As COVID-19 restrictions continue, it is vital that you find a productive way to work from home. Many people have lost their jobs while the majority of employers are finding ways to take their businesses virtual. If you are currently working from home, you may be finding it difficult to concentrate with all your roommates around. Your living room is now a virtual meeting space for morning interviews and conflict-resolution workshops, plus the site of someone’s breakfast meal.
Finding ways to stay focused without causing a roommate divide can be difficult. Since 40 percent of adult renters live with a roommate (who isn’t a partner), many others are finding themselves in a similar situation right now — especially as young, healthy people are one of the most important demographics to be practicing social distancing. So, in order to make the prospect of indefinite co-working from home a little bit easier, here is everything roommates should use to navigate a healthy balance between being a roommate and being a young professional.
Make Coffee In The Morning As A Show Of Goodwill.
It’s just nice. We all desperately need nice moments right now.
Personal Work Spaces.
It can be very distracting if you are in the middle of a conference call, and your roommate is across from you in the kitchen grinding coffee beans. When dealing with roommates, work, and close quarters you are going to want to designate areas of your home that are for your work.
Each roommate should have their own personal work zone in an area of the house that works best for them. If your bedrooms are large enough, installing a small desk is a great way to create an office environment. If you prefer the natural light in the kitchen, then talk to your roommates about your preferences, and you are sure to find common ground. Roommates that work together efficiently foster relationships that will last into the future.
Decorate Your Zone.
Work can be stressful and emotions are often harder to communicate when you are in the confines of your bedroom. If you create a zone that is tailored to your style and interests, you can keep stress to a minimum. Try hanging lush plants and adding an essential oil diffuser. Plants and herbaceous scents can work wonders on the mind, giving you a chance to breathe. You can decrease stress when you change your environment. While you can’t exactly leave to go to a library, you can rearrange your room. Try moving the bed to a different wall or put your desk facing out a window. A fresh room will spark creativity and happiness, making it easier for you and your roommates to get along.
Embrace Noise-Canceling Headphones… Or Just Wear Earplugs.
Maybe you both need to listen to music while you work and can’t agree on a playlist. Perhaps one of you is a shockingly loud typer. No matter what flavor of “can you please turn that down?” you’re working with, some kind of sound-muffling barrier is crucial for getting sh*t done (and not being at each other’s throats). Though actual noise-canceling headphones will likely be the most brain-saving, an inexpensive option is absolutely better than nothing.
Plan Breaks Together.
When you are working in an office, it is easy to find time to take a break and walk around. When you are living at home, you don’t have a boss or co-workers around to help signify a break time. The move here is to plan for time together—ask in advance if they want to eat lunch with you or watch TV and cook together in the evening.
It’s not easy to keep your emotions in check and to have roommates around who are distracting only adds to the problem. Ease your anxiety and stress by making your space more conducive to positive relationships and relaxation. A simple rearrange and predetermined breaks will make all the difference.
Build In Some Alone Time.
Be proactive about solitude—work from a different room for a few hours, soak in the tub and listen to a podcast for 30 minutes at lunchtime (after you warn others you’ll be in there!!), or sit on your fire escape and phone chat with a buddy at the end of the day.
Small, regular doses of alone time will help keep frustration at a low. What may help more, if you go about it right? Intentional, non-haphazard time spent with the people around you—who, very much like you, are just trying to live, get stuff done, and be respectful.