When it comes to working from home, living rooms are the most popular option. It makes sense because living rooms are typically the most spacious. But working from your living room VS having an office within the living room, are two different things. And, we suggest the second option if you want to enhance your remote work experience. But how do you do that?
You can make use of the space behind the couch. If there’s enough distance between the couch and the wall, turn that area into a small office. All you have to do is place a desk, and a chair and attach some matching shelves to the wall.
But working from your living room has some negative sides too. For example, it’s easy to start binge-watching a show instead of working. Through this article, we will explain how to keep personal and professional life separate while working from the living room.
So, keep reading.
Should You Create An Office Within The Living Room?
The first problem we will address today is whether you should build office space in your living room or not. One might argue that you don’t need an office set up to work from your laptop. You can just jump into your couch and start working. Then, why do people bother to find a WFH layout?
Well, here’s why we think an office area is a must even in your living room.
Dedicated Work Space
The first symbol of professionalism is having a separate office. It sounds easy to work from your couch, but it’s not. Sitting in your living room won’t give you the motivation you need to complete a task.
To feel less stressed, you need designated office hours. Imagine every day you get ready at 9 AM to go to work. This simple routine can save you the trouble of fighting procrastination. But, where do you go to work? There should be a desk or separate office area where you look forward to sitting every day and working.
Our brains can give us a hard time when we try to work remotely. Since our childhood, we have associated home with relaxation and chill. And, now all of a sudden your brain is expected to feel the “work vibe” while sitting on a comfy couch.
Let’s be honest. That’s not how it works. If you want to trick your brain, the best way is to create a visual difference between the office area and the rest of the room. That way, as soon as you step inside the work zone, your brain will be triggered to become focused. Quite Easy, isn’t it?
Lastly, you need a strong work-life boundary. Remote workers complain about losing their personal life. It happens when you bring the work inside your personal space like a bedroom or living room. At the end of the day, it feels like you have never left the office.
That’s why you should establish a small workstation for your long-term mental health and satisfaction. Even if your living room has enough sofas and couches for you to sit on, try to work from your designated office.
How Do I Separate My Home Office From Living Room?
Even though the living room is quite spacious, you have to find the right spot for an office. Otherwise, you will be easily distracted or bored. So, here we go with our 5 suggestions for your office set up inside the living room area.
1. The Living Room Divider
Dividers are by far the best place to build a small home office. Of course, it will work if you don’t need a desk with dual or triple monitors. If you are a blogger or someone who needs to spend time on research, a small office desk should work fine.
Moreover, keeping your office within the living room divider allows you not to mess with the living room’s interior. Especially, if you are very particular regarding how the living space should look like. Also, the TV or other fun features in your living room won’t bother you much.
2. The Book Shelf Area
You can place your office desk in front of the bookshelf. It’s far better than putting a table in the middle of the room. Establishing an office around a bookshelf allows you to cut the cost of extra storage racks. You can occupy one of the shelves to keep your notes, files, and other belongings. And, the room won’t look cluttered. It also doesn’t break whatever theme your living room already has.
Check out this article for more ideas on where you should place the desk.
3. Against A Wall Or Window
The next option for creating a home office in your living room is the wall. You can definitely place an office desk against an empty wall and work there. The key is to find the right wall. We would suggest, looking for a window first. Having a window helps you get enough sunlight and automatically improves your mood.
But many people make the mistake of giving their back to the window. It just creates a lot of sun glare and interrupts you while working. Instead, try to face the window while working. that way, the sun’s rays will hit the computer’s back instead of the front screen.
If you don’t want to sit in front of the window, go a little left or right. You can still benefit from the natural light without dealing with the glares. Here’s a full guide on building a home office near a window.
4. Behind The Couch
In case, you have a small living room, going behind the couch seems to be the best option. Especially if you need a large desk set up that’s hard to accommodate in the divider or against a wall. Normally, the main sofa or couch is in the center of the room. That means there’s enough space behind the sofa for a desk. You can increase your legroom by placing the desk against the sofa’s back. Now, you are facing the door.
It’s helpful if you don’t have many visitors daily. Otherwise, frequent door movement will immensely distract you.
5. The Corners
Living room corners are mostly used for decoration. People install overhead lighting and interior pieces in these corners. However, you can remove one such item to place the desk. Go for an L-shaped desk if you require a bigger desk. Because typical large desks would look out of place in the corner area. Since you are against the walls, you have ample opportunities for extra storage space.
Mount some shelves on the wall and you are good to go. Don’t forget to choose shelves that blend easily with the rest of the room.
How Do You Stay Focused Working From Your Living Room?
It’s easy to create a home office. But very few workers know how to make the most use of it. Here are our tips for you to stay more focused while working from your living room. Take a look.
1. Breaks Are Must
Treat your home office like an actual one. You wouldn’t work continuously for 5 hours in a full-fledged office, right? There would be tea/coffee breaks. Bring the same practice while working from your living room. Get up from your seat to get snacks or drinks.
But the breaks shouldn’t include watching TV. Because that reduces your focus on work radically. Stretching after 2-3 hours of work sessions helps your body’s blood circulation and improves your mood. If you feel super tired while working from a desk, try this method.
2. One Thing At A Time
The biggest issue with any remote job is that people try to multitask. They try to do household tasks while sitting at their work desk. That’s a red flag. If you keep this practice, you won’t be able to complete the given task at hand.
It will feel like you are working for too long. When in reality you have reduced office time by attending to household needs. So, always focus on only one thing at a time. That’s our suggestion for you if you suffer from ADHD.
3. Don’t Bring The Stress To Your Bed
You can only be more productive each day if you spend enough stress-free time. It’s hard to attain when you are working from home. You tend to carry the stress with you even in your bedroom. That’s why it’s so essential to have a separate corner for work. So that, as soon as you get up and leave the desk, it’s the end of work for that day.
Go inside your bedroom or relax on the sofa without stressing over the job. That would only diminish the quality of time you spend with your family.
4. Customize Your Office Space
Be fun with your workspace. Include the elements you would love to have around you. For example, you love plants. In that case, add live plants while decorating the desk or shelves. Or, you could place an aesthetic carpet underneath the chair to make the space stand out. The choice is yours.
Remember your home office doesn’t need to be as monotonous as a regular one. There’s no guideline to follow. You can play with the wall color, place a beautiful lamp, or paint to improve your mood. But keep in mind to avoid devices that will distract you from the task.
5. Create A Strong Boundary
The problem with remote working is that your co-workers are not working at the same time as you. That’s the reason why it’s so hard to cut off from work completely. You are constantly getting emails, and texts as you try to sleep or do something with your family.
The only solution we see is communicating with the clients. Tell them when you will be unavailable and don’t like to be disturbed. Creating a strong boundary will make you feel less frustrated over time.
Remote work is fun when you have strong boundaries. Otherwise, it’s a never-ending stream of stress or pressure. And, the most effective thing you can do to organize your WFH experience is to build a home office.
But for most New York homes, it’s quite impossible to have a separate office space. That’s when people start looking for ways to turn the existing rooms into office space. And, we think your living room has the most potential to give you the work zone vibe.
The only thing you have to consider is getting rid of distractions from the room. And, that was all for today. Hope you enjoyed the article.