Whether you work from home full time, or only occasionally, it can be difficult to set aside a chunk of your home as office space. Remote employees know it’s important to create a different vibe for work-time than the rest of their lives. A dedicated home office space is the ideal way to separate those two parts of your life, but what if you don’t have space? Try these four tips to work comfortably away from the office.
- Temporarily transform an existing space in your home
So long as there is a place in your home to separate yourself from other people and pets, you can create a temporary workspace. All you need is a place to sit and a work surface, plus a few tools to make the space feel differently than it does when you’re not working. If there is a television in the space, try blocking it with a piece of furniture or covering it with a sheet or blanket. Use pillows if you’re sitting on a couch to make it function more like a desk chair. Turn on a fan or ambient noise machine to mimic the sounds of an office. The most important detail of this plan is to stop the room from feeling like your home and turn it into a different place entirely.
- Visit a park, library or café
Plenty of college students and business people work from coffee shops and community spaces when they don’t have a permanent spot to use. Be sure to find a space that isn’t too loud and with access to an outlet. If you choose a restaurant, be sure to purchase something rather than mooching off of their resources for free. Consider windows, doors, lines, air conditioning and other environmental factors before sitting down. Once you get comfortable working, you won’t want to relocate. Libraries may even have private rooms you can reserve ahead of time to create an even quieter, more focused space.
- Borrow someone else’s home
Ask friends or family if you can use their house while they’re at work or out of town. Their space will undoubtedly feel less like home than yours does, which goes a long way in keeping you focused. You can volunteer to accept an expected package or walk their dog in exchange for the free workspace. Make sure not to leave a mess or be an unwanted guest when you’re through.
- Rent a shared space
Increasingly, freelancers, small business owners and remote employees need a place to work for an hour, a day or a week at a time. Some companies now offer room for temporary offices you can rent by the hour. They will have a table, chair and electrical outlet and sometimes other amenities such as coffee or bottled water. There are options for various budgets with a variety of privacy options to fit the needs of nearly any worker.
Working from home is a tempting concept, but not every home is a fit. To get some actual work done when you’re not in the office, you need a space to call your own. Don’t let the fact that you can’t fit a permanent home office into your house deter you from getting work done. Simply find a place that’s comfortable and separate from your regular life and get working.
Hello, I’m Lauren, a freelance writer, wife and mother to a couple of terrific kids. I find great joy in writing on everyday topics affecting everyday people. With a diverse background ranging from healthcare to small business marketing, I am able to write on a wide variety of topics.