As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, many companies and employees are transitioning to remote work, some for the first time in their careers.
And while this shift can be tough for anyone, figuring out how to make a home office in a small space with roommates and/or family can add some extra challenges to work through. At BTG, we surveyed our apartment residents for their best tips on how to optimize your remote work situation when options are limited.
Make use of any and all space
When you’re working remotely from a small or shared apartment, it’s important to think outside the box and effectively use whatever space you do have available. Here’s how:
- When designating workspaces, get creative. Dining tables, coffee room tables, it’s all fair game
- Take calls wherever you can find some quiet space–including the bathroom or a car if necessary
- Make sure you’re comfortable, but not too comfortable. If that couch is putting you to sleep during a conference call, it might be time to find a new workspace
Set up ground rules
If you’re living with roommates, it can be beneficial to set-up a shared workspace in a communal area like the living room. But don’t forget to set some ground rules:
- Figure out a mutual policy around calls. Can they be taken in a common area or should folks try to find a quiet corner?
- Agree on what kind of background noise will be tolerated. Music or background TV can be energizing for some but distracting for others
- If all else fails, headphones are a great way to get some privacy and focus
When thinking through how to make a home office in a small space with multiple remote workers, it’s important to consider how to coordinate schedules and potentially overlapping calls. Here are some ways to prevent any major disruptions:
- Sit down at the beginning of the day or the week to compare schedules and troubleshoot any conflicts
- If someone has an important call, figure out how to keep distractions to a minimum as a group
- Break for lunch or coffee around the same time to enjoy each other’s company and retain some of that office atmosphere
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