Whether you’re working from home, studying for classes or digging deep into a hobby, you may decide you need a dedicated space for your productive efforts. How do you achieve this when you live in an apartment with limited room?
No worries — you have plenty of options for creating an office that’s both mentally and physically stimulating. All it takes is a splash of creativity. Check out the six tips below to get started on your ideal apartment office.
1. Keep Your Office Free of Distractions
Choose a place in your apartment that’s quiet and relatively free from traffic. You’ll have a hard time concentrating with your roommates walking back and forth or your pets noisily playing with toys.
You may want to work by a window so you can soak up some rays and get a healthy dose of vitamin D every day. Think about what effect this may have on your concentration, though. Will you be preoccupied with watching the world go by when you should be working?
The temptation of going outside and getting some fresh air isn’t terrible, but it can prevent you from reaching your highest productivity. It all comes down to personal preference and work habits. If you have to work facing a blank wall to sustain your focus, design your office that way.
2. Use Portability to Your Advantage
Maybe you’d like an office, but don’t want a desk permanently taking up space. If you often have guests over, you want them to feel like they’re stepping into a home, not a corporate headquarters. Buy a folding desk or table to collapse and store in a closet whenever you need to. They’re practical and convenient, but they aren’t uninspiring — many come in colorful hues and fun designs.
Rolling desks come in handy for quick transportation, and some can double as standing tables. The idea of standing up for most of the day may not appeal to you, but it imparts surprising health benefits. One such advantage includes lessened shoulder and back pain.
3. Carve out Space in a Corner or Closet
If you’re genuinely short on space, you can get creative and build your office within your closet. This idea is especially helpful if you don’t have a big wardrobe. A closet-based working space is the epitome of the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Once you’ve finished for the day, you can close the door and not have to think about business until the next morning. You can also set up partitions around your workstation, but this draws more attention to the area than it does disguise it.
If your closet isn’t roomy enough to accommodate a desk, you could use a corner of your bedroom or living room instead. Corners are out-of-the-way places, and they’re often the barest parts of a room. You could build a desk to fit in the corner, or you can buy one and experiment with different room arrangements.
4. Remove Clutter as It Builds
Choose a work station that has ample storage, so you won’t pile things on top of it. You may feel the urge to tuck objects away on your desk when every other part of your apartment is overflowing, but resist it. You need at least one clutter-free area, and that should be your office. Clutter does nothing positive for your productivity levels. Your home is a direct reflection of yourself, and whether you’re conscious of it or not, it impacts your self-identity.
A messy home lowers your self-esteem, which decreases your confidence in your work. And when your self-assurance lessens, you generate lower-quality output. You also take longer to process information than you usually would. Even if you think a strewn paper or two won’t hurt, it can. Keep your area clean and your mind focused.
5. Invest in a Stylish, Comfortable Chair
If you’re going to be sitting for long periods, you need a comfortable chair. There’s nothing more annoying than getting up after hours of being sedentary and feeling sharp pains shoot up your spine. That proves why you should buy a chair that’s not only stylish and fitting for your space, but is also easy on your back.
A good chair supports proper posture, which is a significant factor in maintaining efficiency. When you lack adequate airflow, your ability to think lessens, and you spend more time on simple tasks. Notice how everything connects? Good posture influences your physical health, but it makes a difference in your work output, too.
6. Bring in Some Greenery
Having a few plants in your home not only livens up your space — it increases your productivity and boosts your energy levels. A university study showed employees who worked in a room with potted plants produced 13% more ideas than employees surrounded by sculptures. These leafy wonders also increase humidity and improve your indoor air quality — which is a boon when you’ve been breathing the same stuffy air all day.
Green fosters a calming effect on its perceivers, so even a few paintings of lush landscapes could serve in place of the real thing.
Design the Perfect Apartment Office Space
Your apartment should be your happy place, and when you work from home, this is doubly true. You develop your best material within a peaceful and creative environment — so put your mind to the test and brainstorm the perfect office space.