If the last few years have done anything, they’ve upended the way we work. Working from home started out as a temporary solution to bridge the gap while we waited for offices to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, but even as many workplaces start returning to “business as usual,” just as many are staying hybrid or remote. Combine this with a surge in freelance and contract work, and it becomes easy to see why working from home is quickly evolving from novelty to the new normal.
If you work from home, it’s more important than you think to dedicate separate spaces to working and living, but this can pose a special kind of challenge if you live in an apartment. When you’re short on square footage, it can be easy to make the mistake of using the spaces interchangeably, like working on a laptop in bed. Over time, though, this can end up being more problematic than productive.
Separate Work and Life
Why You Should Separate Your Work Areas from Your Living Areas
One of the biggest advantages of being able to work from home is convenience. Survey after survey reports that many people find it simple and relaxing to wake up, roll over in bed, grab their laptop, and work while lounging. While this sounds appealing at first, especially if this isn’t your normal routine, it doesn’t take long for the new to wear off and the lack of structure to get old. Here’s what’s at risk if you don’t separate where you work from where you relax.
You might not notice it right away, but crossing wires when it comes to work and play areas will begin to have a negative impact on your overall mental well-being. Those who work in the same places where they relax often find that they have greater difficulty separating their work life from their private life.
For example, you might sit on the couch with your laptop during the day, but when you’re watching TV later, you may find yourself thinking about all the things you didn’t complete that day. The laptop is right over there… maybe you could just get one more thing done so that you don’t forget what you wanted to say. Not having boundaries for where and when you work can cause or accelerate burnout and increase feelings of stress and anxiety.
None of us are as good at multitasking as we think we are. While you’re at work at your computer, you might think that there’s no real harm in playing an episode of your favorite show in the background or when you finish a task–you know, so you can catch up. However, co-mingling work and living spaces creates more potential distractions, making you less focused on the work at hand and less productive in the work you’re doing. If you set up a dedicated working space, you can physically walk away from work and into leisure, rather than passing vaguely between them throughout the day. This helps signal to your brain what the priority of effort is, helping you be more effective with your work time and more relaxed with your leisure time.
Not only can you get more done–maybe in less time–if you have a specific space that is used only for work, but the quality of that work also tends to improve. If you’re working where you lounge, your brain is probably not performing at its peak and is more easily distracted, increasing the chances you make a mistake in your work or miss something important from an online meeting. Keeping your work space separate from your living space helps keep your mind sharp and focused so you can produce better quality work.
Make the Most of Working from Home when Home is an Apartment
Creating more space in your apartment may seem like an impossible task. However, while you can’t make your apartment bigger, you can get creative with what you have to make working from home work for you.
Find function in your floor plan
Space optimization is the name of the game when it comes to working from home in an apartment. For one-bedroom options, consider how you can create a “phantom” work space—that is, an area that is specifically dedicated for work but that can be easily removed or stowed away. One of the simplest ways to do this is by using fold-up furniture or items with hidden compartments to maximize space. You can also try a chic folding screen or wall panel to serve as a divider that you can set up when it’s time to work and set to the side when it’s time to relax.
For apartments with more than one bedroom, a common solution is to use a bedroom (or part of one) as an office by setting up a desk or computer station. However, if you need those dedicated rooms, consider nook offices. A corner table can make big use of an otherwise unutilized space, while a windowsill, kitchen countertop, or closet could provide the perfect place to be productive.
Take advantage of apartment amenities
If working in the same space where you live just isn’t, well, working, but you still want the convenience of clocking in remotely, consider the amenities your apartment community may provide. Are there work spaces, media rooms, or business centers where you can utilize tables, outlets, and possibly even private cubicles or desks? In nice weather, there may even be outdoor amenities that can help, like picnic tables or outdoor seating.
Even if working from your apartment is working out well, amenities like on-site fitness facilities, green spaces, walking paths, swimming pools, and community areas can provide you with the social interaction, physical activity, and fresh air you may be missing but that’s also important for your overall health.
Discover the Perfect Work/Life Balance at Liberty Creek Village
No matter what type of work you do, the luxury apartments at Liberty Creek Village can make it pure enjoyment. Choose from spacious and stunning 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom floor plans that combine comfort with class, creating a refined environment you’ll look forward to working from.
Other amenities that make Liberty Creek Village the perfect place to work from home include:
● 24/7 complimentary Starbucks coffee bar
● On-site Amazon Hub lockers
● A STEM playroom
● State-of-the-art cardio and fitness center
● Outdoor entertaining and activity areas
● Two resident-only clubhouses
● Private pond
● Walking trails
● Private attached garages with direct access
● 2 outdoor resort-style swimming pools
What’s more, Liberty Creek Village’s convenient location along I-240 is just minutes from Tinker Air Force Base and downtown OKC, making traditional or hybrid work and school schedules just as convenient as remote ones.