The coronavirus pandemic had a significant effect on many industries, with the movement to working-from-home perhaps the most acutely felt across the UK’s working population. But even as the pandemic’s influence recedes, home-working seems to be here to stay; adverts for home-working are three times more prevalent this year than they were in 2020. With that in mind, it may be time for you to designate a part of your home to work. But how to do so?
Finding Your Space
Finding an adequate space in which to work is crucial for your productivity – but not everyone has a spare room available to create a home office space in. However, with the right planning you can convert any small space in your home into a useable work environment. Generally speaking, small home office spaces are installed in rooms which already have a purpose, in a way that doesn’t fully detract from that purpose. Have a look at your home’s current layout, room by room. Are there any corners which feel underutilised? Does the current layout of a given room make maximal use of the space? You’re looking for a corner, alcove or area otherwise undisturbed by the function of the room – somewhere you can install a desk and chair, or even a bureau and high shelves.
You should also bear in mind the mental aspect of working in a space. You might be tempted to create a small office in your bedroom, but studies suggest that working in your bedroom can detrimentally affect your sleeping patterns, and vice versa. As such, you might want to look for a space more conducive to productivity and health; dining rooms and living rooms are excellent candidates, especially where you can effectively partition the space to demarcate ‘zones’.
Choosing the Right Furniture
Finding the right space for your home office is less than half the battle. More important to the usefulness of your office space is choosing the right furniture; the furniture must fit and complement the space you’ve chosen, but should also somewhat dictate your chosen space. The right furniture will make your small office space comfortable and organised – a preferable space to work than sat awkwardly at a kitchen table.
Start with the desk. Picking a compact, stylish desk that suits your working height and provides storage for your pads and stationary will have the biggest impact on your office space, being the thing you interact with the most. Find a comfortable chair or stool which suits your desk’s aesthetic – and consider space implications as well. A small stool with back support stashes away easier, having less impact on the room overall.
Next, decide on storage solutions. You may have room under your desk for mini filing drawers, which also keep your paperwork hidden away from leisure spaces and neat. Alternatively, you might want to keep the leg space – in which case, think about above-desk shelving. If your desk is in an alcove, this is a great opportunity to define the nook by installing floating shelves flush with the bounding walls. For a more maximalist aesthetic, try using metal hook panels to create a modular wall, in which you can create shelves and hangings to suit your needs.
Lastly, think about how you can adorn your space. You can make use of your furniture to create statement decorations, which can not only make your working environment more pleasing, but also improve the overall aesthetic of your space. Think about introducing houseplants, or a “feature wall” the width of your desk to illustrate space. If you’d rather completely separate work from leisure, consider introducing a small curtain to draw across the space.