Before COVID-19, both my husband and I worked a short city commute from our apartment. I walked to work and my husband took the L. We live in a 670 square foot 1-bedroom apartment in a high rise in Chicago with our two cats.
How We’ve Adapted
During our first week of working from home, I worked from the couch while my husband used the one desk we had. On Friday that week, I had the realization that we were going to be hunkered down for more than two weeks and quickly started scouring the internet for a desk.
We took the measuring tape out and ran around our apartment trying to figure out where we could fit another desk. We ended up taking apart our kitchen table, putting it in storage and putting the desk where the kitchen table was. We bought an extra monitor and picked up an extra desk chair my parents had and… voila… my work from home set up! I have about five feet to our refrigerator, one foot to our living room, two to the bedroom, and four to the bathroom.
What We’ve Learned
While working from home I have realized the importance to taking time to stretch during the day. When cooped up and not moving very much, it is easy to sit down and not get up for hours. I found myself hunched over, typing furiously, and by the end of the day realizing I had moved about 10 steps all day.
I started to do yoga and weight training during small breaks I had, like taking 15 minutes during lunch. I also have learned the importance of shutting your computer off at a certain time and setting limits. While working from home it becomes hard to separate yourself from your work. I felt guilty turning off my computer at six. I have learned it is ok to set boundaries. Just because my home and my office our now combined does not mean I need to work all the time.
It has been a learning process for me and my husband on how to be effective in our small space working, but we have enjoyed many perks of working from home – for me, working in PJs is one of those things, for him, being able to have a meat sauce simmer all day while we work. 🙂
Carleigh is a Product Manager at Arity, an Allstate Company, and a brand new WFHer.