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Home Office Setups That Work When Living with Roommates

By Victoria Robertson

Living with roommates can pose several challenges, especially when considering a work from home situation. As many of us face remote work, it’s important to ensure you have a space set up that can accommodate your busy schedule, whether or not you have roommates.

So as we struggle through the difficult times, we can at the very least ensure that our home office set-ups are conducive for productivity, despite living with one or more other people. So, to help you get your home office set up, here are some setups that work when living with roommates.

Photo Via: Pixabay

1. Bedroom Office

When working from home, it’s typically best to choose a quiet location from which you can get the most work possible done. If at all possible, it’s best to set up a desk in your room that you strictly use for work (whether homework or professionally).

You can get as fancy or minimalist as possible with this setup, the main purpose is to have a distraction-free zone from which you can work without risk of being interrupted by a roommate in passing.

If you set up a bedroom office, just make sure you are minimizing the distractions, so the room shouldn’t have a TV (or at least, you shouldn’t turn it on during the day) and you should dedicate the desk space to your work, specifically so as not to impact your sleep schedule.

2. Shared Office

If you and your roommates all work, you could consider a shared office situation. This can be done in a number of ways. First, you could all use the same office at the same time. This solution works if you are all self-motivated and able to work (undistracted) in an environment where you’re surrounded by others.

Second, you could take turns using the office, depending on your schedules. For instance, if you work on different days of the week, you could switch off using the office. Otherwise, you could share the office to use for important Zoom meetings or other important situations, and use a different shared space when it’s in use.

3. Portable Desk

If you happen to live in a small apartment, don’t have room in your bedroom for an office, or simply prefer to work in comfort from your bed or the couch, you could get a portable desk setup.

Most people simply work from their laptops, so getting a portable desk that fits on your lap can make you slightly more comfortable, and offer a space for you to hold a cup of coffee or pen and notebook, depending on what you need for the day.

4. Balcony/Outdoor Setup

If you’re lucky enough to live in a state with warmer weather, it may be an option to get an outdoor setup for your workspace. While you should account for noise pollution, especially if you have an abundance of video conferences and calls, if you strictly work on documents, spreadsheets, or anything else throughout the day that doesn’t require talking to other people, outdoor setups can be relaxing and make you more productive.

This could be as simple as setting up a table and working from there every once in a while, or bringing your portable desk outside on nice days. Obviously, this isn’t an everyday solution, dependent upon the weather, but when it’s an option, it’s one that you’ll want to take advantage of.

5. The Library

Last, but not least, there is always the ‘ol reliable option: the library. Whether this means the campus library or the local library, you can always bring your items with you and set up there.

Again, if you have a lot of calls or conferences, this may not be the ideal setup. However, if you don’t, then this is a great way to maintain some normalcy, as you can essentially get up and ready as if you’re going through your normal commute, all while going down the street to get some work done in a quiet setting.

And as previously stated, this option doesn’t have to be your everyday plan, but if you have a lot to accomplish throughout the day and are worried about the distractions at home, this is an amazing option.

Working from home, whether in terms of school work, an internship, or a professional occupation, is a challenge, especially when living with roommates. So rather than diminish productivity by working from a setup that prevents you from getting any work done, you can instead create a workspace that helps you to be as productive as possible.

The above setups are perfect for getting your work done, regardless of your living situation. It comes down to this: figure out what makes you the most productive, and ensure that it’s reflected in your office setup. Then, nothing will be able to stop you!


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