The last couple of years has seen a boom in the amount of people working from home – initially for necessity but now often by choice. The first coronavirus lockdown forced people to ‘make do’ and work from kitchen counters, dining tables and dressing units but now as we face further stay-at-home orders and prolonged periods of remote working, homeowners are beginning to investigate proper home offices.
There is a common misconception that home offices need a full room or large space to be adequate but if 2020 and 2021 has taught us anything, it’s that that definitely isn’t the case. Home office and workshop spaces can be carefully curated in even the smallest of spare spaces with some creative planning – let us tell you how!
For the smallest of spaces – hang a single shelf
A single shelf can form the basis for a desk on which you can rest a laptop – and a chair can be added or removed as and when required. Ideally, do so under a window to best utilise natural light, but be mindful of the view if you’re someone who gets easily distracted.
Make good use of vertical space
Shelving units up to the ceiling optimises wall space; just add some steps to access the highest areas as needed. Cable management can also be installed vertically and task lighting across each shelf can be helpful for whenever you need to pull an all-nighter.
Zone the office area with paint
If the home office space is just an area of another room, zone it by painting it a different colour. A square or rectangular area of differing colour or design can highlight an office or desk space beautifully and make it feel separate from the rest of the room.
Use a dividing wall
If you have a dividing wall between rooms that presents an end of block space, take advantage of this by putting a desk against it or hanging a shelf on it for a computer. Shelves can be erected for additional storage or a pegboard hung for the organisation of smaller items.
Utilise under-stairs space
OK, so not quite in the Harry Potter sense but – what are you doing with the space under your stairs, even if it’s just a wall? A well-defined work area can be created either against the wall or in a under-staircase space. If the space is particularly awkward, bespoke furniture can be bought to fit.
Create a cupboard office
A spare cupboard can be transformed into a home office with the introduction of a desk or unit to house a working environment. Even a wardrobe can make a concealed office and best of all? You can shut the doors at the end of your day and switch off; helping to maintain a healthy work-life balance even when you can’t completely leave the workplace.
Messy? Distract with wallpaper
Patterned or heavily designed wallpaper will distract from a messy desk and can play with the perception of space – so works well in a smaller room. If wallpaper isn’t an option (for example in a rented home or where the wall simply wouldn’t accommodate it), hang a pin-board, gallery wall or mount clipboards to create an eye-catching display.
Convert your attic
Lofts and attics are often used only for the storage of old boxes of ‘stuff’ and a Christmas tree, but in truth a clever conversion can revolutionise this underused space. Attic eaves can be used for a desk or the whole room converted into a workshop or home office. You may need to involve a renovations expert for such a conversion to ensure the room is well lit, secure, dry and warm but such conversions can be fairly swiftly once a plan is in place!
Adopt a theme
The great thing about a home office is that it only needs to look as corporate as you’d like it to – and need not incorporate any of the branded elements your employer may opt for. Statement wall paper or a bold colour theme can differentiate your work space from the rest of your house and show off your personality; professionally and otherwise.
Change up your outbuildings
Shed? Man cave? Garage? Turning an outbuilding into a home office allows you to work from home but also to ‘leave’ the workplace at the end of the day, keeping work and life separate. Try to use one side of the room for correspondence, filing and admin and the other for creative work to further balance things. Don’t forget to keep things secure if you’re storing valuables in your garden and seek additional insurance as required.
Upcycle existing furniture
If you have furniture in your home that could do with a new lease of life, upcycle it and use it for your home work space! A home office doesn’t need to fit the constraints of traditional office furniture, and if only being used infrequently or for short periods of time, there may be no need to invest in new pieces.
Start your own business from home
If you’re already working from home, why not move your whole brand there? Those self-employed or usually working in rented space may find that a clever conversion of home space can provide a more convenient work space than usual. Beauticians, aestheticians, artists and other creative workers can all benefit from installing their own workshop or salon at home and can invite customers to them; saving on rents, rates and other bills.
Having finally been proved an efficient method of productivity to employers, remote working is set to stay for many brands and has already transformed the operations of businesses worldwide. No matter how big or small your home, a comfy and convenient working space can be created with some creativity and clever thinking. Get inspired, and get working!
Inspired to get working on your home work space? Get in touch for a free no obligation chat with one of our renovation experts today.
Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.