How to Separate Workspace and Living Area in a Small Apartment

April 02, 2021

small room space
William Blesch

Having office space is crucial if you're working from home. The problem is that many people live in small apartments without much room. In a situation like this, how does one separate the workspace from the living area?

Suppose your job has you working remotely from home. In that case, you need a way to ensure you have space in which to be productive because trying to work in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen presents a host of problems.

For example, consider the following:

When there's no clear separation between your private life and your professional life, there is very little balance. When you don't place borders (such as creating an obvious workspace) family and friends feel they can waltz in and demand your time and attention. That's true even when you're supposed to be hard at work.

Your frustration levels can soar in an environment like that, and your overall quality of life suffers.

It's not just family and friends either. Maybe you have roommates or pets. Perhaps you have dishes piling up in the sink or haven't vacuumed the living room or any number of other household chores … and all of them are distractions because you didn't create a physical boundary between work and everyday life.

Another downside of trying to work in your living space is the fact that productivity can suffer. By way of example, a survey published by the IT consulting firm Globant noted that 49% of participants confessed that their productivity had decreased due to distractions at home.

The good news is that there are ways to split up your living space so that you can still have a stylish living space and the workspace you need. When the balance is right, you'll be as productive as necessary.

First though, let's talk about some common objections to setting up a small home office in an apartment and how to overcome them.

Difficulties In Creating Your Workspace?

Now, you may feel that you don't have the extra space necessary for a dedicated workspace in your apartment. However, it's likely that you do. You just need to get creative and be willing to do the work necessary to carve out the necessary room.

There are a few ways to accomplish this, such as purchasing furniture that takes up minimal floor space. For instance, you could get yourself floating shelves that you can stack against the wall. You might use a bedside table that can double as a desk. We'll talk about some ideas that are much better than those just mentioned in a moment.

Be that as it may, you might be saying to yourself that even if you have amazing ideas for how to set up a workspace, you don't have the money to do so. However, the truth is that even when you're on a limited budget, there are effective ways to create a small workspace that will function the way you need it to.

Before you start, think about the layout of your apartment. Then think of what pieces of furniture or accessories you can move around. You can save a ton of money by using what you already have (but no, sitting on the bed with your laptop isn't the best idea in the world).

The only areas where you may want to splurge a bit are when it comes to where you sit and your work desk. Investing in the right kind of chair and desk can make or break the new workspace you're planning to set up. Despite that, don't think that you have to blow out your bank account by purchasing an expensive, heavy piece of furniture. You don't.

You might be amazed that you can find ergonomic chairs and incredibly versatile standing desks that take up very little space and that are imminently affordable.

With the above in mind, here are some great suggestions on ways you can separate your workspace and living area without taking up your whole apartment or spending like crazy.

 

Ideas For Creating Your Workspace

There are so many different ways you could choose to create a workspace that's partitioned from the rest of your apartment. For example, you might:

  • Use the space behind your couch: Place a thin desk such as Flexispot's Height Adjustable Standing Desk Frame EC1 for the home office right behind your sofa. If you're in the market for a desk that can maximize your home office space, can stop at any height you want (between 71-121cm), and that sports an environmentally friendly desktop, the EC1 is for you. (You can also customize desktop colors and easily match your room's overall color scheme.) Add in a table lamp, an ergonomic chair, and perhaps a rug with a different texture than your living room carpet to round things out.
  • Set it up next to a whole wall: This idea is best if you've got a narrow living room. You can create clean lines and a clear divide between workspace and living space by dedicating an entire wall to your home office. You can place a thin desk against the wall with cabinets and shelves on either side and from wall to wall.
  • Follow the flow of your bedroom: In this design, your bed is the centerpiece of the room. Everything else is arranged around the bed and along the walls of the room. Here, your desk and workspace is situated naturally with the other furniture.
  • Create a Sit or Stand Workstation: Studies show that sitting all day is the new smoking. In other words, sitting too much during the workday is horrible for your health. To remedy that, make a sit or stand workstation in a corner of your apartment. Carve out a nook for yourself and utilize a standing desk like Flexispot's EG1 mentioned above. Besides the fact that you can modify its height, it also comes with a basic up and down keypad that allows you to automatically raise or lower the desk to any height you want.

Far and away, though, the best ideas are those where you can create a real sense of separation from your everyday living space.

To do that, you'll need a partition of some kind. Some of the best dividers on the market are both stylish and affordable. They can be taken down, folded, and put away when you need more room, have guests over, and so on.

Remember that when it comes to setting up your small home office, you need the necessary tools and environment in which you can remain focused and motivated.

 

Choose a Customizable Standing Desk

A great way to improve your workspace and enhance your productivity is to relieve the boredom of constantly sitting at a standard desk for eight hours straight. As suggested previously, sitting all day can hurt your posture and cause back pain. That's why we recommend choosing a standing desk that fits your budget and style, like the FlexiSpot Standing Desk Frame EN1, which is easily maneuverable and perfect for any height.

Suppose you're unhappy with your dining room table, living room coffee table, kitchen counter, or that student's desk you've had since you were 16. In that case, you definitely will want to consider the EN1. Not only can you customize its height (71-121cm), but you can adjust its width too (85-129 cm).

The fact that you can modify both the width and height of the EN1 (designed with three programmable presets) means that it will fit into just about any home office design you can think of. For instance, say you do a lot of research and need a library of books at your disposal. With a tabletop in place, you can put the EN1 directly in front of a bookcase and immediately take advantage of an intelligent sit-stand-work lifestyle.

You can stretch your legs, improve posture, and alleviate back pain while picking out that reference book you need for work all at the same time!

 

Add Personal Touches To Your Workspace

No matter where you choose to create your workspace, the fact is that you need one that's separate from your living area. Recall that you want things to remain as professional as possible throughout your day. You don't want the appearance of your living space to be a distraction. (No views of a dirty kitchen or kids watching TV!)

There are ways to create small physical barriers that can partition areas of your apartment, making it easier to dedicate a specific space to work. Consider investing in them.

Make an effort to make your workspace inviting. While your little home office needs to be a space where you can concentrate and focus, it also needs to be an area that you'll be comfortable in for long periods of time.

In light of those needs, a Flexispot standing desk and an ergonomic chair are must-have items for those who want to reduce health risks and strengthen their posture.

Remember, at the end of the day, you want to be able to mix things up. Having a separate workspace in your apartment where you can have peace, quiet and can alternate between sitting and standing makes all the difference when it comes to working from home.

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