In my working life I’ve almost always needed a home office, while Bruce, apart from a short span as an independent contractor, has always had an office to go to. And one of my challenges in our tiny apartment is containing all of the work and office related things, and creating a decent work environment.
When we lived in our Big House, we each had our own office, and then we transitioned into an RV there was the dining room table and a couch: ouch! We each had a set of cupboards overhead to store whatever gear we needed: books, manuals, and the like. We were so pared down it was ridiculous, and it also gave me a taste of what you can do with a small space. There are times when I wish we hadn’t moved into a large-enough-space to allow us to sprawl out again.
After the living-in-an-RV experience we moved into a two bedroom apartment with the intention of turning one bedroom into an office – two desks, two computers/laptops, and a very fancy media station for the printers and all our other media things. Turned out I didn’t actually like spending a lot of time in there. More often than not I ended up working on my laptop on the dining room table. Or at my second office: whatever coffee shop took my fancy. And that was around the time when the technology world changed drastically with very small hard-drives and tablets. For awhile, these were my working tools:
But things change (for one thing, my files are now cloud based so even the hard drive is now a backup tool. Also I’m on my 3rd tablet, which still fits into my purse.)
But the other thing that changed was we needed the office/bedroom to be a bedroom, and Bruce needed more power than a laptop could offer, and a tower and monitor entered the picture, again. And eventually sharing an office space got old and I moved my laptop permanently into the living room, into a lovely oak office ‘cubby’ from Ikea. Over a period of a couple of years, the office furniture gradually disappeared and became mostly a spare bedroom again.
In our new tiny apartment we share the office cubby and computer, which only works because he goes to an office every day. In addition to the big box computer and monitor we each have laptops and tablets (probably only slightly more than a lot of people these days because my husband works in IT), so there is rarely a time when we both want the big computer at the same time. I’ve learned quite well to adapt. I wrote the draft of this post yesterday in a café overlooking English Bay beach on my Samsung Note tablet and I also can work on my standing work station fashioned out of a bookcase, for a change of position. Because sitting all day is not good for a body.
My main complaint? Well, two. Writing drafts and such on a tablet is fine but doing a post like this with multiple images and galleries is a challenge. The second? Even though I’d like to be using the standing workstation much more, I find I don’t think in the same way when I’m standing. Weird, but true. No doubt the technology will continue to change, especially if the trend for small living spaces continues — as I imagine it will.