As I, Mark Roemer, am sure you are all away by now, we are on lockdown. This means many people are having to start working from home. While I have had the luxury of having a home office for years, some people may not be aware on how to do it. It is for this reason that I have decided to do a blog that is dedicated to the people who are working from home for the first time.
The more that coronavirus spreads, the likelihood of more people to work from home is becoming a reality. The issue is not that people have to work from home. The problem is that entire families are staying at home. This means your spouse could be working from home as well as your children staying home from school. The reality is that if you are living in a small apartment, you may need to find a place that you can work uninterrupted. The steps below will help you to find that spot for yourself and maximize your productivity. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the ways you can work from home while living in a small apartment.
Claim Your Spot
I don’t suggest that you go all Sheldon Cooper on your family, but you do need to have a spot that you can work. To accomplish this, you will want to look around your home and identify a place that you will be comfortable working daily. Remember, size should not matter at this point. All you need is a few square feet to put your computer and any necessary work-related items. While you are looking, make sure to keep the following in mind.
First, you are going to need somewhere quiet. You will not get much work done if you are trying to compete with the noise coming from your spouse or kids. Trying to find a location with a door would be your best bet. Depending on the size and layout of your house, you might even consider working on a different floor from the rest of the family.
Second, it should be comfortable. You are not going to want to work all day from a folding chair with plants hanging in your face. You might have to rearrange your house or apartment for this temporarily. Don’t worry, no one is going to be coming over, so there is no need to stand on ceremony or call to impress. You can put the things back once the all-clear has been given, and we are allowed to go back to work.
Next, make sure that the spot you pick is near an electrical outlet. While you may have a laptop that can last a few hours, you don’t want to have to continually charge your computer to get your next bit of work done. The goal is to mimic your workstation at your job as much as possible. It is also beneficial if you can complete your work in the same amount of time that you would if you had been at work. No one wants to stay up all night working while the rest of the family is asleep.
Also, you are going to want to have a surface to put your computer on. While a card table may be fine, it would be better if you had something a bit more stable. Card tables are quite light and tend to move at the slightest provocation. It means that every time you sit down or stand up, you are going to have to adjust the table. It may be fine for the first few days, but you are going to grow tired of it, the longer we are quarantined.
Another thing you are going to want to do is to make sure it is clean and free of distractions. If you have a desk, mark yourself lucky. Most people that don’t use computers at home are without a proper place to work right now. However, those that do work from home have a desk dedicated to working. For those people, make sure you keep the distractions to a minimum. Remember, you are at home now, and there is no need to keep your phone or tablet away from your desk in a locker. You will be able to put your mobile devices anywhere you choose. I suggest that unless you use them for work that you put them out of your reach. There is no need to have Angry Birds within arms reach at all times. You will find a way to talk yourself into “just one game.” I have done this before, and the next thing I know, it is two hours later. I have to work late into the night to make up for my indiscretion. Do yourself a favor and put any unneeded distractions far away from you.
If you are somehow disillusioned that this quarantine is going anywhere anytime soon, then you need to start realizing it is not. The more days that pass, the more businesses are having their worker work from home. It may be something that you are going to have to deal with eventually. It would be in your best interest to start picking out your spot now. That way, when it does happen, you will be all ready to go.
I, Mark Romer, have provided you will all the tools that you will need to ride out this catastrophe. I wish you all the best and hope that you stay safe. Remember, if you are still working at a job to make sure your family is safe when you return home. Do not come in contact with them until you have cleaned yourself up entirely. This may mean that you need to take a shower or change clothes. Trust me when I tell you that your family will understand. There is no need to compromise the safety of your family to spend a few extra minutes with them.