Telework Series: Making a Home Office in a Tokyo One-Room Apartment

For those of us who have been Work From Home for a good while, you know all too well how easy it is for the line between home and work to become blurred into one big mess. Concentrating on your work is a challenge in and of itself, just as tuning out work can be once you’ve technically punched out for the day. While work from home can be frustrating, one of the most important thing you can do to improve your concentration and add a little more joy to your everyday is to carefully curate your workspace.

Many young people living in Tokyo live in one room apartments, with the average size for a ‘good-size’ apartment being about 18 square meters, and anything 25 or above being considered spacious. Simply put, economy of space is key in all aspects of life, from managing a kitchen space to setting up sleeping and eating areas.  Particularly in on room apartments, it’s hard to make room for work, when you are already sleeping, cooking, eating, and doing all your leisure activities within the same four walls.

Don’t live in Tokyo? Here is an idea of what a room apartment in Tokyo actually looks like. This is the floor plan for your typical one room apartment. Many times, apartments are still measured in tatami mats. This room is 8 tatami mats, which is approximately 14.5 square meters.

It’s a little hard to imagine how someone would organize such a space. Though a slightly different layout, the photo below shows the kind of furniture and layout typical for this type of one room. Notice that the furniture is generally low to the floor, and that this design incorporates a futon. Besides a main table, other furniture is also generally narrow in build and made to sit along the wall to maximize the space available.

CDJapan Rental has a great deal on pocket wifi, with a range of flexible plans starting at ¥187/day.
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So now that we’ve look a bit at a typical apartment space for someone living alone in a small Tokyo apartment, we’re going to go more into how to organize your space for work at home, with an example from one of our GetAround team who has agreed to share photos of their newly made home office and tips for how to work successfully at home.

Are you ready?……

We’re going to show a few different setups to give examples of how you can organize your room based on your own unique preferences.

Setting Up in a Corner with Natural Light

The table shown in today’s home work space set up is long at 120cm, perfect for putting one large computer monitor or two smaller screens to work from. And as you can see, this apartment uses floor furniture just like the apartment we featured above.

Take A Seat

Sitting on the floor can be hard on the back. We recommend investing in a floor chair that will provide ample support. While this in and of itself isn’t a full chair, for those looking for back support, we recommend the MTG Body Make Seat in Style. This seat is designed to follow the curve of the spine and provide full support to keep you from slouching or sitting off balance. You can use this seat to fit on top of another seat or use it as you see here, by placing it directly on the floor. The price for these new comes in at around 8,000JPY, but if you’re lucky, you can find one in good condition for much less.

Set up Along The Wall Farthest From Your Bed

Another option is to go for cushions in place of a chair. For those who like to sit cross-legged or even seiza (on the knees as is done in formal situations in Japan, such a during tea ceremony) this might be comfortable enough! Depending on the shape of your room this may be the easiest place to set up your desk. If possible, we suggest keeping the desk away from the bed so you can feel like you’re in a different space when sleeping, relaxing, etc. 

Up Your Mobility With Extension Chords

In one room apartments, we’re lucky if we get two or three outlets. This may not always be most conducive to plugging in your computer near your work space. Try purchasing something like this two meter Panasonic extension chord, what a cutie! Plug in all your electronics with the extra set of outlets and add a splash of color to your room.

Keep a Notebook on the Desk For To Do Lists and Meeting Notes

Cute stationary can work wonders. As our staff member does, we recommend keeping a small notebook on hand at all times. Creating a to do list each morning can help you organize and center for your day, and having paper on hand for notes during a meeting is also handy. In addition to the notebook, we suggest keeping sticky notes on hand. You can easily create a memo board with sticky notes on a nearby wall, and the color can also help liven up your work area. 

Get Yourself a Pocket WiFi

If there is any MUST HAVE on the list, it’s this one. Pocket WiFi are essential for if you do not have a regular WiFi connection or have data caps. Regular zoom and skype meetings (in addition to streaming service, but you would never use those during work, right?) are sure to eat up loads of data, so having an extra line like this Unlimited Softbank model can be a lifesaver.

Luckily, for those living in Japan, our parent company CDJapan Rental is offering special remote/telework plans up to 40% OFF!

They are also doing their best to support those who might be stuck in Japan and unable to return home, and offering 30% off all extensions. Check out the website for more offers, as services are being updated regularly!

What did you think of our home office? Let us know what your telework station looks like, leave us a comment


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CDJapan Rental has a great deal on pocket wifi, with a range of flexible plans starting at ¥187/day.
Japan Pocket Wifi Rental
Japan Travel Prepaid SIM card
GetAround Japan is your number one travel guide, providing the latest information on visiting and living in Japan, with tips on what to eat, things to do, and places to stay.Whether you're planning for a trip far in the future, or already in Japan in need of some fresh ideas, our archive of posts will help you find the best way to fill your time and get the most out of your travel experience. We provide you updates on serious policies that affect visitors and foreign residents while also keeping things light and fun with articles on quirky trends and pop culture.How do we know how to provide visitors the information they need? Our affiliate company CDJapan Rental provides WIFI and Sim Card rentals to thousands of visitors to Japan every year. In other words, we are constantly in touch with and listening to the voices of our customers, and infuse our blog with the information they ask us for.For inquiries, contact us here=Company Information= CDJapan Rental (Neowing Corporation) 1-10-15-3F Nihonbashi Horidome Chuo, Tokyo 103-0012, Japan

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