How to set up a workable home office (in your serviced apartment)

While staying in a serviced apartment, there are plenty of things to do. The great thing about serviced apartments is that you have the freedom to turn the apartment into your perfect workspace. Use these tips to maximize your productivity while staying in the serviced apartments. 

Privacy

Ideally, your office should be in a quiet area with some privacy. This is especially important if you share the house with your partner or roommates. You may find that a spare room with a door can reduce noise from the rest of the house if you'll be on the phone frequently.

Rules

To boost your productivity, you should always try to make some basic rules with other people in the apartment (if you don’t live alone). For example, set up specific working hours, so that you can work undisturbed.

However, since you are staying in a serviced apartment, the first two tips won’t be applicable to you if you’re staying by yourself. Because you already have your privacy and you won’t need to lay ground rules for others. 

But what if you’re stuck in your serviced apartment during a pandemic? What if you’re required to work from you’re serviced apartment? Or what if you just have an agreement that you work a few days from your temporary home? How do you set up a workable home office from your serviced apartment? 

Well, obviously your serviced apartment is not your permanent home, so you don’t have the usual home comforts and space. Serviced apartments are bigger than your average hotel room, but usually not as big as your own house. So we have to work with what we got. So what are the things that you need to take into account when setting up your (temporary) home office?

Natural lighting

When entering your new serviced apartment and you want to know where to set up your office, it is best to choose a place near the windows. Even though windows can distract you because of the view, it is best to work in natural lighting, especially when you work many hours straight. 

Tools

There are many things that will optimize your productivity while being on a business trip. Always make sure to pack your essentials that will increase your productivity and efficiency. For instance, always pack your mouse, mouse pad and laptop stand. And make sure to always your necessities, that you brought with you, at hand in your temporary home office, such as your pens, notebooks, tablets, etc. Have them within reach to avoid distractions. 

Ergonomics

The most important thing about working from home is the ergonomic balance of the chair-desk combination. If you know you’re going to be staying at a serviced apartment beforehand, we suggest you check with the agency or provider for what type of chair they have or if it is possible to have an office chair. If they have regular dining chairs, a pillow for back support should go a long way.  Three other tips and tricks to avoid fatigue and discomfort are: 

  1. Keep the correct distance between the screen and your face

Depending on the size of the monitor, you should be approximately 50 to 60 centimetres away from your monitor. The larger the screen, the further away you need to be.

  1. Set the correct viewing height to the screen

The screen should be directly in front of you at an angle of up to 45 degrees from the bottom. Do you work on a laptop without a laptop stand, your head is probably turned down to view the screen. The idea is to look straight ahead and see the screen. Therefore, use a laptop stand! Here’s a list of some portable laptop stands perfect for travelling. Also, since you’ll be using a laptop stand, take into account that you’ll also need a keyboard. 

  1. Maintain a 90-degree angle for arms and legs

When working behind a laptop, this means that the chair must be at a height so that your legs are at 90 degrees angle and the desk must ensure that the arms can operate the keyboard from this same angle.

 

And last but not least, all the serviced apartments have an optimal wifi-signal, so that your work will not suffer from a slow connection. It is important to always work as efficiently as possible and Short Stay Citizens are happy to help you with choosing the optimal serviced apartment for you to be able to work from your temporary home. Give us a call or click here.

 

By Marc Bakker


Work-Life Balance

When it comes to making career choices, people tend to always say the following: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. The famous words of Mark Twain may be true, however, this mentality can cause an unhealthy work-life balance.

Work-life balance is the ability to enjoy the four aspects of a person’s life: Family, career, health and friends. And in the current digital age, everything is very fast-paced and employees tend to overwork themselves trying to keep up with the new environment leaving no time for the other three aspects. To avoid burnouts and exhaustion you need to reflect on your working habits and in order to do so, you need to set boundaries.

By prioritising and separating work-related activities from your personal home environment, a so-called work-life balance is created. It is important that the moment your working hours end, you are leaving all of your professional worries and responsibilities at your workplace. Some European countries have already undertaken several legal measures to control excessive working hours. For example, French law permits all employees to ignore their email after work hours and the European Union enforced a maximum 48-hour work week.

In the business field, business travellers face the most difficulties in maintaining a healthy balance since they are away from home for a long time. Being constantly on the road can be stressful since they have less quality time with their families and are surrounded by unfamiliar places and people. Also, in order to kill time during the commute, the travellers are tempted to catch up on their emails. To take matters into your own hands, we have gathered some tips to help you create a healthy work-life balance!

  1. Talk about it

When you notice that you are stressed out because of work and feel powerless, talk about it with people around you. It is not good to bottle up feelings since at some point they will explode. Engage with your colleagues, HR department and ask for advice on how to solve this issue.

  1. Start exercising

A great way to relieve stress is to do some type of physical activity. One of the effective ways would be to join a sport’s team because in this setting you are surrounded by other people and commitment to the game will distract you from your worries. Furthermore, doing physical activity will help you to reset your stressful state. For instance, upbeat exercises which make you sweat and raise your heartbeat will increase your mood, energy and make your mind feel more refreshed. Rhythmic exercises like walking and running will calm down your nerves. Whenever you feel like work is overwhelming you, during your lunch break take a stroll around the block.

  1. Plan

Plan your week ahead and include a window for the things you love doing the most. Having a clear overview of your task can help you think more clearly, however, your goals need to be realistic. When travelling on a business trip, try to schedule a few days either before or after the trip to do some sightseeing. This will be a great escape! A bonus tip, take your family with you on the trip.

  1. Unplug

The moment you leave the office, mentally leave all of your professional responsibilities there. Mute your work email and focus on spending quality time with your loved ones. A tip, never give your personal WhatsApp number as your work number. In this case, you will be getting unofficial work-related phone calls at unexpected moments.

Reflect on your current situation and include these tips to feel more refreshed!

 

By Polina Zavyalova

 

Sources:

Work-life balance, OECD

Deborah Lee, Forbes

Stress in the workplace, Helpguide

Work-life balance around the world