Working from home is here to stay for many of us. The problem lots of people have, though, is that their homes don’t include dedicated office space.
But surprisingly, there are lots of small space in your home that can be converted to a workspace if you get creative.
As long as it offers you the ability to focus and concentrate, access to the tools you’ll need most and the ability to function effectively.
Here are some tips on getting a makeshift office to work for you.
Almost any space in your home can be converted to small office space as long as it has a few key elements. Probably the most important of these, and one often most overlooked, is that it provides you with the ability to focus and concentrate.
Secondly, it needs to either be very well lit or it needs to have access to power outlets.
This may sound obvious but easy access to power means that you don’t have to rely on a network of extension cords and double adaptors to power your devices and, in the process, possible create trip hazards or overload the power circuits in your home.
Use the power outlets that you already have – ensure that you have enough not only for your tech but also to provide you with quality task lighting.
This definitely falls in the obvious category but you will need some horizontal space for working, writing and/or to hold a laptop. Frankly, horizontal space is more important than seating.
The ability to have clear open space might not necessarily mean that you even need a chair. The latest research shows that being seated all day can be hazardous to your health so, depending on how you work, you might consider a workspace without a chair, or perhaps without a chair 100% of the time.
Given these three simple requirements, there are lots of small spaces in your home that could potentially work as office space for you.
Yes, you could work out of a converted wardrobe; you can make a corner of the kitchen table your office area; even a repurposed corner of your laundry might provide the space necessary for you to create an effective work area.
When you need a quiet place to work be prepared to think outside the box. Picture: Getty
As an example, in my last home, I took the sliding doors off a regular closet in the guest room and installed louvred horizontal blinds in their place. I then took out the clothes hanging rods and built a desk directly into the wall of the closet.
The depth of the desk was small so I was able to simply lower the blinds and no one would know there was a workspace back there. If guests arrived, I simply dropped the horizontal blinds and my desk and workspace were completely hidden.
If you don’t have a small space you want to dedicate solely to work, then you’ll need to think about portability. Start with technology.
If you have a choice, a large fixed desktop computer and monitor may not work for you. Consider transitioning to a good light laptop which can be moved at a moment’s notice.
Also, paperwork in general, and specifically large file folders will make your small workspace feel more crowded. Embrace the world of secure online storage, AKA ‘the cloud’ for storing your documents.
Take the time to set up smartly organised files in the cloud and you’ll be able to access anything you need quickly and easily from wherever you are.
Looking for ways to avoid clutter? Cut the paperwork entirely. Picture: Getty
Lastly, it’s important to consider the type of furniture you use in your workspace. If you’re short on space, consider using a bench with storage for seating to give you a little more room to store your work items when you need to convert that space back to its other purpose.
Similarly, think about adding a rolling cart to your space. Being able to roll away your work items and store them out of sight when they’re not being used is really helpful.
Finally, will all of your work items fit neatly into a bin with handles? What if that empty bin were sturdy and when empty turned upside down and used as your seating? Double-duty items are definitely the way to go when working with a small space.