Working From Home in a Small Apartment

You don’t need to spend lots to be productive.

My girlfriend and I are currently trying to move to a bigger house, but with a global pandemic it has been a slow process. Hence we are currently both working from our 1 bedroom flat and are likely to continue this way for the next few months. Both our jobs involve lots of online calls, and so after a many weeks sitting uncomfortably at opposite ends of the dining room table I decided there must be a better way. For 5′ 11″ me the table was uncomfortable, even if my shorter girlfriend felt it was fine for her. Really though, being within earshot each other all day was starting to grate on us both. With her piano taking up a sizeable chunk of our living room, there was no space for a desk anywhere else.

So over the past few weeks I set about making the working day more productive and ergonomic. Astonishingly, for about £70 I was able to get a foldable desk and laptop stand from Amazon.

While there are lots of foldable desks available online, many of them are either too wide or didn’t have the depth required for comfortable typing. Eventually I found one that has enough space for the laptop stand, keyboard and all-important wrist rest. These, along with my company issued Dell XPS 9500 and existing Apple Magic Keyboard, Microsoft ergonomic mouse and basic office chair have helped increase my productivity and comfort no end. (I recommended the programme Magic Utilities for getting Apple’s Magic Keyboard to work with Windows.) I set the desk up in the corridor, and at the end of the day, I simply fold away the desk and the space is regained.

Hopefully once we’ve moved I will be able to have a nicer desk and multiple monitor setup, but for now this inexpensive solution that cost a little over £70 (and would work with a cheap £10 keyboard and mouse if you don’t already have them) has been a valuable pandemic investment. Contrast this with the narrative from some tech podcasters and bloggers who would have you think that you need to spend lots of money to be productive. You really don’t.

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