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


The golden rules to effectively organise online meetings

The world is getting smaller and smaller. And because of the current pandemic, organisations most likely have all or most of employees working remote. And thankfully, technology has made remote communication very easy. However, effective communication is not only based on technology, you still need to apply a few golden rules to communicate effectively. This blog will highlight some preparation and execution tips that will help when organising effective online meetings. 

Preparation phase:

Essential people: The one who is in charge of the meeting, should only invite people who have a responsibility within. If the findings of the conference are important for the entire organisation, you need to point someone out who will take minutes and will send a document out. This document will include the main findings which are useful for the entire organisation. 

Scheduling: Make sure that the meeting is scheduled at a time that suits everyone. To view when everyone is available, we recommend using  wheniwork.com.This software assists in Appointment scheduling, automated scheduling, class scheduling, employee scheduling, facility scheduling, and resource scheduling. 

Also, take time zones into account. Your colleague in China has a different timezone than you in England. Try using timezone.io. This software facilitates the scheduling of a meeting. It will tell you where they are located so as to plan in a meeting. No need to Google “What time is it in Jakarta”. 

Notification: Before the meeting, make sure to send out an email with a reminder of the meeting. A useful tool to use is Google Calendar; this tool will allow the participants of the meeting to add the session into their schedule. This tool can also notify the participant before the meeting to remind them. A second app which you can use is Outlook calendar. This app will allow you to send text message notifications when items about the meeting are updated, for example, if there is a change in time. You can change the time of the meeting and notify the participant of the meeting without sending an extra e-mail.  

 

Execution phase:

System: Test the tools you’ll be using beforehand. Some tools do not work on phones without downloading an app. Make sure you check that out. Skype is one of the most commonly utilised tools for online meetings. Another app is Google Hangouts, which is free to use up to 25 users. Within Google Hangouts you can video call and audio call. Everyone has the ability to mute their microphone and camera and also to share their screen with others. Another popular tool is Zoom, which allows you to have meetings with 50 users for a subscription fee of 14,99 dollars a month. Zoom has the same features as Google Hangouts. You can video call, audio call and share screens.  A final useful tool is Microsoft Teams. This app allows you to work in teams via a common space. You can use features like document collaboration, one-on-one chat, team chat, and more. 

Connection: Drop in the meeting a couple of minutes before to make sure your internet, video, mic and audio are working fine. Also, do the meeting in a serene environment and with a clear and quiet background because background noises can distract the call participants. 

Minutes: Make sure someone take minutes and makes a summary of the meeting. These notes should be clear and should highlight the main elements of the sessions; however, it should entail enough details that someone who could not attend the meeting can understand the gist of it all. 

 

Now we have highlighted the golden rules to organise an effective online meeting. These measures should help you out immensely, but if it doesn’t go as planned on the first try, not to worry! Practice makes perfect. What other tips would you recommend?

 

‘Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practised every day’ Jim Rohn. 

 

By Karishma Koellin

 

Sources: 

Droidoo.com

Zapier.com

Business.com

Inloox.com