More employers are opting to have a majority of their staff work from home as this reduces the need for a large office space. Likewise, employees who have small children or live far away from their company’s office prefer working from home as they can avoid travel and childcare costs. In an ideal world, your home office would be spacious, distant from any distractions and have a great view. But more often than not, that’s just not the case, and you have to make do with what you have. With a little planning and creativity, you’d be amazed at what you can achieve, even with very small spaces. Here are some steps you can take to maximise your home office space.
Plan Your Space
We wrote about 10 steps you can take to create a well-planned office but it is just as important to plan your home office. Once you’ve decided where you’re going to work, it’s important to distinguish the difference between what you need and what you want. For example, choosing a good ergonomic chair for your home office is crucial, especially if you have long working hours. Choosing a chair that looks particularly fancy but doesn’t necessarily have ergonomic qualities will only result in back pain down the line. Make a list of what you absolutely need and then make a separate list of some items you would like to have. Distinguishing the difference between the two will help you to stay focussed and productive.
It’s important to remember that your environment’s aesthetics has a surprisingly huge effect on your mood and concentration. Ensuring that you choose a space that has access to natural light is crucial as it will drastically brighten your space. If your home office is in the basement, for example, where there’s very little natural light, try and brighten up the space as much as possible with the use of lamps, downlights and even brightly coloured furniture. Choosing white furniture, for example, will help to bounce the light that is available around the room. Plants are also a great addition because they don’t only look visually pleasing, they also help to absorb airborne pollutants and emit healthy negative ions and oxygen into the air.
Smart Furniture Choices
More often than not, home offices are usually small and slightly cramped, which means you need clever ways to maximise your space. A very simple (and cost effective) solution to this would be furniture that doubles as storage, such as sofas that have storage compartments underneath or coffee tables with drawers. Foldable furniture is also a great way to maximise your space. If you don’t have a separate room for your home office and have to work in your bedroom, think of investing in a foldable bed. This way, you can transform your bedroom into your home office during working hours while optimising the space you have. It’ll also reduce the temptation to take a nap which is an added bonus!
Although easier said than done, it’s crucial that you separate your home life from your work life. This is especially important if you have small children. Explain to your children that you need to focus during work hours and come up with fun, interactive ways they help. For example, leaving your door open when you’re able to and closing it when you can have no interruptions. Creating set hours for yourself will also help you to stay focused and ensure that you stick to these hours in order to create a routine. It may seem tempting to refill your coffee mug every half an hour as you don’t have your boss keeping an eye on you, however small distractions like these will impede your productivity levels and only cause stress.
While working from home may take a while to adjust to, especially if you’re used to the hustle and bustle of a busy office, it’s important to keep these small hacks in mind when choosing a suitable home office space. Remember to keep you home life and work life separate and create goals and boundaries for yourself. Make sure that you resist the urge to stay in your pyjamas and also make time to socialise as there’s no doubt working from home can get lonely.