishes away! You’ll thank yourself for it later.
Trying to minimize clutter is a common difficulty no matter where you’re working. When busy, you tend to put things down and forget to grab them to put away later. When working from a small apartment, this mess becomes even more noticeable. There are many ways you can organize wires and cords so they’re not dangling everywhere which can also significantly cut down on the disorganization that home workspaces face. Keep the clutter away so that when it’s time to get work done you’re able to focus.
7. Block Out the Noise – Finding Balance
Working from an apartment during common day hours can be frustrating when others are making a lot of noise. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also make it very hard to focus. By finding the right playlist or podcast you can minimize the local chatter and experience a calm balance during your work day. If music and podcasts isn’t your thing, sometimes just wearing headphones without listening to anything can reduce noise and help you maintain your focus. Generally even the impression of wearing headphones shows that you are actively listening to something else, and others in your household won’t disturb you. This allows you to remain focused even in a distracting setting for the duration of your work day.
8. When Work is Over, Put it Away
The hardest thing we have found to alter when beginning to work from home was what felt like there was no clear line separating work and home balance. When you’re working from home these lines tend to get blurry which is why it is of the utmost importance to set boundaries for yourself during your work day. Of course there will be times where there are exceptions, you should begin and end your work day on an even schedule. In a typical work setting, when you leave the office, it’s no longer time to work. Setting the same standards when working from home is even more important.
If you don’t do this, you can end up over-working yourself. You will catch yourself checking and answering emails late in the day, working way past nightfall, and honestly you’re just tiring yourself out for hours that would be more productive during working hours anyway. There is something that could be said for lessening your workload for the following day, but in the reality of working from home; you will notice that the work is never over. This is why you need to set boundaries for yourself. When your day is over, close your computer, leave your workstation and carry on with your day. It’ll help you stay focused, organized, and draw a line between being an employee working from home, and just going home.
9. Don’t Forget to Take Some ‘You’ Time
With everything that has happened in the past year, it has been difficult to grow as individual human beings. It’s a stressful time, especially for those of us who have been working from home for the better part of the year. Days have been meshing together so much that if you don’t check the calendar in the morning, chances are you probably don’t know what day it is. Here are some candles you can get to help you relax after a long day! Finding time to just be, is such an important practice when you find yourself caught up working from home. In a typical setting, you would have to commute to and from work. Though working from home is a different practice, you can use your commute time for ‘you’ time and throw some self-care into your day.
Working from home at time can be frustrating and stressful. Especially, when you have had to make space in an area that was never originally designed to be a workplace. Finding balance is key. If you find yourself getting caught up in something you can go away from it; take a walk, or go get a glass of water. There are benefits to working from home, you just have to take a breath and see them. The more you can enjoy the little things that come with working from home, the more successful you will be at your job, no matter what you’re doing.
It has now been over a year with the majority of workplaces forced to commit to an at-home work situation. For some this means working from home until it becomes safe to go back to the office, but in many situations; employees have come to rather like working from home. Where both of these options won’t work for everyone, it has been great to see how businesses have pivoted in order to remain successful. Who knows, you might come to love working from home in your Trylon apartment, you never know!